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U.S. Says Iran Helping Syria Crack Down on Protests, Damascus Denies

Syria denied on Thursday a claim by the United States that Iran was helping it to crack down on demonstrations for more freedom and political reforms that have left more than 100 people dead.

The Syrian foreign ministry denied as "totally false" the U.S. charge, challenging the U.S. State Department to publish any evidence in that regard, Syria's state-run news agency SANA reported.

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U.S. Embassy Gives Lebanese Teachers Opportunity to Enhance Skills

The U.S. embassy in Lebanon invited local secondary teachers on Wednesday to apply for a scholarship to develop expertise in their subject areas, enhance their teaching skills and increase their knowledge of the United States.

The International Leaders in Education Program (ILEP) consists of a semester-long (January-June 2012) academic program at a U.S. university followed by an eight-week internship at a secondary school, said a press release issued by the embassy.

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U.S. Condemns ‘Outrageous’ Repression of Syria Protests

The White House condemned escalating repression of demonstrations in Syria Tuesday as "outrageous" and expressed concern about reports that the wounded were being denied medical care.

"We are deeply concerned by reports that Syrians who have been wounded by their government are being denied access to medical care," press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.

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Miqati’s Façonnable Files Lawsuit in Denver over Web Posts Linking it to Hizbullah

Façonnable, a high-end retailer of shirts, has filed a lawsuit against anonymous Internet users who wrote statements on its Wikipedia page linking the company to Hizbullah.

In the lawsuit filed last week in federal court in the U.S. city of Denver, Façonnable says the users edited the company's Wikipedia page in March to suggest that the firm supports the Shiite party.

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WikiLeaks: Israel Ruled Out Iran Strike in 2005

Israeli defense officials ruled out a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities as early as 2005, U.S. diplomatic cables leaked to whistleblower site WikiLeaks show, an Israeli newspaper said Sunday.

The documents given to the Haaretz newspaper by WikiLeaks detail conversations between U.S. diplomats and Israeli defense officials, which suggested the Jewish state did not plan to target Iran's controversial nuclear program.

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WikiLeaks: Geagea Said Lebanese Army in Need of Hundreds of MiGs

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea has told a U.S. official that Lebanon was in need of hundreds of MiG-29 Russian fighter jets to “threaten Israel.”

In a WikiLeaks cable dated December 19, 2008, Geagea told U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State David Hale that Lebanese army pilots need a 10-year experience on the jets to confront Israel.

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Jumblat Urges Politicians to Engage in Dialogue, Steer Clear of Regional Conflicts

The National Struggle Front leader, MP Walid Jumblat, urged Lebanese officials to steer clear of regional conflicts and return to the dialogue table.

“It would be better to stay away from regional conflicts as much as possible and resume dialogue,” Jumblat told As Safir daily in remarks published Friday.

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Hizbullah Hits Back at Hariri: His Stances are in Line with U.S. Plot to Sow Discord among Region States

Hizbullah snapped back Thursday at caretaker premier Saad Hariri, who earlier in the day accused Tehran of trying to turn Lebanon and Gulf states into Iranian protectorates.

Hariri’s “provocative stances sincerely echoed U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ latest remarks about the Iranian role in the region,” read a statement released by Hizbullah's media relations department.

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U.S. Embassy Convoy Attacked Again in Sidon

U.S. embassy officials visiting south Lebanon Thursday were attacked, but unhurt, by residents accusing them of being "Israeli conspirators," in the second such incident in a week, an Agence France Presse correspondent said.

Around 60 supporters of leftist groups gathered outside a government office in the port city of Sidon and pelted an embassy convoy with stones as it drove by, with some shouting "Americans, Israeli conspirators, in our government offices."

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WikiLeaks: Salloukh Offered to Mediate between U.S. and Hizbullah

Former Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh has reportedly told ex-U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman that he was ready to mediate between the diplomat and Hizbullah.

However, Feltman rejected the offer saying “we don’t send messages to Hizbullah” which the U.S. considers a terrorist organization.

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