LCCC ENGLISH DAILY NEWS BULLETIN
Latest News Reports From Miscellaneous sources April2/07
Aoun Predicts: No Presidential Elections On Time-Naharnet
Hizbullah Threatens Majority MPs-Naharnet
Pro-Syrian MP Hits Back at Saniora, Hariri-Naharnet
Israel-Hezbollah war this summer: Knesset member-Aljazeera.com
Lebanon should only hold elections when Army only is armed
Iran fears U.S. attack this summer
Pelosi to convey message to Syria from Israel
Former Lebanon hostage offers to help release British sailors
UN’s Ban : Have proof of arms smuggling from Syria to Lebanon
Hezbollah threatens Lebanon’s parliament majority
Release of Olmert testimony on Lebanon war delayed-Reuters
Lebanon: Pains and the Arab Summit-Global Voices Online
UN chief says arms smuggled from Syria-Bradenton Herald
US Speaker and Muslim Congressman in Jerusalem En Route to Syria-Arutz Sheva
Call For Permanent Ceasefire In South Lebanon-Scoop.co.nz
Olmert says negotiations with Syria possible-Ynetnews
Iran warns of Israeli 'suicide attack' starting in Lebanon, Syria-Ya Libnan
Ban Ki-moon Visits Outposts of UN Force in Lebanon-New York Times
Dutch MPs: Lebanon derelict in not disarming Hezbollah-Ha'aretz
Mr Blair's awfully big adventure-Guardian Unlimited
Bible Reading of the day
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 22,14-71.23,1-56.
When the hour came, he took his place at table with the apostles. He said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, for, I tell you, I shall not eat it (again) until there is fulfillment in the kingdom of God." Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and said, "Take this and share it among yourselves; for I tell you (that) from this time on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me."And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you. And yet behold, the hand of the one who is to betray me is with me on the table; for the Son of Man indeed goes as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed." And they began to debate among themselves who among them would do such a deed. Then an argument broke out among them about which of them should be regarded as the greatest.
He said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them and those in authority over them are addressed as 'Benefactors';
but among you it shall not be so. Rather, let the greatest among you be as the youngest, and the leader as the servant. For who is greater: the one seated at table or the one who serves? Is it not the one seated at table? I am among you as the one who serves. It is you who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer a kingdom on you, just as my Father has conferred one on me, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom; and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers."
He said to him, "Lord, I am prepared to go to prison and to die with you." But he replied, "I tell you, Peter, before the cock crows this day, you will deny three times that you know me."
He said to them, "When I sent you forth without a money bag or a sack or sandals, were you in need of anything?" "No, nothing," they replied. He said to them, "But now one who has a money bag should take it, and likewise a sack, and one who does not have a sword should sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in me, namely, 'He was counted among the wicked'; and indeed what is written about me is coming to fulfillment." Then they said, "Lord, look, there are two swords here." But he replied, "It is enough!"
Then going out he went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. When he arrived at the place he said to them, "Pray that you may not undergo the test." After withdrawing about a stone's throw from them and kneeling, he prayed,
saying, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done." (And to strengthen him an angel from heaven appeared to him.
He was in such agony and he prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground.) When he rose from prayer and returned to his disciples, he found them sleeping from grief. He said to them, "Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not undergo the test." While he was still speaking, a crowd approached and in front was one of the Twelve, a man named Judas. He went up to Jesus to kiss him. Jesus said to him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?" His disciples realized what was about to happen, and they asked, "Lord, shall we strike with a sword?" And one of them struck the high priest's servant and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said in reply, "Stop, no more of this!" Then he touched the servant's ear and healed him.
And Jesus said to the chief priests and temple guards and elders who had come for him, "Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? Day after day I was with you in the temple area, and you did not seize me; but this is your hour, the time for the power of darkness." After arresting him they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest; Peter was following at a distance.
They lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter sat down with them.
When a maid saw him seated in the light, she looked intently at him and said, "This man too was with him."
But he denied it saying, "Woman, I do not know him." A short while later someone else saw him and said, "You too are one of them"; but Peter answered, "My friend, I am not." About an hour later, still another insisted, "Assuredly, this man too was with him, for he also is a Galilean." But Peter said, "My friend, I do not know what you are talking about." Just as he was saying this, the cock crowed,
and the Lord turned and looked at Peter; and Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, "Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times."He went out and began to weep bitterly. The men who held Jesus in custody were ridiculing and beating him. They blindfolded him and questioned him, saying, "Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?"
