January 2/2007

Bible Reading of the day
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 2,16-21.
So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them. When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb

Latest news from Miscellaneous sources for January 02/07
Lebanon: 'Divine victory' perfume on sale-Ynetnews
Interim conclusions on Lebanon war to be published February-Ynetnews

U.N. Seeking Drones for Lebanon Force-Naharnet
France Reaffirms Support for Saniora's 'Elected' Government-Naharnet
Morocco, Bahrain Worried over Lebanon, Mideast Conflicts-Naharnet
Middle East predictions in 2007-
Ya Libnan
81 Journalists Killed in 2006, Two from Lebanon-Naharnet
Egypt Press: Saddam's Execution 'Sacrifice' on Adha-Naharnet
Saddam Buried in Home Village-Naharnet

Optimism or pessimism?

Fearing terrorist attacks, UNIFIL raises level of alert-Jerusalem Post
France asserts support to Lebanon's Siniora government-Xinhua
Hamadeh blames Syria for failure of AL's Lebanon mission-Ya Libnan
IDF to conclude Lebanon war inquiries Monday-Ynetnews
FEATURE-Dead leaders drive Lebanese political life-Reuters
Geagea: Time to short circuit Lebanon's Speaker-Ya Libnan
Top 10 world stories of 2006-Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Political conflicts seep into Lebanon's classrooms-Monsters and

Saddam's billions-Melbourne Herald Sun
Lebanese, Belgian army leaders discuss bilateral military ...
Kuwait News Agency
In 2007, the Middle East Will Again Dominate Headlines-World Politics Watch
DEBKAfile: Iraq’s renegade Baath party names Izzat Ibrahim al ...DEBKA file

Phalangist candidate wins 60% of vote in poll for Metn MP
Sunday, 31 December, 2006 @ 5:04 PM
Beirut- A poll conducted by IPSOS-STAT shows that if elections were held today for the replacement of former MP and Minister Pierre Gemayel then the winner would be the Phalangist ( Kataeb ) party candidate with 60 % of the vote against 32 % for the candidate of General Aoun ( FPM).
IPSOS conducted the study , because the seat of the assassinated MP and minister of industry Pierre Gemayel should have been filled within 60 days from the date of his murder. The poll was conducted between December 14 and Dec 23 using a random sampling of 1000 people over the age of 21 from 72 towns and villages in the northern Metn region of Mount Lebanon.
IPSOS poll revealed the following breakdown:
60 % Phalangist ( Kataeb) party candidate
32 % General Aoun's candidate (FPM)
7 % undecided
1% declined to take part in the polls
IPSOS poll also revealed the following breakdown based on religious
74% Phalangist ( Kataeb) party candidate
15 % General Aoun's candidate
11% declined to take part in the polls
9% Phalangist ( Kataeb ) party candidate
91 % General Aoun's candidate
78% Phalangist ( Kataeb ) party candidate
22 % General Aoun's candidate
Christian Maronites
69 % Phalangist ( Kataeb ) party candidate
27 % General Aoun's candidate
4 % undecided
64 % Phalangist ( Kataeb ) party candidate
27 % General Aoun's candidate
9 % undecided
Rome Orthodox
47 % Phalangist ( Kataeb ) party candidate
47 % General Aoun's candidate
6 % undecided
54 % Phalangist ( Kataeb ) party candidate
31 % General Aoun's candidate
14 % undecided
1% declined to take part in the polls
71 % Phalangist ( Kataeb ) party candidate
22 % General Aoun's candidate
7 % undecided
The results are a major blow for General Aoun , since it shows that by aligning himself with Hezbollah he received the support of the Shiites but lost the support of the majority of the Lebanese.
Source: LBC, Ya Libnan

U.N. Seeking Drones for Lebanon Force
French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said the United Nations is seeking drones to boost the intelligence-gathering capabilities of its peacekeeping force in Lebanon.
"We have received a request from the United Nations. We are in the process of studying it but no decision has yet been taken," the minister told reporters on a New Year's Eve trip to Lebanon to visit French troops assigned to the U.N. force.
Similar requests were also submitted to Canada and Denmark, French military sources said.
France, which currently commands the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon, already has several drones on Lebanese territory ready for use if the green light is given.
France expressed readiness to deploy the aircraft in early December after a spate of violations of Lebanese airspace by Israeli warplanes in breach of the terms of an August truce resolution adopted by the U.N. Security Council.
Israel insisted at the time that the overflights were necessary to ensure that a stop had been put to clandestine arms deliveries from Syria to Hizbullah which fought a devastating 34-day war with the Jewish state in the summer.
But the French minister said that Israel had reduced its overflights in response to the wave of protests from France and other European countries.
"The aggressive overflights have disappeared since I was forced to speak out fairly strongly against them," she said, adding that "high-level overflights have also been greatly reduced."
She said she regretted that they had not come to a complete halt.
Alliot-Marie also reiterated France's support for Prime Minister Fouad Saniora's government.
"I have come to reaffirm France's support for the legitimate government of Lebanon," she told reporters after meeting her Lebanese counterpart Elias Murr.
Alliot-Marie, who arrived in Beirut on Saturday for a 48-hour visit, also stressed Paris's backing for the Beirut government to "exercise its sovereignty completely," and that the Lebanese army play "a role across all its territory."
She spent New Year's Eve with French troops stationed at Deir Kifa, 20 kilometers east of the port city of Tyre.
Lebanon has been paralyzed by a critical political impasse with Hizbullah-led protestors camping outside Saniora's offices since Dec.1 demanding to topple the prime minister to form a national unity cabinet that would give them a greater say in the government.
With a 1,600-strong force of "blue helmets", France is the second largest contributor to UNIFIL, beefed up after the U.N.-brokered truce between Lebanon and Hizbullah took effect on August 14.
France will transfer command of the 11,000-strong force to Italy, the main contributor with 2,300 soldiers, in the coming weeks.(AFP-Naharnet) Beirut, 01 Jan 07, 09:09

Morocco, Bahrain Worried over Lebanon, Mideast Conflicts
The monarchs of Morocco and Bahrain said they were "profoundly worried" by the unstable situation in the Arab and Muslim world, particularly in Lebanon, Iraq and the Middle East.
Morocco's King Mohammed and Bahrain's King Hamad "insisted on the importance of dialogue and talks in the resolution of disputes and conflicts," notably in the Middle East, Lebanon and Iraq, according to a joint statement issued after talks n Rabat on Sunday.
They also called for solidarity among Arabs and said they wanted to improve cooperation between their two countries.(AFP)(AFP photo shows king Hamad) Beirut, 01 Jan 07, 10:41