April 29/2007

Bible Reading of the day
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 6,60-69. Then many of his disciples who were listening said, "This saying is hard; who can accept it?"Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, "Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe." Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said, "For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father." As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, "Do you also want to leave?" Simon Peter answered him, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God."

Free Opinion
The Murderers Address is Known: Inside Lebanon's Militia.World Forum. April 29/07
Analysis: Killings illustrate crisis in Lebanon.Ya Libnan. April 29/07
Iran's DFM denies financing Lebanon's Hezbollah - Interview.Ya Libnan. April 29/07

Latest News Reports From Miscellaneous Sources for April 29/07
Aridi: Probe Into Twin Murder Reached Advanced Stage-Naharnet
Nadine Njeim Crowned Miss Lebanon 2007.Naharnet
Jumblatt leads chorus of condemnation, calls for restraint from Daily Star
Political rivals in Lebanon unite to condemn killings.Gulf News
Olmert ‘is ready to quit’ over Lebanon conflict.Times Online
Pharoan says drive for 'better Lebanon' still on track despite oil ...Daily Star
Assisting fishermen in Lebanon.ReliefWeb (press release)
Zahrani bridge to reopen on May 25 - contractor.Daily Star
Syria's ruling party wins. Albuquerque Tribune
Murder in Lebanon sparks fear of strife.United Press International
UN chief : Michel had not produced any positive results in Lebanon.Ya Libnan
Lebanese leaders urge calm after hostages’
Emotional farewell for victims of kidnap-murder
Several suspects in custody after double murder
Slayings unite public in outrage: 'What's worse than killing a child?'
Army denies torturing suspected militants
UNIFIL rejects Lebanese Army claim of Israeli incursion in South
Pharoan says drive for 'better Lebanon' still on track despite oil spilled by Israeli attack

Newspapers to take Labor Day off
Zahrani bridge to reopen on May 25 - contractor
AUB plans to start offering PhDs again in fall 2007

US commander says Syria might be helping stem flow of fighters ...International Herald Tribune
War in Lebanon was 'rash,' commission inquiry finds.Globe and Mail
Tensions High After Sunni Killings in Beirut:

Olmert exercised 'rash judgment' in Lebanon war , says report.Ya Libnan
Keep your hopes down.Ynetnews

Nadine Njeim Crowned Miss Lebanon 2007
Nadine Njeim won the Miss Lebanon 2007 title in a nationally televised pageant at Casino du Liban Friday, the same day two slain youths were buried amid mounting anger.Njeim, 19, was crowned Miss Lebanon by Gabrielle Bou Rashed, Miss Lebanon 2006. The new beauty queen edged out top finalists Maha Khoury, Sahar Sbeiti, Sasha Dahdouh and Gretta Habib.
Eighteen contestants from all over Lebanon vied to succeed Bou Rashed. They were trimmed to 10 semifinalists and finally five finalists.
During the swimsuit competition, the beauty queens performed a synchronized strut on stage before each posed for the judges. The contestants also had walk-ons on the catwalk in their evening gowns before the finalists took their solo strolls for the audience. An Nahar newspaper said Saturday that the pageant tried to dispel feelings of frustration over the killing of the two youths. Ziad Kabalan and Ziad Ghandour, who were kidnapped and murdered in what was thought to be a political vendetta, were buried in Beirut Friday. The show's host was Tony Baroud, whose wife Christina Sawaya is a previous Miss Lebanon title holder. A panel of nine judges elected the winner. Its members included Paolo Bongia, Siham Tueni, May Khalil, Georgina Rizk, Roger Moukarzel, Billy Karam, Mouna Fares, Nada Salameh and Tarek Housami.An Nahar said Lebanon's beauty queens for the past ten years were among the crowd who attended the pageant. Nadine Njeim, who is an international business student, carries the same name as that of Miss Lebanon 2004.
She has listed her hobbies on the Miss Lebanon 2007 website as diving and swimming. Beirut, 28 Apr 07, 09:04

