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Berri Unleashes Last -Minute Effort on Eve of Cabinet Meeting

Speaker Nabih Berri has unleashed a last-minute effort to reach a compromise on the false witnesses' issue, his political aide Ali Hasan Khalil announced.

Khalil, in remarks published Tuesday by the daily An-Nahar, said Berri was working in his capacity as a political leader in the Opposition camp.

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Lawyers of Alleged Hizbullah Backer Call for Cutting 155-year Term

A North Carolina man who has spent a decade in prison for allegedly aiding Hizbullah is trying to get his 155-year sentence cut, The Charlotte Observer reported.

Mohammed Hammoud, who was convicted in 2002 of conspiring to provide material support to a “terrorist organization” and 13 other crimes, will ask a U.S. judge at a hearing Wednesday to reduce his sentence to time served, or at least no more than 15 years.

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Barak to Gates: Hizbullah, Syria Must Not Gain Arms Supremacy over Israel

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates that Hizbullah and Syria must not gain weapons supremacy over Israel, The Israeli daily Haaretz said on its website.

His remarks came during talks with Gates at the Pentagon. The two men discussed an array of security issues pertaining to the United States' support of Israel.

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Sfeir: Threats Unleashed by Hizbullah ‘Surprising’

Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir expressed surprise at threats unleashed by Hizbullah, particularly by head of Hizbullah’s parliamentary bloc MP Mohammed Raad, without naming him.

“The country cannot carry on under this escalating climate where one (political) camp threatens the other,” Sfeir told al-Mustaqbal newspaper in remarks published Tuesday.

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Phalange: Hizbullah’s Escalation against STL Endangers Internal Stability

The Phalange Party questioned on Monday “Hizbullah’s excessive escalation against the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and all other Lebanese sides seeking justice.”

It warned after its weekly politburo meeting: “This escalation will endanger internal stability without even affecting the STL.”

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Safadi: We Reject Defiant Rhetoric, Residents of Tripoli Support Dialogue and Moderation

Minister of Economy and Trade Mohammad al-Safadi condemned on Monday statements issued from Tripoli on Sunday on the occasion of the Muslim New Year, describing them as defiant rhetoric.

He stressed that he opposes any challenge that may drag the country into a cycle of challenges and retaliations, adding that the residents of Tripoli support moderation and dialogue.

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Raad: We Don’t Issue Threats, But Matters Will Develop Negatively, which Will Threaten Stability

The head of the Loyalty to the Resistance bloc MP Mohammad Raad stated on Sunday that the other camp “should reconsider its calculations and review its choices because the country will be shaken up.”

He said: “I am warning them, we are not issuing threats, but the way things are, matters will develop in a negative manner that would threaten the country’s stability.”

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Berri Hopes for International Resolution Banning Cluster Bombs

House Speaker Nabih Berri hoped on Monday that the United Nations Security Council would devise a resolution that would ban the use of cluster bombs, adding that the decision should be binding to all nations, starting with Israel.

He said after holding talks with an international delegation that Israel dropped more than a million cluster bombs over southern Lebanon after the release of U.N. Security Council resolution 1701, which has caused some 400 injuries and deaths.

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Jumblat: Fiery Statements Do Not Solve Pending Issues and Accumulating Problems

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat noted on Monday that fiery statements do not help resolve pending issues and accumulating problems in Lebanon.

Addressing the recent storm that hit Lebanon, he said in his weekly editorial in the PSP-affiliated al-Anbaa magazine that the lack of planning and management to execute necessary water projects is “unjustified.”

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Geagea: Transferring False Witnesses File to Justice Council Attempt to Limit STL's Functioning

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea stated that the decision to "transfer what they call they 'false witnesses file' to the justice council is an attempt limit the Special Tribunal for Lebanon's functioning."

He told Nile Live Egyptian television that Hizbullah and its allies are insistent on boycotting Cabinet as long as the government does not take a certain legal measure that limits the STL's jurisdiction, adding: "The solution does not lie in surrendering to the other camp's conditions … if we surrender to Hizbullah and its allies, then we are taking Lebanon to a major disaster," he said.

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