July 1/07

Bible Reading of the day-Daily Star
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 8,5-17. When he entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully." He said to him, "I will come and cure him." The centurion said in reply, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes; and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it." When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, "Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.
I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the kingdom of heaven, but the children of the kingdom will be driven out into the outer darkness, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth." And Jesus said to the centurion, "You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you." And at that very hour (his) servant was healed. Jesus entered the house of Peter, and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand, the fever left her, and she rose and waited on him. When it was evening, they brought him many who were possessed by demons, and he drove out the spirits by a word and cured all the sick, to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet: "He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases."

Free Opinion
How Lebanese society might still save itself from disastrous leadership-By The Daily Star. July 1/07
Talk of deals with Syria and Iran and its consequences for ...Dar Al-Hayat. July 1/07
Let Iraq burn, but don't leave the scene of the fire.By David Ignatius. July 1/07

Latest News Reports From Miscellaneous Sources for July 1/07
Bush Cracks the Whip, Bars Entry to Syrians, Lebanese Undermining Saniora-Naharnet
Car Used in Gemayel's Killing Busted in North Lebanon-Naharnet
Wahab Feels 'Honored' by 'Hitler's' Ban-Naharnet
Palestinian Protest at Beddawi Turns Bloody-Naharnet

EU: Hamas, Hezbollah, People's Mujaheddin remain terrorist groups-
Monsters and
UN chief urges Syria and Iran to do more to prevent arms smuggling ...International Herald Tribune

Politicians denounce idea of parallel government-Daily Star
Ban releases report on Resolution 1701
-Daily Star
Three Palestinians killed in protest outside Nahr al-Bared
-Daily Star
Fadlallah: 'Terrorist attacks' on UNIFIL aim to stir strife
-Daily Star
Judiciary awaits Eid's response to request for his removal
-Daily Star
Australia confirms five nationals held in Lebanon
-Daily Star
Israeli daily blames Lebanon for impasse over Ghajar
-Daily Star
Nahr al-Bared couple weds far from home engulfed in fighting
-Daily Star
Madrid wants joint probe into UNIFIL bombing
-Daily Star
Report of the secretary general on the implementation of Security
-Daily Star
NGOs back films focusing on youth social problems-Daily Star

Car Used in Gemayel's Killing Busted in North Lebanon
Security forces confiscated a car believed to have been used in the assassination of anti-Syrian legislator Pierre Gemayel seven months ago, a reliable source told Naharnet. The source speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Japanese-made Honda vehicle, which is believed to have been used in Gemayel's killing, was busted in north Lebanon. The industry minister was shot in the head at point-blank range in broad daylight on Nov. 21.
At the time, one escort said two cars took Gemayel's convoy by surprise. One rammed his Kia automobile from behind, while an assassin stepped out of another vehicle and shot the legislator in his car. A bodyguard was also killed. "We have evidence, solid enough to make us believe it is one of the cars used by the assassins" who gunned down Gemayel in Beirut's northeastern suburb of new Jdeideh. However, he said "further laboratory tests to be conducted abroad will provide the definite answer."The source refused to disclose further details.
Gemayel was a prominent member of the anti-Syrian March 14 majority alliance that backs Premier Fouad Saniora's government.
His killing, as well as that of legislator Walid Eido earlier this month, had been blamed by the Saniora government on Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime. Damascus has denied the charges. Beirut, 29 Jun 07, 19:23

Wahab Feels 'Honored' by 'Hitler's' Ban
Former pro-Damascus Environment Minister Wiam Wahab, who figures on a list of Syrian and Lebanese personalities banned from entering the United States, said on Saturday he felt "honored" by the distinction."This is like a badge of honor. It's an honor for me to be targeted by (U.S. President) George Bush who is the Hitler of the 21st century," Wahab told Agence France Presse. "He has destroyed the Middle East and left the United States without a friend in the region," Wahab charged.
"I didn't expect my peaceful political stands to produce such a reaction. We will not allow George Bush and his local allies to govern Lebanon," said Wahab.
Bush on Friday barred several Syrian and Lebanese figures allegedly involved in destabilizing Premier Fouad Saniora's government from entering the United States, the White House said. It named several people already banned, including Syria's head of military intelligence, an advisor to Syrian President Bashar Assad and several members of Lebanon's former pro-Damascus government. Among former cabinet ministers in Lebanon is Michel Samaha, who declined to give his reaction on Saturday. Wahab said he plans to take legal action in Beirut "against those who took this decision ... for defamation and interference in Lebanon's domestic affairs."
Former pro-Damascus MP Nasser Qandil was also barred from entering the U.S.
Qandil said in a statement carried by the National News Agency that the ban was a "precious gift," adding he will hold the Bush administration responsible for any harm inflicted on him or any member of his family.(AFP-Naharnet) Beirut, 30 Jun 07, 11:16

