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Miqati Works Round the Clock to Finalize Extra-Budgetary Spending Draft-Law

Prime Minister Najib Miqati has been involved in intense discussions with his team to prepare a draft-law that will seek to legalize the 2006-2010 extra-budgetary spending that has stirred controversy and retorts between the March 8 and 14 forces.

The cabinet tasked Miqati with referring the draft-law to the government during its next session at Baabda palace next Wednesday although it wasn’t mentioned in the agenda which was distributed to ministers on Saturday.

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Police Raid Jbeil House in Search for Tabarja Double Homicide Suspect

Security forces have raided a house near the coastal town of Jbeil in the search for the killer of two men whose bodies were found in a rented vehicle on the Tabarja highway, Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) reported Sunday.

The station said that the policemen raided the home of a man which it identified with his initials as J.K. VDL said however that the suspect hasn’t been found yet.

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Charbel, Protestors Exchange Accusations on Violent History Book Rally

Interior Minister Marwan Charbel and the Phalange and National Liberal parties exchanged accusations on Sunday on the side that triggered a clash between student demonstrators and the security forces during a protest against a new history curriculum.

Charbel, who is currently in Tunisia at the head of a delegation representing Lebanon at the meeting of Arab interior ministers, told An Nahar daily that the clash broke out on Saturday when some demonstrators sought to allow a vehicle with a loudspeaker to go beyond the area specified for the protest.

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Report: Lebanon Releases 9 Armed Syrians Detained in Bekaa

The Lebanese judicial authorities released 9 armed Syrians, who had fled into the eastern Bekaa area, Agence France Presse reported on Saturday.

“The Military court ordered the release of 9 detained armed Syrian men this week after they entered Lebanon illegally,” a ministerial source told AFP.

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Teenager Fakes his Abduction to Demand $100,000 Ransom from his Parents

An 18-year old teenager who claimed that he was abducted in the Baalbek village of Brital confessed that he planned his kidnapping with two other accomplices in order to split the ransom, the National News Agency reported.

The two partners demanded the teenager’s parents to pay a $100,000 ransom to win his release.

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Energy Ministry to Launch Tenders of 700 Megawatts Project in May

The Ministry of Energy revealed on Saturday the launching of the 700 megawatts project tenders for producing more electricity in May, the National News Agency reported.

The project aims at producing additional electricity in Zouk, Jiyeh and Deir Ammar power plants, after the World Bank approved the project that meets “the international standards and requirements.”

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Qassem Slams Opposition, Says Cabinet Will Not Collapse

Hizbullah deputy Chief Sheikh Naim Qassem stressed on Saturday that the cabinet will not collapse despite everything, the National News Agency reported.

“March 14 is struggling with its political options and their approach to developments in Lebanon and Syria,” Qassem said.

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Suleiman: No Political Cover Will Be Provided to Anyone Harming Citizens’ Health

President Michel Suleiman slammed on Saturday the rise in the discovery of spoiled food products in Lebanon, deeming such cases as “unacceptable.”

He said: “No political cover will be provided to anyone who harms the citizens’ health.”

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Five Wounded as Student Demo Escalates into Clashes with Security Forces

Five people were wounded on Saturday when clashes broke out between security forces and students from the Phalange Party and National Liberal Party, reported Voice of Lebanon radio.

The students were protesting the new official history book that is being prepared to be taught at schools throughout Lebanon.

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Geagea to Juppe: Only Democracy Can Protect Citizens and Christians in the East

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea praised on Saturday French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe’s recent message to Christians in the east, saying that it reflects France’s history and values.

He said in a cable to the minister: “Some tyrants’ claims that they are protecting Christians are in fact a cover for forcing the Christians to submit to their will.”

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