Lebanon
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ISF Says Seized Stolen Dali Painting

Lebanon's Internal Security Forces have seized what they said was "probably an original" painting by surrealist master Salvador Dali and arrested four people suspected of attempting to sell it.

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Gemayel to Appeal after Parliament Decides to OK Budget without Final Account

Kataeb Party chief MP Sami Gemayel on Thursday hinted that he might file an appeal before the Constitutional Council after Parliament approved a bill that allows it to pass the 2017 state budget without annual final accounts for 2016 and the ten years that preceded it.

A so-called final account details the state's revenues and spending at the end of a fiscal year.

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U.S. Congress Delegation Stresses 'Importance of Lebanon's Security, Stability and Prosperity'

The Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee (HAC), Rodney Frelinghuysen, led a Congressional delegation visit to Lebanon on October 16-19, the U.S. Embassy said on Thursday.

Frelinghuysen was joined by fellow HAC member, Representative Henry Cuellar.

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State Security Apprehends Terror Cell in Hasbaya

The State Security Directorate said it arrested in the district of Hasbaya a 4-member cell comprised of Syrian nationals who had been monitoring “strategic locations with the intention of carrying out terrorist attack plots,” the National News Agency reported on Thursday.

During interrogation, the mastermind who was identified as Kh.M., confessed to having formed groups affiliated to the Islamic State organization via social media.

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Israeli Troops Scrapping Activity Along Barbed Wire

An Israeli bulldozer carried out digging works in Wadi Qatamoun across the town of Rmeish in the Bint Jbeil district, the National News Agency reported on Thursday.

According to NNA the bulldozer started digging works inside the border of occupied Palestinian territories adjacent to the U.N. demarcated Blue Line.

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Geagea Affirms 'Staunch' March 14 Alliance, Says Syrian 'Tutelage' Exiled Aoun, Confined Him

Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea stated that the Syrian “tutelage” has exiled President Michel Aoun back in 1990 and ordered his own detention, as he reassured that the March 14 alliance “has not died but is alive" and well.

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LF Says Adwan's Remarks 'Not an Accusation' Against Salameh

The Lebanese Forces party stressed on Thursday that remarks made by deputy chief MP George Adwan about BDL's possible tax evasion are not aimed at indicting its governor Riad Salameh but were mere questions that needed answers, the pan-Arab Asharq al-Awsat reported on Thursday.

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Hariri Defends Govt. Productivity, Says Sunnis 'Not Frustrated'

Prime Minister Saad Hariri defended his government on Wednesday in the face of criticism from several MPs, as he denied claims that the Sunni community in Lebanon is “frustrated.”

“I cannot accept the claim that this government is not productive because it is the most productive government, despite the fact that it was formed less than a year ago,” said Hariri after the end of parliamentary debate sessions on the 2017 state budget.

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STL Appeals Chamber Rules on Pre-Trial Judge Questions on New Indictment

The Appeals Chamber of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon has issued a decision on 15 questions of law submitted by the Pre-Trial Judge and pertaining to a new indictment that has been submitted by the STL Prosecutor, the STL said on Wednesday.

“The Pre-Trial Judge sought clarification of certain aspects of the applicable law in order to examine and rule on an indictment submitted for confirmation by the Prosecution,” an STL statement said.

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Hariri Holds Talks with Estonian Minister of Defense

Prime Minister Saad Hariri held talks Wednesday at the Center House with the Estonian Minister of Defense Jüri Luik.

Luik was accompanied by an official delegation and the meeting was held in the presence of Estonian Ambassador Marin Mõttus and the Honorary Consul of Estonia in Lebanon Fouad Fadel.

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