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Judge Saqr Charges Syrian Troops in Killing of al-Jadeed Cameraman

State Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr charged on Thursday members of the Syrian army for killing al-Jadeed TV cameraman Ali Shaaban in the northern area of Wadi Khaled two months ago.

Saqr also charged the unknown soldiers with the attempted murder of Shaaban’s colleagues, reporter Hussein Khreiss and cameraman Abed Khayyat, after opening fire on them from the Syrian side of the border near Wadi Khaled on April 9.

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5 Wounded in Blaze that Engulfed Syrian Refugee Tents in Akkar

Five people were wounded on Thursday in a blaze that engulfed a number of Syrian refugee tents in Akkar, reported the National News Agency.

It said that two people suffered light burns and three people fainted in the fire that completely destroyed 20 tents in the town of Bourj al-Arab in Akkar.

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SANA: Syria Thwarts Infiltration Attempt by ‘Terrorists’ from Lebanon

Syrian authorities thwarted an attempt by an “armed terrorist group” to infiltrate Syria from northern Lebanon, Syrian Arab News Agency, SANA, reported Thursday.

It quoted a source in Reef Tall Kalakh as saying that one member of the group was injured while the rest escaped back to Lebanon during a clash with “concerned authorities.”

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Israel Makes Reinforcements in Disputed Area Near Wazzani River

Israeli troops erected earth mounds and established a military post along the border with Lebanon in an area that oversees the Wazzani river zone of Muntazahat, the National News Agency reported Thursday.

Around three bulldozers, a dredger and 30 soldiers backed by four Merkava tanks and 3 Humvees began the operations in the early morning hours along the border that stretches from the Western side of Ghajar all the way to the al-Hamari.

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Gemayel Urges Officials to Attend National Dialogue

Phalange party leader Amin Gemayel revealed on Thursday that his party continuously voiced its support to the national dialogue.

“Our stance is very clear regarding this matter,” he said after holding talks with Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi in Bkirki.

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Rape and Robbery on Zahle Highway

Two men raped a 32-year-old Lebanese woman in the eastern city of Zahle after assaulting her male companion and stealing LL1.5 million from them, the National News Agency reported Thursday.

NNA said that four men in a BMW with tinted windows intercepted the victims identified with their initials as K.T., 32, and J.D., who were in their Toyota on the Zahle highway, at around 1:30 am.

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Appointments Head towards Breakthrough as Suleiman, Aoun Agree to Resolve Crisis

The controversial appointment of top civil servants in state posts is witnessing a breakthrough after President Michel Suleiman and Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun agreed to make compromises to resolve the crisis, As Safir newspaper reported on Thursday.

Concerning the head of the Higher Judicial Council post, Suleiman is no longer holding onto his candidate judge Alice Shabtini, while Aoun agreed to reconsider his nomination to judge Tannous Meshleb.

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Cabinet Seeks Jumblat’s Support to Throw Proportionality in Parliament’s Court

Efforts will be exerted to pressure Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat not to obstruct the adoption of a proposal by Interior Minister Marwan Charbel on a new electoral law based on proportional representation, ministerial sources said Thursday.

The sources told An Nahar newspaper that attempts will be made to persuade Jumblat into allowing the cabinet ministers loyal to him to approve proportionality for the 2013 parliamentary elections.

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Cabinet Resolves Overspending Crisis, Approves Loans for Development Projects

The cabinet approved on Thursday LL10,394 billion to cover the expenses of state institutions in 2012 and LL600 billion to carry out development projects in Tripoli and other areas across Lebanon, a major breakthrough following months of wrangling on the extra-budgetary spending.

Following a session held under President Michel Suleiman at Baabda palace, Information Minister Walid al-Daouq said the LL10,394 billion would come in the form of a credit to cover the expenses of institutions for the rest of the year.

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Qabbani Says Disputed Maritime Area within Lebanon’s EEZ

Head of the parliamentary energy committee MP Mohammed Qabbani stressed on Thursday that the disputed 854 square kilometers maritime zone belongs solely to Lebanon’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

The area, which Lebanon and Israel are bickering over, contains suspected energy reserves that could generate billions of dollars.

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