Morning Brief, Friday, August 25
Keeping the peace in Lebanon France agrees to commit 2,000 troops to a multinational force in southern Lebanon, but Chirac today said he believed the original UN target of 15,000 total troops was "excessive". Syria cuts the power supply to Lebanon, but denies the move contains any political message. Cracks are beginning to appear in ...
Keeping the peace in Lebanon
Keeping the peace in Lebanon
France agrees to commit 2,000 troops to a multinational force in southern Lebanon, but Chirac today said he believed the original UN target of 15,000 total troops was "excessive".
Syria cuts the power supply to Lebanon, but denies the move contains any political message. Cracks are beginning to appear in the Hezbollah facade, with Lebanese Sunnis increasingly vocal in their opposition to the group and the "Green Flood" of cash meant to silence critics not having the intended effect.
In Israel, nearly two thirds of those polled by Yedioth Ahronoth want PM Olmert to resign. American Jews are increasingly disheartened with the leadership in Jerusalem. The State Department is investigating whether Israel used US-made cluster bombs against civilians in Lebanon in violation of use agreements.
Iran's nuclear response
That muted response out of Washington? All part of the plan:
United States and European diplomats say the response so far is part of a calculated public campaign to give the appearance that they are carefully considering Iran’s response, despite the fact that Britain, Germany, France and the United States all agree that it was unsatisfactory.
An Iranian opposition group says Tehran is building sophisticated uranium centrifuges.
Ellen Knickmeyer delivers another must-read on the Sadr Army. Igantius believes the only way Iraqi leaders will restore order in the streets is to get out of the Green Zone. A former British base south of Baghdad was looted a day after it was turned over to Iraqi troops. And the US Army is conducting a review of hundreds of combat deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Here's a little tit-for-tat: China backs Venezuela's bid for a UN Security Council seat, and Venezuela quadruples its oil sales to China. The jailed NYT researcher in China gets three years in prison for fraud.
Startling demographic changes are afoot:
Midway through the 21st century Uganda will be the world's 12th most populous country with 130 million people – more than Russia or Japan….[B]y 2050 Chad, Mali, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Niger, Burundi and Malawi – all among the poorest nations in the world – are projected to triple in size.
And astronomers revolt against the decision to downgrade Pluto.
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