Morning Brief, Friday, August 18
Cease-fire in Lebanon Israel balks at the possibility of Malaysia and Indonesia, two countries that do not recognize Israel, contributing troops to a UN force along the border. After France's disappointing pledge, Italy agrees to deploy up to 3,000 troops to the force. Mark Malloch Brown thinks the UN can have 5500 troops on the ...
Cease-fire in Lebanon
Cease-fire in Lebanon
Israel balks at the possibility of Malaysia and Indonesia, two countries that do not recognize Israel, contributing troops to a UN force along the border. After France's disappointing pledge, Italy agrees to deploy up to 3,000 troops to the force. Mark Malloch Brown thinks the UN can have 5500 troops on the ground within 10 days.
In an interview with the Daily Star, a Hezbollah MP insists that Hezbollah's arms are "part of the national defense strategy" and that any discussion on integrating Hezbollah fighters into the Lebanese army will be an internal affair. But if Hezbollah doesn't disarm, we'll return to the status quo ante, exactly the situation the U.S. declared unacceptable, argues Krauthammer.
In Israel, plans for a unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank are shelved, perhaps for good.
In Lebanon, unexploded cluster bombs pose a new danger to returning residents.
And Fatah and Hamas officials fail to agree on moving forward with a new unity government.
Full-scale sectarian violence continues in the capital, but PM Maliki insisted yesterday that Iraqi forces were ready to take over security in most of the country's provinces.
Watch this trouble brewing in the Kurdish north:
Turkey and Iran have dispatched tanks, artillery and thousands of troops to their frontiers with Iraq during the past few weeks in what appears to be a coordinated effort to disrupt the activities of Kurdish rebel bases.
Scores of Kurds have fled their homes in the northern frontier region after four days of shelling by the Iranian army. Local officials said Turkey had also fired a number of shells into Iraqi territory.
China's central bank raises interest rates to stave off fevered speculation. And after the country's worst storm in 50 years, the the interior suffers its worst drought in 50 years. Chinese authorities crack down on peasants' rights lawyers. And then there's the country's staggering obesity rates.
In his first public comments since taking power from his brother, Raul Castro says Fidel is getting better and the Cuba is safe from attack.
Karzai blames the U.S. for the deaths of 10 Afghan border police. An American CIA contractor is found guilty in North Carolina of beating an Afghan detainee to death in 2003.
The fire brigade is called to former Italian PM Berlusconi's villa in Sardinia to extinguish a fake volcano he set off for a party.
And after Gunter Grass's Wassen revelations, his autobiography flies off the shelves all over Germany.
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