LCCC ENGLISH DAILY NEWS BULLETIN
April 25/2007

Bible Reading of the day
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 6,30-35. So they said to him, "What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written: 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'"So Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." So they said to him, "Sir, give us this bread always." Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.

Sheik Hassan Nasrallah calls for the erection of an Islamic state in Lebanon (Movie) Click here
الشيد حسن نصرالله يدعو لقيام دولة اسلامية في لبنان بالصوت والصورة/اضغط هنا

 

Free Opinions
Tackling Lebanon's troubles abroad won't solve them at home.Daily Star. April 25/07

Latest News Reports From Miscellaneous Sources for April 25/07
Mysterious Disappearance of 2 Youths in Beirut Sparks Fears of Renewed Violence-Naharnet
Syrian Advocate of Neighborly Relations with Lebanon Jailed-Naharnet

U.S. Targets Syrian Navy, Air Force and Hizbullah with Sanctions-Naharnet
Ban Starts Damascus Mission on Lebanon Peace
-Naharnet
Lebanon Among Priorities of New U.S. Ambassador to U.N.
-Naharnet
U.N. Commission to Question Heroine of Al Madina Bank Scandal
-Naharnet

Syria Warns Against Possible U.N. Deployment along Border with Lebanon
-Naharnet
Saniora Criticizes Syria, Wants to Place Shabaa Farms under U.N. Control
-Naharnet
Syrian Advocate of Neighborly Relations with Lebanon Jailed
-Naharnet
Violence in Ain el Hilweh
-Naharnet
Saniora Takes Tribunal Campaign to Egypt
-Naharnet
Assailants Kill Lebanese Soldier in North Lebanon.Naharnet
Franjieh: My visit to Tehran proves Lebanon's support for Iran.Islamic Republic News Agency
Rice Looks Forward to Neighbors Conference on Iraq US Department of State (press release)
US imposes sanctions on Iranian, Syrian weapons.Ha'aretz
Israel eyes Iran's aims nervously.BBC News
Hezbollah: Of Course We Get Our Marching Orders From Iran [Andy ...National Review Online Blogs
US partnership for Lebanon helps Lebanese youth go online.Ya Libnan
Egypt to Supply Lebanon with Natural Gas.Naharnet
Israel's Olmert Prepares To Counter Lebanon War Criticism.All Headline News
MIDDLE EAST: LEBANON RISKS CIVIL WAR, SAYS SAUDI FOREIGN MINISTER.AKI -
Edwards: calming Iraq means talking to Syria, Iran.Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Arab Israeli ex-MP to drum up support.Gulf Times
Lebanese President: Lebanon Will Reject Any Sheba'a Farms Reality ...MEMRI
How the Media Partnered With Hezbollah: Harvard's Cautionary Report.World Politics Watch - USA.
US criticizes Syria over parliamentary election-Reuters

Latest News Reports From the Dailt Star for April 24/07
Siniora confirms rival camps met in Switzerland
Olmert admits 'no escape' from prisoner swap
Jumblatt and Geagea unleash familiar accusations against Hizbullah
Bahraini PM pledges more help for Lebanon
Rizk reschedules exams for notaries public
Former chief of Italian peacekeeping unit stresses need for respect, credibility

Local AUB alumni group asserts independence
Doctors take on herbal medicine 'scandal'
ACS youth conference explores social, environmental costs of war
ICRC promotes principles of humanitarian law
Project aims to restore charms of Baalbek - the city, not the ruins
Winners of Basil Fuleihan essay contest lay out blueprints for good governance
 

