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Ministers Boast of Being Winners of Cabinet Decision to Cancel VAT on Red Diesel

The cabinet cancelled the Value Added Tax on red diesel on Thursday as ministers loyal to Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun on one hand and PM Najib Miqati on the other boasted that they were behind the decision.

The removal of the tax would be effective as of Monday and the parliament is expected to endorse it soon.

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March 14 Rejects Moussawi’s Efforts to ‘Terrorize’ MPs

High-ranking March 14 sources said Thursday that the language used by Hizbullah MP Nawwaf Moussawi in his dispute with Phalange lawmaker Sami Gemayel was rejected and was a reaction approved by his party.

“What happened during the session was an attempt to terrorize” MPs, but the Hizbullah lawmaker’s efforts failed after Gemayel and several other opposition members snapped back at him, the sources said.

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Bellemare Confirms Naharnet’s Report that He’s Not Seeking 2nd Term for Health Reasons

The Prosecutor of the Special Tribunal for the Lebanon, Daniel Bellemare, has informed the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon that, for health reasons, he does not intend to seek reappointment for a second term as Prosecutor at the end of February 2012, announced the tribunal in a statement

Bellemare stated: "It has been an honor and a privilege to seek justice for the people of Lebanon.”

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March 14: Hizbullah is Completely Responsible for UNIFIL Attack

The March 14 General Secretariat condemned on Wednesday last week’s attack against French troops in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, reiterating accusations that Syria is behind such assaults.

It added in a statement after its weekly meeting: “Hizbullah is also completely responsible for the attack because it controls the security of the South and UNIFIL’s area of operations.”

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Amal, Hizbullah Slam Attacks on UNIFIL, Express Commitment to Mission

The Amal movement and Hizbullah leaderships have slammed what they called the “evil hands” that have targeted U.N. peacekeepers in the South and launched a rocket from Lebanese territories.

Following a meeting held by their leaderships at the movement’s offices in the city of Tyre, Amal and Hizbullah stressed commitment to the role of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon that supports the Lebanese army in accordance with Security Council resolution 1701.

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STL: Prosecution Has until Dec. 16 to Submit Report on Lebanon’s Efforts to Arrest Accused

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon announced through Twitter on Wednesday that the Prosecution has until December 16 to present a progress report on Lebanon’s efforts to arrest the four accused in being involved in the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

It reiterated the Prosecution’s call on Lebanon, during the November 11 hearing, for it to “intensify efforts to arrest the accused.”

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Miqati Meets Asarta: UNIFIL Attack Aimed at Harming Lebanese-French Ties

Prime Minister Najib Miqati stressed on Wednesday that Lebanon abides by international law and is committed to its cooperation with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon in order to bolster security and stability.

He said after holding talks with UNIFIL Commander Major General Alberto Asarta: “The recent attack against the French unit in UNIFIL is aimed at harming Lebanese-French ties.”

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2 Shepherds Wounded by Syrian Fire in Arsal

Two Lebanese shepherds were injured on Wednesday in a Syrian cross-border fire in the eastern town of Arsal, Voice of Lebanon radio station (93.3) reported.

It said Mohammed and Khaled Fliti were attending their herds in the area of Kherbet Daoud when they received gunshot wounds from across the border.

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Syndicate Coordination Committee to Go On with Strike as Miqati Fails to Avert its Decision

The Syndicate Coordination Committee is going on with its strike set on Thursday as discussions with Prime Minister Najib Miqati and his envoy failed to avert its decision.

Head of the private schools teachers association Nehme Mahfoud told Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) on Wednesday that the Syndicate regrets “the time spent discussing the cabinet’s approval of the wage hike with Miqati and his envoy.”

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UNIFIL Has ‘No Info’ about Shake-up Amid Report French Official will Visit Lebanon

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon has no information about any decision by the countries that have contingents serving with the peacekeeping mission to downsize their troops, a UNIFIL spokesman, Andrea Tenenti, said.

“There is no information about any changes,” Tenenti told pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat published on Wednesday.

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