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BCCL to Start Functioning on Friday in Absence of President

The newly-appointed members of the Banking Control Commission of Lebanon are expected to start their mission despite the absence of a president.

The official Gazette will likely publish the decree of their appointment on Thursday.

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Gemayel Slams Iran's Role, Says Aoun's 'Illogical' Presidential Stance Should Change

Kataeb Party leader Amin Gemayel blamed Iran on the spread of crises in the region and criticized Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun over his “illogical” stance from the presidential deadlock.

“The (region's) crises began since Iran started to spread its influence in Iraq, Syria and in Lebanon through Hizbullah,” Gemayel told pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat in an interview published on Wednesday.

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Report: Zureiqat Left Lebanon Heading to Qalamoun

The driver of top militant Sirajeddine Zureiqat, a so-called spokesman of the Qaida-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades, was detained recently, al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Wednesday.

According to the daily, the suspect, who was identified by his initials Y.A., confessed during investigation with the Internal Security Forces Information Branch to having close ties with Zureiqat.

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Maqdah: Palestinian Force to be Boosted in Ain el-Hilweh, to Deploy at Beirut Camps

The head of the joint Palestinian force, Maj. Gen. Munir Maqdah, has revealed that the elite force's numbers at the southern refugee camp of Ain el-Hilweh would be bolstered.

Maqdah, a senior Fatah official, told pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat on Wednesday that the 150-member force, which deployed in Ain el-Hilweh last year, will increase in numbers in cooperation with the Lebanese army and security forces.

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Spiritual Summit in Bkirki to End Presidential Stalemate

A spiritual summit will be held on Monday at the seat of the Maronite church in Bkirki to press forward the election of a new head of state, An Nahar newspaper reported.

The daily said on Wednesday that participants will send a letter to the political arch-foes to rectify the adopted policies to serve citizens.

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Mustaqbal Says 'Campaign' against Saniora Aimed at 'Blocking' His STL Testimony

Al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc on Tuesday accused the March 8 forces of waging a “political media campaign” against its chief, MP Fouad Saniora, over his testimony at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in The Hague.

In a statement issued after its weekly meeting, the bloc said Saniora has so far demonstrated “all the circumstances that Lebanon was going through prior to the assassination” of former premier Rafik Hariri, and the impact of “the oppressive interferences that were practiced by the Lebanese-Syrian security apparatus and its tools in Lebanon and Syria.”

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Change and Reform Warns against 'Paralyzing Institutions, Losing Foreign Loans'

The Change and Reform parliamentary bloc stressed Tuesday the need to maintain the work of state institutions amid the presidential void, warning that the country might lose foreign loans and donations that have been put on hold due to the political crisis.

“The bloc stressed the need to maintain the work of state institutions and to exert efforts to prevent their paralysis, especially regarding the necessary and essential matters which affect all Lebanese,” MP Ibrahim Kanaan announced after the bloc's weekly meeting in Rabieh.

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Berri Distributes Agenda for Upcoming Legislative Session

Speaker Nabih Berri distributed on Tuesday the agenda of an upcoming legislative session on the members of the parliament's bureau.

MP Marwan Hamadeh stated after meeting Berri at his Ain el-Tineh residence that the speaker took his decision out of the need for “urgent legislation.”

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Health Ministry Shuts Daycare in Ajaltoun, Seizes Spoiled Cheese in Sidon

Health Minister Wael Abou Faour ordered on Tuesday the closure of a daycare in the region of Ajaltoun that witnessed the death of an infant.

The minister ordered that Clarina et Zoe daycare be closed following the death of four-month-old Elio Salloum.

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Murderer of Syrian Child Arrested

The murderer of a Syrian child was arrested on Tuesday after he confessed to his crime, reported LBCI television.

It said that Ahmed Walid al-Basha, who hails from Syria's Tall Kalakh, confessed to killing Syrian Walid Halloum.

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