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1st Cabinet Meeting Held amid Arslan’s Absence, Commemorative Photo Taken at Baabda Doorstep

Premier Najib Miqati’s new cabinet held its first session at Baabda palace on Wednesday in the absence of Talal Arslan who had announced his resignation to protest the state ministry post allotted to him.

President Michel Suleiman chaired the meeting at 10:30 am. Miqati and the remaining 28 members of the cabinet attended. Arslan announced his resignation hours after the government was formed on Monday. He was demanding a cabinet portfolio.

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Lebanese Await Evacuation Plane in Abidjan as Fighting Intensifies

A Middle East Airlines plane that was scheduled to evacuate Lebanese from conflict-torn Ivory Coast on Saturday morning was delayed again to guarantee the flight’s safety, Voice of Lebanon radio station reported Saturday.

The MEA flight will now leave on Saturday night rather than 8:00 am, it said after authorities in the African country opened air traffic.

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Beirut Justice Palace Evacuated After Hoax Bomb Threat

Several halls at Beirut’s Justice Palace were evacuated on Tuesday after a bomb threat which turned out to be a hoax, the state-run National News Agency reported.

It said a man made an anonymous phone call saying a bomb was planted in one of the halls. However, a bomb disposal squad did not find any explosives after a thorough search.

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Berri Favors Participation of All Sides in Cabinet Without Setting Prior Conditions on Shares

Speaker Nabih Berri said Wednesday that he favored the participation of all parties in the cabinet without setting prior conditions on the shares of each side.

Following talks with President Michel Suleiman at Baabda palace, Berri said that “all former opposition parties support the premier-designate.”

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Justice Palace Evacuated after Bomb Threat

The Justice Palace in Baabda was evacuated on Wednesday after receiving a bomb threat.

Local media quoted security sources as saying an anonymous person called shortly after midday to inform there is a bomb planted in the Justice Palace in Baabda, 11 kilometers east of Beirut.

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