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Aoun Claims Facilitating Work of Miqati who Should Now ‘Match Names with Portfolios’

The parties involved in the formation of the cabinet have agreed on the government’s makeup and distribution of shares and portfolios, which allows Premier-designate Najib Miqati to “match names with portfolios,” high-ranking sources from the Change and Reform bloc said.

The sources told An Nahar daily on Saturday that the bloc, which is led by Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun, gave a 95 percent rate for the success of the latest deal apart from Miqati’s role.

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Strugar: UNIFIL Forces Will Increase in July, No Decision Yet to Reduce Italian Contingent

UNIFIL Director of Political and Civil Affairs Milos Strugar said that the number of troops will increase within a month.

Strugar told As Safir newspaper published Saturday that “an Irish contingent will join the UNIFIL mission thus increasing the number of troops.”

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U.N. Denies Receiving Info about Decision to Issue Indictment in July

The U.N. Secretariat denied reports that it has information about the Special Tribunal for Lebanon or the date of the indictment’s release, An Nahar reported on Saturday.

The U.N. Secretariat spokesman said: “We have received reports published in Lebanese media regarding the release of the indictment. We confirm that the STL is an independent body and that the secretariat has no information about the indictment or its date of release.”

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Sunday Demo Organizers Replace It by Palestinian Camps Strike

The coordination and follow-up committee of the Right to Return Campaign on Friday announced “the suspension of the popular march on the Lebanese-Palestinian border” previously scheduled for Sunday, calling instead for “a general strike in all (Palestinian refugee) camps across Lebanon” on that day.

An Nahar daily reported Friday that the Lebanese army has taken a firm decision to prevent Palestinian refugees from marching towards Lebanon’s border with Israel on Sunday to prevent the Jewish state from launching an assault on Lebanon.

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Aoun: Govt Formation Domestic Obstacles Gone, I’ve Heard Jumblat Has Backpedaled

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun on Friday noted that “the domestic obstacles hindering the cabinet formation process are gone,” adding that “if foreign obstacles are obstructing the cabinet formation process, we can help them resolve it.”

“When the cabinet is formed, you will know whether I have renounced my demands,” Aoun told reporters after an urgent meeting for his Change and Reform parliamentary bloc.

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Lebanon Bans EU Vegetable Imports on E. Coli Fears

Lebanon imposed a ban on Friday on all vegetable imports from the European Union in response to an outbreak of E. coli poisoning that has killed at least 18 people, caretaker Agriculture Minister Hussein Hajj Hassan said.

"We have decided to ban the import of all types of vegetables from Europe," Hajj Hassan told Agence France Presse.

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Miqati, Safadi, Karami to Boycott June 8 Session to ‘Preserve Role of Institutions’

Premier-designate Najib Miqati, Caretaker Minister Mohammed Safadi and MP Ahmed Karami announced on Friday that they would boycott a parliamentary session on June 8.

The three officials said in a joint statement that they have decided not to attend the session “to preserve the role of institutions and out of their conviction not to widen the gap between the Lebanese.”

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Pro and Anti Assad Rallies in Downtown Beirut

Hundreds of supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad held a sit-in outside al-Omari mosque in downtown Beirut on Friday as anti-Assad protestors rallied inside the mosque against violence in the neighboring country.

The National News Agency said that around 200 people gathered outside the mosque shouting slogans in support of Assad and denouncing a sit-in organized by Hizb ut-Tahrir inside.

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Report: Youssef Didn’t Hand Over Telecom Building Keys to Qahwaji

Sources close to Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri denied that OGERO Telecom Director General Abdul Monhem Youssef had handed over to Army Chief Gen. Jean Qahwaji the magnetic cards of the controversial second floor of a building affiliated with the telecommunications ministry in Beirut’s Adliyeh area.

The sources told al-Akhbar daily that Qahwaji didn’t request to be delivered the keys during his meeting with Youssef on Wednesday. They noted that the meeting was limited to “exchanging points of view.”

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Fate of Central Bank Governor Lies in Hand of Indecisive Stances

The stance of President Michel Suleiman on how to renew the mandate of Central Bank governor Riyad Salameh is not clear yet as some sources say that he prefers the adoption of “mobile draft-laws” while others claim that the head of state favors a cabinet session.

Sources close to Suleiman told As Safir daily on Friday that he rejects the adoption of the so-called mobile draft-laws and prefers “a consensual cabinet session” to only settle the crisis of the Central Bank governor if a new government was not formed.

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