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Raad Says Economic Situation More Pressing than Govt. Formation

Finding solutions to the dire economic and financial crisis is more pressing than forming a new government, the head of Hizbullah’s parliamentary bloc said on Monday.

“The government will be eventually formed, but we did not believe for a moment that things would go well nor that Samir Khatib was the one who would be nominated,” Raad said in a speech in the West Bekaa town of Suhmor.

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Rafting, Cars Submerged as Flooding Wreaks Havoc in Jnah

Flash floods caused by heavy rains, bad infrastructure and clogged drainage systems on Monday invaded the Saint Simon area in the Beirut suburb of Jnah, turning roads into huge ponds and submerging dozens of vehicles.

The floods also stormed homes, shops and factories as some residents used surfboards and kayaks to move around.

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Aoun Expresses Relief over Lebanon Support Meeting

President Michel Aoun on Monday expressed relief over the meeting that the International Support Group for Lebanon will hold Wednesday in Paris, thanking France for making the initiative in coordination with the U.N.

Aoun’s remarks were voiced in a meeting with U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Jan Kubis.

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Aoun Vows to Eradicate 'Malicious Germ of Corruption'

President Michel Aoun on Monday pledged to eradicate what he called “the malicious germ of corruption,” in a tweet marking the International Anti-Corruption Day.

“We will continue to work with all our effort and energy to eradicate the malicious germ of corruption which has infiltrated the country’s health and institutions as well as the mentalities of a lot of individuals,” Aoun tweeted.

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Report: Two Equations Govern Formation of New Govt.

The political forces have floated two equations to form the new government amid ongoing delay, a media report published Monday said.

According to al-Akhbar newspaper, the first equation is a government led by Saad Hariri but not containing Jebran Bassil while the other is a government in which the two men would be both inside or outside the government.

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Parliamentary Consultations on New PM Postponed to December 16

The Presidency on Sunday postponed the binding parliamentary consultations for naming a new PM from Monday, Dec. 9 to Monday, Dec. 16, after Dar al-Fatwa told the candidate Samir Khatib that there is Sunni consensus on re-nominating Saad Hariri for the post.

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Lebanese-Born Donor of Hitler Items Welcomed in Israel

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday hosted a Lebanese-born Swiss real estate mogul who purchased Nazi memorabilia at a German auction and is donating the items to Israel.

Rivlin called Abdallah Chatila's gesture an "act of grace."

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Mufti Tells Khatib There's Sunni Consensus on Naming Hariri

Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Daryan on Sunday told premiership candidate Samir Khatib that there is Sunni “consensus” on naming caretaker PM Saad Hariri to lead the new government.

The Mufti is “among the supporters of PM Saad Hariri, who is exerting efforts to advance Lebanon, and he supports his Arab and international role in this regard,” Khatib said in a statement from Dar al-Fatwa after meeting Daryan.

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Aude: Country Ruled by Armed Group and Person You All Know

Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Beirut Elias Aude on Sunday decried that Lebanon is being ruled by one “person” and an “armed group.”

“Today, this country is being ruled by a person you all know, and no one is saying a word, and it is being ruled by a group hiding behind arms,” Aude said in a sermon marking the 14th anniversary of the assassination of the journalist Gebran Tueni.

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Lebanese Women March in Beirut against Sexual Harassment

Scores of women marched through the streets of Beirut on Saturday to protest sexual harassment and bullying and demanding rights including the passing of citizenship to children of Lebanese women married to foreigners.

The march started outside the American University of Beirut, west of the capital, and ended in a downtown square that has been witnessing daily protests for more than seven weeks.

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