On Wednesday the Appeals Chamber of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon rejected defense motions challenging the court’s legality and jurisdiction. | Daily Star

At least eighteen Lebanese figures are targets of possible assassinations, al-Joumhouria newspaper reported on Thursday. | Naharnet

Army intelligence succeeded in arresting suspects on charges of belonging to the al-Qaeda terrorist organization, al-Joumhouria newspaper reported on Thursday. The army arrested Malaysian nationals Rafik Mohammed Aaref and Mohammed Razin Shaaban on charges of being members of the organization. | Naharnet


The United States said Tuesday it backs efforts to form a new governing coalition in Lebanon, after last week’s deadly bomb blast in Beirut plunged the country into political crisis, as Hezbollah rejected calls to refer the investigation in the blast that killed a top intelligence officer to the international tribunal. | Al Arabiya


The United States will send a Federal Bureau of Investigation team to help Lebanon probe the Beirut car bombing that killed the country’s internal security chief, officials said Monday. | Al Arabiya

The death toll in Lebanon has risen to at least ten since Saturday as clashes continued overnight in Tripoli, sparked by Friday’s massive car bomb that killed the country’s top security chief. Some fighting continued Tuesday afternoon in Tripoli, but the situation has calmed since yesterday, an Al-Akhbar correspondent said. | Al Akhbar

More than 100,000 Syrians have fled their war-torn country for neighboring Lebanon, itself hit by rising tensions in recent days, the UN refugee agency said Tuesday. | Naharnet


Gunfights have broken out in several areas of Lebanon following the funeral of the senior intelligence official Wissam al-Hassan on Sunday. At least three people were killed as Sunni and Shia gunmen exchanged fire on Sunday night. | Al Jazeera

Lebanon’s army has urged the country’s political leaders to show caution when expressing their opinions, in a bid to calm “unprecedented” tensions. | BBC

Sniper activity in the northern city of Tripoli resumed on Monday between the rival districts of Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh as three people were reportedly killed and 26 others wounded. | Naharnet


A huge car bomb exploded in central Beirut during rush hour on Friday, killing eight people, wounding about 80, and raising fears of renewed sectarian violence in a country still scarred from a long civil war. | New York Times

The opposition March 14 coalition accused Syria of an explosion Friday that killed at least eight people and wounded scores more in the crowded residential neighborhood of Ashrafieh, Beirut. | Daily Star

Seventeen Lebanese people were killed on Friday in an ambush by the Syrian army at the Lebanese-Syrian border, reported Voice of Lebanon radio. | Naharnet


Clashes in Syria close to the Lebanese border between rebels and fighters loyal to the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah, an ally of the Syrian regime, are now a near daily occurrence, local people report. | Daily Star

The Syndicate Coordination Committee will go ahead with its nationwide strike on Thursday after talks at the cabinet failed to reach consensus over finding the appropriate resources for funding the new wages scale for public employees. | Naharnet


The army began deploying in the Bekaa region on Wednesday as part of a security plan to combat lawlessness in the area, National News Agency reported. | Naharnet

On Wednesday the transportation sector staged a strike to demand that the cabinet cap rising gasoline prices. | Naharnet


Around 94,000 displaced Syrians are currently receiving protection and assistance in Lebanon through the efforts of the Lebanese government, in addition to the UN and non-governmental groups, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees' (UNHCR) weekly report. | Now Lebanon


Hezbollah’s, Iranian-made, drone that penetrated Israel surveilled live images of “secret” Israeli military bases, according to Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper. | Naharnet

The March 14 alliance called on Prime Minister Najib Miqati to immediately resign over ’Hezbollah’s drone that penetrated Israeli airspace over the weekend, considering it a “defiance of the Lebanese people’s will,” al-Joumhouria newspaper reported on Monday. | Naharnet


President Michel Sleiman has pledged to reject any bid to renew his six-year-term in office when it expires in 2014. | Daily Star

On Thursday the joint parliamentary committees formed an electoral subcommittee to study the disputed issues concerning the electoral draft law despite sharp differences among the political foes over the matter. | Naharnet


President Michel Suleiman and Speaker Nabih Berri agreed to adopt a draft law that combines the proportional representation and winner-takes-all systems as a settlement to the sharp differences among Lebanese political foes over the matter, al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Wednesday. | Naharnet


Military Tribunal Judge Imad al-Zein issued eight arrest warrants against Lebanese people charged with collaborating with Israel on Tuesday, the National News Agency reported. | Naharnet


A U.S. judge formally ordered Hezbollah, Iran, al-Qaida and several other defendants Wednesday to pay $6 billion compensation to the victims of September 11, 2001, in a largely symbolic ruling. | Naharnet


Three explosions were heard on Wednesday near the Bekaa town of Nabi Sheet, the National News Agency reported. The reasons for the blasts remain unknown, but LBCI television said that the explosions took place in an arms depot. | Naharnet

Prime Minister Najib Miqati held talks in New York City with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem, al-Liwaa newspaper reported. A diplomatic source told the newspaper that the Syrian official lamented to the premier the Lebanese government’s failure to provide the Syrian regime with support during its crisis. | Naharnet

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a statement that Syrians displaced by violence in their country were facing difficulties crossing the border and seeking refuge in neighboring Lebanon, the National News Agency reported on Wednesday. | Now Lebanon


The son of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah was the target of the abduction of the eleven Lebanese pilgrims in Syria in May, reported Ad Diyar daily on Tuesday. | Naharnet


Twenty-seven kidnapping cases occurred in Lebanon, particularly in the Bekaa, within a year, An Nahar newspaper reported on Monday. | Naharnet

Speaker Nabih Berri said in remarks published on Monday that he will agree on any electoral law that the Lebanese Christian parties approve of. | Now Lebanon


Syrian army aircraft on Friday shelled the mountainous area of the Beqaa town of Aarsal, the National News Agency reported. | Now Lebanon


Hezbollah has ramped up its support for the Syrian government, sending in military advisers to aid the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in the bloody struggle against the opposition, U.S. and Lebanese government officials said. | Naharnet

The Lebanese army discovered a training camp set up by a network in the mountain area between al-Bireh and al-Rafid towns in Rashaya; the camp is suspected of smuggling arms to neighboring Syria. | Naharnet


The army confiscated a large amount of weapons after raiding a suspected arms hideout in al-Beere town in Rashaya, the National News Agency reported on Wednesday. | Naharnet

Lebanese Shiite pilgrim Awad Ibrahim, who was kidnapped in Syria along with ten other men, was handed over to Lebanese security officers in Turkey on Wednesday, New TV reported. | Now Lebanon


Five Syrians who were arrested on Monday by Lebanese security forces for illegally crossing into Lebanon were freed on Tuesday, the National News Agency reported. | Now Lebanon


Foreign Affairs Minister Adnan Mansour said over the weekend that Lebanon will hold fast to its policy of disassociation from events in Syria during the UN General Assembly session scheduled for this week. | Daily Star

Interior Minister Marwan Charbel confirmed claims that Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun's convoy was shot at in the southern city of Sidon but stressed the shooting targeted an empty vehicle. | Naharnet


A number of shells from Syrian territory struck northern Lebanese border towns in Akkar on Thursday night, the National News Agency reported. | Now Lebanon

Lebanese Muslims, Sunnis and Shiites, took part in protests on Friday to vent their anger over a US-made film and French cartoons mocking Islam. | Now Lebanon


President Michel Sleiman will present his plans for a national defense strategy to Lebanese leaders during a National Dialogue session Thursday, addressing a topic that has divided Lebanese leaders, a source from Baabda Palace told the Daily Star. | Daily Star


Unknown assailants opened fire on a KFC restaurant in Lebanon’s southern town of Nabatieh in the early hours of Wednesday in reaction to an anti-Islam film that sparked global protests. | Now Lebanon

Security forces on Wednesday broke up a demonstration calling for a modern electoral law in front of the parliament in Downtown Beirut"by force". | Now Lebanon


Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, made a rare public appearance on Monday to address tens of thousands of supporters who took to the streets of southern Beirut to denounce a film mocking Islam and Prophet Muhammad. | Al Jazeera

According to a State Department status report obtained by the Associated Press, diplomats at the U.S. embassy in Beirut have started to destroy classified material as a security precaution amid anti-American protests in Lebanon and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa. | Naharnet


Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah called for week-long protests starting Monday against the U.S.-produced film ‘Innocence of Muslims’ that has caused a ripple of protests across the Middle East. | Al Arabiya

Lebanese President Michel Sleiman demanded on Monday that Iran provide an official explanation as to why members of its Revolutionary Guard have been sent to Lebanon. | Al Akhbar


The Muslim Brotherhood’s Justice and Construction Party congratulated Mustafa AbuShaghur for winning the Prime Ministerrace on Wednesday. | Justice and Construction Party

Libya supported a decision taken by United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon to appoint Lebanon's former Information Minister Tarek Metri as UN special envoy to Tripoli and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). | Naharnet


On Wednesday President Michel Suleiman, Speaker Nabih Berri and Hezbollah's Loyalty to the Resistance parliamentary bloc rejected any increase in salaries and compensations for the three top presidential posts in the country as well as for ministers and members of parliament. | Naharnet

U.S. Treasury Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin stressed that the United States isn't targeting the Lebanese banking sector; rather,it's calling on the banks to be aware of the risks of dealing with Iran and Syria. | Naharnet


The Lebanese army freed four Syrian hostages in an overnight raid in Beirut against the powerful Mokdad clan which kidnapped them last month, a member of the clan said on Tuesday. | Al Akhbar


The Syndicate Coordination Committee, a coalition of private and public school teachers and public sector employees, held a nationwide strike on Thursday to protest the cabinet’s delay in approving the new wages scale. | Naharnet


