Lebanon
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Zakka, Freed by Iran, Leaves for America

A Lebanese man and permanent U.S. resident released by Tehran after years in an Iranian prison has left Lebanon for the United States, where his three sons reside.

Nizar Zakka's office says the 52-year old information technology expert is travelling to the U.S. on Tuesday.

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Syria Detains Two Lebanese Security Agents

The Syrian army detained two members of the General Directorate of State Security after reaching the border between Lebanon and Syria while on a hiking trip in the Mount of Hermon, the state-run National News Agency reported on Tuesday.

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Rahi Meets Health Minister in Bkirki

Health Minister Jamil Jabaq on Tuesday held talks in Bkirki with Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi after which he affirmed that the budget of his ministry was not affected by the austerity measures implemented by the government.

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Report: Saudi Shura Council Delegation Expected in Beirut

A delegation from the Saudi Shura Council is expected to arrive in Beirut on Tuesday, a visit described by diplomatic sources as a "historic first" at this level, as well as at the level of the Saudi-Lebanese Parliamentary Friendship Committee of the Shura Council, al-Joumhouria daily reported.

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Finance Committee Suspends 2% Tax on Imported Items

The finance parliamentary committee on Monday suspended a draft state budget article pertaining to imposing a 2% tax on imported items.

“Article 63 has been suspended pending a new text that takes into consideration the suggestions of the MPs and the finance minister on excluding daily-use consumer goods,” committee head MP Ibrahim Kanaan said.

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Zakka Hails 'Strong Lebanese State' after Meeting Bassil

Lebanese national and U.S. green card holder Nizar Zakka, who has been recently freed from Iranian prisons, on Monday lauded the Lebanese state for securing his release.

“The credit goes to the Lebanese state, which has proven that it is truly strong and that it preserves the right of every Lebanese,” Zakka said after meeting Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil in Ashrafieh.

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Hariri, Bassil Meet for 5 Hours, Agree to Activate Govt. Work

Free Patriotic Movement chief and Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil met Monday at the Grand Serail with Prime Minister Saad Hariri following tensions between them and between their two parties.

A statement issued by Hariri's office said the lengthy meeting was dedicated to “evaluating the previous stage, in light of the exchanges and stances that affected political stability.”

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Aoun Says Lebanon Ready to Grant Citizenship for Lebanese Descendents

President Michel Aoun on Monday said that Lebanon is ready to grant citizenship for the Lebanese descendants wishing to obtain it, the National News agency reported.

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ISF Arrests IS Suspects over Plots to Bomb Places of Worship

The Internal Security Forces said in a statement on Monday that its agents arrested two Syrian suspects for having links to the Islamic State terror group and for planning bomb attacks at religious places.

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Judges Announce ‘Temporary’ Suspension of Strike

The judicial community announced on Monday a temporary suspension of a strike they began a month ago over government plans to cut their financial benefits as part of an austere state budget draft.

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