Salam meets with Machnouk and Chehayeb in Beirut, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)
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Senior officials scrambled Wednesday in an eleventh-hour bid to avoid the collapse of the government by searching for a solution to the nearly 4-month-old waste crisis that is raising public health concerns after heavy rains swept mounds of uncollected trash into Beirut's streets.Prime Minister Tammam Salam and Agriculture Minister Akram Chehayeb were reported to have threatened to resign by Thursday if an agreement was not reached before that date among rival parties to facilitate the implementation of Chehayeb's plan to resolve the crisis. Speaker Nabih Berri entered the trash fray Wednesday by making proposals that require convening a Cabinet session within 24 hours to resolve the crisis. Speaking to reporters after meeting Berri, Chehayeb said he and Abou Faour were making "last-ditch efforts" by meeting with the speaker and Salam to overcome obstacles facing the implementation of his trash plan.Chehayeb spoke after a meeting at the Grand Serail Tuesday night attended by Salam, Khalil, Abou Faour and Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk to resolve the issue of landfills.
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