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UNIFIL Marks International Day of Peace, Asarta Calls for Permanent Ceasefire

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon held a ceremony to mark the 30th International Day of Peace during which UNIFIL commander Maj. Gen. Alberto Asarta called for a permanent ceasefire in the South.

Present at the ceremony at UNIFIL’s headquarters in Naqoura were local authorities, religious leaders, representatives of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the international community.

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Al-Rahi, Pietton Meet Despite ‘Disappointment’

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi held talks with French Ambassador Denis Pietton in Bkirki on Wednesday despite the diplomat’s announcement that his government was “disappointed” by al-Rahi’s remarks on Syria and Hizbullah’s arms.

The National News Agency said Bishop Samir Mazloum attended the talks.

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ISF Closes in on ‘Kidnapping Network’ but Conditions of Estonians’ Release Remains Mystery

Interior Minister Marwan Charbel confirmed that two peopled killed by the Internal Security Forces Information Branch in the Bekaa valley on Tuesday were members of a network seeking to kidnap foreigners.

In remarks to al-Joumhouria newspaper published Wednesday, Charbel said the two men were dangerous outlaws that had previously escaped from several ISF operations carried out against them and had killed an ISF Intelligence Branch officer in the Bekaa town of Majdal Anjar several months ago.

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Bassil: Several Amendments Needed in Electricity Sector’s Regulatory Law

A ministerial committee tasked with regulating Lebanon’s electricity sector is now facing the difficult mission of introducing amendments to Law 462 after it found several ambiguities in it.

Prime Minister Najib Miqati chaired the meeting on Tuesday. Members of the committee agreed to study superfluous points in the law and raise them at the next meeting set for Oct. 10.

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Berri Welcomes al-Rahi’s Visit to Border Towns, Says ‘Land Needs his Blessing’

Speaker Nabih Berri welcomed Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi’s scheduled visit to the southern border towns in the upcoming days, An Nahar newspaper reported on Wednesday.

“These kind of rare visitors don’t need an invitation, he (Patriarch al-Rahi) will be among his pastors and family,” Berri told the daily.

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March 14: Miqati to Face Scandal if Electricity Bill’s Amendments Not Approved

The opposition March 14 forces said Premier Najib Miqati will face a “scandal” if the amendments proposed by their lawmakers to the electricity draft law were not approved.

High-ranking March 14 sources told An Nahar daily on Wednesday that the opposition is adamant to introduce the amendments to the bill to be in harmony with the original draft law that was approved by Miqati’s cabinet on Sept. 7.

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Battle of Quorum in Parliament Decides Fate of Electricity Bill

The March 8 forces are working head over heels to guarantee a quorum of 65 MPs in a parliamentary session set to discuss the electricity project on Thursday, An Nahar daily reported.

The newspaper said that the opposition lawmakers are mulling to withdraw from the session to prevent the necessary quorum as an objection to the failure to approve the amendments that they are calling for to guarantee greater transparency in the implementation of the $1.2 billion plan.

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Berri Urges Officials to Focus on People’s Demands, Halt Aggravating Acts

Speaker Nabih Berri said on Wednesday that some officials are carrying out aggravating actions against each other instead of bearing in mind the people’s interests.

“I call on all the political powers, March 8 forces and March 14-led opposition, to work on providing the Lebanese people with their livelihood demands,” Berri told An Nahar newspaper.

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Al-Rahi, Ignatius IV: Only a Just State Can Protect Everyone

Only a state built upon justice and equality is capable of protecting all of its citizens, Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi and Ignatius IV Hazim, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, said Tuesday.

In a joint statement issued after a closed-door meeting and a dinner banquet at the HQ of the Greek Orthodox patriarchate in Balamand, the two Christian leaders also “stressed their rejection of the notion of ‘protection’ for any group, from whichever side it may come.”

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Suleiman Says Beirut Will Host Investment Conference on Libya

President Michel Suleiman has announced that he agreed with Libyan officials that a conference to encourage investment in Libya will be held in Beirut on Nov. 24.

Suleiman made the announcement in New York on Tuesday as he participated in a high-ranking meeting on Libya that was attended by top officials including U.S. President Barack Obama.

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