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Grief and Pride as Sea of Mourners Bids Farewell to Slain al-Manar Reporter

The northern Bekaa town of Shaath, al-Manar TV and Hizbullah bid farewell Tuesday to slain reporter Hamza al-Hajj Hassan, in an emotional funeral that was attended by thousands of mourners.

The reporter's coffin, draped in a yellow Hizbullah flag, moved slowly from the Dar al-Hikma Hospital in Baalbek to the cemetery of the town. Some mourners fired their machineguns in the air, despite calls to the contrary from organizers and the journalist's uncle.

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Mashnouq: Syrians 27% of Lebanon Population, Govt. Can't Cope with Influx

Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq said Tuesday that Syrian refugees are “our guests and our people,” but noted that the government “does not have the assets or infrastructure to cope with these numbers.”

“Syrian refugees represent 27% of Lebanon's population, while in Jordan they number 10% of the population and in Turkey 4%,” Mashnouq said during a meeting with the representatives of several municipalities, lamenting the fact that Amman and Ankara are receiving greater international aid.

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Property Owners Call for Sit-In Near National Museum

The Syndicate of Property Owners called on Tuesday for a sit-in to reject attempts by inhabitants to block the approval of the new rent law, which was endorsed by the parliament.

A statement issued by the Syndicate stressed that the “sit-in is aimed at refuting fabrications by the tenants , who are staging suspicious demonstrations.”

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Lebanese Suspect Arrested as Dominican Agents Break Up Drug Lab

Anti-drug agents in the Dominican Republic said they have dismantled a synthetic drug laboratory and arrested five people, including a Lebanese suspect.

Abel Rojas, a spokesman for the Caribbean country's National Drug Control Directorate, said the clandestine drug lab in the northern town of Villa Gonzalez made ecstasy, or MDMA.

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Sheikh Attacked in Ain el-Hilweh Succumbs to Injuries

The head of the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects succumbed on Tuesday to his injuries after being shot last week in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain el-Hilweh.

Sheikh Orsan Suleiman died at Hammoud hospital, the state-run National News Agency said.

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Beirut to Host Conference for Lebanese Diplomats to Unify Speech

Lebanon will host at the end of April a conference for around 40 Lebanese diplomatic missions in a first-of-its-kind meeting, in an attempt to unify the speech of all Lebanese diplomatic corps.

According to As Safir newspaper, published on Tuesday, the meeting is expected to be held between April 30 and May 3.

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Reports: Gemayel, Saniora Agree on March 14 Coordination to Choose Single Presidential Candidate

Kataeb leader Amin Gemayel and the head of al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc Fouad Saniora agreed on the importance of coordination between the March 14 alliance's members before backing any presidential candidate, sources said Tuesday.

Saniora visited Gemayel on Monday after talks with al-Mustaqbal movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri in Riyadh.

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Mustaqbal: Draft Wage Scale a Blatant Violation of Constitution

Al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc noted Monday that the draft wage scale in its current form represents “a blatant violation of the constitution,” stressing that the pay raise must not have a “negative impact” on the financial situation in the country.

“Article 84 of the constitution allows the parliament and its committees to demand a decrease and not an increase in expenditure, as any increase requires a clear authorization from the government,” the bloc said in a statement issued after its weekly meeting.

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SCC Calls for Tuesday Strike in Public Sector over Wage Scale Draft

The Syndicate Coordination Committee on Monday called for a strike in state administration and in public educational institutions on Tuesday to protest the content of the new wage scale.

"We have decided to suspend work in all public institutions, including ministries, administrations, and municipalities on Tuesday,” the SCC said in a statement after a meeting on Monday evening.

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Car Theft Gang Leader Arrested in Bekaa's al-Taybeh, Fugitive Killed in Hourtaala

Two Internal Security Forces members were hurt Monday in a raid that involved the arrest of Hussein Ismail, a top leader of a car theft gang in the Bekaa, while another fugitive was killed in the town of Hourtaala.

The ISF, which announced Ismail's arrest via Twitter, said two of its members were wounded in the shootout that accompanied the operation that took place at al-Taybeh region in the Bekaa.

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