The cabinet is set to discuss the new salaries increase for public sector employees during a session at the Baabda Palace as the controversial issue threatens to increase the financial burdens on the state’s treasury. | Naharnet


The United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon told the Daily Star that U.N. approval is required before troops can be redeployed along the border with Syria, as demanded by a March 14 petition. | Daily Star


Seven people arrested by the Lebanese army in the northern city of Tripoli are expected to be referred to the Military Tribunal for legal measures if there was evidence of their involvement in the latest gun battles, the National News Agency reported Thursday. | Naharnet

A Lebanese man arrested for robbing banks has admitted to plotting the assassination of judges, a high-ranking military source said Thursday. The Army Intelligence arrested Mohammed al-Jouni along with Mohammed Ayyoub for a spree of armed bank robberies that netted more than $1.5 million, the military said in a communiqué on Tuesday. | Naharnet


Sidon is launching an emergency response plan to quickly integrate thousands of Syrian refugees into the city’s school system before the start of the academic year next month. | Daily Star

Speaker Nabih Berri confirmed that Lebanon will chair the Arab League Ministerial Council in September, al-Joumhouria newspaper reported. | Naharnet


One of the longest serving Lebanese prisoners in Syria has been released and sent back to his homeland after 27 years in jail. | Now Lebanon


Interior Minister Marwan Charbel expressed optimism that the release of one of the eleven Lebanese pilgrims kidnapped in Syria would set the stage for freeing more abductees this week. Charbel also stressed keeping the negotiations away from the media and political bickering to guarantee their success. | Naharnet

Prime Minister Najib Miqati said the Lebanese army was taking all measures to restore calm in the northern city of Tripoli, which witnessed bloody clashes between rival groups in the past week. In remarks to An Nahar newspaper, Miqati said Tripoli is heading to stability despite the limited violations taking place. | Naharnet


A young Sunni sheikh was killed on Friday in Syria-related clashes between two rival neighborhoods in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, denting a tenuous truce that was agreed earlier by local leaders. | Al Arabiya


Fresh fighting erupted Thursday in the northern city of Tripoli, leaving one dead and two wounded, a security source said, despite a truce to halt days of violence between the residents of rival neighborhoods. | Naharnet

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati is to visit the northern city of Tripoli on Thursday following days of violence that have so far left twelve people dead and over 100 wounded. | Al-Akhbar


The death toll of gun battles that have been raging since Monday in the northern port city of Tripoli rose to seven, the state-run National News Agency reported on Wednesday. Heavy overnight clashes were reported between the rival neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen. | Naharnet


Two people were killed and more than 60 wounded in clashes between Sunni Muslims and Alawites in Lebanon's northern city of Tripoli in another spillover from the war in neighboring Syria, security and medical sources said. | Reuters


The International Committee of the Red Cross says it is reaching out to Libyans to counter suspicions about the relief agency’s work in eastern and central Libya, following attacks there. The ICRC suspended its activities in the eastern city of Benghazi and the central city of Misrata earlier this month after assailants launched five attacks in less than three months on the agency’s offices and residence. | Washington Post

An obscure group calling itself Mukhtar al-Thaqfi Brigade claimed that it kidnapped members of the Free Syrian Army in Lebanon on Thursday after the spokesman of al-Meqdad clan vowed to abduct more Syrian nationals in retaliation for the seizure of a family member in Syria.| Naharnet


Milad Kfouri,the key witness in the case of ex-Minister Michel Samaha, cannot be summoned by the judge to give his testimony. “The witness is under the Internal Security Forces’ protection, that vowed to safeguard him along with his family,” a security source told An Nahar newspaper. | Naharnet

Al-Meqdad family announced on Wednesday that its military wing has so far kidnapped more than 20 Free Syrian Army fighters in Lebanon and promised a “hefty catch.” “The family’s military wing kidnapped several Syrians. We are not afraid of anyone,” Abu Ali al-Meqdad said on behalf of the family. |  Naharnet


The family of Lebanese citizen Hassan Salim al-Meqdad confirmed that he was detained by the Free Syrian Army, LBC [spell out] television reported on Tuesday. According to LBC, al-Meqdad’s family said that “he has been residing in Syria for around eighteen months for work. ” | Now Lebanon


Ex-Minister Michel Samaha, who has admitted to involvement in a plot to carry out bombings in Lebanon, has reportedly told investigators that the order came straight from Syrian President Bashar Assad. | Naharnet

The Foreign Ministry denied that Lebanon’s Ambassador to Damascus Michel al-Khoury left the mission’s headquarters over the deterioration in the security situation of the Syrian capital. In a statement it issued on Friday, the ministry said al-Khoury is in Beirut on a two-day administrative leave. | Naharnet


Lebanese security forces arrested Michel Samaha, a former information minister who is considered close to Syria’s embattled regime, a senior official said. Samaha was information minister in the government of Rafiq Hariri, who was killed in a massive car bombing on the Beirut seafront on February 14, 2005. | Al Arabiya


Prime Minister Najib Miqati commended the cabinet’s approval of an electoral draft law based on proportionality and thirteen electoral districts. “The cabinet’s approval came in accordance with the majority of political positions,” the National News Agency quoted Miqati. | Now Lebanon


The heated debate over Lebanon’s deportation of 14 Syrians cooled over the weekend as Damascus reportedly released all of the men, leading the opposition March 14 coalition to play down its calls for the Cabinet to resign over the issue. | Daily Star


Syrian shells hit an area in the northern district of Akkar that lies six kilometers away from the Lebanese-Syrian border at dawn Thursday, injuring two people, the National News Agency reported.| Naharnet


Prime Minister Najib Miqati promised his government’s approval of a $1.6 billion four-year plan to improve the capabilities of the Lebanese army. | Naharnet

Fatah and Islamist gunmen traded fire in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain al-Hilweh Tuesday evening after an individual dispute escalated into an armed clash, leaving six men wounded. | Daily Star


A well-funded and organized cell inside Lebanon was planning an attack on UN helicopters in the country before they were arrested..| Al Akhbar

Several families of the 11 Lebanese pilgrims abducted in Syria held a sit-in today near the junction that leads to Baabda palace. The families warned that they would escalate their measures if the men weren’t released soon | Naharnet


Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim Ali has handed the Lebanese Foreign Ministry a letter of complaint over “Lebanese violations of the Syrian border.” | Naharnet


Hezbollah has reportedly detained two of its high-ranking officials and a member of a municipality in the eastern Bekaa valley for cooperating with Israel. | Naharnet

President Barack Obama extended sanctions against entities the United States considers threatening to Lebanon's stability for another year, in what is considered a veiled reference to supporters of Hezbollah. | Naharnet

Lebanese civilians, including women and children, have been killed during Syrian border incursions and mortar bomb attacks on Lebanese soil which Syria says target rebel fighters seeking a safe haven. | Reuters

President Michel Suleiman has announced that he will resume contacts aimed at relaunching national dialogue
, noting that the parties that choose to boycott the upcoming session would be held responsible for the consequences of their decision. | Naharnet


Three Syrian men who were abducted in Baalbek were released Monday night and are now in the Lebanese army’s custody. | Naharnet

A man who was allegedly offered a sum of money by a senior official in the PSP is said to have been behind an assassination attempt in Syria against Tawhid Movement leader Wiam Wahhab. | Naharnet

The European Union turned down a request by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to blacklist Hezbollah as a terror group after last week's deadly bombing in Bulgaria. | Now Lebanon


Hezbollah has denied that it would transfer chemical weapons from Syria to Lebanon if the regime of President Bashar al-Assad collapsed. | Naharnet

A Syrian force has infiltrated the northern bordering town of Masharii al-Qaa, opening fire among the residents of the area. | Naharnet

President Michel Sleiman has asked Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour to send a letter of complaint to the Syrian authorities to object against Syrian incursions into the country. | Now Lebanon


Lebanese MP and head of Hezbollah Parliamentary Bloc Mohammed Raad has said that it is premature to discuss a national defense strategy among Lebanese rival political leaders at the national dialogue. | Daily Star

Al-Qaida is offering a $300,000 reward for the assassination of Speaker Nabih Berri and Army Chief General Jean Qahwagi. | Naharnet

Cross-border shelling, coming from Syria towards the northern border, occurred at night after a cross-border gunfire exchange occurred between the village of Dababiyeh and Halat. | Naharnet


An unknown group calling itself “Al-Rida forces” have issued a statement calling on all Syrian refugees in Lebanon to leave immediately. | Naharnet

Two Lebanese men were injured after an Israeli cluster bomb from the 2006 war exploded. | Naharnet

Four Palestinian men, who were detained in 2007 for alleged ties to Fatah al-Islam, were released today from Roumieh prison on bail. | Daily Star


The Lebanese Army was instructed to “respond to sources of fire”. This comes after Lebanese military forces were ordered by the Government on Monday to be sent to bordering areas in Northern and Northeastern Lebanese regions. Their missions include “the immediate response to sources of fire from any side it came”, according to a communiqué. | Naharnet 


Gulf investors are either “rethinking” or even “suspending” their plans to invest in Lebanon. They cite instability in Syria spilling over Lebanon, power shortage, and minimum wage hiking as major causes behind such decisions. | Reuters

Six to fifteen shells (accounts varied) fired by the Syrian regular army hit various towns in Akkar overnight, injuring one. Cross-border firing occurred repeatedly between the Lebanese-Syrian borders, linked to the Syrian crisis. | Now Lebanon


Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji stressed that the army deployment along the Lebanese-Syrian border requires time to be fully implemented, noting that the military needs a brigade of 2,000 soldiers to control the border. | Naharnet

