Some 1,200 inmates in Roumieh prison have continued their hunger strike for the third day in a row demanding a general pardon and improving the conditions in the prison, reported the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat on Wednesday.
The committee charged with following up the situation in Roumieh prison held a meeting on Tuesday headed by Internal Security Forces chief Ashraf Rifi in order to address the situation in the jail and follow up on its maintenance operations and the needs of the inmates, including increasing the number of doctors at the prison.Full Story
Speaker Nabih Berri reassured Lebanese citizens on Wednesday that the government formation is making a “tangible progress” and the atmosphere is better than before.
There is a strong insistence to speed up the cabinet formation and intensive work is underway to reach the expected results, the speaker reportedly told lawmakers during his weekly meetings with MPs. There is “tangible progress,” he said.Full Story
Political sources warned against being overly optimistic about the formation of the government anytime soon although they said that the atmosphere was more positive than before.
The sources told al-Mustaqbal daily in remarks published Wednesday that the “excessive optimism might not reflect the reality,” and said those who are being optimistic have most probably “rushed” to make their stances.Full Story
Energy and Water Minister Jebran Bassil delayed on Wednesday the release of this week’s fuel prices, warning politicians from a crisis if the prices continue to rise.
“If the prices witness any rise next week I will abstain from signing it (the price update),” Bassil said during a press conference.Full Story
Syria has allegedly been behind the latest Hizbullah proposal to end the government formation impasse after the aides of the speaker and the Hizbullah leader met with Syrian officials in Damascus.
According to An Nahar daily, Syria gave the “password” to MP Ali Hassan Khalil and Hussein Khalil who returned to Beirut with new suggestions, including three possible names to head the interior ministry, which has been behind the three-month stalemate.Full Story
Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat confirmed to As Safir newspaper on Wednesday that ‘positive indications’ reveal a progress in the attempts to solve the interior ministry stalemate.
The names that are being studied to lead the ministry are “excellent,” he said, hoping that the mediation of Hizbullah with the cooperation of Speaker Nabih Berri would succeed.Full Story
The March 8 forces threw the ball in President Michel Suleiman’s court after Hizbullah mediated to solve the interior ministry portfolio deadlock by proposing several new names that could head the ministry.
March 8 sources told An Nahar daily in remarks published Wednesday that “Suleiman has no excuse to reject it (the new proposal) and the ball is now in the court of the president.”Full Story
Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun demanded on Tuesday that Speaker Nabih Berri convene parliament to hold a legislative session in order to approve a number of draft laws.
He said after the movement’s weekly meeting: “We resorted to Berri because he is the only authority in the matter.”Full Story
President Michel Suleiman hoped on Tuesday that stability would be completely restored in Syrian regions that witnessed protests recently in order that the reforms pledged by Syrian President Bashar Assad would be implemented.
He warned after holding talks with the Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim Ali of the dangers of sectarian incitement in the Arab country being launched under the guise of demanding reform.Full Story
Government Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr on Tuesday charged nine people with assaulting security forces while they were seeking to end building violations in Beirut’s southern suburbs.
The National News Agency said that Saqr charged the nine people, including one detainee, for confronting members of the Internal Security Forces and assaulting them while they were seeking to curb building violations in the area of Ouzai.Full Story