October 29/07

Bible Reading of the day
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 18,9-14. He then addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else. Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, 'O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity--greedy, dishonest, adulterous--or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.' But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, 'O God, be merciful to me a sinner.' I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted."

Latest News Reports From Miscellaneous Sources for October 28/07
Aoun Accuses Saniora's Government of 'Usurping Power'.Naharnet
French official meets Syrian vice-president for talks on Lebanon.Monsters and
Lebanon Presidential Crisis Sheds Fear on University Grounds-Naharnet
French envoy to visit Damascus Sun. for talks on Lebanon.Ha'aretz
Iran & Syria threaten Lebanon's anti-Syrian leaders- Newsmax,Ya Libnan
Government Persistent on Removing Hizbullah Telephone Network
Presidential impasse casts fear on Lebanese campus.Middle East Online
Iran supports what Lebanese agree on: envoy.Tehran Times
Lebanese army opens fire on intruding Israeli jets AFP
US and Turkey Thwart Armenian Genocide Bill.
New York Times
Europe faces tough choices on Iran.Los Angeles Times

Aoun Accuses Saniora's Government of 'Usurping Power'
Free Patriotic Movement leader Gen. Michel Aoun launched once again a vehement attack against Prime Minister Fouad Saniora's government, accusing it of "usurping power." Aoun also insisted that an alternative to elect a president by a simple majority is tantamount to a coup against the constitution. "We will not allow elections to take place by a half-plus-one (vote of the MPs)," Aoun told supporters from the mountain town of Aley. "If a president was elected without a quorum he will be illegitimate and we will not accept him; and this would be some kind of coup which we will face with a counter coup," Aoun said. He reiterated his rejection to the takeover of power by "illegitimate" Saniora in the event consensus on a presidential candidate was not reached. Aoun stressed that the only "remaining solution" is the formation of a national unity government representing all Lebanese from all sects. He also assured that the marginalization of Christians would not last because the FPM "would not accept the obliteration of any sect in Lebanon." Beirut, 28 Oct 07, 07:57

Lebanon Presidential Crisis Sheds Fear on University Grounds

Jad frowns at the headlines, drags long on his cigarette and wishes Lebanon's politicians would stop feuding over the future president. This, at least, would spare him and others the nightmare scenario of fellow countrymen taking up arms against each other. "It is like kids fighting and nobody's budging," said the 21-year-old mechanical engineering student in the prestigious American University of Beirut (AUB). "They accuse each other of siding with foreigners, while everybody's connected to some big name out there," he said of the country's Western-backed ruling majority and the Hezbollah-led opposition supported by Syria and Iran. Rival camps in parliament have so far been unable to elect a successor to the pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud, whose term runs out on November 24.
A parliament meeting this week was postponed again so that the MPs have more time to try to agree on a consensus candidate for the president, who is traditionally a Maronite Christian.
Many fear that the standoff could lead to two competing governments emerging as occurred in the last years of Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war when armed units loyal to rival administrations battled each other. "I don't feel safe ... I can't plan for my future," said Noor, a second year student studying nutrition. "There is so much tension in the air that you expect clashes at any moment." The fresh-faced 19-year-old who wears a tight Islamic veil has no recollection of the civil war which killed about 150,000 people, but has been haunted by her parents' horrific accounts of "hatred and senseless bloodshed."
"Looks like it is never going to end. We are doomed to live in chaos," lamented her friend Rawan, a raven-haired Christian girl, recalling the assassination of anti-Syrian MPs and last year's war between Hizbullah and Israel which killed more than 1,000 people -- mostly civilians -- and destroyed Lebanon's infrastructure.
Many students fear that the unleashing of a sectarian conflict will threaten their safe haven, where political debate is hot but has hardly turned violent.
The AUB prides itself on being a "non-sectarian institution" and its zero-tolerance towards violence is said to be crucial to keeping hot-blooded party fanatics at bay.
"Lebanese campuses are heavily politicized and polarized, there is always this dynamic of 'us and them'," said Roula Hajjar, a political science student, referring to Lebanon's confessional diversity, which determines the distribution of power.
For the moment there is little outward evidence of tension on the campus, where students stroll in the lush gardens overlooking the Mediterranean, huddle over math problems or play cards in between classes. Notice boards are covered in concert posters and upcoming sporting events. But Ammar Karim fears friends turn to enemies overnight if rival politicians fail to work it out. "People can easily be manipulated, the (civil) war leaders are back and there are already too many guns out there," said the civil engineering senior, hanging out with classmates from Muslim and Christian faiths. "It will be difficult to stay neutral. You have to be with somebody."
Eating quietly on his own in the school cafeteria, Nadim Abillama said he could not care less who became president.
"People are frustrated, they'd better pick somebody soon and be done with it," said the 19-year-old who is majoring in economics. "This country has serious problems. Poverty is what they should care about as it leads to extremism." Nadim says he still has hope in Lebanon, but does not feel the country can in the near future heal its wounds "which are linked with the Israeli-Palestinian question." Like many others, he is planning to find work abroad in Saudi Arabia or the Gulf where he will be "well-paid and safe." Lebanese universities have long been exporters of professionals but instability and dwindling foreign investment heighten the brain drain, AUB's chairman of political science department, Hilal Khashan said. "The crisis is an obstacle between them and their bright future," he told AFP.
"When the political process is insensitive to the youth's aspiration their immediate reaction is to get the hell out of here." Yet he is optimistic about an ending to the current crisis. "It is Lebanese cliff hanger politics, people brace for the worse, but the agreement comes in the end," he said, insisting politicians have learned from past mistakes.(AFP) Beirut, 28 Oct 07, 13:59