The Cabinet withdrew the funding of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon article from the 2012 draft state budget. The government members agreed to fund the STL from outside the state budget. | Naharnet


The Cabinet approved Monday a plan to boost the presence of the Lebanese Army along the northern border with Syria and recommended expanding an investigation into the killing of a prominent anti-Assad sheikh. | Daily Star


The families of 11 Lebanese pilgrims kidnapped in Syria protested outside Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri’s residence in Beirut against the government's failure to secure their release. Following a two-hour demonstration, the crowd of about 26 men and women was allowed in for talks with Berri. | Daily Star


Security forces found an explosive device in the elevator of a building in Beirut where opposition MP Butros Harb has an office. | Naharnet


Syrian soldiers briefly kidnapped two members of Lebanon’s General Security after firing at their offices in the north of the country Monday, Lebanese security sources said. | Daily Star


United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon spokesperson Andrea Tenenti denied that the dispute which took place during the weekend between several Irish contingent troops and civilians is linked to the incidents that targeted the UNIFIL in the past few years. | Naharnet


Controversial Sheikh Ahmad Assir warned the sit-in that he and his supporters are holding on the highway in the southern coastal city of Sidon will continue until a solution to the issue of Hezbollah's arms is devised. "We will not return to our homes until a peaceful solution is found," Assir told reporters in Sidon, adding that remaining silent in the face of what he described as Hezbollah’s hegemony of arms would create strife. | Daily Star


The second round of the re-launched National Dialogue resumed at Baabda Palace where participants are discussing a national defence strategy aimed at benefiting from Hezbollah's weapons, a divisive issue among Lebanon's rival political leaders. They are also scheduled to discuss the removal of Palestinian arms from refugee camps. | Daily Star


Speaker Nabih Berri received on Thursday Palestinian official Azzam al-Ahmad, member of Fatah’s Central Committee, and reviewed with him the latest disturbances in the Palestinian refugee camps in addition to regional developments. | NOW Lebanon


Tension between Palestinians and the Lebanese army at the entrance of the refugee camp of Ain el-Hilweh reportedly left one person dead, raising Monday’s toll of clashes between the military and the residents of several shantytowns in Lebanon to two. | Naharnet


The number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon rose to 28,000 but only 20,000 of them are receiving humanitarian assistance throughout the country, the most recent update from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said. | Naharnet


The defense teams of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon argued Thursday that the U.N. Security Council abused its powers when it illegally established the court, urging the judges to find that the tribunal has no jurisdiction in the 2005 attack that killed former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. |  Daily Star


President Michel Suleiman said that the Lebanese leaders will tackle such topics as the controversial defence strategy, Hizbullah’s arsenal, and the issue of the spread of weapons across the country in addition to the armed Palestinian bases at the second round of the all-party talks. “We had to set the framework of our agenda at the first session,” Suleiman said. | Naharnet News


The conflict in Syria continues to displace thousands of people each week. As many as 100,000 have fled to neighbouring countries. About 25,000 are in Lebanon, where local residents struggle to help them survive. | Ya Libnan


President Michel Suleiman, former Premier Saad Hariri, Transportation and Public Works Minister Ghazi al-Aridi, and Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awadh Asiri denied LBC’s report on Monday on their meeting with Saudi King Abdullah in Riyadh held earlier in June. | Naharnet News

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat has admitted that he conspired with Syria and Iran against a Qatari-Turkish initiative, forcing the collapse of ex-Premier Saad Hariri’s government in early 2011. “I carried out the coup along with Premier (Najib) Miqati,” Jumblat told 16 leaders meeting at Baabda palace under President Michel Suleiman at the national dialogue session. “We conspired with Syria and Iran against the Qatari-Turkish initiative.” | Naharnet News

Rival political leaders agreed during their first National Dialogue session in over 18 months to commit themselves to dialogue and political, security and media pacification as well as avoid speeches that fuel sectarian incitement. | Daily Star


Tripoli witnessed a relatively calm weekend as civil society groups pushed for peace in the northern coastal city, where at least 14 were killed in recent armed clashes between armed opponents and supporters of President Bashar Assad. | Daily Star


Lebanon's tourism minister said the crucial summer tourism season would not be badly damaged by growing domestic unrest and turmoil in neighboring Syria, and forecast revenues this year of about $7 billion, similar to last year’s. | Reuters


Vice President of the Higher Shiite Council Sheikh Abdul-Amir Qabalan urged Turkey to intensify efforts to release 11 Lebanese pilgrims kidnapped in Syria last month. | Daily Star


Syrian border guards abducted Lebanese national Khaled Faisal al-Moussa, 32 years old, from his house in Wadi Khaled’s town of Khat al-Batrol. | NOW Lebanon


Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri praised the Kataeb party’s announcement that it will participate in the national dialogue scheduled to relaunch on June 11. | Daily Star

MAY 31

Prime Minister Mikati travelled to Turkey as part of the latest efforts to resolve a hostage situation that threatens to drag Lebanon further into the Syria crisis. | National

MAY 30

President Michel Sleiman said that the issue of the Lebanese pilgrims kidnapped in Syria was “shrouded in vagueness,” and he voiced hope that efforts made by the Lebanese government to resolve the matter will be fruitful. | NOW Lebanon

MAY 29

Responding to President Michel Sleiman’s invitation to convene all-party talks on June 11, the opposition March 14 coalition is prepared to participate in the national dialogue so long as its previously stated condition that the government resign is met, a Future Movement MP said. | Daily Star

MAY 24

A Syrian Islamist sheikh said that he was mediating the release of Lebanese Shiite men kidnapped in Syria two days ago. "They are well and safe, we are trying to secure their release, but the Syrian army shelling of the area has been blocking it so far," Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zoaby, head of Free People of Syria group said. | Daily Star

MAY 23

Hezbollah and the Lebanese government said they were hopeful that 13 Lebanese men who had been abducted by rebels in Syria while returning from a pilgrimage in Iran would be freed soon. | Daily Star

MAY 22

Thousands of people flocked to northern Lebanon for the funeral of a cleric who opposed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and whose killing triggered clashes in Beirut and raised fears that the Syrian crisis was spilling across the border. There was a tense calm in Beirut following overnight clashes between pro- and anti-Syrian Sunni Muslim groups, in which two people died and 18 were wounded. | Al Jazeera

MAY 18

Nabih Berri said that his suggestion on resuming the national dialogue should focus on discussing the situation in the northern city of Tripoli. Jumblat welcomed Berri’s suggestion, expressing hope that launching dialogue over the recent developments in Tripoli would set the agenda for broader talks. He stressed that he is keen to maintain the good and strategic relations with the speaker as he is the “guarantee for stability and dialogue.” | Naharnet

MAY 17

One person was killed and five were wounded in fresh clashes between pro- and anti-Syrian regime districts in the north Lebanon port city of Tripoli, a security official said. | Al Arabiya

MAY 15

The Lebanese army deployed in sectors of Tripoli affected by clashes, calming the area after three days of sectarian fighting that killed nine people. | Al Arabiya

MAY 14

Intermittent clashes continued Monday between opponents and supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad in the northern city of Tripoli, leaving one man killed and several other people wounded. | Daily Star

An Iranian Energy Ministry official said over the weekend that Iran would begin providing Lebanon with electricity next week, according to the website of Press TV, an Iranian state-owned television station. | Daily Star

MAY 11

The United States is urging Lebanese banks to take "extra" caution in handling financial transactions with Syria, to prevent the Assad regime and its supporters from stashing money abroad, a senior Treasury official said Thursday. | Naharnet

The defence teams for the four Hezbollah members indicted in the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri have filed preliminary motions challenging the jurisdiction of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the U.N.-backed court announced Thursday. | Daily Star

MAY 10

Lebanon has not made much-needed efforts to reduce the country’s debt after a significant drop in economic growth, the deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund Nemat Shafik. | Daily Star


A special U.N.-backed court probing the car bomb killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, said Wednesday it will allow 58 victims to take part in the case against the four accused. | Al Arabiya

Syrian forces shot volleys of machine-gun fire across the Lebanese border Wednesday, killing a 70-year-old woman in the border village of Joura, east Lebanon. | Daily Star


President Michel Sleiman said that the upcoming 2013 parliamentary elections “will take place” within the constitutional time limit. Sleiman told reporters: “The parliamentary elections will take place according to the constitutional schedule.” | NOW Lebanon


U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman held talks with President Michel Suleiman and scheduled to meet with Premier Najib Miqati, a day after he reportedly reminded Lebanese officials that Lebanon has financial and humanitarian obligations towards Syrian refugees. | Naharnet News


A visiting U.S. delegation, headed by U.S. official Jeffrey Feltman, inspected the Lebanon-Syria border in an effort to facilitate the entry of a U.N. monitoring team into Homs, Syria. | Daily Star


Hezbollah official Ammar Musawi praised the Lebanese army Tuesday for its recent seizure of a Syria-bound illegal arms shipment and urged the authorities to prevent Lebanon from turning into a conduit of destruction toward its neighbor. | Daily Star

The General Labor Confederation (GLC) is setting the stage for the general strike set for May 3 to press the government to subsidize the price of gasoline and improve social and medical benefits for the working class in Lebanon. | al Bawaba


An initiative launched by Speaker Nabih Berri on the adoption of proportional representation is likely to collapse after Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat reiterated that he rejects proportionality. Berri’s initiative calls for the adoption of that type of representation by considering Lebanon a single district in the 2013 parliamentary elections. | Naharnet News


The government approved today a mechanism that would allow Lebanese expatriates to vote in the 2013 parliamentary elections. | Naharnet

Israel is to start building a wall along part of its border with Lebanon to shield the northern town of Metulla. It said the wall aims at preventing clashes between Israeli and Lebanese border forces. | Daily Star


