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Police Arrest Suspect in Akkar over IS Links, Bombing Plans

The Internal Security Forces Information Branch arrested a suspect in the northern region of Akkar over links to the Islamic State terror organization, ISF said in a statement on Wednesday.

The detainee admitted during investigations that he had joined the IS ranks eight months ago through groups that encouraged him to carry out terror attacks in Lebanon instead of Syria, said the statement.

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Jumblat: An Offer for Settlement Doesn’t Mean Relinquishing Principles

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat emphasized on Wednesday that his offer to make a settlement to ease the government formation process must not be taken as a relinquishment of the party’s principles.

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Gunfire Erupts at SSNP Offices in Aley

Gunfire erupted Tuesday evening inside the offices of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party in the Mount Lebanon city of Aley, the National News Agency said.

The shooting broke out during a dispute between party members inside the building, NNA reported, adding that the offices were later cordoned off by security forces.

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Hariri: Bassil Remarks Not Positive, New Govt. Still Expected within 10 Days

Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri noted Tuesday that Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Jebran Bassil's latest remarks on the cabinet formation process “were not positive,” as he pointed out that his announcement that the government would be formed within ten days is still valid.

Bassil has announced at a press conference that every five MPs are entitled to have one minister in the cabinet, a suggestion flatly rejected by the Lebanese Forces.

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'Cowboy', Accomplice Sentenced over 'Jumblat Assassination Plot'

A Lebanese and a Syrian were on Tuesday handed jail sentences in absentia after they were convicted of plotting to assassinate Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat in 2016.

The National News Agency said the Military Court sentenced Lebanese national Youssef Munir Fakhr -- who is also known as 'The Cowboy' -- and the Syrian Muhannad Ali Moussa to ten years of hard labor

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Bassil Talks 'Railways and Electricity' with Jordan King

Caretaker Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil met Tuesday with Jordanian King Abdullah II and handed him a letter from President Michel Aoun.

The letter included an invitation to the Arab socio-economic summit that will be held in Beirut in January.

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Kataeb Calls for Government of Specialists

The Kataeb party on Tuesday urged President Michel Aoun and Premier-designate Saad Hariri to form a government of specialists and end wrangling between political parties over shares and portfolios.

Speaking during the party’s politburo weekly meeting, Kataeb chief Sami Gemayel sounded the alarm over “unprecedented conflict over shares and quotas, and the destructive logic that has prevailed," between political parties.

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Report: No Breakthrough in Government Formation

Although there is no major breakthrough in Lebanon’s government formation, but Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri is determined to form one in the next few days now that the ten-day deadline he set after his “positive” meeting with President Michel Aoun last week has ended, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Tuesday.

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Report: France in Focus on Lebanon Refugees Crisis, Economy and Govt Lineup

France is worried that a further delay in lining up Lebanon’s government could affect implementation of the CEDRE conference, although French diplomats affirm “commitment” to its resolutions that garnered billions of dollars for the Mediterranean country.

Al-Joumhouria daily said on Tuesday that “the French interest in Lebanon is focused on the government formation process, the country’s economy and the crisis of Syrian refugees.”

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Qaouq Slams Parties Seeking to 'Weaken Presidency'

A senior Hizbullah official on Monday accused certain political parties in Lebanon of seeking to “weaken” President Michel Aoun's tenure.

“Hizbullah and the AMAL Movement are greatly facilitating the formation of the government,” Hizbullah central council member Sheikh Nabil Qaouq said.

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