Israel – Lebanon: Israeli warplanes have launched another intense round of airstrikes in Lebanon, bombing Beirut's port and hitting targets in northern and eastern Lebanon.
The death toll in Beirut and other parts of Lebanon today (Monday) is close to 20, with at least 40 other people wounded. Most of the victims are civilians, but at least eight Lebanese soldiers were killed by an airstrike at a military post in northern Lebanon.
Thunderous blasts echoed over Beirut at dawn (today). The port is ablaze, and (Lebanese) security officials say targets in the capital included a fuel depot, factories and civilian installations.
UN – Blair – Mideast: British Prime
Minister Tony Blair is calling for deployment of international forces along the border between Lebanon and Israel to stop cross-border attacks. The only way to end hostilities, Mr. Blair says, is for international troops to stop Hezbollah rocket attacks on Israel, which have sparked repeated and ever more forceful attacks by Israel against Hezbollah targets in Lebanon.
Mr. Blair delivered his proposal today (Monday) in St. Petersburg, after meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the sidelines of the Group of Eight summit.
Mr. Annan (who took part in a joint news conference with Mr. Blair) says he will discuss the need for a stabilization force with other world leaders at the summit. He says the warring parties should agree to a ceasefire as soon as possible to allow a multinational force to be assembled.
Lebanon Evacuation: Governments across the world are scrambling to evacuate their citizens trapped in Lebanon by Israeli airstrikes.
British helicopters flew 40 British nationals out of Beirut today (Monday), mostly young children, women and those in need of medical care. A British navy ship is also expected to arrive in the coming days to evacuate more British nationals.
On Sunday, military planes flew some 350 people to Cyprus, most of them Europeans.
A U.S. military helicopter evacuated about 20 U.S. Embassy employees and Americans with medical needs from Beirut. An estimated 25-thousand Americans are in Lebanon.
Iraq: Iraqi officials say a large group
of gunmen has opened fire on a market south of Baghdad, killing at least 40 people and wounding 30 others. It is not clear who carried out today's (Monday's) attack in Mahmoudiya, 30 kilometers south of Baghdad. The town has a mixed population of both Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims.
A day earlier, a suicide bomber killed at least 26 people and wounded more than 20 in a crowded cafe (in the town of Tuz Khurmatu) about 200 kilometers north of the capital.
G-8 Summit: Leaders of the Group of Eight nations wind up their annual summit today (Monday) in a round of meetings with leaders China, India, Brazil and other countries whose emerging economies are shaping world trade.
The G-8 leaders meeting in St. Petersburg have agreed to extend the deadline for reaching a world trade agreement to the end of this year. A key obstacle has been the reluctance of rich nations to lower their farm subsidies, to make poorer nations' goods more competitive.
Brazil and India are among countries demanding greater access to world markets.
Indonesian Earthquake: A tsunami has hit the southwestern coast of Indonesia's Java island after a powerful offshore earthquake, killing several people and leaving others missing. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono says at least five people have been killed by the tsunami. He says a search is under way for the missing. Tall waves sent people running into the hills in western Java. Witnesses say boats were slammed against buildings, and hotels on Pangandaran beach were destroyed.
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