Lebanese expatriates are waiting for the cabinet decision on the mechanism that would allow them to cast their ballots in the 2013 elections. | Naharnet News

The residents of Tyre staged a sit-in at the site of the explosion which rocked a restaurant in the southern Lebanese town, the National News Agency reported. “What happened [was] a barbaric act… which aims at damaging the mark of distinction of Tyre,” the organizers of the sit-in said in a statement. | NOW Lebanon


Lebanon’s former prime minister and Future bloc leader Fouad Siniora and the Lebanese Forces called Sunday for the formation of a neutral cabinet of technocrats to supervise the 2013 parliamentary elections. | Ya Libnan


United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly denied any plans to set up refugee camps for the Syrians in Lebanon, praising the Lebanese authorities’ commitment to the humanitarian needs of the displaced. | Naharnet


Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat rejected a proposal made by Speaker Nabih Berri to consider Lebanon a single electoral district in a proportional representation law that would be adopted in the upcoming parliamentary elections and lead to the establishment of a senate. | Naharnet


The Lebanese government rejected an international request for UN observers in Syria to use the Qoleiat Air Base for logistical purposes. | NOW Lebanon


A variety of Lebanese websites, mainly government-related, were hacked overnight by a group calling itself “Raise Your Voice,” demanding better living conditions. Several ministry websites—those of Foreign Affairs, Justice and Energy—are still inaccessible today and visitors to the sites are greeted by a message addressed to the government from “Raise Your Voice,” which calls for a popular movement by people to demand their rights. | Daily Star


During his official visit to Australia, President Michel Suleiman told the Arab ambassadors that he is seriously concerned about the unrest in Syria and warned that the violence might spread to Lebanon, the National News Agency reported on Monday. | Ya Libnan


The Lebanese government could be headed toward a spending crisis if extra-budgetary expenditures are not legalized over the next couple of weeks, a Finance Ministry source said. | Daily Star

Over 100 people gathered in Beirut Friday to repeat their demands for the truth behind the thousands of people who went missing during Lebanon’s 1975-90 Civil War. “After 37 years, we still want to know the fate of our families ... [and of those] who disappeared in the war,” said Wadad Halwani, the organizer of the demonstration held at Riad Solh square in the capital. | Daily Star


A surge in government revenues reduced Lebanon’s fiscal deficit by LL291 billion during the first two months of 2012 compared to the same period last year, the Finance Ministry reported Wednesday. However, a closer look at the budget shows inconsistency in the year-over-year reporting of telecoms revenues. | Daily Star


Lebanon is delaying tenders for offshore exploratory drilling as it sets up an oil and gas oversight committee, but seismic tests suggest increasingly large potential gas reserves, Energy and Water Minister Gebran Bassil said. | Daily Star


A cameraman for Lebanon's Al-Jadeed television channel was shot dead on Monday near Lebanon's northern border with Syria, the television channel said. | Reuters


Hezbollah’s decision to maintain its critical alliance with Syria has risked Hezbollah’s standing and its attempts to build pan-Islamic ties in Lebanon and the wider Arab world. Though Hezbollah’s base in Lebanon remains strong, it runs an increasing risk of finding itself isolated. | New York Times

The body of an Ethiopian domestic worker was found in her hospital room in Lebanon after she reportedly hanged herself. Four days prior to her suicide, a video was released online of her being mistreated by a Lebanese man outside the Ethiopian consulate in Beirut. The video release and Dechasa’s suicide have highlighted the issue of workers’ treatment in Lebanon and put pressure on the government to approve a new law for foreign workers. | Al Arabiya


The cabinet failed on Tuesday to approve a request from the social affairs ministry to allocate LL100 million to provide more humanitarian assistance to the Syrian refugees who have fled the deadly crackdown by the regime on protestors. | Naharnet News

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt informed Prime Minister Najib Mikati through a special envoy that he will withdraw his bloc’s ministers from the cabinet if the latter approves of an electoral law based on proportionality. Lebanese parties are debating the electoral law for the upcoming 2013 parliamentary elections. | NOW Lebanon


President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon Judge Sir David Baragwanath informed President Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister Najib Miqati that the trials will begin before the end of the year, An Nahar newspaper reported on Tuesday. According to the daily, Baragwanath expressed relief over the work of the STL, praising the Lebanese authorities’ cooperation with the court. | Naharnet News


Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said in remarks published Monday that the 1960 election law is a step backward and voiced support for the adoption of proportional representation in the country’s upcoming 2013 parliamentary elections. | Daily Star

Senior Fatah commander Maj. Gen. Mounir Maqdah stressed on Monday that the trade of weapons in Lebanon flourished after the Syrian regime began cracking down on protestors in March last year. | Naharnet News


In south Lebanon, hundreds of Palestinian refugees gathered near the historic Beaufort Castle to commemorate Land Day. Roadside banners proclaimed: "Jerusalem, here we come!" Large numbers of Lebanese troops were deployed in the area and barbed wire was erected to ensure no one approached the flashpoint frontier. | Daily Star


A strategic review of the United Nations’ peacekeeping operations in Lebanon called for increased involvement of the government in security operations in the south, a stronger Lebanese Army and possibly a future force reduction. | Daily Star


Dozens of international delegations comprising hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists began arriving in Lebanon on Wednesday, ahead of massive protests planned for Land Day, which commemorates the 1976 deaths of six Israeli Arabs protesting Israeli government land policies. Plans have been announced in the Arab world calling for protest marches up to the Israeli border. | Haaretz


Armed “terrorist groups” in Syria have been receiving weapons from supporters in Lebanon and other states along the Syrian border, Damascus said in a complaint to the United Nations released on Monday. | Ya Libnan


Israel has asked Lebanon, via intermediaries, to prevent Land Day protests from reaching its border, Haaretz reported Monday, adding that the Jewish state suspects Iranian involvement in the planned march. The newspaper also said that the forum of “eight senior cabinet ministers will consider security preparations in Israel and the [occupied] West Bank when they meet [Monday].” | Daily Star

Lebanon welcomes U.S. mediation to help resolve the maritime dispute between Israel and Lebanon, Foreign Affairs Minister Adnan Mansour told a local daily in an interview published Saturday. | Daily Star


The Obama administration decided to resume its military assistance to Lebanon although by Thursday there was not yet any official confirmation about the decision, As Safir daily said. | Naharnet News

The People's Republic of China has offered the Lebanese government a donation worth $7.5 million for funding economic projects, the National News Agency reported. An agreement pertaining to the donation was inked between the head of the Development and Construction Council, Nabil al-Jisr, and Chinese Ambassador to Lebanon Wu Zexian. | NOW Lebanon


U.S. Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen said he warned Lebanese officials against allowing Syria or Iran to use their country to evade international sanctions. | Naharnet News


Hundreds of Hezbollah fighters have been receiving training in the use of advanced anti-aircraft weapons in Syria and Iran in recent months, an Israeli newspaper reported over the weekend, in a development the Israeli military says could jeopardize the Jewish state’s aerial supremacy. | Daily Star


President Michel Suleiman received on Thursday United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon’s “strategic revision” of the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon. The six-page report is aimed at guaranteeing that the international force will be able to complete its peacekeeping mission in Lebanon. | Naharnet


Civil society activists on Wednesday took center stage during the rally organized by the March 14 forces to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the “Cedar Revolution” in 2005. | Ya Libnan


France will cut the number of its troops participating in a U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon to around 1,000 by the summer to speed up a transfer of responsibility to Lebanese forces, the French foreign ministry said on Tuesday. | Ya Libnan


Prime Minister Najib Mikati confirmed that the Lebanese Army had uncovered a subversive cell within its ranks that had plotted to attack military bases. “The Lebanese Army has arrested [members] of the cell and gave the investigation it had conducted to the relevant judiciary,” Mikati told reporters. | Daily Star


Lebanon decided not to join a meeting set to discuss support for the Syrian regime, which is expected to be held in the upcoming few days in Tehran, the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat reported on Monday. The Iranian Foreign Ministry invited Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria to join the conference on March 18. | Naharnet


Lebanon rejected a U.S. call to protect all Syrians who have fled across the border into Lebanese territory, including members of an armed opposition fighting forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour, who is close to the pro-Syrian Amal faction, responded sharply. “Lebanon cannot heed such a request ... Lebanon does not act upon a request, but out of self-interest for the country’s security,” he said, according to Reuters. | Al Arabiya

Syrian authorities demanded Lebanon officially on Friday to hand over the armed Syrian nationals that sought refuge in the eastern Bekaa area over the weekend. The Syrian Justice Ministry sent an official request to the Lebanese authorities demanding them to “hand over the armed groups that were detained in Lebanon,” informed sources told the daily. | Naharnet News


U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly said he will travel to New York soon to participate in the Security Council meeting earmarked for discussion of the latest report on Resolution 1701. | Daily Star


Rival March 8 and March 14 parties have engaged in a war of words Tuesday as the dispute over extra-budgetary spending estimated at around $22 billion in the past six years has worsened, further widening the political divide between the two sides. | Daily Star


The international community has been exerting pressure on the Lebanese government to protect Syrian refugees and provide them with humanitarian assistance after the U.N. refugee agency had announced that as many as 2,000 Syrians crossed into Lebanon over the last two days. The international community has also asked Lebanese authorities not to hand over refugees to the Syrian regime if it asks for their repatriation because their lives could be under threat. | Naharnet News


Rival protests, one against and one in support of the Syrian regime, were held in downtown Beirut. The protest in support of the Syrian regime was held by Baath Party supporters while the protest against the regime was called for by Salafi Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir. | NOW Lebanon

