-Beirut MP and strong opponent of premier Hariri's government is to stand today before the investigating judge in Beirut to investigate him on what he publicly said on Saturday in a village near Baalbek . Beirut prosecutor considered his call for armed disobedience an undermine for the state functioning also an insult to the judiciary and the head of the state. News reports at noon said Wakim did not stand before the investigating judge and instead two lawyers have represented him. The two lawyers said an MP should not be prosecuted for his personal political declarations during his entire parliament membership, and furthermore, there is no evident criminal action.
-House speaker Nabih Berri after a meeting today with the interior minister Michel Murr repeated he disagreed with MP Wakim's critics but he rejected the judicial prosecution because its not constitutional.
-Press reports this morning said if MP Wakim has to be arrested there should be a permission from the Lawyer's bar in Beirut because Mr. Wakim is at the same time a lawyer.
-Mr. Wakim himself at a press conference said charging him of calling for an armed disobedience is not applied on him because he called in fact for a "peaceful movement within the framework of the law". He described the entire case as a "work of agencies and making an issue they really don't know how to fabricate". He also said "they missed the right address" and the whole case aimed to pressure but "I will not retreat or be frightened". He said he "shall see who will stand solid in this battle".
- News reports today said the prosecution of Wakim is a prelude to legal measures that will be taken against sheikh Subhi Tufeili. The reports said Wakim was quoted saying that his words were being misquoted or forged, signaling a start of retreat that was observed after a pressure from the house speaker. Some headlines said the three senior officials are not in agreement and have varied views over the case of Wakim. It warned of a similar practice as in the case of the GLC leader Elias abu Rizk, when the judiciary was pushed into a short step. It also quoted the interior minister Michel Murr saying it is a possibility that Subhi Tufeili will be under arrest near Samir Geagea.
- Former prime minister Selim Hoss commenting on the case said the prosecution did not move when the Lebanese senior officials traded accusations including embezzlement of the public money. Hoss said the critics of MP Wakim did not justify the legal prosecution.
-France cautioned of the serious military escalation in south Lebanon and called for eliminating all pretexts of military confrontation. It regretted the Israeli breach of Lebanon's sovereignty by landing at Kfour-Toul-Deir Zahrani dawn yesterday and suggested that the peace talks be regenerated instead.
-Press reports today said two or three Hizbullah leading members were among the martyrs of yesterday's operation. Lebanon did not file a complaint to the five nation cease-fire monitoring committee because the target of the raid was military, that is the resistance, and that was in line with April's understanding. The media here said the commando raid came at a time Lebanon and the ME were watching impacts and consequences of Jerusalem's bombing.
It also highlighted that Israel's defense minister has revealed that the operation was approved by his government days ago.
- Outcome of the talks yesterday held between Lebanon's house speaker and premier with Syrian vice president Abdel Halim Khaddam at Bloudan was a main topic of discussion today at the meeting between president Elias Hrawi and premier Hariri. President Hrawi's circles said overnight that a summit joining him with president Assad is a possibility but not this week. The news said the two officials' visit to Bloudan came after the Israeli commando raid and aimed to coordinate stands. Baabda palace's sources said the commando raid was a signal on Israel's unabated continued violation of the ceasefire's understanding. The sources said Lebanon is reviewing the measures it should take to counter the Israeli escalation.
- The Lebanese media today gave further additional details on the commando raid. It said the raiding force was around 30 at least but failed to accomplish its mission which was perhaps to kidnap one of the resistance leaders in the region. The force was forced to evacuate under a cover from
the Israeli heavy artillery shelling and flights of warplanes, because it has faced the heavy fire of both the Lebanese army and the resistance. The story said the five resistance martyrs were killed when an explosive charge left behind by the raiders exploded. Five Lebanese civilians were slightly wounded in the same explosion.
-SLA official in Jezzine denied a press report saying the Israeli intelligence investigated last Saturday the Christian cleric Rimond Eid. The official said father Eid can deny himself the allegation and he enjoys respect of all the people in Jezzine and the SLA officials.
