Lebanon house speaker refuses to open session

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, a key opposition figure, locked out pro-government lawmakers from the chamber Tuesday, refusing to call the legislature into session to approve an international tribunal to try suspects in the assassination of a former Prime minister. It was the third attempt in as many weeks by lawmakers from the anti-Syrian majority to try and force Berri to open the chamber's doors and call a session. Opposition legislators also came to the downtown building housing parliament to counter the gathering of the majority lawmakers, but the standoff ended peacefully. Tuesday's events have deepened both the paralysis in Parliament and the political crisis in Lebanon, which has since December been buffeted by an opposition campaign to bring down the Western-backed government of Prime Minister Fuad Saniora.