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Cold War Heats up between U.S. and Hizbullah

A war of words is heating up between Hizbullah and Washington, with allegations and counter-allegations flying between the two foes as the crisis in Syria takes its toll on the Shiite group.

The cold war between Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hizbullah and the United States runs back decades.

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Army Takes Measures to Ensure Public Safety during Holidays

The Lebanese army command said Friday that army units have taken exceptional security measures on the occasion of the holidays.

“Army units carried out and are still taking security and exceptional measures around places of worship and their surroundings, major roads and shopping areas,” the military command said in a communique.

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Lebanese Government Mum on Alleged Infiltration of al-Qaida Members into Syria

The Lebanese government remained tight-lipped on Saturday on Syrian claims that Lebanon had warned Damascus about the infiltration of al-Qaida members into Syria from its territories.

Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour was only quoted as saying that “Lebanon hasn’t officially notified the Syrian foreign ministry about the infiltration of al-Qaida members to Syria.”

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Hizbullah: U.S. and its Regional Proxies are behind Damascus Bombings

Hizbullah stressed on Friday that the bombings that took place in Syria will not weaken the resolve of the forces of resistance in the region.

It said in a statement: “The United States and its regional proxies are behind the Damascus bombings.”

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Hariri on Syria Bombing: Syrian Foreign Ministry Statements are Fabricated by it and Lebanese Pawns

Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri noted on Friday that some members of the Lebanese government are seeking to drag Lebanon onto a path of terrorism through covering up the Syrian regime’s crimes.

He made his statements in light of the twin bomb attacks that took place in Damascus earlier on Friday and the Syrian Foreign Ministry’s statements that Lebanon had warned earlier this week that members of al-Qaida had infiltrated the country.

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GLC Suspends Strike after Agreeing on Govt. Wage Hike

The General Labor Confederation announced on Friday that it has suspended the strike it was planning on holding on December 27.

The confederation made the decision after agreeing on the government’s wage hike, which adopted Labor Minister Charbel Nahhas’ proposals on the matter.

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Suleiman to Assad: Terrorist Bombings Aimed at Targeting Arab Plan

President Michel Suleiman condemned the "terrorist" bombings in Damascus on Friday, saying they were aimed at targeting the Arab roadmap intended to resolve the Syrian crisis.

In a telephone conversation with Syrian President Bashar Assad, the Lebanese head of state said the bombings which “coincided with the arrival to Syria of an observer mission's advance team aim at targeting the Arab plan that Syria and the Arab League had agreed to.”

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Qahwaji Discusses with French Counterpart Ways to Boost Military Cooperation

Army chief Gen. Jean Qahwaji discussed with the French chief-of-staff, Gen. Bertrand Ract-Madoux, ways to consolidate military cooperation between the two countries, the National News Agency reported on Friday.

Their meeting took place at Qahwaji’s office in Yarze. The chief-of-staff of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, Brig. Gen. Olivier de la Maisonneuve, also attended the talks.

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Israeli Officials: Hizbullah Trying to Intimidate UNIFIL over Monitoring Activities

Israeli defense officials have accused Hizbullah of involvement in the latest roadside bombing on French peacekeepers serving with UNIFIL near the southern city of Tyre, Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

The newspaper said the defense officials believe French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe is right in accusing Hizbullah of having a hand in the bombing that left five troops injured.

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Nahhas Expresses Relief over Wage Plan

Labor Minister Charbel Nahhas expressed relief on Friday over the approval of the wage hike decree proposed by him, stressing that as soon as the Shura Council issues its verdict it will be published in the official gazette.

“We hope that it will be submitted for publication in the official gazette by Thursday, since it’s before the end of the year and the people will be paid their rights in accordance with the holidays,” Nahhas told As Safir newspaper.

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