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Annan to Succeed Saadeh as Acting Police Chief

The commander of the northern region in the Internal Security Forces Brigadier General Mahmoud Annan will reportedly succeed Brig. Gen. Elias Saadeh as acting Police chief.

According to As Safir newspaper published Thursday, the decision to appoint Annan was based on hierarchy at the ISF, a decision taken by the head of the institution Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Basbous.

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Report: Ibrahim in Turkey this Week after Positive Developments on Hostages

General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim is expected to visit Istanbul this week to meet with Qatar's envoy who is mediating the release of Lebanese servicemen taken captive by jihadists, al-Mustaqbal newspaper reported on Thursday.

His trip would come after encouraging signs emerged following the meeting of the crisis cell on the fate of the soldiers and policemen who were taken hostage by al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front fighters from the northeastern border town of Arsal in August last year.

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March 14: Only Solution before Aoun is Heading to Parliament to Elect President

The March 14 General Secretariat criticized on Wednesday the initiative proposed by Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun aimed at ending the presidential deadlock, saying that it is a “coup against Lebanon's parliamentary democratic system.”

It said during its weekly meeting: “The only solution before Aoun is heading to parliament and electing a new president.”

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Mashnouq: Roumieh's Block B Will Be Ready for Inmates in 20 Days

Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq presented on Wednesday some of the changes that have been introduced to Roumieh Prison, the country's largest and most overcrowded facility.

He said during a press conference: “The renovated block B will be ready for the transfer of inmates in around 20 days.”

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Lebanese Drug Smuggler Busted at Beirut Airport

A Lebanese man was arrested on Wednesday at Beirut's Rafik Hariri International Airport for trying to smuggle drugs to Lebanon, the state-run National News Agency reported.

NNA said 22-year-old M.A. was apprehended for carrying with him 3.2 kilograms of cocaine.

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Change and Reform Bloc Reiterates Importance of Partnership to Terminate Crises

Change and Reform lawmakers toured for the third day in a row parliamentary blocs to tackle Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun's initiative to end the lingering presidential crisis in Lebanon.

“Aoun's initiative is an opportunity that we should cease as it's a chance to end the deadlock,” MP Emile Rahme, who is loyal to Aoun, told reporters after meeting with Hizbullah's Loyalty to the Resistance bloc at its headquarters in Beirut's southern suburbs.

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Pond Collapses in Akoura, Causing Heavy Damages to Crops

An artificial pond collapsed in a town in the district of Jbeil on Wednesday, causing material damages, the state-run National News Agency and the village's municipal chief said.

NNA said the accident triggered a landslide that blocked Akoura's main road and caused damages to crops.

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Berri at Ease on Negotiations to Release Captive Servicemen

Speaker Nabih Berri expressed relief on Wednesday over the progress made in the case of the servicemen taken hostage by the al-Qaida-affiliate al-Nusra Front.

“There is an important and positive development in the case,” Berri was quoted as saying by his visitors in comments published in al-Joumhouria newspaper.

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STL Spokesperson Says Transfer of Samaha Case Requires Approval of Lebanon, U.N.

The spokesperson of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon has said there was no direct contact with the court on efforts to refer to it the file of former Minister Michel Samaha, adding the issue required an agreement between the Lebanese government and the United Nations.

“I cannot comment on the statements made by politicians or officials,” Wajed Ramadan told As Safir daily published on Wednesday.

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Report: Mustaqbal Seeking to Pressure Aoun to Abandon Presidential Race

Al-Mustaqbal Movement would reportedly agree on the appointment of Commando Regiment chief Brig. Gen. Chamel Roukoz as army chief if Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun abandoned his presidential aspirations.

Al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Wednesday that the adviser of al-Mustaqbal Movement chief Saad Hariri, Nader Hariri, informed the aide of Speaker Nabih Berri, Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil, that the movement doesn’t reject the appointment of Roukoz, Aoun's son-in-law, on condition the FPM chief withdraws from the presidential race.

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