At the presidential palace in Baabda, President Elias Al-Hrawi last night received an Argentinean delegation of Lebanese origin. Hrawi warned his visitors of the Jewish community in Argentina saying it is strongly against Lebanon. The president added Israel is the only enemy of Lebanon. Hrawi called upon his visitors to urge all those of Lebanese origin living in Argentina to unite in the face of the Jewish wave in the world. The president also called on the delegation to convey the true image of Lebanon today upon their return to Argentina.
Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri today downplayed the possibility of a comprehensive war in the Middle East. Hariri said the solution for the Middle East crisis lies in kick-starting peace talks. In an interview with the Egyptian Al-Ahram newspaper, Hariri added Arab and International pressure should be exerted upon Israel in a bid to curb Israeli premier's Benjamin Netanyahu's hard-line policies. The Lebanese premier also said any possible war in the region would inflict great harm upon all its peoples including the Israeli people. He added if Israel really wants a comprehensive peace in the region, Lebanon and Syria are ready to re-start negotiations with Israel in a bid to reach a fair peace deal.
Immigrants Minister Talal Arslan today received at his residence in Khaldeh immigrant delegations that are currently participating in the second summer camp for immigrant Lebanese youth. The event, organized by the Ministry of Immigrants, concludes its activities today. Arslan stressed the importance of maintaining ties between Lebanese immigrants and their home country. For their part, the different delegations thanked Arslan and his ministry for hosting them for one week in their homeland. During this period, the youths had the chance to better know most of the Lebanese areas.
Israeli artillery this morning shelled the area of Al-Hamra situated at the outskirts of the village of Eastern Zawtar. The heavy shells originated from an Israeli outpost in Shrayfeh. Israel also bombarded the outskirts of Al-Zahrani River and Jabal Al-Rafii in Iqlim Al-Touffah from its outposts in Zaffateh.
In another development, soldiers in the Irish battalion serving under UNIFIL in different areas in the South today blew up a mortar shell they traced near the house of the Lebanese civilian Jamil Yassin. The house, situated between the villages of Shakra and Barasheet, was earlier this year hit by three Israeli shells which inflicted great damage upon it.
The Lebanese American University in Beirut is organizing summer workshops for professional journalists. The workshops are being conducted in cooperation with the US-based Knight International Press Fellowship Program. Training sessions are offered over a period of four weeks for professional journalists and are aimed at upgrading their writing, reporting and editing skills in English and Arabic. Journalists will have access to a computerized newsroom equipped with different information resources. The sessions will also introduce journalists to specialized areas such as business and environmental reporting.
The Baalback Festival was late yesterday opened in the city of the sun by the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra of 124 instrumentalists and a choir of 119 last night featured Beethoven's Ninth Symphony to an audience of 2000. The concert was attended by First Lady Mona Hrawi, Tourism Minister Nicola Fattoush, Agriculture Minister Shawki Fakhoury, Acting Finance Minister Fouad Sanyoura, the German ambassador to Lebanon Peter Witting, the French ambassador to Lebanon Daniel Jouanneau, and a number of dignitaries in the country. The festival, which will last until August 29, is being held under strict security measures.
Every Lebanese in the country is now complaining about the high humidity levels that subside. The temperature may not be as high as people feel but the high humidity levels are just unbearable with humidity scoring around 95%. But officials at the weather center of Beirut's International Airport expect humidity levels to drop gradually by tomorrow. It seems that many other parts of the world are also suffering similar weather conditions, with tragic consequences in some countries.
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