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Sleiman: Lebanon must not be route for arms

Ivory Coast's president Alassane Ouattara (r) and Lebanon counterpart Michel Sleiman (L) greet supporters during president Sleiman's welcoming ceremony at Abidjan airport on March 14,2013. (AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO)

BEIRUT: President Michel Sleiman, who is on a historic visit to African states, has stressed the importance of Lebanon’s neutrality vis-a-vis the Syria crisis, saying that the country must not be a route for arms smuggling to Syria or a base to train fighters.


‘Technical’ delay a mask for Parliament extension

Lawmakers attend a Parliament

BEIRUT: A “technical” delay in the upcoming parliamentary elections is a smokescreen for an extension of Parliament’s mandate, political analysts warned Thursday, as rival political leaders remained poles apart over a new voting system.


Civil marriage pioneers say their child will have no sect

Kholoud Succariyeh and Nidal Darwish announced recently that they are expecting a child. AP Photo

BEIRUT: The child of the first civil marriage on Lebanese soil will have no sect, newlywed and mother-to-be Kholoud Succariyeh said Thursday.


Hacktivism has yet to reach critical mass

Lebanese government sites are very easy to penetrate for hackers.

BEIRUT: Every now and then government websites become an unwilling platform for hacker activists to voice their concerns.


World’s largest and most powerful space observatory opens in Chile

Workers of ALMA and visitors gather around a special vehicle as it loads a parabolic antenna during the inauguration.

LLANO CHAJNANTOR, Chile: The world’s largest ground-based observatory opened for business Wednesday in the desert of northern Chile, wielding unprecedented power to peer into the remotest regions of the universe.


Demand for rare exotic pets pushes endangered species to the brink

CITES stepped up protection for dozens of types of turtles and tortoises, including the Burmese star tortoise.

BANGKOK: Poisonous frogs, long-necked turtles, bears and chimpanzees may not be everyone’s idea of an animal companion, but experts warn that demand for exotic pets is pushing some species closer to extinction.


Early birds had four wings, not two: study

FILE - Macaws perch on trunks inside a caged breeding center in the Amazon near the city of Trinidad, in the state of Beni, Bolivia. (AP Photo/Jose Diaz, Noel Kempff Mercado Foundation)

WASHINGTON: Some primitive birds boasted four wings, before evolution led them to ditch their hind feathers in favor of webbed or scaly feet, scientists in China said on Thursday.


Wildlife meeting gives hundreds of species protection

Delegates from around the world debate at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) conference in Bangkok on March 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Nicolas ASFOURI

BANGKOK: A 12-day global wildlife conference has concluded in Bangkok after granting better protection to hundreds of threatened animal and plant species.