News from Beirut July 25 1997 ...Search

Evening News

A news dispatch today said the US security arrested former Lebanese Forces LF intelligence's official Elie Akiki who is accused of assassinating Lebanese politician Dany Chamoun and some of his family members in 1990 in Lebanon.

Audio-Visual Media Stations and Government Ban

-Three Lebanese major private television stations including the I.C.N, N.T.V and U.T.V defied a government decision that was taken Wednesday to close all non licensed audio-visual stations and continued its usual programs. Many other radio stations in Beirut and the regions did the same. Abiding by the government decision was partial. Information minister Bassem Sabbaa in a statement issued July 24 asked the non licensed stations to stop immediately.

Perhaps the stations are waiting until it receive a written formal notice and the government is giving the stations enough time to receive the notice before legal and perhaps security measures are put into effect. The audiovisual stations' follow up committee asked the government to give enough time to stations which presented supported files to obtain license to study its files. Contacts were underway between the ministry of information and the non licensed stations in order to reach voluntary halt of transmission, before the government enforce the measure through security forces. Meanwhile, as the prime minister affirms that media file is closed, sources close to president Elias Hrawi said the file is not closed, and not likely to be closed, because when some station's file is supported with the required documents and fulfills the set conditions it will be studied again and reviewed in accordance.

-The present audiovisual licensed stations are 23 including five first rank TV stations, 6 first rank radio stations, and 12 second rank radio stations.

The SLA Pull Back From Jezzine

-South Lebanon Army SLA's 90th detachment dispatched to Jezzine in the past few days to enhance its presence in the region amid the collapse of the previously stationed 20th detachment is said to have withdrawn from the region Wednesday's overnight in a surprising move, a leading daily's report quoted special southern source. Further reports said anti SLA wall writings appeared Wednesday morning at the towns and villages of Jezzine, Roum and Bkassine. Some writings said "Lahd.. take your army and leave", and "your place at graves not at crossings". The sources said a strained atmosphere has prevailed in Jezzine as a result of the SLA 90th detachment's behavior, especially for opening random fire during the continuous combing raids while looking for roadside bombs. The sources revealed that Wednesday's bomb explosion that wounded two SLA men was targeting a convoy of the withdrawing 90th detachment. A unit of this detachment could have provoked a crisis with the nearby Chuf region when it raided a farm of the Druze community religious leader acting Sheikh Akl Bahjat Ghaith.

Opposition and the Economical Forum

-Two magnets of Lebanon parliament's opposition including former house speaker Hussein Husseini and Selim Hoss gave similar comment on the economical ideas forum that was held recently. Husseini and Hoss said they stick to the formation of the socio-economic council. Husseini said he is worried of the rhetoric about closing the media file which is a deliberate harm to the constitutional institutions and general freedoms. He warned that the council "would be assassinated through the so called social ideas forum or khalwa". Former Premier Selim Hoss said the khalwa (enclave) was necessary and useful but it has produced no new concept different from what is implemented now. He noticed that the enclave was designed as a substitute of the socio-economic council that continues to be pending after two and half year of the law that was issued concerning its formation.

-Opponents of Mr.. Hariri said after his five years in office the prime minister perhaps learned through the forum something different in politics and administration. He recognized, for the first time, the existence of

economical serious crisis and is seeking the economical groups support to resolve it. It said Hariri's 20 hours participation in the forum's debates signaled an unprecedented move that Lebanese officials never exercised before. Hariri opponents said he was assertive and on the offensive during the discussions and refused the structural reform of the economy, saying it requires political decisions that will put him in confrontation with other political groups, but the opposition argue if the 10,000 surplus state employee, who he said he can't dismiss were the reason of the $ 14bn external debt, what about the waste of public money, bribes, corruption, malpractice in the special funds, and others ?. However, the opposition admit he was positive and cooperative when the economical sectors aired its difficulties. Judging on his positive reaction to the sectors, some recommendations that were adopted will help the sectors in the new phase. The industrialists considered exempting raw materials from custom duty a major achievement and will help it increase productivity and be able more to compete, also the recommendation to establish a loan guarantee institution for the sector will help investment and provide enough financial resources to the sector. The agriculture 2,000 year's plan was another positive move, also the recommendation to review charges on trade insurance policies and the review of the car imports custom duty.

