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Scores of Lebanese Flee Libya Violence Via Amman, Urge for Help

Scores of Lebanese returned home from strife-torn Libya via Jordan on Sunday, urging Beirut authorities to facilitate the evacuation of other Lebanese citizens there, said the state-run National News Agency.

The Lebanese came aboard a Jordanian plane along with several members of their family holding Libyan passports, said NNA.

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Army-UNIFIL Conduct Exercise in Natural Disaster Response

The Lebanese army and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) conducted an exercise in large-scale disaster response over the weekend.

The two-day exercise entitled “United Beacon” was carried out in the southern city of Tyre in cooperation with a number of government and non-government organizations, said a statement issued by UNIFIL.

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Bassil Says he Caused Gasoline Crisis to Defend People’s Rights, Lower Prices

Caretaker Energy Minister Jebran Bassil admitted on Sunday to causing the gasoline crisis that has engulfed Lebanon but said there wasn’t any other way to defend the people’s rights and lower prices.

During a press conference he held at his hometown in Batroun, Bassil said he received phone calls from state officials during his visit to Rome on Friday urging him to issue the updated price list of gasoline.

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Sfeir Reportedly to Have a Say in Election of New Patriarch Mid March

The oldest member of the Maronite bishops synod is expected to call for a conclave to elect a new patriarch within 15 days after Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir on Saturday.

An Nahar daily said Sunday that the synod would be held in Bkirki and could start with a three-day retreat and then followed by election sessions for 15 days.

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Mustaqbal Lashes Out at Miqati: Justice Means Commitment to Tribunal

Al-Mustaqbal bloc MP Samir al-Jisr snapped back at Premier-designate Najib Miqati, saying there could be no justice in ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s assassination case without Lebanese commitment to the international tribunal.

“How could we talk about justice without the court?” al-Jisr wondered in remarks published by An Nahar daily on Sunday. “Justice comes through the tribunal.”

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Report: Hariri to Make Important Speech on Monday

Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri is expected to make an important speech that would reflect the decisions reached at the March 14 lawmakers’ meeting scheduled for Sunday.

An Nahar newspaper said Hariri would make the speech on Monday afternoon.

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Israel Worried Russian Missiles Would End up in Hizbullah’s Hands

Israel has expressed concern over Russia’s decision to fulfill its contract to supply Syria with cruise missiles, saying they could end up in the hands of Hizbullah.

"The question of these missiles' delivery to Syria really has triggered a negative reaction in Israel," the Israeli ambassador to Moscow, Dorit Golender, told the Interfax news agency.

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Pope Benedict XVI Accepts Sfeir’s Resignation

Pope Benedict XVI accepted Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir’s resignation, reported L’Obsservatore Romano newspaper on Saturday.

The Pope said in a letter to Sfeir: “I accept your free decision that reflects your humility.”

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Suleiman in Kuwait to Attend its National Day Celebrations

President Michel Suleiman arrived in Kuwait Saturday at an invitation by Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah to attend the country’s 50th independence, national, and liberation day celebrations.

The president’s visit is scheduled to last one day.

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STL Completes Investigation in Leaked Recordings

A high-ranking French source revealed that concerned circles in the Special Tribunal for Lebanon are continuing their investigation to uncover the circumstances surrounding the leak of voice recordings conducted by the investigation into the assassination into the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, reported al-Liwa’ Saturday.

The recordings were leaked and broadcast by a Lebanese television station.

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