Iran & Syria threaten Lebanon's anti-Syrian leaders
Saturday, 27 October, 2007 @ 2:24 AM
Beirut - Lebanese leaders fear that Iran and Syria are planning a new assassination campaign in Lebanon as part of an effort to derail the complex negotiations now underway to elect a new president. Newsmax has learned of the plot from interviews with key political and religious leaders in Lebanon.
Lebanese cabinet ministers and some 40 anti-Syrian members of parliament have holed themselves up in an annex to the luxury hotel Phoenicia in downtown Beirut, to protect themselves from assassination. Many have not even seen daylight for the past month, living in separate wing of the hotel with heavy curtains, complex security arrangements, and restricted access, even for family members. One cabinet member was not even allowed to go out this week to attend his father's funeral.
Its either this or the cemetery, said Wael Abou Faour, one of the deputies.
Six anti-Syrian members of parliament, including a government minister, have been assassinated since 2005. The latest victim was Antoine Ghanem, a constitutional scholar murdered along with four others on Sept. 19. Ghanem was a key strategist for the opposition Cedars Revolution who explored constitutional precedent for electing a president with a simple majority of Lebanon's 126 member parliament, instead of a two-thirds quorum, as the pro-Syrian and pro-Iranian parties are insisting.
The constitution is very clear on this point, said Roger Edde, a prominent businessman who is also a lawyer. It says that on the first round of the election, the winner must have two-thirds of those present. But there is no mention of a quorum.
If no one is elected on the first round, Edd added, then whoever gets more than 50 percent of the votes will be elected. Hezbollah and the pro-Syrian parties have been insisting on the two-thirds quarum because they feel confident that can intimidate enough members of parliament to stay home from the special session that will be called for the election, as happened earlier this week. Fear of assassination has forced Prime Minister Fouad Siniora to literally camp out in his office for most of the past year. After Ghanem ' s assassination last month, the U.S. embassy in Beirut issued a statement tacitly accusing Syria and Iran of masterminding the terror campaign.
It is not a coincidence that these attacks target those figures who have been working to secure Lebanon's independence from renewed Syrian hegemony, embassy members said.
We note with concern that many Lebanese politicians allied with Syria have in fact warned that murder and violence would be the results of any effort to exercise genuine parliamentary democracy."Those warnings continued this week.
They have prepared 21 cars, and are planning to kill several top leaders over the next two weeks, a prominent figure in the Cedars Revolution told Newsmax.
I received a call on my cell phone a month ago, he said. They were laughing. You think you are protected in your bulletproof car? We will melt you into the pavement with our C4. Picture: Lebanese MP Wael Abou Faour sits in his room at the Phoenecia hotel in Beirut, 22 October 2007. Some 40 lawmakers from Lebanon's Western-backed ruling majority have been cloistered in a tower in a luxury hotel in Beirut for more than a month for fear of joining the list of anti-Syrian lawmakers assassinated in the last two years
Sources: Newsmax , Ya Libnan

Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2007 02:10:47 +0000
Dear All,

During the Syrian occupation and by the end of the 1970s one of the phone contractors, who was close to President Suleiman Franjieh, was awarded the contract to set up the central phone system and the wire installation in Zgharta the hometown of President Franjieh.
This contractor wanted to do President Franjieh a favor because he was awarded the contract at a good price.
President franjieh at that time asked the contractor to set up a system in "EL-Maradah" (the political party of Franjieh) headquarter to monitor the phone lines in zgharta and record the conversations.
this system is still in place and the Ex-minister Suleiman Franjieh is using it to spy on people.
i appreciate your effort if you can bring up this issue with the minister of communications or any other authorities in order to investigate and stop Mr. Franjieh from spying on people.
This ex-minister, who is spying on people, is sending his representative to Bkirki to decide on the characteristics of the presidential candidate.
I feel sorry for the Bishops of Bkerki when they accept to sit with such representatives to decide on the future president of our country before running a profile search and see what type of people these representatives are.
I would like to assure the people of Lebanon that only the good things will happen at the end and justice will take place in Lebanon.
The Nuremberg war crimes trials happened and Hitler was not present, but it did happen at the end.
The Red Khmer trials happened and the prime minister of Cambodia Pol Pot was not present.
the trials of the thieves of Chekka Cement Company, the Casino of Lebanon, the lottery, the ministry of health is going to happen and President Franjieh is not present.