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Australia Mulls Helping Orphans of Lebanese Islamic State Fighter

Australia said Thursday it will "carefully consider" if it can help the orphans of a Lebanese-Australian Islamic State fighter and their Sydney-born mother, who both reportedly died in Syria, warning the children could pose a threat later in life.

Tara Nettleton, whose husband Khaled Sharrouf made headlines in 2014 when he posted an image on Twitter of his then seven-year-old son holding a severed head, died from appendicitis or a kidney condition, the Sydney Morning Herald and other media reported.

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Bkirki Meeting on Marginalization of Christians Postponed

A meeting that was set to take place in Bkirki among Christian cabinet ministers on Friday to discuss the marginalization of Christians in civil service has been postponed, Bishop Boulos Sayyah said.

“The meeting was postponed and was replaced by bilateral talks with cabinet ministers to resolve the crisis of the absence of Christians from state institutions,” Sayyah told al-Joumhouria daily published Thursday.

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#KissForFaour: Minister's Swine Flu Remarks Spark Social Media Humor

Humorous remarks by Health Minister Wael Abou Faour about abstention from kissing as a precaution against swine flu have triggered a sarcastic campaign on social networking websites.

"The solution would be to decrease kissing, unless extremely necessary," Abu Faour said jokingly to journalists during a press conference on Wednesday.

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Mustaqbal: Hizbullah, FPM Seeking Autocracy, March 14 to Continue despite Differences

Al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc on Wednesday accused Hizbullah and the Free Patriotic Movement of seeking to impose an “autocratic political system” on the country through their boycott of parliamentary sessions aimed at electing a new president.

In a statement issued after its weekly meeting, the bloc charged that the two parties want to “appoint” a president and “usurp the will of the Lebanese who are determined to elect a new president in line with their democratic system.”

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Reports: Lunch Hosted by Rahme Launches Bid to Mend Aoun-Franjieh Ties

MP Emile Rahme gathered Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Frajieh's son and a son-in-law of Free Patriotic Movement founder MP Michel Aoun over lunch on Wednesday in a bid to mend ties between the two presidential candidates, media reports said.

The lunch banquet at downtown Beirut's Karam Restaurant brought together Aoun's son-in-law Brig. Gen. Chamel Roukoz and Franjeh's son Tony, al-Jadeed TV reported.

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Residents Protest to UNIFIL after Israeli Troops Cross Border, Nab Goats

An Israeli force crossed the Lebanese border on Wednesday and seized a goat herd belonging to a Lebanese citizen, sparking a protest by villagers, Lebanon's National News Agency reported.

“A force from the enemy's army violated the border and nabbed a flock of goats belonging to the citizen Wissam Abdul Al,” NNA said.

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Cabinet Approves Decrees Linked to Civil Defense Directorate

The cabinet adopted on Wednesday decrees on determining the conditions for the appointments of the head and members of the Civil Defense Directorate.

The decrees will pave the way for the Interior Minister to hold an exam that will lead to the potential employment of the workers, explained Information Minister Ramzi Jreij after the cabinet meeting that was held at the Grand Serail.

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Abou Faour Denies Link between Swine Flu and Trash

Health Minister Wael Abou Faour denied on Wednesday a link between Lebanon's trash crisis and the rise of H1N1 cases, saying at least four people died of swine flu this year.

“Scientifically speaking, there is no direct or indirect link between the garbage and swine flu,” Abou Faour said during a press conference.

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Geagea Urges International Community to Intervene to 'Halt Massacres in Syria'

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea held on Wednesday the international community responsible for the prolongation of the war in Syria, labeling the developments in the country as a “major humanitarian tragedy.”

He urged via Twitter the international community to “intervene quickly in Syria to halt the massacres taking place there.”

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Harb: Hizbullah and Aoun are Doing Each Other a Favor

Telecommunications Minister Butros Harb stated on Wednesday that Hizbullah and its ally the Change and Reform bloc head MP Michel Aoun are doing each other mutual favors with regard to the presidency and the party's weapons.

“Lebanon is in a stage of paying bills between Aoun and Hizbullah. The first insists to cover the illegal weapons of Hizbullah in return for the latter's continued backing for Aoun to help him make it to the presidential post,” said Harb via Twitter.

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