U.N. Commission to Question Heroine of Al Madina Bank Scandal
Brazil's highest federal court has asked the U.N. commission investigating ex-Premier Rafik Hariri's murder to interrogate the heroine of Al Madina bank scandal Rana Koleilat, al Mustaqbal daily reported Tuesday. It said Magistrate Eros Grao has set April 30, 2007 for her questioning by the panel, pending Brazil's approval for Koleilat's extradition. The newspaper also said that Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has issued a presidential decree authorizing Brazilian authorities to cooperate with the U.N. commission. Koleilat quickly became the center of the bank scandal when it broke in July 2003. After detecting a cash deficit of more than $300 million, along with other irregularities, the Central Bank stepped in and took control of Al Madina. She was interrogated and jailed several months in 2004. She then jumped bail and fled the country, allegedly with the help of Syria's then former intelligence chief in Lebanon, Maj. Gen. Rustom Ghazaleh. She was arrested in March 2006 by Brazilian police at a hotel apartment on the outskirts of Sao Paulo and was charged with trying to bribe a police officer to release her. U.N. investigators want to question Koleilat to know whether money allegedly diverted from Al Madina Bank, where Koleilat worked, was used to finance Hariri's murder. Beirut, 24 Apr 07, 12:28

Syrian Advocate of Neighborly Relations with Lebanon Jailed
Syrian human rights activist Anwar Bunni, who has called for normalizing relations with Lebanon, was sentenced by a Damascus court Tuesday to five years in prison. His lawyer, Khalil Maatouk, said Bunni was convicted in "spreading false information" damaging to the country.
"The criminal court in Damascus sentenced lawyer Anwar Bunni to five years in prison under the accusation of spreading false information which weakens the nation," Maatuk said. Bunni was also ordered to pay a 2,000-dollar fine to the social affairs and labor ministry for membership of an unlicensed human rights organization. Himself a lawyer, Bunni was arrested in the Syrian capital in May 2006 after signing an appeal for radical reform in relations between Syria and neighboring Lebanon.
Syria's state prosecutor said in February that Bunni would be prosecuted for spreading false information. Maatuk and a rights group condemned the heavy jail sentence as an attempt to silence activists. "This verdict is political and unjust. It aims to silence others and to put pressure on and terrorize human rights activists in Syria," the lawyer told Agence France Presse. "They want to muzzle for good (the opposition) so that only the opinion of the authorities is heard," he charged. "Anwar Bunni was condemned for activities which denounce violations against human rights in Syria."
The National Organization for Human Rights in Syria said the sentence was "harsh" and political, while calling on the authorities to free Bunni and all other rights activists held behind bars. "This trial was an attempt to silence the free voices and a message to all to halt their activities in the public domain," the group's head Ammar Qorabi said in a statement. Bunni was the director of a legal rights centre in Syria financed partly by the European Union and established by a Belgian non-governmental organization. The centre was closed after his arrest.
In a statement to the court in January, Bunni said he was being judged for his opinions and had in no way violated the Syrian constitution or the law.
The "Beirut-Damascus Declaration" published in the Lebanese capital in May 2006 was signed by nearly 300 Syrian and Lebanese intellectuals.
In a crackdown that followed in Syria, Bunni was arrested along with nine others, including journalist and writer Michel Kilo and communist activist Mahmoud Issa. On March 27, Kilo and Issa were charged with spreading false information and sowing discord, and they also face possible jail terms of at least three years.(AFP-Naharnet) Beirut, 24 Apr 07, 15:48

U.N. Commission to Question Heroine of Al Madina Bank Scandal
Brazil's highest federal court has asked the U.N. commission investigating ex-Premier Rafik Hariri's murder to interrogate the heroine of Al Madina bank scandal Rana Koleilat, al Mustaqbal daily reported Tuesday. It said Magistrate Eros Grao has set April 30, 2007 for her questioning by the panel, pending Brazil's approval for Koleilat's extradition. The newspaper also said that Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has issued a presidential decree authorizing Brazilian authorities to cooperate with the U.N. commission. Koleilat quickly became the center of the bank scandal when it broke in July 2003. After detecting a cash deficit of more than $300 million, along with other irregularities, the Central Bank stepped in and took control of Al Madina.
She was interrogated and jailed several months in 2004. She then jumped bail and fled the country, allegedly with the help of Syria's then former intelligence chief in Lebanon, Maj. Gen. Rustom Ghazaleh. She was arrested in March 2006 by Brazilian police at a hotel apartment on the outskirts of Sao Paulo and was charged with trying to bribe a police officer to release her.
U.N. investigators want to question Koleilat to know whether money allegedly diverted from Al Madina Bank, where Koleilat worked, was used to finance Hariri's murder. Beirut, 24 Apr 07, 12:28