Hariri-Visit To Greece

-Prime minister Rafic Hariri held talks in Athens with his Greek counterpart. Meanwhile, two agreements on encouraging investments and economical cooperation were signed. Declarations of both Lebanese and Greek officials centered on the role of Europe in the M.E. peace process and pushing it ahead. Greece's prime minister said Europe should take the initiative to ensure resumption of the peace talks and not to stand idle. Mr. Hariri highlighted Greece's strong feeling that Europe has to take executive steps in order to support the peace process and make it move ahead, and not merely political stands that are sort of slogans. Mr. Hariri quoted saying "Greece's stand toward Lebanon was the best by a state of the European Union EU. Mr. Hariri ended his visit to Greece where he was granted the high rank golden medal.

Kesrouan Popular Gathering

-The Maronite heartland region of Kesrouan is on a count down before the Sunday's popular gathering that will be held at Mayrouba town. Some news reports said it is the duplicate "hunger revolution style", but with different character and motivation also objectives. Preparations are underway and some information said it is not sure whether the government will allow the move, in accordance to a decision taken earlier by the government on demonstrations. Mp Rshayd el Khazen, architect of the move, said he told officials that banning the gathering will lead to shorten phases of the popular move and perhaps to declare an immediate civil disobedience. For the third consecutive day in Kesrouan, banners raised in the region called the government to respond to demands on public schools hospitals, industrial and touristic zoning, environment, reopening Jounieh seaport, farmers and fishermen, the pollution of Zouk factory, jobs and infrastructural projects. Defense minister suspended all arms licenses in Kesrouan's towns and villages.


-Patriarch Sfair discussed with visitors issues including the situation in Jezzine. Lebanese overseas communities affairs, and national political concerns. MPs Ahmad Fatfat and Nayla Moawad were among the visitors. The head of the Lebanese Maronite monastery order said the Arabic text of the apostolic guidance will be issued on early August.

-Foreign minister Fares Boueiz started talks in Vienna with Austrian officials including his counterpart. Talks centered on the M.E. peace process and Austrian contribution to Lebanon's reconstruction.

-Algerian former president Bin Bella met in Beirut prime minister Hariri, before his travel to Greece, former speaker Husseini, Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, and hosted at a launch at Mukhtara by minister Jumblat.

-Oil minister Shahe Barsoumian said he is sticking to his ministry's monopoly of the diesel imports and denied a press report accusing him of a wrong tender that cost $5mn loss of the public money.

The Eighth Pan Arab Games.

-Syria today scored 7 more gold medals and Egypt continue to rank first in golden and total medals.

-List of medals after the 12th day games

State  -----------gold -----------silver ------- bronze --------- total

Egypt ------------81 -----------  42 ------------ 27 ------------ 150

Algeria ---------- 32  ------------ 35 ----------- 39 ------------ 106

Morocco --------19 -------------14 ------------17 ------------ 44

Qatar ------------ 8 ------------- 5 ------------- 3 -------------16

Tunisia ---------- 7 -------------- 9 ------------ 21 -------------37

Jordan ---------- 7 -------------- 8 ------------ 17 ------------ 32

Syria ------------ 6 ------------- 22 ------------28 ------------ 56

Lebanon -------- 6 --------------15 ----------- 41 ------------ 62

Saudia ---------- 6 ------------- 10 ----------- 18 ------------- 34

Kuwait --------- 1 -------------- 11 ----------- 15 ------------ 27

Oman ---------- 1 --------------- 1 ------------ 1 --------------3

Sudan - ---------------------------1 ------------ 2 ------------- 3

Libya ---------------------------- 1 ------------ 1 ------------- 2

Palestine -------------------------------------- - 4 ------------- 4

Bahrain --------------------------------------- - 1 ------------- 1

Total --------- 174 -------------174 ---------- 235 ---------- 583

Baalbek Festival Reborn

-Baalbek festival a pre war astonishing yearly event that went dormant for a quarter of century was reborn July 24 with the play Andalusia, the missing glory by Lebanese Caraculla. Among the prominent audience were president Elias Hrawi and his spouse, house speaker and his spouse, spouse of the president of Ivory Coast, ministers and Mps, also cinema and theatre director Franco Ziferelli. 2,500 audience attended the first performance. President Hrawi addressed the audience.

Portemilio Suite Hotel   The Luxurious Hotel in the heart of Kaslik, Jounieh, Lebanon

   ........Minkara Center  Coming Soon !

email us for more details ...

More news from International Agencies

[ Weekly Business Reports ]

Back to Local News Wire

© 1995-1997 Interactive- USA ,
All Rights Reserved.

For any comments or questions please e-mail