June 21/07

Bible Reading of the day
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 6,1-6.16-18. (But) take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.

Latest News Reports From Miscellaneous Sources for June 21/06/07
Army Provides a Sense of Unity in Fractured Lebanon-New York Times
Time running out for Lebanon, Arab League warns-Reuters

Fatah Islam Squeezed as Army Makes More Gains on Ground-Naharnet
U.S. Lawmakers Pressure EU to Label Hizbullah Terrorist Group-Naharnet
Car-Park Quarrel in Beirut Leaves 2 Wounded-Naharnet
Bush, PM downplay hopes of Syria talks-Jerusalem Post
A glimmer of hope in Lebanon-Gulf News
US lawmakers pressuring EU on Hezbollah terrorism designation-International Herald Tribune
Analysis: What changed after Lebanon War?United Press International
Israel: UN forces in Lebanon under orders not to offend Hizbullah-World Tribune
The real cause of Gaza battle-Gulf News
Open the gates immediately-Ha'aretz
Army takes control of most militant positions-Daily Star
Moussa optimistic Lebanese can overcome differences-Daily Star
Judge issues arrest warrants against 4 Al-Qaeda suspects-Daily Star
Gemayel says law requires by-elections-Daily Star
Qatar says Bint Jbeil pensions to resume-Daily Star
Kuwait donates $5 million worth of ambulances, medical supplies-Daily Star
Authorities search for gunmen in Bekaa-Daily Star
ISF finds rocket-propelled grenades in Rashayah -Daily Star
Hawi family delays memorial for slain leader-Daily Star
Two Israeli fighter jets violate Lebanese airspace-Daily Star
Siniora: Returning refugees to Nahr al-Bared needs time-Daily Star
Jund al-Sham fighters botch bomb-building attempt-Daily Star
Russia prepared to help clear unexploded ordnance littering South Lebanon-Daily Star
Instability prompts couples to put wedding plans on hold
-Daily Star
Lebanese investors wooed with 'million-dollar visas'-Daily Star

U.S. Lawmakers Pressure EU to Label Hizbullah Terrorist Group
U.S. lawmakers are stepping up pressure on the European Union to declare Hizbullah a terrorist organization despite efforts by some European countries to block the move. A House of Representatives' panel is to highlight Wednesday the importance of Europe as a fundraising base for the group, long held responsible by the United States for anti-U.S. and anti-Israeli attacks. Some EU states have resisted a designation of Hizbullah as a terrorist organization, arguing that it is better to engage the group given its large role in Lebanese politics. European officials have argued that changing policy on Hizbullah could affect the political balance in Lebanon and further destabilize the country. The U.S. government has considered Hizbullah a foe since the 1980s and used its own decade-old designation to seize assets and freeze the group out of its financial system. Some members of Congress say that European countries standing in the way of a necessary unanimous vote by the 27-member EU should reconsider, given fading hopes that Hizbullah will play a constructive role in Lebanon's nascent democracy.
"What many of us here are arguing is that Europe must recognize the tremendously dangerous role Hizbullah plays and should include them on their list," said Democratic Rep. Robert Wexler, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs' subcommittee on Europe that is holding Wednesday's hearing.
A designation by the EU would require member-nations to freeze the group's assets held in their jurisdiction. "An EU ban on Hizbullah could have a significant impact, particularly in terms of its ability to use Europe as a fundraising and recruiting base," said Michael Jacobson, a former Bush administration treasury official. Jacobson, now a senior fellow at the Stein Program on Terrorism, Intelligence, and Policy at the Washington Institute, will be testifying at Wednesday's hearing.
The EU Parliament passed a resolution to "take all necessary steps to curtail" Hizbullah. But the measure was nonbinding on the EU Council, which would have to approve a designation. Jacobson says that while many European countries openly support labeling Hizbullah a terrorist group, efforts to pressure the EU are complicated because it is not clear how many countries are against the move. Under EU rules a unanimous vote is needed to designate a terrorist organization. The deliberations happen anonymously behind closed doors. However, the French government has in the past argued openly against the designation.(AP-Naharnet) Beirut, 20 Jun 07, 09:07

Fatah Islam Squeezed as Army Makes More Gains on Ground
The Lebanese army has made steady gains on the ground, further squeezing Fatah al-Islam militants in a small portion of the battered Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared as mediators on Wednesday reportedly hinted at a possible cease-fire deal with the militants. Two Lebanese soldiers became the latest victims of the battle around Nahr el-Bared near the northern city of Tripoli that began on May 20. As the fighting with Fatah al-Islam continued on Wednesday, mediators hinted at a possible cease-fire deal with the militants that included the disarmament of the al-Qaida-inspired militants. According to a Palestinian Muslim cleric who has been acting as mediator, the deal would include a cease-fire, to be followed by the militants' disarmament. The cleric, Sheik Mohammed Haj, told The Associated Press news agency he had a "very positive" meeting with Fatah al-Islam leaders inside the camp but would not give details before a scheduled meeting with the army command on Wednesday. He earlier told the official National News Agency (NNA) that the militants agreed to conditions of his Palestinian Scholars Association.
The cleric did not offer more details, but the private New TV station said the conditions also include return of refugees, takeover of the camp by other Palestinian factions and Fatah al-Islam's dissolution.
Meanwhile, Abu Imad Rifai, a representative of the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad, told Al-Manar television that the progress was made after Fatah al-Islam "opened the doors for a solution" and accepted to "dissolve." The army had said its decision to eliminate Fatah al-Islam was "final and irreversible," and the militants had pledged to fight to death rather than comply by the military's request that they surrender. The fighting in Nahr al-Bared comes amid a bitter standoff between Prime Minister Fouad Saniora's government and the Hizbullah-led opposition. NNA said three Lebanese helicopters fired 12 rockets at suspected Fatah al-Islam positions in the camp late Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Lebanon's top military magistrate Rashid Mezher issued formal arrest warrants for nine suspected militants who were detained earlier this month in east Lebanon's Bekaa Valley town of Bar Elias, NNA reported. The agency did not say to which group the nine belonged but said they comprise six Lebanese, two Syrians and a Saudi. The battle to drive the terrorists out has led to significant damage to parts of the camp, once home to some 30,000 Palestinian refugees. Only about 5,000 remain inside, after most residents fled to the nearby Beddawi refugee camp. An amateur video obtained by Associated Press Television News on Tuesday showed major destruction in largely deserted residential neighborhoods. Debris from collapsed walls and balconies littered the narrow alleys, covered with ripped electricity wires. Shells and shrapnel holes peppered some buildings. A burnt car and a parked pickup truck with a collapsed wall resting on it lay on one deserted street.
The video, taken at different periods between May 27 and June 10, showed very few residents. Six men were seen gathering around a hose to fill up cans with water. In one house, a family was sitting on the floor for a meal.(AP-Naharnet) Beirut, 20 Jun 07, 07:18

Car-Park Quarrel in Beirut Leaves 2 Wounded
An overnight car-parking quarrel in Beirut's Tarik Jedideh neighborhood developed into a shootout between members of MP Saad Hariri's al-Moustaqbal party and Amal Movement, headed by House Speaker Nabih Berri. Police said two men were wounded in the flare-up with machine gunfire at Hay Farhat, a small quarter of Tarik Jedideh, before Lebanese troops stepped in and dispersed the feuding sides. They identified the casualties both al-Moustaqbal supporters -- as Mohammed Hajjar, who was shot in the head, and Bashir Khatib, who received leg injuries. Beirut, 20 Jun 07, 08:56