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Starts Damascus Mission on Lebanon Peace
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon started his first visit to Syria Tuesday for talks with President Bashar Assad on Lebanon and Middle East peace efforts. Ban will also meet Vice President Faruq Sharaa and Foreign Minister Walid Muallem during his day-long visit. The talks are expected to focus on the planned international tribunal to try suspects in the 2005 murder in Beirut of former Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri and on control of the border between Syria and Lebanon. Ban also hopes his visit to Syria "will be useful and constructive" in helping move the regional peace process forward, U.N. deputy spokeswoman Marie Okabe said earlier this month. During a Middle East tour last month, the United Nations secretary general visited Israel and the West Bank in a bid to revive peace talks before attending an Arab summit in Riyadh. He also visited Lebanon where he urged pro- and anti-Syrian leaders to pursue dialogue in order to reach national reconciliation and end Beirut's deepest political crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war. Ban flew in to Damascus from Qatar where he warned at an international forum on democracy, development and free trade on Monday that developing nations will suffer serious damage if the Doha global trade talks do not succeed.(AFP-Naharnet) Beirut, 24 Apr 07, 15:36

Syria Warns Against Possible U.N. Deployment along Border with Lebanon
Syria has reiterated its warning against the possibility of deploying U.N. observers along its border with Lebanon, saying such a move would sabotage Lebanese-Syrian relations. The threat came as U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon started a delicate mission to Syria for talks with President Bashar Assad on the planned international tribunal to try suspects in the 2005 assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri and related crimes.
The daily As Safir on Tuesday, citing Lebanese officials who visited Damascus on the eve of Ban's trip, said the Syrian leadership has cautioned against "stationing civilian or military U.N. observers along the Syrian border because this would certainly lead to measures (to be taken) by Syria that will not be in the interest of either country or people." "If there is a desire to improve (Lebanon-Syrian) relations . this should take place by mutual consent," one source told As Safir.
The source quoted the Syrian leadership as saying that no world power "would then be able to force Syria to establish brotherly relations with Lebanon when a political war is being launched against it by some forces in the Lebanese ruling majority." Ban, accompanied by U.N. Middle East envoy Terje Roed-Larsen and special coordinator for Lebanon, Geir Pedersen, was due also to meet Vice President Farouk Sharaa and Foreign Minister Walid Muallem during the day-long visit. The talks are expected to focus on the tribunal to try suspects in the 2005 murder of Hariri and on control of the border between Syria and Lebanon.
Syria refuses to allow any of its nationals to appear before the court.
Damascus also opposes the planned deployment of U.N. observers on the Lebanon-Syria border to prevent the movement of arms to Hizbullah which last summer fought a 34-day with Israel. Syrian daily Al Watan said that "if the goal ... is to convince Syria to accept the international tribunal and deployment of the international force, the results could be the same as those of U.N. legal adviser Nicolas Michel to Beirut."
Michel last week failed to clinch a deal between Prime Minister Fouad Saniora's government and the Hizbullah-led opposition.
But the United Nations will push through the international court if the political deadlock in Beirut continues, the U.N. official warned after his talks in Beirut. On the Middle East front, Ban hopes his Syrian visit "will be useful and constructive" in advancing the regional peace process, U.N. deputy spokeswoman Marie Okabe said earlier this month. During a tour last month, the United Nations secretary general visited Israel and the West Bank in a bid to revive peace talks before attending an Arab summit in Riyadh where a Saudi-inspired peace initiative was re-launched. Ban also visited Lebanon where he urged pro- and anti-Syrian leaders to pursue dialogue in order to reach national reconciliation and end Beirut's deepest political crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war. The U.N. chief flew in to Damascus from Qatar where he warned at an international forum on democracy and development on Monday that developing nations will suffer serious damage if the Doha global trade talks fail. His predecessor as U.N. secretary general, Kofi Annan, last visited Damascus in September.(Naharnet-AFP) Beirut, 24 Apr 07, 13:31

