Israel – Lebanon: Lebanese security officials say Israeli air strikes have killed more than 40 civilians and wounded many more in today's (Wednesday's) attacks in the south and east of the country.
The officials say many of the deaths occurred in a village (Srifa) near the port city of Tyre. Israeli attacks there flattened several houses.
Israeli troops and Hezbollah guerrillas clashed on the Lebanese side of the border. Unconfirmed reports (on Al Arabiya television) say two Israeli soldiers were killed in heavy fighting.
Earlier, the Israeli army said ground troops were operating in southern Lebanon for what the army called "pinpoint attacks" on Hezbollah outposts. In recent days, Israeli forces crossed into southern Lebanon several times, but withdrew soon after destroying Hezbollah positions.
Bush – Syria: President Bush has accused Syria of trying to reassert control over Lebanon.
Speaking Tuesday after briefing members of Congress about the G8 summit, Mr. Bush said the international community should demand that Syria end its support of Hezbollah.
Mr. Bush defended Israel's right to self-defense, but urged Israeli officials to be mindful of the need for theLebanese government to survive. He called Hezbollah the "root cause" of the problem, noting that the current crisis started when the militant group took two Israeli soldiers hostage.
Lebanon Evacuation: The United States and
many other nations are evacuating their nationals from Lebanon battered by Israeli attacks for an eighth straight day.
U.S officials say they expect to evacuate more than one thousand Americans today (Wednesday), and thousands more in the coming days.
Nine U.S. military ships, including a helicopter carrier, supported by hundreds of Marines and sailors are involved in the operation.
The U.S. government has been criticized for being slow in evacuating the 25-thousand Americans in Lebanon. Hundreds of Americans were headed out of the country today on a chartered cruise ship.
Indonesia – Tsunami: An earthquake aftershock has rattled Indonesia's Java Island, prompting traumatized survivors of a recent tsunami to seek higher ground.
Hundreds of panicked residents of Java's Pangandaran beach area scrambled away from the shore today (Wednesday) after an unfounded rumor spread that a second tsunami was on its way.
Local television showed people jumping onto motorbikes and filling cars to flee the coast. Two days earlier, an undersea earthquake generated a powerful wave that killed at least 531 people.
Officials say at least 235 people are missing and hundreds are injured.
More than 40-thousand people are displaced and some 20-thousand have been evacuated from the area.
US-China-Military: China's top military officer
has met with U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Washington for talks covering North Korea and other issues.
U.S. officials said Rumsfeld and Rice discussed the current crisis surrounding North Korea's nuclear programs in separate meetings with General Guo Boxiong Tuesday. Officials also say bilateral military cooperation issues, including greater transparency by China regarding its military programs, were discussed.
U.S. officials say Guo's visit is a welcome step in furthering a consensus on enhancing U.S.-Chinese military relations reached in recent high-level meetings.
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