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Bou Saab Says FPM not Targeting PM: We Refuse to be Excluded

Education Minister Elias Bou Saab denied Tuesday that the Free Patriotic Movement is targeting the jurisdictions of Prime Minister Tammam Salam.

“The dispute is not over the jurisdictions of the premier and we will not begin to target them,” Bou Saab said in comments published in al-Mustaqbal newspaper.

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Jumblat Urges Christians Not to Waste Historic Opportunities but Says No President for Now

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat has advised Christian parties not to waste historic opportunities and to agree on a consensual candidate other than Free Patriotic Movement chief Michel Aoun and Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea.

Saudi Arabia and Iran are in a dispute over the situation in Yemen, so there won't be any mediator to help Lebanese MPs elect a new president, Jumblat said in remarks published on Tuesday.

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Berri Enraged over Cabinet Paralysis

Speaker Nabih Berri tenaciously rejected the paralysis of the cabinet as the Free Patriotic Movement refuses to budge an inch on its stance regarding the importance of conducting the appointments of civil servants before tackling any other state matter, al-Mustaqbal newspaper reported Tuesday.

“A couple of ministers have no right to obstruct the work of the government,” Berri said after talks with a delegation from al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc on Monday.

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Kaag Holds Talks on Lebanon with Iranian Officials

U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag on Monday held talks in Tehran with a number of Iranian officials, her office said.

“We discussed the importance of the Presidency for Lebanon, and reiterated our clear expectation that Lebanon’s leaders act in the national interest to elect a President without further delay,” Kaag said after the meetings.

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Hujeiri Says al-Talli Not in Arsal as Captive Soldier Family Meets Son in Outskirts

Sheikh Mustafa al-Hujeiri denied Monday media reports alleging that Abou Malek al-Talli, the so-called emir of al-Nusra Front in Qalamoun, had sought refuge at his residence in the northeastern border town of Arsal after fleeing a Hizbullah offensive in the outskirts.

“Abou Malek al-Talli took part in the meeting with the family of the (captive) soldier George Khoury. He confirmed that he is present in the outskirts and will not enter Arsal or allow a battle in it,” LBCI television quoted Hujeiri as saying.

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Kataeb Questions Timing of Aoun's 'Escalation', Says Army Must Defend Border

The Kataeb Party on Monday criticized Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Michel Aoun without naming him, questioning the “timing” of his latest threats to resort to street action.

“Amid the renewal of the visits of envoys to Lebanon and some regional capitals with the aim of helping Lebanon rescue itself from the presidential void, some parties are continuing their obstruction,” said the party in a statement issued after its politburo's weekly meeting.

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Geagea Meets Mustaqbal MPs: We Only Recognize Authority of Army in its Deployment in Lebanon

Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea rejected on Monday "media campaigns" against the army and its deployment in regions bordering Syria in the wake of clashes between Hizbullah and Syrian regime forces with extremists in the neighboring country.

He declared: “We only recognize the authority of the army in its deployment in Arsal and the Bekaa.”

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Hizbullah Links Fleita, Arsal Outskirts

Hizbullah fighters managed to link Monday the outskirts of the town of Fleita in the Syrian al-Qalamoun region with the edges of the northeastern border town of Arsal.

Hizbullah's al-Manar TV channel reported that the party also seized a number of valleys, including: Al-Turkman, al-Qusair, Aqbat al-Qusaira, al-Siri, al-Hariqa, and al-Tanine.

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Rifi Promises to Stop Murderers from 'Killing the Truth'

Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi vowed on Monday on the 16th anniversary of the murder of four Lebanese judges to stop perpetrators from “killing the truth” in the series of assassinations that targeted Lebanon in the past years.

“We won't allow anyone to assassinate our martyrs again by killing the truth,” Rifi said at the Justice Palace of the southern city of Sidon.

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Firefighters Contain Hadath Blaze

Firefighters were able to control on Monday an intense blaze that has been raging for the past few days at a warehouse in Beirut's southern suburbs neighborhood of Hadath.

Head of the Municipalities Union in Dahiyeh Mohammed Dergham told Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) that firefighters contained the fire at the upper storey at Qarout Mall.

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