Saniora Criticizes Syria, Wants to Place Shabaa Farms under U.N. Control
Prime Minister Fouad Saniora has lashed out at Syria, saying he wants to place the Israeli-occupied Shabaa Farms area under U.N. jurisdiction since Damascus has refused to cooperate on the issue.
"In view of Syria's non-cooperation over the Shabaa Farms' matter, the optimum solution would be to place it under U.N. control," Saniora told reporters in Cairo on Monday after meeting President Hosni Mubarak. "Consequently, we will liberate land still occupied by Israel," Saniora added. His remarks were published by the Lebanese media on Tuesday. He accused Syria of wanting to keep the Shabaa issue "as is" by refusing to take steps to determine the exact boundary of the disputed farmland. Saniora pointed out that Syria, which had previously agreed to place Shabaa under U.N. control, has changed its stance. He said Damascus was now saying that the property falls under United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, and not Resolution 425. Shabaa Farms is a small land located in the mountainous border region between Lebanon, Syria and Israel. It was captured by the Jewish state when it seized the Golan Heights in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.
The controversy arose following the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Southern Lebanon on May 25, 2000. In June 2000, the United Nations affirmed that Israel had withdrawn its forces from Lebanon, in accordance with Resolution 425 and U.N. cartographers determined that Shabaa was part of Syria.
Hizbullah cites the ongoing occupation of the Shebaa Farms as the basis for its continued attacks on Israel. In June 2006, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan sent a letter to Saniora saying that in order to transfer the sovereignty of Shabaa Farms to Lebanon there should be a border delineation agreement between Lebanon and Syria. However, Syrian President Bashar Assad has refused to do so until Israeli troops withdraw. Beirut, 24 Apr 07, 08:15

U.S. Targets Syrian Navy, Air Force and Hizbullah with Sanctions
The U.S. has imposed sanctions on 14 foreign people, companies and government agencies, including the Syrian navy and air force, as part of a stepped up drive to halt banned military dealings with Iran and Syria. The 14 entities which also include Hizbullah, a Pakistani national and firms from China, Malaysia, Mexico and Singapore are accused of selling to or buying from Iran or Syria missile technology or material to make weapons of mass destruction. The sanctions, announced by the State Department on Monday, bar any U.S. aid, government contracts or export licenses to the named entities for two years. They may be renewed at any time during that period.
State Department officials refused to comment on specific allegations against those listed in the notice because the determinations involved sensitive intelligence. But, they said Washington had "credible evidence" they had been involved in illicit transfers.
The measures are largely symbolic because many of the targets are already subject to U.S. sanctions for previous similar transactions, most recently in December 2006, officials said. However, the Syrian navy and air force, have never before been identified as violators of the Iran and Syria Nonproliferation Act, they said.
Neither has Hizbullah, which is backed by both Syria and Iran and is covered by existing U.S. sanctions because it is designated a "foreign terrorist organization" by the United States, they said. The listed entities included the China National Precision Machinery Import/Export Corporation, the Shanghai Non-Ferrous Metals Pudong Development Trade Company and the Zibo Chemet Equipment Company (China).
Also listed were Sokkia Singapore PTE Ltd., Challenger Corporation and Target Airfreight of Malaysia, Aerospace Logistics Services of Mexico and Pakistani national Arif Durrani. In Syria, the sanctions target the Air Force, Navy, Army Supply Bureau and Industrial Establishment of Defense.(AP-AFP-Naharnet) (AFP photo shows an Iranian missile displayed during the army day military parade, outside the mausoleum of the late founder of the Islamic republic, Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran, 18 April 2007.) Beirut, 24 Apr 07, 07:33

