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Seven Men, Including 2 Lebanese, Charged in NY with Conspiring to Aid Taliban

Seven men, including two Lebanese citizens, were charged with selling drugs and weapons in an effort to help the Taliban fight U.S. troops overseas.

Posing as representatives of the Taliban, cooperating witnesses for the Drug Enforcement Administration approached the men in Ghana last June, asking to set up a drug relationship, prosecutors said. First, the cooperators asked if they could buy large amounts of cocaine, according to court documents. Then, they asked if the men could set up safe places in West Africa to store heroin on its way from Afghanistan to the United States, Canada and Europe.

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U.S. Honors Rafik Hariri’s Memory by Backing International Tribunal

U.S. President Barack Obama marked the sixth anniversary of the assassination of ex-premier Rafik Hariri by reaffirming his support for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

For the past two years, a bitter political battle has revolved around the STL which is expected to implicate Hizbullah members in the Hariri murder.

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Qaouq Refuses to Allow U.S. to Use STL as Weapon: Resistance Has Garnered Parliamentary Majority

Hizbullah official Nabil Qaouq stated on Sunday that the equation in Lebanon today has changed from what it was in the past seeing as the Resistance now enjoys a parliamentary and popular majority, adding that it refuses the United States’ employment of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon as a weapon against the party.

He said during a ceremony commemorating the assassination of Hizbullah military commander Imad Mughniyeh: “The new government in Lebanon should help remove the country from the American minefield.”

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Anti-terrorism Act Links U.S. Assistance to Hizbullah Power in Lebanon Government

U.S. lawmakers are reportedly pushing for the adoption of the Hizbullah Anti-Terrorism Act of 2011 which guarantees that organizations like Hizbullah do not benefit from the money of American taxpayers.

During hearings on Egypt and Lebanon this week, House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Howard Berman announced that he would be introducing the new legislation entitled the "Hizbullah anti-terrorism act of 2011."

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Obama: History Unfolding in Egypt

U.S. President Barack Obama declared Thursday the world was watching history unfold and a moment of transformation in Egypt, as reports said President Hosni Mubarak may be ready to step down.

Obama also directly addressed the young people of Egypt who have swelled massive crowds in Cairo, saying America would do all it could to ensure a genuine transition to democracy at an apparently pivotal moment of the crisis.

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U.S. Ties Lebanese Bank to Money Laundering, Hizbullah

The U.S. has accused the Beirut-based Lebanese Canadian Bank of laundering money for alleged cocaine trafficker Ayman Joumaa, and linked Hizbullah to the bank's illegal activities.

The U.S. Treasury said it would move to prohibit U.S. financial institutions from working with the bank, which it said was tied to Joumaa's international syndicate that laundered "hundreds of millions of dollars monthly" in cash from the drugs trade.

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U.S. Lawmaker Slams Obama Administration over Lebanon, Egypt

U.S. President Barack Obama's administration was the target of harsh criticism in Congress Wednesday for not doing enough to support "pro-democracy forces" in Lebanon and Egypt.

"In both Egypt and Lebanon, we have failed to effectively leverage U.S. assistance in support of peaceful, pro-democracy forces and to help build strong, accountable, independent, democratic institutions as a bulwark against the instability that is now spreading throughout much of the region," said Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen at a hearing of the Foreign Affairs Committee she heads.

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Egypt: Nasrallah Walking in Khamenei’s Footsteps

Egypt accused Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah of “walking in the footsteps of his mentor,” Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei.

“They all want to ignite the region,” Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Husam Zaki told the Saudi al-Watan daily about Nasrallah and Khamenei.

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Connelly Meets Geagea, Gemayel, Harb: Truly Representative Govt Would Not Abandon STL

U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly on Tuesday discussed the recent political developments in the country in separate meetings with Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel and caretaker Labor Minister Boutros Harb.

"Ambassador Connelly reiterated that the U.S. views the formation of a new Lebanese government as an exclusively Lebanese process that should remain free from outside interference," said a communiqué released by the U.S. Embassy following Connelly's talks with Geagea.

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Suspected U.S. Spy Drone Crashes in Yemen

A suspected U.S. spy drone crashed near the south Yemen town of Loder on Tuesday before al-Qaida gunmen made off with the wreckage, a police official and witnesses said.

The drone crashed in Jahayn village near Loder, in Yemen's Abyan province where al-Qaida has a strong presence, and was found by local residents, the official told Agence France Presse.

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