Social Affairs Minister Wael Abou Faour has said around 2,000 people entered from Syria into Lebanon in one day, escaping the deadly crackdown by the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad on protesters. Abou Faour has claimed that 10 percent are families while the rest are youth. There are now over 7,000 Syrian refugees registered with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and the Higher Relief Council in northern Lebanon. | Naharnet News


According to a Lebanese security source, the prosecutor of the U.N.-backed tribunal investigating the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik al-Hariri has issued a new indictment adding a fifth name to a list of suspects in the 2005 attack. The source said the fifth person was a military member of the militant group Hezbollah and that it is possible that a sixth person, also from Hezbollah, could be added to the list. | Reuters

Speaker Nabih Berri has revealed that he told Cypriot leaders that “Lebanon will not accept any agreement between Cyprus and Israel that could harm Lebanon’s oil interests” on his return from diplomatic talks in Cyprus. The Lebanese Parliament in August 2010 passed an oil exploration bill, which calls for the establishment of a treasury and a committee to oversee exploration and drilling off the coast of Lebanon. | Now Lebanon


The cabinet is expected to tackle during its session next week a decree set to organize the country’s natural resources sector, and swiftly appoint the members of the committee tasked with administrating the oil sector. “For the first time in history we have studies that estimate the quantities (of oil wealth in our offshores), and they are huge. They are enough to secure the future of the coming generations,” Energy Minister Jebran Bassil told As Safir newspaper on Thursday. | Naharnet

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced Wednesday that Norman Farrell will be the new Special Tribunal for Lebanon prosecutor. Farrell takes over the position from Daniel Bellemare, who had served as prosecutor since 2009 and announced last year that, for health reasons, he would resign at end of February. | Daily Star


The head of the Syrian National Council Burhan Ghalioun was quoted as saying that Syria’s main opposition group would not have any problem dealing with Hezbollah if the party supported a democratic change in Syria. “There are no permanent enmities in politics as there are no permanent friendships. Alliances are built on goals. We want to achieve our goals. If Hezbollah decided to support the democratic process in Syria, there would not be any barrier [to dealing with it]”. | Daily Star


Prime Minister Najib Miqati has stressed the importance of renewing the national dialogue to dissociate Lebanon from regional turmoil while maintaining the importance of Lebanon remaining neutral over the Syrian crisis. | Naharnet


Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn held talks in Iran Sunday concerning defense cooperation and warned Israel that it would suffer another defeat if it attacked Lebanon. Ghosn, currently on an official visit to Tehran, met Sunday with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who told him that Lebanon and Iran should work toward unity to confront the West and Israel, Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported. | Daily Star

President Michel Suleiman has stressed that constructive dialogue is the only solution to resolve cabinet problems as Prime Minister Najib Miqati called for a productive government. The cabinet reconvened for the first time in almost four weeks in the presence of newly appointed Labor Minister Salim Jreissati. | Naharnet


On Wednesday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon renewed the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s mandate for three years. The court’s current three-year mandate was set to expire on February 29. “The secretary-general reaffirms the commitment of the United Nations to the efforts of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon to uncover the truth regarding the terrorist attack that took the lives of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 22 others so as to bring those responsible to justice and send a message that impunity will not be tolerated,” a U.N. spokesperson said. | Daily Star


Foreign Affairs Minister Adnan Mansour has said that Lebanon will not attend the Friends of Syria conference due to be held in Tunisia Friday due to the country's disassociation policy from the conflict in neighbouring Syria. | Daily Star


Hizbollah Chief Hassan Nasrallah has accused the March 14 alliance of funding and transferring weapons to Syria’s opposition while leaving the door open to dialogue without pre-conditions. Nasrallah further reiterated his support to President Bashar Assad and accused Western and Arab states of seeking to topple the embattled leader, who he said had put forward a series of political reforms that could end the crisis. | Al Manar; Daily Star

U.S. State Department special coordinator on Middle East affairs Frederick Hof and a Cypriot Foreign Ministry Official have held talks with Lebanese officials to resolve the dispute over Lebanon’s maritime borders in order to start excavating for its natural resources. Lebanon has been slow to exploit its maritime resources compared with other eastern Mediterranean countries. But the government has warned that it will not give up its maritime rights and accuses Israel of violating its waters, territory and air space. | Naharnet


Syria’s envoy to Lebanon Ali Abdel-Karim Ali has stated that Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour has congratulated Syria on its recently issued new constitution and calls for a referendum made yesterday. Asked how the referendum in Syria could take place given the violence, Ali said most of Syria enjoyed stability and security and “the clean-up process of most unstable spots is going well and security is returning quickly.” | Daily Star


Prime Minister Najib Miqati has said that the chief prosecutor of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Daniel Bellemare, will submit a new revised indictment before leaving office at the end of February. He added that the new charge sheet concerns information on attacks against three veteran Lebanese politicians that were linked to former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri's assassination. The three politicians are: George Hawi, ex-leader of the Lebanese Communist Party who was killed in a car bomb in June 2005; former defense minister Elias Murr, who survived a car bomb in July 2005; and MP Marwan Hamadeh, who escaped an attempt on his life in 2004. | Naharnet


Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour discussed with Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun the latest Arab League decision to ask the United Nations for a joint Arab-U.N. peacekeeping force in Syria. Mansour stressed that Lebanon expressed reservations about the initiative “because it included dangerous articles that don’t come in harmony with Lebanon’s stance.” | Naharnet

On the seventh anniversary of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, many questions remain unanswered and many wounds still remain fresh. | VOA


U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has sent a “secret letter” to President Michel Sleiman asking for Lebanon’s comments by Feb. 15 on a plan to extend the mandate of a U.N.-backed court investigating the death of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri for another three years. According to a senior political source, Ban’s letter, which requires the government to meet to give a response, was at the root of Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s decision earlier this month to suspend the Cabinet’s sessions. | Daily Star

Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour slammed an Arab League resolution calling for greater cooperation with the Syrian opposition, warning that it would only bring further instability to Lebanon. In his address, Mansour also denounced proposals to recognize the Syrian National Council as the representative of the Syrian people. | Daily Star


Lebanese army tanks and personnel carriers have been deployed in the towns of Hnaider and Knaisseh on the northern and north-eastern border with Syria in an effort to curb arms smuggling. The army stated that it is “keen on protecting the residents of northern areas against any attack on their lives or their properties no matter what the source was in parallel with its firm decision to prevent the spread of arms inside Lebanese territories.” | Naharnet

Prime Minister Najib Miqati reiterated that cabinet sessions will remain suspended unless he receives promises from ministers that they will be productive, demanding those who don’t want to abide by the government’s decisions resign. He said “I have set a basic rule: you either implement the cabinet’s decisions or if you don’t want to abide by them resign”. | Naharnet


Premier Najib Miqati and Speaker Nabih Berri have refused to launch an initiative to resolve the current cabinet crisis involving Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun. Miqati’s sources stated that the PM can no longer tolerate the way ministers loyal to Aoun are dealing with him. “He wants to reorganize the relationship between him and the different components of the government,” the sources said but stressed that “he won’t make the initiative to contact any team to resolve the cabinet crisis.” | Naharnet


Lebanese authorities detained two Lebanese nationals today, on charges of smuggling weapons into Syria through the eastern border town of Arsal. Over the weekend, the army searched northern villages bordering Syria following information it received about the presence of armed groups in Lebanon belonging to the Free Syrian Army. | Naharnet


Special Tribunal for Lebanon spokesman Marten Youssef has stated his expectation that trials in absentia against four men, linked to Hezbollah, and accused of involvement in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, will kick off at the end of 2012. Youssef revealed that the date will be set in April by Pre-Trial Judge Daniel Fransen, urging the four suspects to appear before the court. | Naharnet

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun has denied that he has been obstructing government activity, accusing Prime Minister Najib Miqati of abusing his power when he decided to suspend cabinet sessions. Aoun said that “The president and prime minister are taking turns in confronting me. We will not be blackmailed or intimidated and I will topple the government at the appropriate time.” A dispute between President Michel Suleiman and FPM leader MP Michel Aoun over shares allotted to Christians has prevented consensus over administrative appointments, leaving several high-ranking posts vacant. | Naharnet


The Trial Chamber of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon has decided to try the four men accused of the February 14, 2005 attack in their absence. The Trial Chamber examined numerous documents from the Tribunal's Prosecutor and the Lebanese Prosecutor-General, which detail the steps taken by the Lebanese authorities to apprehend the accused and inform them about the proceedings. The Trial Chamber concluded that all reasonable steps have been taken to secure the appearance of the Hezbollah-associated accused and to notify them of the charges against them. | Special Tribunal for Lebanon

U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon ad interim Robert Watkins said today that Hezbollah has stressed the need to continue its dialogue with the world body. In remarks to al-Mustaqbal daily, Watkins said that despite the party’s frustration with some of the remarks made by U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon during his visit to Beirut last month, Hezbollah has expressed its respect for the integrity of the U.N. and the necessity to keep the dialogue open. | Naharnet


The head of the EU delegation to Beirut, Angelina Eichhorst, has told a local newspaper that it is essential to keep Lebanon isolated from unrest in the region and said she expects European countries to increase their economic support to Lebanon. | Daily Star

The March 14 General Secretariat praised the Syrian National Council’s open letter to the Lebanese people, saying that a free and independent Syria’s recognition of a sovereign Lebanon is the only way to rebuild solid Lebanese-Syrian ties based on trust and cooperation.| Naharnet


The Lebanese Forces parliamentary bloc urged the government on Monday to take a firm stand against Syria’s repeated violations of Lebanon’s sovereignty in the North and Bekaa. It said in a statement: “The government should also uncover the fate of Lebanese who recently went missing in Syria, as well as the fate of Lebanese prisoners in Syrian jails.” | Naharnet