And they reviled him in saying many other things against him. When day came the council of elders of the people met, both chief priests and scribes, and they brought him before their Sanhedrin. They said, "If you are the Messiah, tell us," but he replied to them, "If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I question, you will not respond.
But from this time on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God." They all asked, "Are you then the Son of God?" He replied to them, "You say that I am."Then they said, "What further need have we for testimony? We have heard it from his own mouth."Then the whole assembly of them arose and brought him before Pilate. They brought charges against him, saying, "We found this man misleading our people; he opposes the payment of taxes to Caesar and maintains that he is the Messiah, a king." Pilate asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" He said to him in reply, "You say so." Pilate then addressed the chief priests and the crowds, "I find this man not guilty." But they were adamant and said, "He is inciting the people with his teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he began even to here." On hearing this Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean; and upon learning that he was under Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod who was in Jerusalem at that time. Herod was very glad to see Jesus; he had been wanting to see him for a long time, for he had heard about him and had been hoping to see him perform some sign. He questioned him at length, but he gave him no answer.
The chief priests and scribes, meanwhile, stood by accusing him harshly.
(Even) Herod and his soldiers treated him contemptuously and mocked him, and after clothing him in resplendent garb, he sent him back to Pilate. Herod and Pilate became friends that very day, even though they had been enemies formerly. Pilate then summoned the chief priests, the rulers, and the people and said to them, "You brought this man to me and accused him of inciting the people to revolt. I have conducted my investigation in your presence and have not found this man guilty of the charges you have brought against him,
nor did Herod, for he sent him back to us. So no capital crime has been committed by him. Therefore I shall have him flogged and then release him." But all together they shouted out, "Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us." (Now Barabbas had been imprisoned for a rebellion that had taken place in the city and for murder.) Again Pilate addressed them, still wishing to release Jesus,
but they continued their shouting, "Crucify him! Crucify him!" Pilate addressed them a third time, "What evil has this man done? I found him guilty of no capital crime. Therefore I shall have him flogged and then release him."
With loud shouts, however, they persisted in calling for his crucifixion, and their voices prevailed. The verdict of Pilate was that their demand should be granted. So he released the man who had been imprisoned for rebellion and murder, for whom they asked, and he handed Jesus over to them to deal with as they wished. As they led him away they took hold of a certain Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country; and after laying the cross on him, they made him carry it behind Jesus. A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented him. Jesus turned to them and said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, 'Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.' At that time people will say to the mountains, 'Fall upon us!' and to the hills, 'Cover us!' for if these things are done when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?" Now two others, both criminals, were led away with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left.
(Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.") They divided his garments by casting lots.
The people stood by and watched; the rulers, meanwhile, sneered at him and said, "He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Messiah of God." Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine they called out, "If you are King of the Jews, save yourself."
Above him there was an inscription that read, "This is the King of the Jews." Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us."The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, "Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
He replied to him, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle.
Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit"; and when he had said this he breathed his last.
The centurion who witnessed what had happened glorified God and said, "This man was innocent beyond doubt."
When all the people who had gathered for this spectacle saw what had happened, they returned home beating their breasts;
but all his acquaintances stood at a distance, including the women who had followed him from Galilee and saw these events.
Now there was a virtuous and righteous man named Joseph who, though he was a member of the council,
had not consented to their plan of action. He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea and was awaiting the kingdom of God.
He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. After he had taken the body down, he wrapped it in a linen cloth and laid him in a rock-hewn tomb in which no one had yet been buried. It was the day of preparation, and the sabbath was about to begin.
The women who had come from Galilee with him followed behind, and when they had seen the tomb and the way in which his body was laid in it, they returned and prepared spices and perfumed oils. Then they rested on the sabbath according to the commandment.
Aoun Predicts: No Presidential Elections On Time
Free Patriotic Movement Leader Michael Aoun has said the forthcoming Presidential elections in Lebanon will not be held according to the constitutional schedule. Aoun made the remark in an interview screened Saturday evening by the NBN television network, an outlet advocating the Hizbullah-led opposition. In answering a question as to whether early presidential elections to choose a successor to President Emile Lahoud before his extended term expires next Nov. 22 was possible, Aoun said:
"I don't think so. And I believe that the presidential elections would not be held on schedule. Does the stealing of Parliamentary seats set the stage for them to steal the presidency?" "Let them know that the (presidential) elections will only be held in line with an understanding that returns what has been stolen to its owners," Aoun added. Aoun accuses the March 14 Parliamentary majority of Fraud in the 2005 general elections.
