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Beirut Buses Provide Rare Bridge to IS Turf

"Raqa! Manbij! Al-Bab!" drivers call out at a bus station in the heart of bustling Beirut looking for passengers to make the perilous journey to Islamic State group strongholds in Syria.

"Just before we reach the first Daesh checkpoint, everyone throws out their cigarettes," said Abu Ali, a bus driver in his 40s, using a derogatory Arabic name for IS.

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Arsal Hostages Case in Limelight on Mother's Day

The families of nine Lebanese servicemen held hostage by the Islamic State extremist group blocked on Monday the road between the northeastern border towns of Labweh and Arsal to protest their continued captivity.

The relatives said they held their protest on the occasion of Mother's Day to shed light on their suffering.

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Mogherini Meets Salam, Bassil, Underlines Political Solution to End Refugee Plight

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini kicked off on Monday an official visit to Lebanon by holding talks with Prime Minister Tammam Salam and later Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil, with the Syrian refugee crisis at the heart of discussions.

Bassil emphasized that Lebanon's constitution “prohibits the naturalization of Syrian refugees.”

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11 Hizbullah-Linked Lebanese Declared 'Persona Non Grata' in Kuwait

In a new series of expulsions, Kuwait has deported eleven Lebanese and three Iraqis after it has been proven that they belong to Hizbullah, the Kuwaiti al-Qabas daily reported on Monday.

“They have been deported at the request of Kuwait's state security apparatus,” the daily quoted a Kuwaiti security source as saying on condition of anonymity.

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Salam Wants to Fill Vacuum amid Report on Search for Other Candidates

Prime Minister Tammam Salam has reiterated his call for the swift election of a president amid a report that officials will begin to propose names of new candidates in an attempt to end the 22-month vacuum that has gripped the country.

Salam told his visitors on Sunday that all political parties should head to the parliament and exercise their constitutional rights through the election of a new head of state.

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Bassil Rejects his Foes' 'Logic,' Says People's Choice on Presidency Falls on FPM

Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil slammed his foes on Monday for allegedly paralyzing the presidential elections and violating the National Pact through their rejection of the candidacy of his father-in-law MP Michel Aoun, the founder of the Free Patriotic Movement.

“We won't allow anyone to impose on us a logic that does not impose on himself,” said Bassil, who took over the leadership of the FPM last year.

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Berri, Salam Agree to Ask Ban for U.N. Demarcation of Maritime Border

Speaker Nabih Berri said Monday that he has agreed with Prime Minister Tammam Salam to ask U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon for the demarcation of Lebanon's maritime border.

Berri told pan-Arab daily al-Hayat that the demarcation of Lebanon's Exclusive Economic Zone would resolve Lebanon's maritime conflict with Israel.

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UAE Says Keen on Ties with Lebanon after 'Baseless' Reports on Ambassador

The United Arab Emirates stressed Sunday its keenness on the ties with Lebanon, denying media reports about delaying the return of its ambassador to Beirut.

“Local media outlets have circulated inaccurate reports in the past two days, claiming that the UAE ambassador to Lebanon was not able to leave his country's airport for Lebanon following a family visit except after the intervention of his country's foreign ministry,” the embassy's press office said in a statement.

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Gemayel: President Must Have Economic Vision, Ability to Neutralize Lebanon from Region Conflicts

Kataeb Party chief MP Sami Gemayel has stressed that the country needs a president who has an “economic vision” and the ability to “neutralize Lebanon from the ongoing conflicts in the region instead of dragging it into them.”

“For the country to witness a new beginning, it needs the election of a president – a competent, upright president who has an economic vision and who has the ability to oversee files and pull Lebanon out of its crises,” said Gemayel.

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Mashnouq Says 8,000 Tons of Trash Removed from Random Sites as Protesters Torch Sukleen Truck

Workers have begun removing tons of rubbish that have piled up around Beirut under a government plan to end an eight-month crisis that has sparked repeated protests.

"More than 8,000 tons of accumulated trash have been removed from streets and random dumps in the past 24 hours, which indicates that the waste plan is being implemented in a serious manner," Environment Minister Mohammed al-Mashnouq announced.

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