The following are a selection of stories from Lebanese newspapers that may be of interest to Daily Star readers. The Daily Star cannot vouch for the accuracy of these reports.
New U.S. pressures on Hezbollah
United States lawmakers announced they would draft a new law tightening economic sanctions against Hezbollah.
The newspaper quoted Representative Bradley Schneider (D) saying “Hezbollah still represents a threat to the U.S., Israel and the entire region.”
The proposed law would impose new and tough sanctions on sources of financing for Hezbollah, the paper said.
Al-Akhbar, citing Al-Monitor website, said that the draft law in its current form would allow the U.S. Treasury Department to “target central banks and other financial institutions, primarily in Lebanon and Europe, which knowingly engage with Hezbollah and its enablers.”
The bill also targets Hezbollah’s al-Manar television by requiring the U.S. administration to list and penalize any satellite provider that still carries the television channel.
Berri to focus on presidential election
An-Nahar learned that Speaker Nabih Berri would focus his efforts on the presidential election following next week's parliamentary sessions.
The parliamentary committee formed by Berri to hold consultations over the presidential election is set to hand the speaker the results of its meetings soon.
Sources from the committee said the report includes many points, most notably that lawmakers from both the rival March 8 and March 14 camps have voiced their intention to attend the parliamentary session to elect a new President.
The committee concluded there was no desire from any party for a constitutional amendment, with all groups emphasizing the need for a presidential election to be held on time.
The committee also said Cardinal Beshara Rai hailed Berri’s role and efforts in creating the right atmosphere to help electing the next president.
Aoun comes first in [presidential] polls
Although the Lebanese Forces announced Friday the candidacy of Samir Geagea, As-Safir said two polls held separately showed that Geagea’s rival, Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun, is the preferred candidate.
The first poll was commissioned by the Maronite patriarchy and it showed Aoun advancing over other presidential candidates among the Christian community.
The second poll, jointly conducted by ARA Research & Consultancy and As-Safir and scheduled to be published next week, said that Aoun came first while MP Suleiman Frangieh, who heads the Marada Movement, came second.
Geagea and Former Minister Ziyad Baroud tied for third in the poll.
Security plan to the Bekaa
The Al-Mustaqbal reported that a security plan similar to the one that went into effect in Tripoli earlier this week would be launched in east Lebanon by the beginning of next week.
The newspaper quoted high ranking security sources as saying that forces from various security agencies are expected to begin the required field measures without any “political” obstacles.
The brief abduction of the citizen Ibraim Shiha in the Bekaa Friday helped push the decision to launch the security measures in east Lebanon.
The plan, the sources said, includes pursuing people wanted by the Lebanese authorities and arresting them.
The paper estimated that some 70 to 80 prominent gangsters known for thefts, kidnappings and attacks against the Army remain at large.
The Bekaa security plan would extend from Brital to Dar al-Wasia and would include Hermel.