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Miqati: Hizbullah, Allies Majority in New Govt Doesn’t Mean Lebanon Will Confront Int’l Community

After announcing his long-awaited cabinet formation, Prime Minister Najib Miqati insisted on Monday that the new government line-up, in which Hizbullah and its allies have a majority, will not place the country in the “radical camp.”

"The fact that Hizbullah and its allies have 18 seats in the 30-member cabinet does not mean that the country will join the radical camp in terms of its relations with the international community," Miqati told Agence France Presse.

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Prime Minister Najib Miqati’s 30-member Cabinet Lineup

The following is the lineup of Miqati’s 30-member government:


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Army Leadership Slams Hints of Armed Militants along Northern Border

General Director of the army command Brigadier General Hassan Ayoub rejected hints that “illegal armed militants” had deployed along the Lebanese-Syrian border in the North, al-Liwaa newspaper reported on Monday.

He instead confirmed that the Lebanese army is deployed along the border.

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March 8 Suspicious of Miqati: Govt. Formation Delay Like Syrian Siege on Lebanon

The March 8 camp may withdraw its confidence from Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati because of its doubts over his ability to form a new government, reported al-Liwa newspaper on Monday.

It has been disappointed with his efforts and may set a deadline of next Wednesday to withdraw confidence from him regardless if such a step is constitutional or not, said the newspaper.

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Paris Says Current Political Vacuum Serves Indictment

France said that an initiative aimed at solving the Lebanese crisis is “not rational” especially with the expected release in the upcoming weeks of the indictment in the probe into ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s assassination, the pan-Arab newspaper al-Hayat reported on Monday.

A High-ranking French source told the daily that the time taken by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon to issue the indictment paved way for Lebanese officials to “absorb” the results of the accusations.

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Reports: STL Indictment in Few Weeks, Canadian Investigator Leaked Document to CBC

The indictment in the probe into the 2005 killing of former Premier Rafik Hariri will be issued later in the month or in early July, a judicial source at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon said.

The source told al-Liwaa newspaper published Monday that the indictment will be issued between June 20 and July 5. He did not give further details.

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MPs Banned from Accessing Facebook over ‘Poker Games’

The Facebook social network website is not available anymore for lawmakers at the parliament, An Nahar newspaper reported on Monday.

MPs were surprised for being banned from accessing their accounts on the network in their offices, it said.

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Report: U.S., France Advised Hariri to Stay Abroad on Fear of Assassination Plot

U.S. sources have informed caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri about a plan to assassinate him in Beirut, “which was supposed to be carried out in May,” Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai reported.

In a report published Monday, the newspaper said the U.S. warnings to Hariri “coincided with similar warnings from the Saudi and French authorities.”

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Huge Fire Doused near Tripoli Oil Refinery Tanks

Civil defense firefighters, assisted by army helicopters and a specialized firefighting helicopter, managed Sunday to douse a huge fire that erupted across grasslands located within the premises of the Tripoli oil refinery in al-Beddawi area, state-run National News Agency reported.

Earlier Sunday, NNA reported that the fire quickly spread due to strong winds, gutting vast areas of grasslands and agricultural lands located near the refinery’s storage tanks.

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Hajj Hassan: Lebanon Veggies Safe, EU Import Ban to Be Lifted Monday

Lebanon will on Monday lift a ban on the import of vegetables from Europe imposed in the wake of the recent deadly E. coli outbreak, caretaker Agriculture Minister Hussein Hajj Hassan announced Sunday.

Hajj Hassan reassured consumers about the safety of vegetables in Lebanon, noting that vegetables “are subjected to laboratory tests on a periodic basis.”

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