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Jumblat Criticizes Expansion of Cabinet Seats Proposal

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat criticized on Friday a suggestion to expand the cabinet seats from 30 to 32, in light of the state’s “efforts to curb squandering and expenses.”

“In light of full swing efforts to curtail squandering and expenses, it seems cloning two new ministers is what’s required,” Jumblat said in a sarcastic tweet.

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Mustaqbal, PSP, LF ‘Won’t Join Govt. Not Led by Hariri,’ Mahfoud Says

In light of reports claiming the President would replace the Premier if he rejects a 32-minister government proposal, head of the Change Movement Elie Mahfoud warned on Friday that al-Mustaqbal Movement, the Progressive Socialist Party and the Lebanese Forces “would not take part in a government not led by PM-designate Saad Hariri.”

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Hizbullah Key Financier Tajideen Pleads Guilty in U.S.

Lebanese businessman Kassim Tajideen, designated by US authorities as an important financial supporter of Hizbullah, pleaded guilty Thursday to charges related to evading sanctions against him, a Justice Department statement said.

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Bassil Meets Hariri, Vows Restless Efforts to Form Govt.

Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Jebran Bassil held talks Thursday evening with Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri.

“We discussed the proposed solutions to form the government and we will not rest before we find the appropriate solution,” Bassil said after the meeting at the Center House.

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UNIFIL Confirms 'Existence of a Tunnel' in Northern Israel

UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Stefano Del Col, along with a technical team, on Thursday visited a location near Metulla in northern Israel where the Israeli army “has discovered a tunnel close to the Blue Line,” the U.N. force said in a statement.

“Based on the site inspection, UNIFIL can confirm the existence of a tunnel at the location,” the force added.

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Report: Aoun Says Hariri Replacement Ready if He Rejects 32-Minister Proposal

President Michel Aoun has said that Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri could be replaced by another figure should he reject a proposal to form a 32-minister cabinet as a way out of the Sunni representation dilemma, a media report said.

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Rampling Visits North Lebanon and Tripoli: Our Support Continues

On his first official visit to the North of Lebanon and to Tripoli, British Ambassador to Lebanon Chris Rampling held a series of meetings with the Head of the Municipality Ahmed Qamareddine, the Mufti of Tripoli Malek al-Shaar, representatives from Tripoli’s Chamber of Commerce, and toured local UK funded projects benefiting the residents of Tripoli.

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Israel Demands UNIFIL Take action over 'Hizbullah Tunnel'

Israel's army on Thursday demanded a U.N. peacekeeping force operating across the border with Lebanon to destroy a tunnel the military said was built by Hizbullah across the frontier.

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In Lebanon, Billboards Declare 'We are All Carlos Ghosn'

Lebanese woke up to bright billboards of ousted Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn posted around Beirut on Thursday, in the latest show of support for the detained businessman of Lebanese origin.

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Netanyahu: Israel May Have to Operate in Lebanon

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that there is “reasonable possibility” Israel will have to “operate in Lebanon” to neutralize Hizbullah's alleged “attack tunnels.”

"We are denying our enemies the tunnels weapon in a systematic, determined manner and we will do whatever it takes," Netanyahu told 25 foreign ambassadors at a briefing near Lebanon’s border.

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