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Fears of Continued Cabinet Deadlock over Interior Ministry Portfolio, Tribunal’s Indictment

The cabinet is not likely to be formed anytime soon, sources told pan-Arab daily al-Hayat after Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun insisted on naming the neutral personality who would lead the interior ministry.

The sources told al-Hayat in remarks published Sunday that both Aoun and President Michel Suleiman, who are at loggerheads over the portfolio, had agreed on giving the ministry to a neutral personality.

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Suleiman Says Cabinet Deadlock Over ‘Demands’ Not ‘Obstacles’

President Michel Suleiman denied on Sunday that there were foreign obstacles to the cabinet formation process, saying the deadlock was over local “demands.”

“There are no foreign pitfalls,” Suleiman told reporters in Bkirki after meeting with Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi. The impasse lies on the “demands of parliamentary blocs” and “not obstacles,” he said.

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Wahhab Reveals Photos of Checks Addressed to Jarrah and Khaddam from Saudi Prince Turki bin Abdul Aziz

Tawheed movement leader Wiam Wahhab revealed on Saturday photos of checks addressed to Mustaqbal MP Jamal al-Jarrah signed by Saudi Prince Turki bin Abdul Aziz, a member of the Saudi royal family.

The check, worth $300,000, was issued in Cairo, he told NBN television.

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Raad: Hizbullah and AMAL Not Providing Political Cover for Construction Violations

The head of the Loyalty to the Resistance bloc MP Mohammed Raad described on Friday the construction violations on public property as “shameful”, saying no one can protect any side that had carried out such illegal activity.

He added: “The current chaos cannot be justified or defended … AMAL and Hizbullah have not provided political cover to the violations.”

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Jumblat Calls for Keeping Construction Violations File Away from Political Disputes

A security official revealed to As Safir newspaper on Saturday that the public property construction violations exceed 4,000 plots throughout southern Lebanon, adding that they are far too numerous for the security forces and army to handle.

The newspaper added that the security forces will suffice with recording violations instead of thwarting them.

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Hizb ut-Tahrir Accuses State of Using Intimidation Practices: We Will Stage Demonstrations Every Friday

Hizb ut-Tahrir’s media official, Ahmed Qasas accused Lebanese authorities of intimidation practices “that have turned Tripoli into a military barracks.”

He told the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat in remarks published on Saturday: “They sought such tactics in order to deter the people from taking part in the demonstration that the party called for on Friday in support of the Syrian protests.”

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Government to be Formed in Upcoming Two Weeks as Hizbullah Intensifies its Contacts

The government is expected to be formed in the upcoming two weeks after Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati’s return from London from a private visit, reported As Safir newspaper Saturday.

President Michel Suleiman will discuss the cabinet lineup crisis on Sunday with Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi in a closed-door meeting during his participation in Easter mass in Bkirki, it said.

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MTV Crew Attacked for Filming Illegal Building on Holy See Land in Ghobeiri

An MTV crew was assaulted on Friday in the Beirut southern suburb of Ghobeiri while it was filming a construction violation on land owned by the Holy See.

As reporter George Eid and cameraman Roger Hanna were starting to film the site, they were attacked by a number of locals who shouted at them and asked them to stop filming before shooting in the air to terrorize them.

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Nasrallah Expected to Make Speech over Public Property Violations

Hizbullah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is expected to make a speech in the next two days to address the recent developments in the case of the construction violations on public property, said media reports on Friday.

Al-Liwaa daily reported on Friday that the party is “uncomfortable and worried” about this file being addressed.

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WikiLeaks: Geagea Sought to Employ LBC for his Political Goals

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea was worried that the LBC television station would fall into the hands of pro-March 8 forces, revealed a leaked U.S. Embassy cable published exclusively in Al-Akhbar newspaper on Friday.

The WikiLeaks cable, dated May 16, 2006, spoke of a meeting between Geagea and then U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Jeffery Feltman during which LBC’s ownership was brought up.

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