Bush Cracks the Whip, Bars Entry to Syrians, Lebanese Undermining Saniora
The United States is cracking the whip hard on Syria with President George Bush barring U.S. entry to Syrian and Lebanese figures who are undermining the stability of Lebanon and the government of Premier Fouad Saniora. "This is a tool the United States has to demonstrate to Syria our desire for them to stop meddling in Lebanon — to demonstrate to Syria and those who want to destabilize the democratically elected government in Lebanon that we will continue to increase pressure until they suspend their activities," said National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe on Friday.
Bush signed a proclamation suspending entry into the U.S. by people who have harmed Lebanon's sovereignty or its democratic institutions, or who have worked to destabilize Lebanon through terrorism, politically motivated violence, intimidation or the reassertion of Syrian control in Lebanon. Bush signed the order in Kennebunkport, where he is meeting Sunday and Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The order does not list certain individuals subject to the ban, but the White House released information that named 10 individuals who are suspected of being engaged in the type of activities the U.S. seeks to end.
They include top Syrian military intelligence officials; an adviser to Syrian President Bashar Assad; former Lebanese ministers of defense, labor, environment and information; and a former Lebanese legislator.
Syria held political and military sway in Lebanon for some three decades. Besides armed troops on Beirut streets, Syrian intelligence forces were often a shadowy but pervasive force in Lebanese daily life. Parliament is not functioning and the government just barely after pro-Damascus cabinet members resigned. Hizbullah-led opposition supporters have also been holding an open-ended sit-in since Dec. 1, calling in vain for Saniora's resignation and the formation of a national unity cabinet.
Johndroe said the new order was provoked by Syria's "continuing activity in Lebanon," mentioning the assassination of anti-Syrian Lebanese lawmaker Walid Eido on June 13 as "one more incident that led the government to make the decision" to ban the figures from U.S. entry.
Eido was a close friend of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri, who was killed in a massive bombing in Beirut in February 2005 along with 22 others. Eido also was a political ally of Hariri's son, Saad, who now leads the anti-Syrian majority in the Lebanese parliament. Five other anti-Syrian figures also have been assassinated the past two years.
Many in Lebanon blame the Damascus regime for the killings, but Syria denies any involvement.
The list provided by the White House named the following individuals who culd be subject to the ban:
Hisham Ikhtiyar, adviser to Syrian President Bashar Assad
Jamaa Jamaa, top Syrian military intelligence official
Assaf Shawkat, director of Syrian military intelligence and Assad's brother-in-law.
Roustum Ghazali, top Syrian military intelligence official
Abdulrahim Mrad, former Lebanese minister of defense
Assad Hardan, former Lebanese minister of labor
Assam Qanso, former Lebanese minister of labor
Michel Samaha, former Lebanese minister of information
Nasser Qandil, former Lebanese member of parliament
Wiam Wahhab, former Lebanese minister of environment
The ban on travel to the U.S., includes immediate members of the men's families, and people whose businesses benefited from their activities.
The list can be extended to others not mentioned by the White House Friday, Johndroe said.
A year ago, the Treasury Department froze the assets of Ikhtiyar and Jamaa, alleging they had played key roles in support of terrorist organizations.
At the time, the Treasury alleged that Ikhtiyar had contributed to the Syrian government's support for designated "terrorist organizations," including Hizbullah. The Treasury said that Ikhtiyar had supported Syria's military and security presence in Lebanon from 2001 to 2005 when he headed the General Intelligence Directorate, the government's central intelligence service.
The Treasury said that Jamaa contributed to the Syrian government's military presence in Lebanon while serving as commander of the Syrian Military Intelligence.(AP-AFP-Naharnet) (AP photo shows Bush fishing near Kennebunk, Maine) Beirut, 30 Jun 07, 07:45

Palestinian Protest at Beddawi Turns Bloody
Three demonstrators were shot dead on Friday as angry Palestinians tried to march home to their besieged Nahr al-Bared camp in the north, even as Lebanese troops and Fatah al-Islam militants battled at the shantytown. The confrontation between the army and Palestinians was the first major trouble between the two sides since fighting broke out last month at Nahr al-Bared. An Nahar newspaper said Saturday that three protestors were killed and 50 others wounded.
Premier Fouad Saniora, who was visiting Italy, spoke by phone with security officials and PLO representative Abbas Zaki, urging them to contain the incident.
He warned that some groups, which he did not identify, might try to push the situation toward "acts that harm both the Lebanese and Palestinians," the state-run National News Agency said. After the army and Fatah al-Islam began battling May 20, thousands of Palestinian refugees fled Nahr al-Bared, and most took refuge at Beddawi, few kilometers away. With fighting dragging on at Nahr al-Bared, the displaced are now demanding to be allowed to return to their homes.
On Friday, demonstrators massed at Beddawi to protest their situation, and some then tried to march toward the besieged camp.
The state news agency ANI said after Friday prayers about 100 protesters rushed the military checkpoint outside Beddawi, forcing troops to open fire after they refused to pull back. The army issued a communiqué saying the demonstrators carried sticks and sharp tools and blocked the main road with tires and barriers.
"Army troops worked hard to end this action peacefully but got no response from the protesters who tried to push their way into the military checkpoints, ignoring warning shots by soldiers," the communiqué said
An Nahar said two soldiers were killed in a landmine explosion inside Nahr al-Bared Friday.Throughout the day, exchanges of light arms fire were punctuated by the crash of shells in the camp's southern sector to which Fatah al-Islam fighters have retreated as the army tries to crush the almost six-week-old attack.
With any political solution increasingly unlikely, a group of Islamic clerics announced they were calling off their mediation efforts between the army and the militants.
"The only way out is a political solution," they said in a statement handed out to reporters in Beirut. They insisted on the return of refugees and reconstruction of their homes, stressing the Lebanese army was responsible for the security of both Lebanese and Palestinian civilians.(AP-AFP-Naharnet) Beirut, 30 Jun 07, 08:16