Aridi: Probe Into Twin Murder Reached Advanced Stage
Information Minister Ghazi Aridi has said that the investigation into the murder of two youths Ziad Ghandour and Ziad Qabalan in Beirut has "reached an advanced stage."Aridi said Friday after a ministerial-security meeting at the Grand Serail that the probe has "reached an advanced stage and is very positive." "Maybe some members of the (Shamas) family had something to do with" the crime, Aridi said when asked if that family was involved in the killings.Defense Minister Elias Murr said on Thursday that the slaying of the two youths was linked to the January 25 incidents during which Adnan Shamas, a member of the Amal movement, was killed. The opposition had accused Druze Leader Walid Jumblat's Progressive Socialist Party followers of killing Shamas, but police later arrested a Syrian over the crime.The families of Ghandour and Qabalan are PSP members.
Aridi also denied media reports that Jumblat had called Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah after the bodies of Ghandour, 12, and Qabalan, 25, were found southeast of Beirut Thursday, three days after being kidnapped from their car. Beirut, 28 Apr 07, 10:38
Ziads Buried Amidst Tight Security, Anger
Two young Lebanese who were kidnapped and murdered in what was thought to be a political vendetta were buried in Beirut on Friday amidst tight security and mounting anger.
The bodies of Ziad Kabalan, 25, and Ziad Ghandour, 12, were found by security forces near the town of Jadra, southeast of Beirut on Thursday, three days after apparently being kidnapped from their car. Their families are members of the Progressive Socialist Party of Druze leader Walid Jumblat, a prominent figure in the anti-Syrian parliamentary majority. The media has speculated that there was a link between their kidnapping and the killing of Adnan Shamas, a member of the Shiite movement Amal, during street fights in January.
The Syrian-backed opposition had accused PSP followers of killing Shamas, but police later arrested a Syrian over the crime.
Jumblat and several other members of the anti-Syrian camp walked at the head of the funeral procession of several thousand people. Army patrols were stepped up in the capital and schools and universities closed in mourning. Mourners chanted anti-Syria slogans and called for revenge. Women, Their eyes brimming with tears, ululated in grief around the coffin of "Heaven's child," Ghandour.
"May God's Wrath fall on the criminals," one woman shouted in grief as men chanted "Allah Akbar," Arabic for God is great. In a reconciliatory tone, Jumblat urged people not to politicize the murders and to "ignore the rumors that are intended to create dissension" among the Lebanese. He stressed on what he said was the importance of national unity at a time when pro- and anti-Syrian forces are locked in a standoff that has paralyzed the political life of the country, telling mourners that there was no difference between the Hizbullah-controlled Shiite suburbs and the predominantly Sunni Tarik Jedideh neighborhood. Lebanon has been in turmoil since Syria was forced to end about 30 years of domination following the February 2005 murder of former Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri.(AFP-Naharnet) Beirut, 27 Apr 07,

Political rivals in Lebanon unite to condemn killings
AP/Beirut : Several thousand people bid farewell yesterday to a man and a 12-year-old boy whose murder shocked Lebanon and caused rival political leaders to reach out to each other to stop the country from reverting to the sectarian bloodshed of its past.
Police said they were looking for at least three suspects in connection with the killing of Ziad Ghandour, 12, and his neighbour Ziad Qabalan, 25, whose bloated, bullet-riddled bodies were found on the side of a road near the southern port of Sidon late Thursday - four days after they disappeared in Beirut.
The government closed schools and universities yesterday, and put troops on alert and cancelled military leave.
"The crimes of the two Ziads shocks Lebanon," the As-Safir newspaper shouted in its front-page headline.
"Lebanon unites around the blood of the two martyrs," said the front page of Al Balad newspaper.
Ambulances delivered the bodies of Ghandour and Qabalan to their families in the Beirut district of Wata Al Mseitbeh, where their coffins were carried by neighbours and friends amid a throng of hundreds of mourners to a local mosque.
As the procession passed, people threw rice at the coffins in a gesture of grief. Others detonated firecrackers. The one coffin was draped in a Lebanese flag, the other in a green and white blanket. At the mosque, an estimated 5,000 people chanted "Allah Akbar," or God is Great, and "There is no God, but Allah and the martyr is Allah's beloved one." Druze political leader Walid Junblatt led the mourners at the mosque, accompanied by Cabinet ministers, lawmakers and Sunni and Shiite clergymen. "We consider Ziad and Ziad as martyrs for national unity," Junblatt told the congregation.
"Let's keep this incident away from politics, let the judicial process take its course and stop the malicious rumour-mongering."
Junblatt even thanked his arch political rivals, the Shiite opposition party Hezbollah, for its condemnation of the killings and said: "We are united by a struggle and the resistance [to Israel]." The coffins were then carried to a nearby cemetery. Unlike other political funerals during the past two years, the speakers took pains to avoid apportioning blame or calling for revenge. "We confront the strife with love and forgiveness," said the Sunni Muslim cleric who gave the sermon. "We will not be dragged into strife".