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Report: Government Formation Enters 'Pivotal' Stage

The problematic formation of a Lebanese government enters a “pivotal” stage with attention focused today on one more meeting between President Michel Aoun and PM-designate Mustafa Adib, after their afternoon talks a day earlier in Baabda, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Saturday.

“The cabinet formation file entered a decisive phase,” well-informed sources told the daily on condition of anonymity.

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Adib Meets 'Two Khalils', Impasse Reportedly Continues

Prime Minister-designate Mustafa Adib held talks Friday night with Hussein al-Khalil and Ali Hassan Khalil -- the political aides of Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Speaker Nabih Berri.

TV networks said the meeting did not achieve any progress regarding the hurdles related to Shiite representation in the new government.

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Army Arrests Fugitive Involved in al-Beddawi Troop Killings

The army on Friday arrested a fugitive member of the extremist cell that killed four troops and three civilians in two incidents in the North.

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Adib Meets Aoun, Discusses Govt. Format 'Ideas'

Prime Minister-designate Mustafa Adib met Friday afternoon with President Michel Aoun at the Baabda Palace.

"I put the President in the picture of the consultations and we agreed to hold another meeting tomorrow at 11:00 am," Adib announced after the 40-minute meeting.

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MP Says Adib Has Agreed to Give Finance Portfolio to Shiite Duo

Thursday’s meeting between PM-designate Mustafa Adib and the representatives of Hizbullah and Amal lasted half an hour and the talks tackled ex-PM Saad Hariri’s initiative and its “positive” impact, MP Qassem Hashem said on Friday.

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Geagea: No Hope in Anything with This Ruling Majority

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea on Friday lamented that “day after day, it becomes more evident that with this ruling parliamentary majority there can be no hope in anything.”

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Qabalan: Yes, We Insist on Naming the Shiite Ministers

Grand Jaafarite Shiite Mufti, Sheikh Ahmad Qabalan insisted on Friday that Shiite ministers in the delayed government will only be named by Shiite officials.

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Salameh Says Bonus Claims ‘Unfounded’

Central Bank governor Riad Salameh denied allegations he received a four-month bonus on his salary as reported in al-Joumhouria daily on Friday.

Salameh issued a statement saying “he did not and will not receive any bonus on his salary,” describing the claims as unfounded.

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Aoun-Adib Meeting on Cabinet Lineup Postponed

A crucial meeting on the government lineup expected between President Michel Aoun and PM-designate Mustafa Adib has been postponed until Friday afternoon, the National News Agency reported.

NNA said Adib had called Aoun asking that their meeting be postponed until 5:00 p.m.

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Report: Central Bank Governor, Employees Get a Bonus amid Financial Crisis

The Central Bank of Lebanon has reportedly approved a four-month bonus for the bank’s governor and his newly appointed vice-governors, for members of the Banking Control Commission and all BDL employees, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Friday.

The move comes after Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh warned late in August that the bank cannot continue to use its foreign reserves to finance subsidies on basic goods like fuel, medicine and wheat.

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