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Jumblat Doubts Credibility of Tribunal, Says Bellemare Underestimating the People

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat on Wednesday doubted the credibility of the international tribunal and said Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare's decision to launch a probe into the latest unauthorized broadcasts was an underestimation of the Lebanese.

"We wonder whether the tribunal is credible after the latest broadcasts" on al-Jadid TV of interviews conducted by international investigators with Caretaker PM Saad Hariri, said Jumblat.

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Riyadh Describes Lebanon Situation as 'Dangerous,' Announces End of Mediation

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said Wednesday that Riyadh has abandoned mediation efforts in Lebanon, where he described the situation as "dangerous."

Saudi King Abdullah and Syrian President Bashar Assad had been in contact "with commitment to end the whole Lebanon problem," said the foreign minister in an interview with Arab satellite TV network al-Arabiya.

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S&P Revises Lebanon Outlook to Stable

Global credit ratings agency Standard and Poor's on Tuesday revised its outlook for Lebanon to stable from positive despite a deepening political crisis in the Mediterranean country.

"The stable outlook reflects our view that while the government's control over the economic and political agenda has been diminished, outbreaks of civil unrest in the country will be avoided," the agency said in a statement.

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Najjar Expects Indictment to be Released Monday

Caretaker Justice Minister Ibrahim Najjar expected the prosecutor of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon to refer the indictment in ex-Premier Rafik Hariri's assassination case to the pre-trial judge on Monday.

"Prosecutor (Daniel) Bellemare could refer the indictment to Judge (Daniel) Fransen today," Najjar said following talks with Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir in Bkirki.

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Berri: Connelly's Visit to Fattoush is 'Scandal' and 'Proves Battle is with U.S.'

U.S. Ambassador Maura Connelly's visit to MP Nicolas Fattoush in Zahle stirred criticism and accusations by March 8 forces of U.S. meddling in Lebanon's internal affairs on the eve of parliamentary consultations to name a new premier.

"They say there is no U.S. interference in the affairs of Lebanon and the region. On the contrary, they are interfering in everything from southern Sudan all the way to Zahle," Speaker Nabih Berri told An Nahar daily in remarks published Monday.

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Nasrallah: Opposition Unanimously Agreed Not to Name Hariri as Lebanon's Next PM

Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Sunday made his first public comments since the collapse of Prime Minister Saad Hariri's government.

He defended the decision to bring down the government, saying Hizbullah did so without resorting to violence and will not be intimidated by world reaction.

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Report: Hariri-Siddiq Conversation Leaked After Attack on Investigators in Beirut Southern Suburbs

Excerpts from a conversation between Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri and false witness Mohammad Zuheir Siddiq broadcast on al-Jadid TV were reportedly leaked to the station after international investigators came under attack at a gynecologist's clinic in Beirut's southern suburbs in October.

An informed source told An Nahar daily that the attackers were able to snatch from the investigators a laptop that included Hariri's statements.

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U.S. Reiterates Support for Hariri, Says Cabinet Resignations Sign of Fear

Washington reiterated support for Caretaker Premier Saad Hariri and its call on all Lebanese parties to exercise restraint and coordinate in finding a solution to the Lebanese crisis.

"The United States reiterates its call to all political factions to maintain calm and exercise restraint at this critical time," U.S. Ambassador Maura Connelly said in a statement following talks with Hariri at Center House.

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Democratic Gathering Stance Not Clear: Jumblat Has Upper Hand in Deciding Future of Lebanese Politics

All eyes are turned to Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat whose decision on his bloc's nominee for the premier's post could be a turning point in Lebanese political life.

By Monday, the result of the consultations of President Michel Suleiman with the 128-member parliament, was far from certain. The rival March 8 and 14 camps have around 58 or 59 lawmakers each with Jumblat holding the decisive vote with his 11 MPs.

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Public Hearing at STL to Hear Sayyed's Bid for Access to Case File

The international tribunal will hold a public hearing on Friday to discuss former Lebanese security chief Maj. Gen. Jamil Sayyed's demand to see the evidence that led to him being jailed as a suspect in ex-Premier Rafik Hariri's assassination case for nearly four years.

The hearing at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in the Hague will play out against a backdrop of political turmoil in Beirut after Hizbullah and its allies brought down the government.

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