Aoun is allied with the March 8 coalition that groups Hizbullah and other pro-Syrian factions which have been trying in vain to topple Premier Fouad Saniora's majority government. Meanwhile, Hizbullah Warned Sunday that any attempt by the majority to convene a parliamentary session outside the house compound would be a "leap into the unknown and an escalation leading to non-benign repercussions."The threat was made by Hizbullah MP Hussein Hajj Hassan at a news conference in the Beqaa valley town of Baalbek. Hajj Hassan was responding to reports that legislators representing the March 14 Parliamentary majority might convene a session of the house at an undisclosed venue to deliberate and ratify a bill creating the international tribunal that would try suspects in the 2005 assassination of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri and related crimes. House Speaker Nabih Berri also heads the AMAL movement which is part of the Hizbullah-led opposition that has been trying since Dec. 1 to topple the Saniora government which had prepared and endorsed the international tribunal bill. The opposition wants amendments to the bill, details of which have not been officially disclosed. And Berri aides at Parliament have refused to accept text of the bill as referred by the Saniora government, claiming the cabinet is "illegitimate" because six opposition ministers have resigned. The international community and the Arab League, however, term the Saniora cabinet "the legitimate" government of Lebanon.
Hajj Hassan said any meeting convened by the ruling majority outside the house headquarters is a mere political meeting by a parliamentary bloc that bears no legal or constitutional significance." Hajj Hassan's statement followed mounting differences between the pro-Syrian opposition and the parliamentary majority over the international tribunal after the Arab summit held at the Saudi Capital of Riyadh last week. The summit declared support for the tribunal.
Beirut, 01 Apr 07, 17:07
Hizbullah Threatens Majority MPs
Hizbullah warned Sunday that any attempt by the majority to convene a parliamentary session outside the house compound would be a "leap into the unknown and an escalation leading to non-benign repercussions."The threat was made by Hizbullah MP Hussein Hajj Hassan at a news conference in the Beqaa valley town of Baalbek. Hajj Hassan was responding to reports that legislators representing the March 14 Parliamentary majority might convene a session of the house at an undisclosed venue to deliberate and ratify a bill creating the international tribunal that would try suspects in the 2005 assassination of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri and related crimes. House Speaker Nabih Berri also heads the AMAL movement which is part if the Hizbullah-led opposition that has been trying since Dec. 1 to topple Premier Fouad Saniora's Majority government that prepared and endorsed the international tribunal bill. The opposition wants amendments to the bill, details of which have not been officially disclosed. And Berri aides at Parliament have refused to accept text of the bill as referred by the Saniora government, claiming the cabinet is "illegitimate" because six opposition ministers have resigned.
The international community and the Arab League, however, term the Saniora cabinet "the constitutional" government of Lebanon. Hajj Hassan said any meeting convened by the ruling majority outside the house headquarters is a mere political meeting by a parliamentary bloc that bears no legal or constitutional significance." Hajj Hassan's statement followed mounting differences between the pro-Syrian opposition and the parliamentary majority over the international tribunal after the Arab summit held at the Saudi Capital of Riyadh last week. The summit declared support for the tribunal.
Syria rejects the tribunal and the Lebanese majority blames the Hariri murder and related crimes on the Damascus regime. Beirut, 01 Apr 07, 12:06
Pro-Syrian MP Hits Back at Saniora, Hariri
Pro-Syrian Opposition MP Qassem Hashem on Saturday criticized Prime Minister Fouad Saniora and the ruling majority, labeling as "insane" attempts to convene parliament outside the frame of constitutional law to ratify a bill creating the international tribunal.
