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8/09/2006 World News: France, US Consider Changes in Middle East Resolution Before Security Council Vote


Israel – Lebanon Diplomacy: France and the United States are revising their proposal for ending the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict, and diplomats say the work is likely to delay a vote by the U.N. Security Council.
An Arab League delegation argued at the United Nations Tuesday that the Security Council should call for both an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Lebanon.
Lebanon opposes the original draft resolution, prepared by the United States and France, because it does not require a pullout of Israeli forces. Beirut is offering to deploy 15 thousand troops to work with an expanded U.N. force in southern Lebanon, to patrol near the Israeli border.
In Beirut, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State David Welch met with (Lebanese) Prime Minister Fouad Siniora today (Wednesday). No details about their discussions are available. Welch also is due to meet with one of Hezbollah's prominent supporters, parliament speaker Nabih Berri.

Israel – Lebanon: Israel's security cabinet convened today (Wednesday) to decide whether to send ground troops deeper into Lebanon to fight Hezbollah guerrillas.
The cabinet met as fierce battles continued to rage along the Israeli-Lebanese border. The Israeli military says at least 15 soldiers were wounded in overnight clashes with Hezbollah near the village of Qantara, about eight-kilometers inside Lebanon.
Lebanese security officials say Israeli warplanes carried out several raids in the eastern Bekaa Valley, on a Palestinian refugee camp near the southern port city of Sidon and elsewhere in the country. Authorities say at least five people were killed in a raid that hit the home of a Hezbollah official.

Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka's military says its troops have re-opened a water supply canal in the country's northeast that was blockaded by Tamil rebels more than two weeks ago.
A Sri Lankan military spokesman (Maj. Upali Rajapakse) says water levels along the canal rose today (Wednesday), providing relief for local residents and farmers.
The canal supplies water to tens of thousands of villagers living in government-controlled territory in the Trincomalee district.
Colombo says its military operation against the Tamil rebels had achieved its goal of re-opening the canal.

Philippines - Volcano: Scientists in the Philippines are warning the Mayon volcano is still near eruption, despite a lull in activity.
Experts said today (Wednesday) that the amount of sulfur dioxide coming out from the volcano dropped by nearly half on Tuesday, while seismic activity also lessened.
However, they are warning people to stay away, saying an eruption could still take place very soon.
Almost 40-thousand people have been evacuated from areas within eight kilometers of the volcano's smoking crater, though some stragglers have refused to leave their homes and livestock.

Asia Storms: A powerful typhoon is heading

toward northern Taiwan, as the island recovers from a weaker tropical storm that dumped heavy rain on the island's south.
Typhoon Saomai was about 500 kilometers east of Taiwan's northern tip this (Wednesday) afternoon, moving northwest at about 30 kilometers an hour. Forecasters say the typhoon is gaining strength and could hit northeastern Taiwan Thursday morning.
Taiwan authorities issued a land warning for Saomai, saying residents of Taipei and other parts of the north should beware of possible landslides due to heavy rain.

Thai PM Says He is Unsure Whether to Remain in Politics


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