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Lebanon: Filmed abuse of Ethiopian domestic worker sparks outrage (VIDEO)

BEIRUT — The Lebanese cabinet has called for an investigation into the filmed abuse of an Ethiopian domestic worker. Lebanon, which has an estimated 200,000 foreign domestic workers, has come under scrutiny due to allegations of substandard living conditions for maids, cleaners, and other workers.

Lebanon tribunal proposes new charge for Rafik Hariri suspects

Prosecutors at the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon investigating the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri want to add a new charge of "criminal association" against four men accused of carrying out the attack.

CIA spies caught in Iran, Lebanon: report

"If they were genuine spies, spying against Hezbollah, I don't think we'll ever see them again," former CIA officer Robert Baer told ABC News. "These guys are very, very vicious and unforgiving."

Syrian activists mock Hezbollah leader

Hezbollah leader Nasrallah lampooned in satirical YouTube video by Syrian activists
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New Youtube video by Syrian activists makes fun of Hezbollah's leader (YouTube)

Syrian activists mock Hassan Nasrallah in a new video on YouTube for what they say are the double standards of the leader of the Shia resistance movement Hezbollah.

In the video, part of an online series called "Even a Goat can Fly," a masked woman is seen standing with the slogan "Free Syria" displayed behind her. Israel’s ynetnews reports she is presented as someone who was "deployed in Syria by external enemies," as she begins to poke fun at the Hezbollah leader.

"Since the beginning of the Syrian upheaval, the position of the honorable Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah has been clear: He is against the Syrian revolution," the presenter says. "He supported the Egyptian upheaval, the Libyan upheaval, Tunisia, Yemen and of course – the upheaval in Bahrain [where the Shiite majority revolted against the Sunni regime], but here he was against it. Why? Why, you "Sheikh of resistance?"

In the video parts of Nasrallah's speeches are presented in which he explained why he backs the Syrian regime on the one hand, but also supported the protesters in Bahrain.


No smoking gun in UN indictment of Hariri murder

Only circumstantial evidence and phone calls link Hezbollah members to the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister.
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Wanted: Four men accused of murdering former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri (Screengrab)

In the long awaited indictment in the killing of ‘Mr Lebanon’ unsealed Wednesday, the Associated Press reports that “prosecutors analyzed a vast network of telephone records to link four Hezbollah members to the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, but there is no clear smoking gun in the case.”

“The special court investigating Hariri's murder unsealed the 47-page indictment against four members of the Iranian-backed Shiite militia Hezbollah for alleged involvement in the deadly truck bombing that killed Hariri.

The publication comes after the Special Tribunal for Lebanon said last week that Lebanese authorities had been unable to arrest the four suspects or serve them with their indictments.

The suspects include Mustafa Badreddine, a Hezbollah commander and the suspected bomb maker who blew up the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, killing 241 Americans. The other suspects are: Salim Ayyash, also known as Abu Salim; Assad Sabra and Hassan Anise, who changed his name to Hassan Issa.

They are accused of involvement in the February 14, 2005, truck bombing that killed Hariri and 22 others — a number that includes a suicide bomber.


Bomb in Beirut kills two

An explosion in a parking lot in north of Beirut Thursday killed two people and wounded one.
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A blast in a northern suburb of Beirut, the Lebanese capital, has killed at least two people (Screengrab)

The Lebanese Daily Star reports “the explosion occurred in a parking lot near Esso gas station on the inner Antelias road, in the Metn province, at 11.30 a.m. local time.

The two men who died in the explosion had been in possession of the explosive device at the time of its detonation.

Explosives experts said one of the men, Ihsan Ali Dia, had been in a crouching position at the time of the blast. His left leg and right arm were severed in the blast and he later died of his wounds at hospital.

The second man, Hassan Nayef Nassar, suffered a heart attack at the scene and also died later in hospital.

Pierre Nohra, a bystander who had been leaving the parking lot as the explosion went off, suffered minor wounds, security sources said.

A car registered to Judge Albert Serhal – judicial license plate number 29592 – had been in the parking lot where the blast took place, security sources said.”


Worries in Lebanon over Syria fallout

As the uprising in Syria rages on, political divisions deepen in Lebanon.
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Syrians hold portraits of President Bashar al-Assad (Left) and Lebanon's Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah (Right) during a rally. Hezbollah is losing support due to its unwavering support for the Syrian regime and the political fall-out of the Syrian uprising is deepening the political divides in Lebanon. (ANWAR AMRO/Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

While the uprising in Syria rages on in its fifth month, neighboring Lebanon is witnessing a deepening of the dangerous political split between the pro-Syrian Hezbollah-led March 8 coalition and the pro-West March 14 alliance.

According to the Lebanese English-language Daily Star the March 14 alliance has called for an end to “crimes against humanity”, referring to the Syrian regime’s attempts to crush the uprising, and for the Syrian authorities to swiftly implement political reforms.

On the opposite side of the political divide the March 8 coalition has staunchly defended the Syrian dictatorship in its crackdown on opposition groups.

Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun, a Christian former army commander, of the March 8 coalition went even further when he dismissed the ongoing killing of protestors in Syria, describing the country’s situation as calm with the exception of “minor incidents in a neighborhood or two in Homs.”

“The danger,” he said, “is outside Syria and what is happening is media pressure.”

A Syrian activist, speaking to GlobalPost in Beirut, said he had felt a distinct narrowing of freedom of speech in Lebanon, where pro-Syrian parties have regularly beaten up participants in rallies in solidarity with Syria’s pro-democracy movement.

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