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Kataeb Urges Steps to Halt Decline, Calls for Dissociation from Region Crises

The Kataeb Party on Monday expressed grave concern over the security situation in the country, urging steps to quickly halt the deterioration and avoid a return to the atmosphere of the 1975-1990 civil war.

In a statement issued after its political bureau's weekly meeting, the party said it “has become worried over the course of the security, political, economic and social situations that the country is embroiled in, amid the absence of a solution to all the current problems.”

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Rifi: Islamists' Trial in Roumieh Has Made Major Progress

Minister of Justice Ashraf Rifi on Monday committed himself to speed up the trials of the Islamist prisoners in Roumieh jail, amid political appeals to the judiciary to finalize this file on hope that it may reflect positively on the case of the kidnapped soldiers.

“Justice stops all kinds of chaos, violence and revenge; organizes the relationship between citizens and their government; and protects their rights, dignity and citizenship,” Rifi said in a statement addressed to the judicial authority on the occasion of the new judicial year.

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Hollande Urges Backing for Lebanese Army as Bassil Calls for Eliminating ISIL at Paris Conference

French President Francois Hollande highlighted on Monday the need to preserve Lebanon's unity and sovereignty, while emphasizing the role of the army in protecting the country.

He stressed the importance of supporting the Lebanese army and properly equipping it.

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Jumblat: West Should Not Forget Lebanon in its Battle against Terrorism

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat noted on Monday that Lebanon is carrying a “major burden” in combating terrorism, which should lead to providing it with proper military and logistic support.

He said in his weekly editorial in the PSP-affiliated al-Anbaa website: “The West should not forget Lebanon in its plan to combat terrorism.”

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Major Power Outage Hits Lebanon as EDL Crisis Looms

A major power cut hit Lebanon on Monday from its south to north, including the capital Beirut, without an immediate explanation for the blackout.

According to the state-run National News Agency, the power outage hit all the Lebanese areas and Beirut at 9:20 am.

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Palestinian Businessman Abducted in Baalbek

Unknown assailants kidnapped at dawn Monday a Palestinian businessman in the eastern district of Baalbek, the state-run National News Agency reported.

NNA said that the kidnappers abducted Mohammed Khaled Ismail, a Palestinian expatriate in Denmark, near his residence in the town of Douris.

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Mashnouq Warns: Situation in Arsal Could Degrade with the Onset of Winter

Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq warned on Monday of the dangerous situation in the northeastern border town of Arsal with the onset of winter as gunmen would have to leave their positions on the outskirts either back into Syria or would enter the village.

“If the jihadists decided to advance into Arsal at the beginning of winter new clashes would erupt with the Lebanese army,” Mashnouq said in an interview with the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat.

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Bou Saad Says FPM Not Impeding Parliamentary Polls, Lashes Out at Critics

Education Minister Elias Bou Saab stressed on Monday that the Free Patriotic Movement is seeking to facilitate the staging of the parliamentary elections, revealing that he will run in the polls.

“We reject the extension of the legislature's term,” Bou Saab said in comments published in al-Joumhouria newspaper.

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Hat Trick: Berri Compares Parliamentary Polls to Rabbit

Speaker Nabih Berri has denied that he could make a magic trick to resolve the crisis on the parliamentary elections but compared the polls to the rabbit that would be pulled out of an empty hat.

“I think the parliamentary elections are the rabbit” that would come out of the magician's hat, Berri said.

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Report: Aoun's Presidency Hopes High, to Visit Jumblat

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun's chances to reach the presidency post still exist, al-Liwaa newspaper reported on Monday.

The daily reported that Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil, Aoun's son-in-law, with his Saudi and U.S. counterparts in Jeddah last week the ongoing presidential deadlock in Lebanon.

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