Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri today continued discussions with officials in the capital four days before the planned date for holding municipal and mayoral elections in Beirut. Hariri received Mufti of Mount Lebanon, Sheikh Mohammed Ali Al-Jousou, who stressed after the meeting the importance of balance in the capital's expected municipal council. Al-Jousou described Beirut as a mirror which reflect the country's whole image. He also stressed the importance of consensus between all the residents of the capital. Thus, he called on all Beirutis to elect the best people qualified for serving in the capital's municipal council. The premier later held similar talks with the head of the union of Moslem families in Beirut, Sheikh Yehia Al-Hibri, who later expressed support for Beirut's Renaissance list. Prime Minister Hariri also received today his deputy Interior Minister Michel Al-Murr.
The parliamentary National Meeting today called on all the Lebanese to participate in the upcoming local ballots in Beirut. It also called on them to vote for the best bearing in mind the principle of national balance. The Meeting which convened today at the residence of former Prime Minister Saleem Al-Hoss rejected some suggestions to divide the capital into electoral districts. The Meeting stressed the importance of preserving the unity of Beirut.
In Sidon, a consensus electoral list will be announced on Friday under the name of the "Decision of Sidon". The list is supported by deputy Bahiyya Al-Hariri, Dr. Abdel Rahman Al-Bizri and the Jamaa Al-Islmiyyah in the city. Deputy Al-Hariri today continued her talks with residents and dignitaries in Sidon. She called on all the residents, especially the youth, to participate in Sunday's elections. The "List of Sidon", is the main rival list to that of the "Decision of Sidon". It is headed by Dr. Oussama Saad and supported by his brother Opposition MP Mustafa Saad.
At one o'clock this afternoon, the state-run Tele Liban ended its planned strike. The TV's union of employees yesterday called for a 48-hour strike to begin this morning. The union is protesting a delay in the payment of monthly salaries. The station's employees are also calling for the implementation of a wide-ranging solution to the TV?s ongoing financial problems. But this afternoon, the union announced work went back to normal in the station and the strike was canceled.
The head of the board of directors at the Italian news agency today held talks in Lebanon with Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri and Information Minister Bassem Al-Sabaa. He revealed the agency will reopen in Beirut after 12 years of closure. The head of the Italian agency stressed that the reopening of the regional bureau of the agency in Beirut will constitute a new regional center for information in the Middle East.
Environment Minister Akram Shhayyeb yesterday promised the residents of Bourj Hammoud a bio-filter will be installed in their area to remove the stench by August. Residents of the area deeply suffer from a very bad odor stemming from Bourj Hammoud's garbage dump. The new biological filter will help improve the deteriorating air quality in the district. Shhayyeb added that in mid June, a special shredder will destroy the hundreds of tyres being collected near Bourj Hammoud for a long time now.
A new planning law to protect the trees of the country was drafted by Agriculture Minister Shawki Fakhoury. The bill contains a number of strict regulations and preservation measures which monitors construction projects in the country. Under the terms of the new law, no person is allowed to cut any tree without the ministry's consent. A statement by the ministry said the new measures were prompted by a serious threat of deforestation alongside with increasingly haphazard construction work in many areas across the country. Thus, any type of public work will require ministry approval and an assessment on its danger on the environment.
The Luxurious Hotel in the heart of Kaslik, Jounieh, Lebanon
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