-Former ambassador Simon Karam yesterday said the suffering of Jezzine's cleric father Eid and all the people in the town from Israel's practices are equal to their suffering from the Lebanese state's let down. Karam said that another summer and another year will pass on and the Kfar Falous crossing will remain closed at a time the state is playing maneuvers with the SLA commander Antoine Lahd.
-A leading paper today expected the Jezzine region to be the flare up of a military confrontation that would go beyond Lebanon.
-The UNIFIL force in south Lebanon suspended its decision to dismiss Lebanese employees working with the force upon calls from the house speaker, the army command and others. The Irish and Polish battalions called on all its local employees to join their posts as of today.
-President Elias Hrawi visit to Brazil is to be fixed on early September, Tourism minister Talal Arsalan said.
-The Lebanese parliament foreign relation's committee at a meeting held today approved the international agreement on combating hostage taking in presence of premier Hariri and the interior minister. Lebanon's foreign minister has yesterday said that the agreement is international and can't be debated. He said its a sort of take it or leave it all. Some MPs have indicated that passing the agreement should not mean accepting Israel's concept that it halts the resistance against occupation. Premier Hariri assured that there was no package and no deal at all over the agreement as it was reported in the media. He said he assured Mrs.. Albright who recently lifted the travel ban on the Lebanese invariable stands.
-Foreign minister Fares Boueiz yesterday received credentials of ambassadors of Pakistan and Ethiopia. President Elias Hrawi received this morning credentials of the two ambassadors additional to credentials of the ambassador of Chikia.
-Ambassador of Japan in Lebanon after a meeting at the foreign ministry said his country is following the judicial procedures over the Red Army Five and continues to see to any development in this context. He said the stand of his government remained as it was, that is "transfer them to the Japanese authority and not to say extradition".
-The National Syrian Socialist Party NSSP's leader Ali Qansou said the confessional system in the country cannot take Lebanon to anywhere except to a new state of war. Qansou warned of the fragmentation and disintegration. He said "they took from the Taif all that was confessional and ignored all what was non confessional". Qansou said his party is not with the civil disobedience and demand a law that prohibits confessional political parties.
-Health minister Suleiman Franjieh at a rally in Batroun said since the situation now is a distribution of posts on confessional basis "we won't accept other than balancing". Franjieh said "they wanted it a confessional state and we wanted it a civil state".
-Former MP of Aley Fouad Saad after a visit to Patriarch Sfair said the return of the displaced is at the lowest average. He said the prime minister was saying the money is coming but perhaps it is a new loan that will come. He said the displaced were out of their homes during the past seven years of war, and still out seven years in the peace era but even though continue to be displaced. Saad said the new generation know nothing about each other and that is the most dangerous in the displacement issue. He said the average of return is not more than 10 per cent and its now at the lowest level in five years.
-The Kataeb party political bureau and central council at their weekly regular meeting said the army day this year was characterized by the Lebanese concensus on its role and positive presence in the general life of the nation. The party statement praised the army command and said the army has translated the national unity and distanced itself from the political stag nations. The party said the US lift of the travel ban is short unless it is completed by further measures including air flights, and the cautioning is not adequate because Lebanon is safe. The statement called on the government to pave the way for media stations and the government should limit exclusiveness and allow plurality of the media.
-Employees of the unlicensed stations that were closed leaving them jobless are staging today a sit in protest at the journalists association's office in Beirut as first of series of sit ins all over the country.
-Architect of Kesrouan-Mayroubaa gathering MP Rshayd el Khazen after a visit to premier Hariri said he did not call for a a revolution and has never said that Kesrouan is deprived. He said he was compared to sheikh Subhi Tufeili but his stands were in contrast with him. Khazen said he never wanted revolutions or else but merely some projects that were delayed. Khazen said among the demands there is the case of the casino du Liban where some 103 foreign staff are paid around $1mn monthly, and the amount is enough to employ 2,000 Lebanese family.
-The council of ministers is to discuss at its weekly meeting Wednesday some 59 topics including a draft bill on the amendment of the municipalities law, election law, and also measures on security and order.
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