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New Cabinet Hurdle Lies in Kesrouan-Jbeil amid Confrontation between Aoun and Suleiman

A major hurdle preventing the formation of the new cabinet began surfacing this week after Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun insisted that the candidate for the second Maronite minister, part of President Michel Suleiman’s share, should not be from Jbeil and Kesrouan.

Beirut newspapers quoted informed sources as saying on Tuesday that for election reasons, Aoun is refusing that the sixth Maronite minister in the cabinet be from Jbeil and Kesrouan for fears that Suleiman would undercut the FPM chief’s popular base in the two regions in the parliamentary elections in 2013.

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Report: Nasrallah and Aoun Discuss Cabinet Formation

Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Free Patriotic Movement chief Michel Aoun have held talks in an attempt to end the government impasse, al-Liwaa daily reported Tuesday.

According to the newspaper, Nasrallah intentionally did not address local issues during the opening session of an intellectual conference on Iran’s Supreme Leader Sayyed Ali Khamenei in Beirut on Monday.

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March 8 Fears U.S. Sanctions if Cabinet Not Up to Par with its Conditions

The March 8 leadership has expressed fear that the U.S. would impose sanctions on Lebanese officials if the new cabinet did not abide by U.S. conditions, al-Liwaa daily reported Tuesday.

The newspaper quoted informed sources as saying that the U.S. continues to veto an attempt to put the justice ministry within the share of Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun in the government.

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Accused Canadian-Lebanese Bomber can be Extradited to France

A Canadian court ruled Monday that a Canadian-Lebanese national accused of a 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue that killed four people can be extradited to France, but warned the French government's case was "weak."

French prosecutors want Hassan Diab to face charges of murder, attempted murder and willful destruction of property, for the first fatal attack against the French Jewish community since the Nazi occupation in World War II.

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7 Dead, At Least 4 Hurt in Ashrafieh Fuel Oil Depot Blast

Seven people were killed and several others wounded Monday evening in an explosion in a fuel oil depot at a gas station on the outskirts of the Ashrafieh neighborhood of Fiat Bridge, state-run National News Agency reported.

The bodies of five victims were moved to Hotel Dieu Hospital, while two other bodies were moved to Rizk Hospital, according to NNA.

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Jumblat: I’ve Settled My Choices, No New Shift in My Political Course

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat on Monday stressed that there will be no “new shift” in his political alliances, in response to Tuesday’s remarks by Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun, who said he had “heard that MP Jumblat has started to shift ground.”

“I have settled my choices and there will be no new shift in my political course,” Jumblat said in an interview with MTV.

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Fire Erupts at LGU in Sahel Alma, Two Students Injured

Civil defense forces intervened to extinguish a huge fire that erupted at the Lebanese-German University in Sahel Alma, the National News Agency reported on Monday.

The fire that broke out at LGU was caused by an electrical friction in one of the cars that was parked in the university’s garage, NNA said.

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Palestinians in Ain el-Hilweh, Mieh Mieh Strike over Golan Killings

Dozens of Palestinian youths took to the streets of two refugee camps in southern Lebanon on Monday to denounce the weekend killing of protesters along the Israeli border with Syria.

The youths carried Palestinian and black flags as they marched in the Ain al-Helweh and Mieh Mieh camps where a general strike was observed, with schools and businesses closed.

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Nasrallah: Sunday’s Bloodshed New Evidence of U.S. Efforts to Steal Our Wealth

Hizbullah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah stated on Monday that Sunday’s Naksa Day clashes at the Golan Heights are further evidence of the American administration’s agenda to “steal Arab wealth.”

He said during the opening of a conference on Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: “Yesterday’s actions confirm Washington’s absolute commitment to Israel’s security.”

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Miqati Meets Berri’s Advisor … No Breakthroughs in Govt. Formation

No major breakthroughs in the government formation have been reported in the past few hours, while concerned officials have maintained their optimism over the matter, reported al-Liwa on Monday.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati held talks on Sunday with Speaker Nabih Berri’s advisor MP Ali Hasan Khalil on the formation process.

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