Lebanon Among Priorities of New U.S. Ambassador to U.N.
The new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad, who started his job Monday, will put a priority on addressing among other things the Lebanese crisis, a spokesman said. "Ambassador Khalilzad was saying today that his priorities ... for the first couple of months are obviously Iran, Lebanon, Syria and U.N. reform," said Richard Grenell, spokesman for the U.S. mission at the United Nations. Grenell also said "a very big priority for him is to get the United Nations more involved," in Iraq. Khalilzad was confirmed by the Senate on March 29 by unanimous voice vote to replace John Bolton, whose nomination by President George Bush sparked a bruising Senate debate. Bolton resigned in December, weeks before his recess appointment was to expire.Bolton arrived at the United Nations in August 2005 after being appointed by Bush during a Congressional recess because he twice failed to be confirmed by the Senate. During his time in the post, he was admired for trying to promote U.S. foreign policy and for being a skilled negotiator but not for his often aggressive and abrasive style.The Afghan-born Khalilzad, by contrast, has a reputation as a gregarious, glad-handing diplomat. He is a favorite at the White House, where he is known as "Zal," and a confidant of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, with whom he worked in the administration of Bush's father. Khalilzad, who speaks several languages, served as the U.S. ambassador to Iraq from June 2005 until last month and as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan from 2003 to 2005. He was a counselor to former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and special assistant to Bush at the National Security Council from 2000-2002. Khalilzad and other Security Council ambassadors leave Tuesday for a six-day trip to Serbia before they tackle the future status of Kosovo. "It will provide him a very good opportunity to get to know the other ambassadors who are on the trip and have some down time and social time with them, as well as learn a very important issue in Kosovo," Grenell said.(AP-AFP-Naharnet)
Beirut, 24 Apr 07, 07:47

Saniora Criticizes Syria, Wants to Place Shabaa Farms under U.N. Control
Prime Minister Fouad Saniora has lashed out at Syria, saying he wants to place the Israeli-occupied Shabaa Farms area under U.N. jurisdiction since Damascus has refused to cooperate on the issue.
"In view of Syria's non-cooperation over the Shabaa Farms' matter, the optimum solution would be to place it under U.N. control," Saniora told reporters in Cairo on Monday after meeting President Hosni Mubarak. "Consequently, we will liberate land still occupied by Israel," Saniora added. His remarks were published by the Lebanese media on Tuesday. He accused Syria of wanting to keep the Shabaa issue "as is" by refusing to take steps to determine the exact boundary of the disputed farmland. Saniora pointed out that Syria, which had previously agreed to place Shabaa under U.N. control, has changed its stance. He said Damascus was now saying that the property falls under United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, and not Resolution 425. Shabaa Farms is a small land located in the mountainous border region between Lebanon, Syria and Israel. It was captured by the Jewish state when it seized the Golan Heights in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. The controversy arose following the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Southern Lebanon on May 25, 2000. In June 2000, the United Nations affirmed that Israel had withdrawn its forces from Lebanon, in accordance with Resolution 425 and U.N. cartographers determined that Shabaa was part of Syria. Hizbullah cites the ongoing occupation of the Shebaa Farms as the basis for its continued attacks on Israel. In June 2006, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan sent a letter to Saniora saying that in order to transfer the sovereignty of Shabaa Farms to Lebanon there should be a border delineation agreement between Lebanon and Syria. However, Syrian President Bashar Assad has refused to do so until Israeli troops withdraw. Beirut, 24 Apr 07, 08:15