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No Lebanese Victims in New Zealand Quake

Lebanon’s ambassador to Australia said there were no Lebanese victims in the deadly earthquake that struck one of New Zealand's largest cities on Tuesday.

The foreign ministry said Wednesday that Ambassador Jean Daniel informed it that no Lebanese were injured or missing in the quake that hit the city of Christchurch.

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March 14 Condemns Bloodbath in Libya, Renews Commitment to STL

The March 14 General Secretariat condemned on Wednesday the “bloodbath committed by the regime of Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi against Libyan citizens demanding normal political freedom and rights.”

It called on in a statement after its weekly meeting “the Arab and international communities to take all measures to protect the Libyan people and guarantee their national and humanitarian rights.”

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Lebanese Youth to Bring Down Confessional System

Protests sweeping the Middle East have given new impetus to Lebanese youths who have launched their own revolt on Facebook in a bid -- albeit improbable -- to bring down Lebanon's confessional system.

Using slogans popularized by protesters in Tunisia and Egypt, several pages urging the Lebanese to bring down the Mediterranean country's confessional "regime" or calling for a "day of wrath" against confessionalism, corruption and poverty have appeared recently on the social networking site.

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Williams Reiterates Importance of Lebanon’s Respect of International Obligations

U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams reiterated on Wednesday that Premier-designate Najib Miqati’s government should continue to respect Lebanon’s international obligations.

Following talks with Caretaker Labor Minister Butros Harb, Williams said: “I reiterated to Minister Harb the importance that any new government continue to respect Lebanon’s international obligations.”

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Mexico Tycoon Slim to Buy Tabasco Oil

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim's Grupo Carso conglomerate will acquire 70 percent of the Tabasco Oil Co. LLC, which has exploration and production operations in Colombia.

Grupo Carso announced the move in a brief statement to the stock exchange late Tuesday, saying it "marks the entrance of Grupo Carso into a new business sector in Latin America."

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Saint Maroun Statue Unveiled at the Vatican

The statue of Saint Maroun was unveiled at Saint Peter’s square at the Vatican on Wednesday during a ceremony attended by President Michel Suleiman, Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir and Pope Benedict XVI.

A large number of Lebanese MPs, officials and former lawmakers also attended the event which was followed by a mass held by Sfeir.

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Wife of Hannibal Gadhafi Aboard Jet that Was Denied Entry in Lebanon

A private Libyan jet that was prevented from landing at Beirut airport was carrying on board the Lebanese wife of one of Libyan leader Moammer Gadhafi’s sons, Voice of Lebanon radio reported Wednesday.

VDL said Hannibal Gadhafi’s wife, who is from the Skaff family, and several members of the ruling family were aboard the jet that Lebanese aviation authorities refused to give the permission to land at Rafik Hariri international airport on Tuesday.

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Iranian Warships Reportedly Carrying Arms to Hizbullah, Iran Denies

Two Iranian warships that have sailed from the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean are carrying advanced missiles to Hizbullah, Israeli sources told Maariv daily.

The sources said in remarks published in the Israeli daily that the warships are carrying missiles, arms, ammunition and night-vision goggles to Hizbullah in Lebanon.

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Herve Morin: Israel Never Showed Us Evidence of Syrian Transfer of Scuds to Hizbullah

The Israeli army has refused numerous requests from France for evidence to back up claims that Syria last year transferred long-range Scud missiles to Hizbullah, former French defense minister Herve Morin told The Jerusalem Post.

Last April, Israeli officials said Damascus had transferred the Scuds to Hizbullah in Lebanon. A month later, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi that the Shiite party was storing the missiles inside Syrian military bases.

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Geagea Accuses Aoun of Seeking to Push Suleiman to Resign

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea ruled out the formation of a government soon and accused Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun of pushing President Michel Suleiman to resign.

In remarks to As Safir daily on Wednesday, Geagea said: “Issues linked to the international tribunal and Hizbullah’s arms no longer afford vague stances” from Premier-designate Najib Miqati.

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