Morning Brief, Wednesday, August 2

Lebanon Israel sent thousands of soldiers several miles inside Lebanon overnight, as fighting with Hezbollah militants intensified. More than 100 Hezbollah rockets are fired at Israel, one reaching a record 43 miles south of the Israel-Lebanon border. Israeli PM insists the fighting will continue, though his announcement today that disengagement from the West Bank will ...

Lebanon

Israel sent thousands of soldiers several miles inside Lebanon overnight, as fighting with Hezbollah militants intensified. More than 100 Hezbollah rockets are fired at Israel, one reaching a record 43 miles south of the Israel-Lebanon border. Israeli PM insists the fighting will continue, though his announcement today that disengagement from the West Bank will continue has drawn criticism inside Israel.

Earlier this week, Iran's foreign minister thought that, with the UN Security Council demanding that his country halt its nuclear program or else, it might be a lovely time to visit Lebanon. That way he can drive home the point that not only does Iran have a say in the current conflict, but that - as Ahmadinejad has said himself - the delay in a cease-fire makes it hard for Iran to even consider the nuclear incentives package.

Lebanon

Israel sent thousands of soldiers several miles inside Lebanon overnight, as fighting with Hezbollah militants intensified. More than 100 Hezbollah rockets are fired at Israel, one reaching a record 43 miles south of the Israel-Lebanon border. Israeli PM insists the fighting will continue, though his announcement today that disengagement from the West Bank will continue has drawn criticism inside Israel.

Earlier this week, Iran's foreign minister thought that, with the UN Security Council demanding that his country halt its nuclear program or else, it might be a lovely time to visit Lebanon. That way he can drive home the point that not only does Iran have a say in the current conflict, but that – as Ahmadinejad has said himself – the delay in a cease-fire makes it hard for Iran to even consider the nuclear incentives package.

The US won't back a cease-fire unless Hezbollah is disarmed, and the EU wants a cessation of hostilities, then a cease-fire, and only then a multinational force along the border. The deputy sec-gen of the UN says that the US and the UK should take a back seat in dealing with this conflict.

The rest

From the "Seriously?" department, Iraq's president says Iraqi forces will take over security for the entire country by the end of the year.

Castro's temporary power handoff to his younger brother is considered a test drive of a future transition upon his death. Otherwise, Fidel says he's feeling fine after intestinal surgery.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson thinks the response to the Enron and Worldcom implosions was too much regulation. (The SEC chief begs to differ.)

More than twenty cities around the world join the Clinton Climate Initiative to reduce greenhouse gases. Fighting worsens in Sri Lanka between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels. Ukraine's president grapples with accepting his arch-rival as prime minister. And to fight soaring inflation, Zimbabwe simply cuts three zeroes from its money. 

Carolyn O'Hara is a senior editor at Foreign Policy.

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