"Any attempt to convene parliament outside the frame of constitutional law … is an insane act," Hashem told a news briefing in the southern border town of Marjayoun. Hashem is also a member of the Baath party, Lebanon's chapter of Syria's ruling group. He was countering challenges by Prime Minister Fouad Saniora and pro-government legislator Saad Hariri. Saniora on Friday said he referred a bill creating the international tribunal to the office of Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, pending setting a date for deliberating it by the house. Harri, in turn, warned in remarks published Saturday that the ruling team was capable of holding a parliament session. "The majority will exercise its right through the constitution…the other side shouldn't assume that we are incapable of doing so or that we can't hold a government or parliament session," Hariri said. A statement released by Saniora's office said Education Minister Khaled Qabbani personally carried the bill text to Parliament "but no officials were available" to receive the document. Saniora's office again tried to refer the document by official courier, but "the messenger was not allowed into Parliament building," the statement added.
The effort reflected the mounting differences between Saniora's majority government and the Hizbullah-led opposition over the creation of an international tribunal to try suspects in the 2005 assassination of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri and related crimes. Berri also heads the AMAL movement which is part of the opposition that has been trying since Dec. 1 to topple the Saniora government. Saniora's office had published the international tribunal bill in the official gazette on Dec. 12.Berri refuses to receive any documents referred to Parliament by the Saniora government which he terms illegitimate after the resignation of six opposition ministers in November. The ministers resigned after the cabinet approved the international tribunal bill.
The March 14 majority, which backs the Saniora government, blames the Hariri killing and related crimes on Syria, which denies the charge.
The latest move by Saniora opens the door for an escalation of the political confrontation between the majority and opposition.
It came one day after Arab heads of state concluded a two-day summit conference at the Saudi Capital of Riyadh, which, among other things, declared support for the Saniora government. Beirut, 31 Mar 07, 19:19
Iran fears U.S. attack this summer
Sunday, 1 April, 2007
Beirut & Tehran- Iran is making defensive preparations for what it fears will be a U.S. military attack this summer, Israel's military intelligence chief said on Sunday. Major-General Amos Yadlin also told the Israeli cabinet that Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrillas and Syria believed they could be targeted in any U.S.-initiated war against Iran, an Israeli government official said, briefing reporters on his remarks.
"What we are seeing is their preparation for the possibility of war in the summer. My assessment is that they are defensive preparations for war," Yadlin was quoted as saying, referring to Iran, Syria and Hezbollah. The government official said Yadlin spoke about Iranian fears of a U.S., not an Israeli, offensive. The official gave no details about the type of military preparations Yadlin said Iran was making to meet any U.S. attack.
"We are closely monitoring these preparations because (Iran, Syria and Hezbollah) could misinterpret various moves in the region," Yadlin said, according to the official. In Washington on Thursday, UnderSecretary of State Nicholas Burns said the United States was "convinced diplomacy is the way to proceed" to curb Iran's nuclear program. Burns told the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee that Washington did not believe conflict with Tehran was inevitable. The U.N. Security Council widened sanctions against Iran on March 24 after it defied a second deadline to stop enriching uranium, a process Tehran says will yield solely electricity but world powers fear could be used to build atomic weapons.Washington and London also accuse Iran of supporting insurgents fighting their forces in Iraq. Sources: Reuters
Lebanon should only hold elections when Army only is armed
Sunday, 1 April, 2007 @ 9:02 PM
Beirut- Free Shiite movement leader Sheikh Mohamad el Hajj Hassan has declared that Lebanon should only hold elections when the government makes sure that the Lebanese Army only has arms. He added after meeting with the Belgian ambassador in Lebanon Stephane de Loecker “ for this to happen we need to spread UNIFIL forces along the Lebanese Syrian borders to prevent the smuggling of weapons from Syria to Hezbollah organization.
Hajj Hassan warned that there is no way to have free elections as long as there is an armed organization ( Hezbollah ) in the country , that threatens the democratic institutions and the democratic process. The outspoken Shiite leader assured the Belgian ambassador of Free Shiite movement interest in having excellent relationship between the Lebanese and the Western people. He considers that the solution of the region lies in pressuring Israel to release the prisoners and withdraw from the Shebaa farms. Hajj Hassan called for the implementation of the UN resolutions and for disarming of Hezbollah.
Hajj Hassan is grateful for the world wide support Lebanon and its government are receiving. He added it gives the Lebanese people great satisfaction to learn that we are no longer alone and we should no longer be afraid of the wolves. Now is the time to introduce democracy to our Shiite community and free it from the Hezbollah state within a state dictatorship.Sources: LBC Arabic, Ya Libnan