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.
Deal to free soldiers includes freedom for Islamists
The Lebanese authorities are considering a deal that would include the release of Islamist prisoners who were not involved in the violence in Arsal, in return for freeing missing military and security personnel believed to be held by Syria’s Nusra Front and Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS).
The release of two of the captives by the Nusra Front recently was intended as a goodwill gesture and was expected to be reciprocated by Lebanon’s agreement, in principle, to “release the Islamists who played no role in the military confrontation.”
Passing certificates: Who’s to blame, the UCC or the minister?
Education Minister Elias Bou Saab’s Cabinet-backed decision to issue passing certificates to all those who sat the official exams amid the Union Coordination Committee’s continued boycott deals a harsh blow to the education system in the country. It equated the qualified with the unqualified and shattered many students’ dreams of excellence and distinction.
Among the consequences of such a decision is that public schools and the Lebanese University will have to accommodate a larger number of students, qualified or not, because the private schools and universities will be reluctant to accept candidates with passing certificates.
March 14 divided over Parliament’s extension
Future Movement leader Saad Hariri sought to convince Speaker Nabih Berri to agree on extending Parliament’s mandate, by promising to reactivate the chamber that has been almost totally paralyzed since it extended its term for 17 months in May of last year.
Hariri’s Christian allies, namely the Lebanese Forces and Kataeb Party, are, unlike him, opposed to Parliament’s extension. According to the paper, Hariri would agree with holding general elections if March 8 parties and his Christian allies insisted on that but would probably not help them secure funds for their electoral campaigns.