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French Debate over Decreasing Size of Contingent in UNIFIL

France might decrease its presence in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) after the attack that targeted its contingents in the southern city of sidon, An Nahar newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Three French U.N. peacekeepers were wounded last week in a roadside bombing near Sidon, and another three suffered hearing problems.

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Security Council Struggles with Syria Crisis

The U.N. Security Council struggled Tuesday through negotiations on how to respond to the Syria crisis that Russia's envoy warned was veering toward civil war.

Divisions remained among the 15 nations on the wording of any condemnation of President Bashar Assad's crackdown on protests and whether it should be a formal resolution or a less weighty statement.

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Israel Crosses Technical Fence Again, Files Complaint with U.N.

An Israeli ten-member patrol entered 30 meters deep into Lebanese territories near the southern town of Mais al-Jabal 24 hours after a shooting incident between the two sides, pan-Arab daily al-Hayat reported Wednesday.

The newspaper said that the patrol crossed the technical fence and entered the area around 1:30 pm Tuesday. It stayed there for around half an hour after searching olive groves.

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Security Council Meets Again on Syria, Ban Says Assad 'Lost All Humanity'

The U.N. Security Council began a second day of talks on Syria Tuesday after President Bashar al-Assad's tanks shelled the protest hub of Hama on the opening day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

At least 24 civilians were reported killed across the country on Monday, among them 10 during protests after special evening prayers, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights chief Rami Abdul Rahman said.

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Miqati Urges U.N. to End Israeli Violations, Says Lebanon Will Defend its Rights

Prime Minister Najib Miqati expressed fear on Tuesday over the ongoing Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty, urging the United Nations to demand Israel to implement Security Council resolution 1701.

Miqati stressed after meeting with U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams that Lebanon will defend its rights and protect its sovereignty with all the available means.

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Williams: It's Imperative that Lebanese Govt. Take Firm Action on Recent UNIFIL Attack

United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Michael Williams, voiced on Tuesday his concern over the July 26 attack against French soldiers in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, revealing that it “generated very considerable concern in France and all the troop contributing countries.”

He said after holding talks with Prime Minister Najib Miqati: “It is imperative that the Lebanese government take concrete and firm action on this.”

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U.S., Israel Propose New Talks to Head Off U.N. Bid

Israel is willing to begin new peace talks using the 1967 lines as a basis for negotiations, if the Palestinians drop their U.N. membership bid, an Israeli government official confirmed on Tuesday.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official confirmed that Israel has been working with Washington and members of the international peace-making Quartet to draw up a new framework that could re-launch stalled talks.

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Tensions High after Deadly Unrest in China

Tensions ran high in China's remote Kashgar city Tuesday after authorities shot dead two men suspected of fomenting deadly ethnic unrest and vowed a further crackdown on "religious extremists".

Police killed the men, both from the mainly Muslim Uighur minority that makes up around half the population of China's northwestern Xinjiang region, late Monday as they were trying to capture the pair, Kashgar authorities said.

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Cabinet Expected to Approve Maritime Border Draft Law

The cabinet is expected to approve on Tuesday a draft-law on the delineation of Lebanon’s maritime borders which would be referred to parliament for the final green light the next day.

The parliamentary Public Works, Transport, Energy and Water Committee approved the 18-article draft law proposed by the committee’s chairman MP Mohammed Qabbani.

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Israel Erects Earth Mounds in Wazzani Area Amid Warning Against ‘Calculated Incursion’

Israeli troops deployed 10 tanks and bulldozers before midnight Monday and began erecting earth mounds at the technical fence in the Wazzani area where they clashed with Lebanese troops the same day.

Media reports said Tuesday that the move led to a state of alert among Lebanese and UNIFIL troops on Army Day.

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