Investigations into the alleged assassination attempt on the head of the Internal Security Forces Intelligence Branch, Col. Wissam al-Hassan, has revealed that Speaker Nabih Berri and Progressive Socialist Party MP Walid Jumblat may also be targeted. An Nahar Daily reported that security agencies urged Berri and Jumblat to take precautions as they move to and from their residences. | Naharnet


Special Tribunal for Lebanon Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare met today with Interior Minister Marwan Charbel and other security officials on the final day of a farewell visit to Lebanon. | Daily Star


President Michel Suleiman has emphasized that regional developments should motivate the Lebanese people to fortify the country’s democratic system at a time when the excavation of so far untapped oil and gas reserves could boost the economy. | Naharnet


On Tuesday, Special Tribunal for Lebanon Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare met with senior officials including Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Foreign Minister Adnoun Mansour during a farewell visit. In December, the Canadian judge announced that he would resign from his position when the U.N.-backed court’s first three-year mandate expired in March due to health related issues. | Daily Star


Special Tribunal for Lebanon Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare is expected to hold a series of talks with Lebanese officials during a two-day farewell visit to Beirut on Thursday. Bellemare will discuss with Interior Minister Marwan Charbel the results of the investigations carried out by the Lebanese security agencies on issues linked to the court’s work. | Naharnet


A U.S. diplomatic source said today that the decision of Premier Najib Miqati’s government to remain neutral on the Syrian crisis is the best formula to preserve stability in Lebanon. | Naharnet

As-Safir newspaper has reported that the fingerprint records of more than four million Lebanese have fallen into the hands of a private French company associated with the Israeli military establishment. Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said that whilst he had no knowledge of the partnership between the French and Israeli firms he would look into the issue and take the necessary measures to verify the authenticity of the report. | Daily Star


Interior Minister Marwan Charbel denied on Thursday that the investigators of the U.N.-backed court probing the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri requested the fingerprint records of some Lebanese citizens. | Naharnet

Hezbollah has denied accusations that it shelled the Syrian area of al-Zabadani with Katyusha rockets, dismissing such claims as “silly and laughable” attempts to incite the public against the party. | Naharnet


U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly has held talks with Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun concerning Lebanese apprehension over the current situation in Syria. Connelly stressed after the meeting the U.S. desire that “developments in Syria not contribute to instability in Lebanon.” | Naharnet


Phalange party leader Amin Gemayel confirmed on Tuesday that he disagreed with his allies in the March 14 forces on the situation in Syria, saying Lebanon had no interest in involving itself in Syrian domestic affairs. | Naharnet

President Michel Sleiman vowed today to resume all-party talks regarding the contentious issue of Hezbollah’s weapons. In a speech delivered to the diplomatic corps, Sleiman stated: “I underscore my intention to continue efforts to provide the necessary conditions for the resumption of dialogue between the various parties and to make every effort to agree on a defence strategy for Lebanon,” | Daily Star


U.N. leader Ban Ki-moon stated that he had no doubt the Lebanese government would continue to respect its obligations towards the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on arrival in Beirut this Friday. In an interview with An Nahar Daily, Moon further urged Lebanon to take measures to protect itself from the threat of international terrorism and resume the National Dialogue to resolve the dispute on “illegitimate arms.” | Naharnet; Naharnet

Al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Friday that Prime Minister Najib Miqati held a meeting with Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah during the Christmas period to discuss issues related to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Nasrallah has been highly critical of Miqati’s decision last year to transfer $32 million to the STL, dismissing the court as a U.S.-Israeli conspiracy against his party. | Naharnet


Lebanon's foreign minister said Thursday that Libya has agreed to cooperate with his country to determine the fate of a top Shiite cleric whose disappearance in 1978 has been blamed on former Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi. | MSNBC


Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour announced earlier today that he expects to receive information concerning the fate of Shia Imam Moussa al-Sadr during his visit to Libya, the first official visit of a Lebanese Foreign Minister to Libya in several decades. Al-Sadr mysteriously disappeared when visiting the country in 1978. | Naharnet

The General Secretariat of the March 14 coalition has urged the regional and international communities to take action against the Syrian regime to prevent further bloodshed following Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s defiant speech on Tuesday. | Naharnet


Consultations lead by Hezbollah are underway between Lebanon’s main political forces in an attempt to coordinate positions ahead of U.N. Chief Ban Ki-moon’s visit to the country on Friday. The issue of oil exploration, the renewal of the protocol signed between the Lebanese government and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the situation in southern Lebanon and the repercussions of the Syrian crisis are to be principle topics of discussion. | Naharnet

Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri has accused Bashar al-Assad of being in “denial” over events in Syria following the Syrian President’s televised speech on Tuseday. | Naharnet


The cabinet on Wednesday approved the executive decrees for the law on oil excavation in Lebanon’s territorial waters. The approval of the decrees opens the door for the Cabinet to draw tenders to start oil exploration off the Lebanese coast. | Daily Star


Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt called on Russia and Iran to convince their ally, Syria, that a fundamental change in the regime is the only solution for the current unrest there. | Daily Star


A Hezbollah delegation warned after meeting Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai Monday that the turmoil in Syria could spill over into Lebanon and called on rival Lebanese factions not to interfere in internal Syrian affairs. | Daily Star


State security forces are closely monitoring the southern Palestinian refugee camp of Ain el-Hilweh after the assassination of a bodyguard of Mahmoud Issa, head of the Palestinian Armed Struggle. The government also claims to have information regarding recent attacks against UNIFIL personnel. | Naharnet; Daily Star


Hezbollah rebuffed accusations of its involvement in attacks against UNIFIL forces, affirming it has an interest in Lebanon's stability, particularly in the south. Senior Lebanese and Israeli military officials have meanwhile met to discuss recent developments along the southern border. | Daily Star; Daily Star


Hezbollah condemned allegations of its involvement in attacks on UNIFL forces last week. | Naharnet


Hezbollah and Amal said they were committed to the role of the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon, just days after a roadside bomb wounded five French peacekeepers near the southern city of Tyre earlier this week. | Naharnet


Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea accuses Hezbollah of having played a role in the bomb attack against UNIFIL soldiers that injured six French soldiers. The French government has responded by announcing a reduction in UNIFIL troops. | Daily Star; Naharnet


U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman arrived in Beirut to discuss the situation in Syria, Israel's security, and the STL. He is scheduled to meet President Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister Najib Mikati on Wednesday. | Daily Star


Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, who has rarely been seen in public since the 2006 war with Israel, spoke in Beirut promising Hezbollah will retain arms. | BBC


The Foreign Ministry accuses Israel of violating its sovereignty and UNSC resolution 1701 after Israel's shelling of villages in response to missile fire by an allegedly Palestinian jihadi movement, and files official complaint with the UN. | Naharnet

The issue of "false witnesses" who allegedly misled UN prosecutors in their investigation on the assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri is back on the political agenda. Prime Minister Najib Mikati, however, told reporters that it is yet too early to decide how to tackle the issue. | Naharnet


Residents of the border town of Arsal in the eastern Bekaa held a rally on Friday to condemn the Syrian regime’s crackdown on protesters in Syria, holding Turkish and pre-Baath Syrian republican flags. | Daily Star

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt stressed that he holds onto his alliance with PM Najib Mikati, refuting reports about his change in position. | Naharnet


Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea called on Hezbollah to recognize the STL and extradite the four Hezbollah suspects accused by the court to the Hague. Meanwhile, Walid Jumblatt responded harshly to March 14’s decision to transfer funds to the tribunal. | Naharnet; Naharnet


The government announced it is committing to its financial obligation to the STL, therefore averting the collapse of the Hezbollah-led March 8 government. March 14 lauded the decision. | Daily Star; Naharnet

The Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack on Israel last Monday. The group is an Al-Qaeda-inspired organization with a branch in Lebanon and that supports the uprising in Syria against Bashar al-Assad. | Daily Star


An Al-Qaeda-affiliated Palestinian group fired missiles into Israel overnight, prompting Israeli troops to fire artillery shells into Lebanon. No casualties or injuries have been reported. | Daily Star; Haaretz

As STL head Sir David Baragwanath affirms the tribunal is supported by Lebanese officials, the Hezbollah Minister of State says his party will be present for the upcoming government vote regarding the court’s funding. He also expressed faith in the Mikati government despite alleged aims by March 8 to find a successor should the current Prime Minister resign. | Daily Star; Naharnet; Daily Star


Relatives of jailed Islamists protested in Beirut against the length of current prison sentences. | Daily Star

Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem accused the West of attempting to overthrow the Syrian government. Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad thanked Russia and China for their positions toward Assad, and Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun slammed foreign media for biased reporting of the crisis. | Tehran Times; Daily Star; Naharnet


Marada Movement leader Suleiman Franjieh condemned the Arab League decision to suspend Syrian membership. In the wake of the vote, security measures are heightened for embassies of Arab and Western countries to prevent potential attacks by Assad loyalists inside Lebanon. | Daily Star; Daily Star


Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah castigated UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon over his report on Lebanon in which he indirectly called for the disarmament of Hezbollah. | Daily Star


Two explosions in Tyre on Wednesday destroyed two buildings in which the sale of liquor was the alleged reason for the attacks. It is also suspected that UNIFIL personnel were being targeted. | Daily Star

The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urged the army to ensure security in accordance to resolution 1701 and to disarm armed Palestinian factions. | Naharnet


Walid Jumblatt believes that funding the STL is in the country's highest national interest. He also commented that the escalation of violence in Syria should be addressed through the framework of the Arab League. | Daily Star

Lebanon’s vote against the suspension of Syrian membership from the Arab League has left the cabinet in disarray. | Daily Star


Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah said that any war against Syria or Iran would reverberate “throughout the entire region". Nasrallah also proposed that funding for the STL should be paid only by those who support it. | Daily Star

Future Movement leader Saad Hariri supports the Arab League move to suspend Syrian membership while criticizing the Lebanese government for voting against the decision. | Daily Star


Future Movement leader Saad Hariri seeks to overthrow the Mikati government prior to 2013 parliamentary elections. Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea meanwhile affirmed that March 14 is ready to assume power. | Daily Star; Naharnet

U.S. Treasury Assistant Secretary Daniel Glaser says Lebanon should protect its financial sector from potential attempts by Syria to evade sanctions. | Daily Star


In response to calls by Future Movement MP Fouad Siniora for Hezbollah to disarm, Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun said to wait until a strong national army is in place. Also, as Hezbollah has made clear its intention to refuse funding for the STL, PM Mikati calls for a cabinet vote to decide. | Daily Star; Daily Star


Prime Minister Najib Mikati said in a BBC interview that Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has never said "no" to funding the STL. Mikati reiterated his support for the STL and refuted the rumour that he would step down in the event that Hezbollah and its allies block the funding of the court. | Naharnet

Prime Minister Najib Mikati confirms report that Syrian opposition members have been kidnapped in Lebanon, but contends that the incidents took place before his government was installed. | Al Ahram


Future Movement MP Fouad Siniora set preconditions for holding talks on a national defence strategy, arguing that the issue of Hezbollah's arms should be discussed first. | Naharnet

Parliament approved a bill allowing the return of Lebanese who fled to Israel in the wake of its withdrawal from south Lebanon in May 2000. | Daily Star

Procedures for the STL are moving forward in light of the advanced stage illness of STL Prosecutor Judge Daniel Bellemare, whose term will end in February 2012. | Naharnet


The Army pledged to “intervene immediately” upon any violation of its territorial integrity and to prevent weapons from entering Syria through its borders. | Daily Star

Druze leader Talal Arslan expressed his support for President Assad following a meeting with the Syrian president. | Daily Star


A Syrian national has been arrested on charges of smuggling weapons into Syria at Beirut International Airport. | Naharnet
Security forces, UNIFIL and Hezbollah personnel are searching for an Israeli drone that crashed in South Lebanon over the weekend. | Daily Star


Hezbollah and FPM officials denied reports of alleged tension between the two parties, with Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad calling the rumors “fabrications”. | Daily Star

Three Syrians were reportedly kidnapped in Beirut on Thursday. The news comes shortly after Lebanese internal security presented a report implicating Syrian Embassy personnel in the abduction of two other Syrians kidnapped in the country earlier this month. | Daily Star


In a meeting on October 8 with Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, Syrian President Assad expressed he is not opposed to funding STL. | Daily Star

During talks with Future Movement leader Saad Hariri, Prime Minister Najib Mikati “insists” on continuing funding the STL despite consistent objections by Hezbollah. | Naharnet


March 14 parties clashed with the ruling government over its decision to deny the appointment of an Internal Security Forces (ISF) official. | Daily Star

EU Ambassador Angelina Eichhorst hinted at the possibility of imposing sanctions if the government fails to commit financially to the STL. She also expressed her concern about the situation in Syria and the destabilizing effects it might have on Lebanon. | Daily Star

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Jake Walles met with government officials. Walles stressed that Lebanon must meet all of its international obligations, including funding of the STL. | Naharnet


March 14 parties clashed with the ruling government over its decision to deny the appointment of an Internal Security Forces (ISF) official. | Daily Star


In a rare display of political concordance, opposing blocs unanimously expressed elation upon learning of the death Qaddafi. | Daily Star

A delegation is expected to visit Libya on Sunday to discuss the NTC’s investigation of Musa al-Sadr, a Lebanese Shia imam who disappeared in 1978 after flying to Libya for talks with government officials. | Naharnet

Hezbollah held talks with Russian officials in Moscow, laying the groundwork for increased cooperation between the parties. |  Daily Star


Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah said that the spies discovered to be working for Israel did not cause significant harm to the resistance. | Daily Star

UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon said Hezbollah’s weapon arsenal is a source of internal instability and calls upon the movement to give up its arms. | Naharnet

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said the failure of the government to pay its share of STL funding would deepen divisions among factions. | Daily Star


Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun said he fears Sunni extremists might come to power in Syria if Assad falls. | Daily Star

A delegation from Hezbollah met with Russian officials in Moscow in their first visit to the country ever. | Daily Star

Hezbollah is fully prepared for war in the event of Israeli attack, and is “in a state of alert,” according to security sources. | Daily Star


The STL requested to initiate proceedings despite the absence of the four Hezbollah suspects. The government had originally failed to apprehend the suspects within 30 days at the request of the tribunal. | Daily Star

Internal Security Forces Chief Ashraf Rifi said Syrian embassy personnel were involved in the kidnapping of two Syrian opposition members in Lebanon. | Naharnet

Hezbollah officials met with Syrian Sunni fundamentalists and the anti-government organization Hizb Ut-Tahrir. | Daily Star


Sources say the government is set to discontinue funding for the STL. Prime Minister Najib Mikati refutes rumours about his alleged impending resignation. | Daily Star; Naharnet

Lebanon expressed solidarity with Syria during the Arab League meeting. | Daily Star


Hezbollah congratulated Hamas on the prison-exchange deal with Israel that will free more than 1,000 Hamas prisoners from Israeli prisons in the coming months. | Daily star

The STL reminded the government it has 30 days to pay its share of the tribunal’s budget. | Daily Star

The United States issues warning urging citizens to avoid travelling to Lebanon amid concerns that STL findings might spark armed clashes between factions. | Naharnet


Iran intends to scale down their financial support to Hezbollah. The movement is now looking to other funding sources. | Daily Star

Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai refutes allegations that he supports Hezbollah’s possessions of arms. He also warned that sectarian war in Syria will affect Lebanon. | Naharnet


Future Movement MP Jean Hogassapian says that the issue over funding the STL should not be referred to Parliament because the government is obliged to adhere to its international obligations to pay. | Daily Star

Hezbollah says unrest in Egypt is part of a U.S. scheme to divide the region along racial and confessional lines. | Daily Star


UN security is tightened in response to emerging threats. It is believed the threats are connected to recent bomb attacks against UN peacekeepers in May and July of this year. | Al Arabiya

Prime Minister Najib Mikati is facing strong opposition from Hezbollah and its March 8 allies over funding the STL. Mikati says financing the tribunal is in the interest of the nation. | Daily Star

Defense Minister Fayez Ghosen rejects the US claim that the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) is obliged to protect Syrian opposition members under international law. Ghosen added that the government would reject any offer of conditional military aid from any source. | Daily Star


March 14 officials condemn Syria’s cross-border incursion into Bekaa on Tuesday. It also criticized the Lebanese government and army for declining to comment on the issue. | Daily Star

Prime Minister Mikati stated the government is committed to protecting Syrian refugees. | Daily Star

Hezbollah believes Prime Minister Mikati can maintain his position in the government despite the split in the Cabinet over funding the STL. Mikati rejects government financing of the tribunal. | Daily Star


Despite recent claims that the government will continue funding the STL, a Hezbollah source stated that support for STL funding is weak in the Cabinet. | Daily Star

The US called on the government to protect Syrian opposition members and to continue funding STL. The American ambassador to Lebanon released a statement saying the US also expects the government to commit to Resolution 1701.| Al Nahar


A U.S. Congressional delegation met with President Michel Sleiman and parliamentarians today. The discussions included talks on Syria and the challenges that lie ahead for Lebanon. | Daily Star

STL spokesperson Marten Youssef said the tribunal would welcome funding from the government of Lebanon, adding that the arrangements made for fulfilling its financial obligation to the STL are completely up to the government. | Daily Star

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi held talks with President Michel Suleiman at Baabda palace today before his three-week visit to the U.S. Al-Rahi left without making any statement. | Naharnet


An official Syrian delegation visited Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai to show appreciation for his stance on the situation in Syria. | Daily Star

Hezbollah condemned repressive acts against Shiite protestors in Bahrain, stressing its support for the Bahraini people and their legitimate demands. | Naharnet

Speaker Nabih Berri urged officials to begin drilling for oil and gas in an area that Israel claims as its territorial water. Lebanon contends the area is in its Exclusive Economic Zone. | Daily Star


Prime Minister Najib Mikati said that Lebanon will not support UN sanctions against Syria, but it will have to respect them in line with its policy to commit to international resolutions.| Daily Star

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat made a $25 million oil deal with the leaders of Libya’s new ruling National Transitional Council (NTC). | Naharnet

Hezbollah praised the spiritual summit at Dar al-Fatwa, held by the country’s top Muslim and Christian religious leaders. The summit underlined the importance of bolstering sectarian coexistence and national unity.| Daily Star


During a meeting in New York, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Prime Minister Najib Mikati that Lebanon should not get involved in the situation in Syria and assured that the United States would continue providing assistance to the Lebanese Army. | Al Arabiya

During a summit held today at the headquarters of Dar al-Fatwa, Muslim, Christian, and Druze religious leaders emphasized the need to maintain the Christian presence in the Middle East, stressing the need to strengthen national coexistence.| Daily Star

Hezbollah is preparing for a meeting between its secretary general, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, and Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi with the aim to repay the patriarch for his recent stance and the tour of southern Lebanon. | Naharnet


Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi received enthusiastic receptions throughout his tour of several villages and towns in the south of Lebanon before meeting with Speaker Nabih Berri today. | Naharnet

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea urged Hezbollah to surrender its weapons to the state, warning that regional policies supporting Hezbollah are fading in the wake of the Arab Spring.| Daily Star


