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Lebanese Prosecutor Demands Death for Killer of UK Woman

A Lebanese investigative judge on Thursday demanded the death penalty for a suspected killer of a British woman whose body was found near Beirut two months ago.

Lebanese officials said Judge Hanna Breidi issued an indictment Thursday demanding the maximum penalty for Tarek Houshi, 29, accusing him of raping Rebecca Dykes before strangling her with a rope.

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Lebanon Says Contacts Underway to Ease Tensions with Israel

Diplomatic contacts are underway between Beirut and "friendly countries" to ease tensions with Israel over a cement wall it is building along the border which Lebanon says would encroach on its territory, the government said Thursday.

Acting information minister and Social Affairs Minister Pierre Bou Assi told reporters after a government meeting that top Lebanese officials are in contact with the United Nations and some countries that he did not name to try and decrease tensions that have escalated over the construction of the wall.

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6 Teachers Briefly Detained after Scuffles near Baabda Palace

Six teachers staging a sit-in near the presidential palace in Baabda were arrested Thursday after they attempted to block the road, the National News Agency said.

The protest that was held during a cabinet session at the palace witnessed scuffles between teachers and security forces.

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Cabinet Agrees to Enlarge Airport, Discusses Israeli Threats

Lebanon's government convened in a normal session on Thursday at the Presidential Palace in Baabda to tackle 93 items on its agenda, the National News Agency reported.

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UNIFIL Chief Inspects Blue Line as Israel Embarks on Border Wall Construction

UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary on Thursday inspected the Blue Line area, south of al-Naqoura, where Israel has started to build a controversial separation border wall that Lebanon says would encroach on its territory.

Israel has started constructing the wall along its border with Lebanon on Wednesday. Lebanon's Higher Defense Council met afterward and instructed the Lebanese Armed Forces to confront any Israeli territorial or maritime border violations.

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Aoun Signs Decree Promoting Army and Security Officers

President Michel Aoun has signed on Thursday the officers’ promotion decree of the army, security forces, general security, state security and customs.

The signing comes one day after State officials, Aoun, Speaker Nabih Berri and PM Saad Hariri, agreed to end a row over an officers seniority decree by signing a new decree merging the disputed decree with the stalled promotions decree.

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Airport Police Foil Drug Smuggling Attempt

Beirut airport police arrested a drug-smuggler female after seizing ample amounts of narcotic that she hid in boxes of sweets, the National News Agency reported on Thursday.

NNA said that the police searched the woman's luggage and found the drugs packed and hidden in sweets boxes.

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Oklahoma Man Guilty of Lebanese Man Murder, Hate Crime in Slaying

Jurors convicted an Oklahoma man of murder and hate crime charges Wednesday for fatally shooting his Lebanese neighbor after bombarding him with racial and anti-Muslim insults in a long-running feud with his family, who are Christian.

Stanley Vernon Majors, 63, was found guilty in the August 2016 shooting death of Khalid Jabara, 37, outside his Tulsa home. Majors also was convicted of threatening an act of violence. Jurors deliberated for nearly 2 ½ hours before returning the verdict.

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Israel Begins Constructing Controversial Wall on Lebanon Border

Israel on Wednesday started constructing a controversial wall along its border with Lebanon, a barrier that Lebanon says would encroach on its territory.

Andrea Tenenti, spokesperson for the United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon known as UNIFIL, confirmed the beginning of works in the Naqoura area and said the force is "fully engaged with both parties in order to find common solutions."

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Officials Start Signing Decree Merging Officers Seniority Decree with Promotions

Officials on Wednesday started signing a new decree merging the disputed officers seniority decree with the stalled promotions decree, TV networks said.

“As part of the solution that was agreed on in yesterday's tripartite meeting at the Baabda Palace, the promotions and the seniority decrees have been combined and the relevant officials have started signing the new decree,” LBCI television reported.

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