April 17/2007

Bible Reading of the day
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 3,1-8. Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. He came to Jesus at night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one can do these signs that you are doing unless God is with him." Jesus answered and said to him, "Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above."Nicodemus said to him, "How can a person once grown old be born again? Surely he cannot reenter his mother's womb and be born again, can he?" Jesus answered, "Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you, 'You must be born from above.' The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."

Free Opinions
April 13 & the Tribunal-Dar Al-Hayat. April 17/07
What are Arabs to make of Israel's persistent refusal to make peace? Daily Star . April 17/07

Latest News Reports From miscellaneous sources for April 17/07
Sfeir: citizens and politicians unite to “escape the
Gates Discusses in Jordan 'Persian hegemony' and Lebanon's Peace-Naharnet
Sfeir Urges Unity to Avoid Despair-Naharnet
Gemayel Criticizes Hizullah's 'Clever' Plan to Impose Aoun as Next President

Berri Will Call Parliament to Elect New President-Naharnet
UAE demining project clear ten villages in S. Lebanon
-ReliefWeb (press release)
Syria threatens to take Golan Heights by force-Jerusalem Post
Syria, the United States, and the War on Terror in the Middle East-Open Democracy
Lebanon's ABC to open in Jordan and Bahrain-Ya Libnan
Stranded Palestinian Refugees Stage Sit-In on the Iraq-Syria Border-BBSNews
British journalists vote to boycott Israeli goods in protest.DEBKA file
Like Lebanon’s Hezbollah Sadr ministers pull out of Iraqi cabinet-Ya Libnan

Latest News Reports From The Daily Star for April 16/07
Judiciary busts network of cheaters in notary exams
Saudi king renews call for Lebanese dialogue
Chirac honors Al-Hayat Paris bureau chief
French UNIFIL troops lift Yaroun checkpoint
Farmers demand compensation for storm damage
Close race at Order of Architects and Engineers
PLO describes series of steps to shun Fatah al-Islam
House 'will convene to pick new president in September'
Some use freedom for 'more harm than good' - Sfeir
Army arrests 2 members of new Al-Qaeda group
Gemayel says Hizbullah has 'raised fears among Christians'
Euro-MPs end 'moving' three-day visit

Palestinian camp kids 'shoot' gloomy life in Lebanon
-Middle East Times
Hizbullah: We can defend Lebanon-Jerusalem Post

Berri Will Call Parliament to Elect New President
House Speaker Nabih Berri will convene Parliament on September 25 to elect a new president for Lebanon.
MP Ali Bazzi, who made the announcement on Sunday during a rally in south Lebanon to commemorate the 12th anniversary of al-Mansouri massacre in Tyre, stressed that no political stability or decisions can be reached in Lebanon without the "essential role … of the resistance," a reference to Hizbullah. Bazzi said the legislative will convene to elect a new head of state to replace President Emile Lahoud without the presence of the "unconstitutional" government, adding that only MP-ministers will be allowed to attend the September session. "No way will Speaker Berri allow it (government) to be represented in parliament," he said.
Bazzi, who is also an official in the Amal movement which is headed by Berri, criticized some leaders in the March 14 coalition "for not possessing the intention nor the will nor a national plan to work together in order to salvage the country from its current political crisis." He assured that the political stalemate that has gripped Lebanon since the resignation of six pro-Syrian cabinet ministers in November was not over the international tribunal, but over Prime Minister Fouad Saniora's government "which has lost its legitimacy."Lahoud's term, which was extended for three years in a Syrian-inspired controversial constitutional amendment in September 2004, expires in November 2007. The presidential election and the creation of the U.N.-backed international tribunal to try suspects in the 2005 murder of former Premier Rafik Hariri are at the heart of Lebanon's domestic disputes. Beirut, 16 Apr 07, 07:20

Gemayel Criticizes Hizbullah's 'Clever' Plan to Impose Aoun as Next President

Former President Amin Gemayel said Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's latest speech was a "real shock" to the Christians more than ever, and criticized Hizbullah's "clever" strategy to impose its Christian ally Gen. Michel Aoun as the next president. Gemayel said that Nasrallah's latest address, in which he revealed potential plans for having presidential elections crippled unless the pro-government March 14 coalition abides by the opposition's demands, have "raised fears among Christians."
He also lashed out at Hizbullah's second in command Sheikh Naim Qassem who said in recent remarks that presidential elections would take place "only if the ruling team and the opposition agreed on the name of the future president."Gemayel said March 14 was "never against agreement in principle on a president who would represent all Lebanese … under the guardianship of Bkirki." He said Nasrallah's wished-for strategy of avoiding pointing out Aoun during his fiery Easter speech March 8, as well as Qassem's comments were a "clever maneuver to impose Aoun as the next president."He said that this strategy contradicts with the "concepts of partnership and collaboration strongly advocated by Hizbullah." Beirut, 16 Apr 07, 11:02

Sfeir Urges Unity to Avoid Despair
Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir has urged politicians and citizens to unite and consolidate efforts to help Lebanon prosper."Anyone without a country has no religion, no ethics and no dignity," Sfeir said in his Sunday sermon at Notre Dame Cathedral in Bkirki. "Have mercy on your country so as not to be without one," he pleaded.
Sfeir also criticized "accusations and threats" exchanged by the bickering political parties."As if the economic situation…isn't enough to bring despair to the Lebanese," he said. "The Lebanese should stand united in order to build a country in which understanding, love and values prevail," he added. He said that God has given us the freedom of doing good or evil. But nowadays it seems that "freedom is used to perform a lot more harm than good."The Patriarch later met with Free Patriotic Movement leader Gen. Michel Aoun. Aoun said after the half-hour meeting that his visit was aimed at extending his best wishes to Sfeir after the Easter holiday. Beirut, 16 Apr 07, 07:59