Lebanon: Disagreement over ousting president

Rival politicians on Tuesday failed to agree on whether to force Lebanon's president to step down, and on who would replace him, a participant said - a move that effectively keeps the pro-Syrian leader in office for now and likely until his term ends next year. President Emile Lahoud's resignation has been a key demand of anti-Syrian factions since Damascus withdrew troops from Lebanon more than a year ago, ending 29 years of political and military control there. Lahoud has refused to step down, and his opponents do not have enough votes in parliament to oust him. Fourteen politicians - pro- and anti-Syrian, Christian and Muslim - have been trying since March to break the deadlock over Lahoud and decide how to disarm Hezbollah, a militant group allied to Damascus.