President Michel Sleiman met in New York with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to discuss recent regional and local developments including UN Security Resolution 1701 and the role of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in the South of Lebanon. | Now Lebanon

Al-Nahar newspaper confirmed recent news reports stating that five members of Hezbollah suspected of cooperating with the CIA and other foreign entities escaped to Israel in June. Among them was a high-ranking official named Abu Abed Slim.| Daily Star


President Michel Sleiman said in a speech at the UN General Assembly that Lebanon would uphold its rights against any Israeli threats over its territorial waters and exclusive economic zone. He also reaffirmed the government’s commitment to international resolutions, including the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. | Daily Star

President Sleiman held a series of meetings with heads of state in New York ahead of his chairing of today’s UN Security Council session. Sleiman met with Turkey’s prime minister, the presidents of Cyprus and Ivory Coast, and the emir of Qatar.| Daily Star

Parliament approved the controversial electricity draft law. Member of Parliament Fouad Saniora added, however, that the Energy Ministry and cabinet still need to clarify several issues in the. | Naharnet


Member of Parliament Robert Ghanem announced that an agreement was reached to adopt the controversial electricity draft law, which will be subject to a vote on Thursday. | Naharnet

Despite the French government’s expression of disappointment over his remarks about Syria and Hezbollah, French Ambassador Denis Pietton held talks with Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi today. No statements regarding the content of the meeting were made public. | Daily Star


Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi rejected criticism from the French Ambassador regarding comments he had made about Hezbollah and Syria during a visit to France. Al-Rahi is demanding an apology from the ambassador before setting a date to meet with him. | Naharnet


Parliamentarians postponed today’s discussions on the controversial electricity draft law until Wednesday, after heated discussions prompted a walkout by some March 8 lawmakers. | Daily Star

Washington has reportedly asked for explanations regarding Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi’s controversial statements about Hezbollah and Syria during his last visit to Paris. | Naharnet


Progressive Socialist Party leader and member of parliament Walid Jumblatt received a verbal message from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad informing him that his government has decided to freeze relations with Jumblatt for the time being. | Naharnet

Joint parliamentary committees failed to approve the controversial electricity bill after a heated debate between March 8 members of parliament and the opposition March 14 lawmakers over financial and technical aspects of the plan. | Daily Star

Prime Minister Najib Miqati said he supports Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rai’s controversial remarks about Syria and Hezbollah. | Daily Star


Progressive Socialist Party leader and member of parliament Walid Jumblatt received a verbal message from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad informing him that his government has decided to freeze relations with Jumblatt for the time being. | Naharnet

Prime Minister Najib Mikati expressed confidence in Lebanon’s security and the future of the nation’s economy by revealing plans to stimulate Arab investment. | Daily Star


Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rai said his recent statements about Hezbollah and Syria were taken out of context. In a visit to France last week, he linked the possibility of a Middle East peace settlement to Hezbollah’s arms, and called for giving Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a chance to carry out political reforms. | Daily Star


Former President Amin Gemayel stated that Hezbollah’s arms are no longer arms of resistance that could be used to liberate occupied Lebanese territories. He argues that they now threaten the internal stability of Lebanon. | Daily Star

A Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) judge ruled that victims of the attack in February 2005 who seek to participate in the court proceedings should file with the STL before October 31. | Special Tribunal for Lebanon


The government finally approved the controversial electricity plan to boost electricity output by 700 megawatts after a compromise was reached on the funding of the project. | Daily Star

The Defense Office of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) approved 120 names of lawyers out of 145 applicants to defend the accused, only 118 names have been made public. | Daily Star


Prime Minister Najib Mikati met today with the head of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) of the Defense Office, François Roux. Details of the meeting are being withheld from the public. | The Daily Star


Prime Minister Najib Miqati rejected threats by Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun to withdraw his ministers from the cabinet if it failed to approve the electricity plan. He expressed such threats could create a harmful precedent for the new government. | Naharnet

August 29

Prime Minister Najib Miqati rejected threats by Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun to withdraw his ministers from the cabinet if it failed to approve the electricity plan. He expressed such threats could create a harmful precedent for the new government. | Naharnet

August 26

STL Registrar Herman von Hebel announced that the trials in the case of the assassination of Rafiq Hariri will begin in mid-2012 either in the presence of the suspects or in absentia. | Daily Star

Iranian security sources accused Colonel Qaddafi of Libya of disposing of the body of Lebanese Shiite cleric Moussa al-Sadr into the sea 33 years ago. | Naharnet

August 25

Future Movement Secretary-General Ahmad Hariri blamed Hezbollah for taking Lebanon to the abyss by placing its party and the government in confrontation with the STL and the international community. | Daily Star

During a news conference at the parliament, Hezbollah MP Hasan Fadlallah accused the STL of relying on data that could have been tampered with by Israel. | Daily Star

August 24

The General Secretariat of the March 14 coalition strongly condemned Hezbollah’s position on the STL indictment, insisting that the government either demand Hezbollah to hand over their suspects or resign. | Naharnet

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt responded to Free Patriotic Movement MP Michel Aoun’s threat to resign his ministers if the proposed electricity bill is not endorsed by the Cabinet. He is prepared to hold his position even if it damages the existing political alliance between the factions. | Daily Star

August 23

Free Patriotic Movement head MP Michel Aoun has threatened on Tuesday that his ministers would quit from the Cabinet if his proposed energy bill is not approved. | Daily Star

August 22

General Prosecutor Saeed Mirza met with Nicholas Blanford, the TIME correspondent who has denied having conducted an interview with a Hezbollah member suspected in the assassination of Rafiq Hariri. Hezbollah affirmed that none of its members met with the TIME reporter. | Nahar Net; Daily Star

Lebanon asked the United Nations to take sufficient measures to prevent any threat to international peace and security that Israeli violations of its regional waters may pose. | Daily Star

August 19

STL President Antonio Cassese blamed state authorities for making insufficient efforts to arrest the four accused Hezbollah members. He urged the government to step up arrests and to extradite the four suspects. | Daily Star

The STL announced it has established a link between the 2005 murder of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and attacks on former Defense Minister Elias Murr, MP Marwan Hamadeh, and slain former Lebanese Communist Party leader George Hawi. | AFP

August 18

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah rejected the STL indictments as being pure speculation. | Al Jazeera

Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri denounced Nasrallah’s remarks on his refusal to accept the indictment. | Daily Star

August 17

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon disclosed the full indictment in the Rafik Hariri case. Pre-Trial Judge, Daniel Fransen found that the indictment meets international case law requirements. | Daily Star

August 16

Hezbollah denied any role in last week’s explosion in Antelias, Beirut and attacked the Future Movement, labelling it a militia. | Daily Star

August 10

An explosion went off in a parking lot in the city of Antellias, north of Beirut. One person was killed and two others wounded. | Daily Star

Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) President Judge Antonio Cassese urged suspects today to surrender and defend themselves. The government notified the STL on Tuesday that the four suspects named in its first indictment had not yet been arrested. | Daily Star

The first reading of the draft law for the National Council on Strategic Policies (NCSP) was discussed in parliament today, although many people are skeptical that the law will be passed. | Aswat al-Iraq

August 10

The first group of detained Fatah al-Islam-affiliated Islamists were released from Roumieh Prison on a decision by State Prosecutor Judge Saeed Mirza.| Daily Star

Prime Minister Najib Mikati said the government cannot afford to take sides in any country’s internal affairs, as doing so would disrupt national stability. | Daily Star

August 9

During the Monday cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Najib Mikati defended the government’s position toward Syria in the Security Council. Arms smuggling to Syria was also discussed at the meeting. | Daily Star; Daily Star

August 8

Hezbollah rebuffed an alleged report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) that accused its members of involvement in the killing of soldiers who had deserted the Syrian regime, claiming that these false accusations are not based on facts. UNHCR on Monday repudiated statements that it had produced the report. | Daily Star, Monsters and Critics

Armed clashes took place for hours between local groups in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain al-Hilweh over the weekend, causing extensive damage to property and leaving six people wounded. | Daily Star

August 5

The government disavowed the UN Security Council statement that condemned Syria’s use of force and the deadly crackdown on protests. Prime Minister Najib Mikati defended Lebanon’s position as a current member of the council as a refrain from intervening in Syrian affairs. | Al Arabiya; Daily Star

Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) General Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare said material that had been “hand-delivered” by Hezbollah officials was being examined. Hezbollah denied that its officials had supplied the court with materials relating to the probe. | Daily Star

June 30

A delegation from the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) handed over the indictments of and arrest warrants for four senior Hezbollah members to Lebanon’s State Prosecutor Saeed Mirza. Established in 2007 by UN Resolution 1757, the STL is responsible for the investigation of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s assassination in 2005. While the indictments were not made public, reports identify the Hezbollah suspects as Mustafa Badreddine, Salim al-Ayyash, Hasan Aineysseh, and Asad Sabra. Lebanon now has 30 days to serve out the arrest warrants. If the suspects are not arrested in this time, the STL will then make the indictments public and summon the accused to appear before the court.  | The Guardian; AFPThe Daily Star

June 13

Lebanon’s new prime minister, Najib Mikati, announced the formation of a new government after a five-month dispute over the composition of the cabinet. Mikati said that the new government represented all Lebanese sects and would not be beholden to any one group, a comment largely directed toward those who fear Mikati is too close to Hezbollah. | New York Times

April 11

Around 5000 protestors took to the streets of Beirut on Sunday marching against the sectarian regime. However, the number of protestors has shrunk from the 20000 that had participated in the protest organized on March 20, 2011. This indicates an organizational weak point or a lack of interest amongst the Lebanese people. | As-Safir