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9 People Charged with Assaulting Policemen Over Illegal Construction

Government Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr on Tuesday charged nine people with assaulting security forces while they were seeking to end building violations in Beirut’s southern suburbs.

The National News Agency said that Saqr charged the nine people, including one detainee, for confronting members of the Internal Security Forces and assaulting them while they were seeking to curb building violations in the area of Ouzai.

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Berri: Any Ministerial Portfolio Will Be Worthless if Regional Instability Reaches Lebanon

Speaker Nabih Berri expressed his great disgust with Lebanese officials’ preoccupation with the “futile” debate over the Interior Ministry portfolio, while completely ignoring the developments in the region.

He told As Safir newspaper in remarks published on Tuesday: “Any portfolio will be worthless if the regional instability hit Lebanon.”

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Report: Bellemare not Fransen Controlling Release of Indictment

Special Tribunal for Lebanon spokesperson Marten Youssef has reiterated that the court hasn’t set a maximum time limit for judge Daniel Fransen to confirm the indictment in ex-premier Rafik Hariri’s assassination case.

STL Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare filed an amended indictment on Friday based on further evidence in the probe into the 2005 killing of Hariri, the second such amendment since the first indictment filed in January.

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More Homs Refugees Flee Syria’s Unrest to Wadi Khaled

Syrian citizens have continued to flee their country’s unrest by seeking refuge in the village of Wadi Khaled on Lebanon’s northern border with Syria, As Safir reported on Tuesday.

A number of Homs city residents spoke of their suffering to the newspaper and expressed their previous intentions to come as refugees to Lebanon. “The bad security conditions banned them from going out of their houses in Homs,” they said.

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Spiritual Summit to Seek Stability, Discuss Uncontroversial Issues

A spiritual summit that is scheduled to be held in Bkirki on Thursday is expected to focus on uncontroversial issues like coexistence, the national charter, “Lebanon as a message” and the internal situation, without addressing sensitive details, An Nahar newspaper reported.

The daily said on Tuesday that conferees will work on putting the final touches on the “Christian-Islamic Committee for Dialogue.”

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March 14 Debates whether Jumblat’s Latest Position Means he Has Left New Majority

Some sides in the March 14 forces have begun to wonder whether Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat’s latest position towards the new majority is a sign that he is leaving the camp, reported the daily An Nahar on Tuesday.

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea noted that Jumblat “is becoming fed up with the current situation in Lebanon and I don’t know whether that will force him to change his political position.”

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Mixed Reactions on Jumblat’s Stance as FPM Asks him to Give up Cabinet Demands

The latest stance of Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat drew mixed reactions but the bluntest attack came from the Free Patriotic Movement which urged him to give up his demands in the new cabinet.

“If Walid Jumblat was so disdainful, then let him give up the public works ministry first and withdraw his unprecedented demands,” FPM circles told As Safir daily in remarks published Tuesday.

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14-member Cabinet Makes the Rounds as Suleiman Holds Onto Right to Have a Say on Lineup

Reports about the possible formation of a 14-member technocrat government began making the rounds again as a way to end the cabinet impasse with the least possible damage.

Al-Liwaa daily said Tuesday that Premier-designate Najib Miqati could resort to such an option after contacts aimed at ending the deadlock on the interior ministry portfolio did not lead to positive results.

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Beirut-Damascus Contacts Aim at Speeding up Cabinet Formation

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat has stressed that he had good relations with Syria and would continually visit Damascus.

“I don’t want to snap back at the fabrications made about my last visit to Syria,” Jumblat told As Safir daily in remarks published Tuesday about reports that he had returned from Damascus empty handed.

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Jumblat Denies Pulling out of New Majority, Says his Latest Stance Aimed at Backing Hizbullah, Syria

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat has denied that his latest stance from the March 8 forces and the cabinet formation impasse meant he had fallen out of the new parliamentary majority.

On Monday, Jumblat issued a stern warning to the March 8 coalition, accusing it of failing to form the new government. The Druze chief’s new stance was seen as a blunt attack on the Hizbullah-led alliance, but Jumblat stressed to An Nahar daily in remarks published Tuesday that his statement did not reflect a change in his policies.

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