ISRAEL - LEBANON: Israeli security officials say a soldier has been killed and two others wounded in a raid by Israeli commandos deep in Lebanon. The operation is the first major attack since a U.N. truce Monday ended 34 days of intense fighting between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas. The army said today (Saturday) its commandos entered Lebanon to disrupt arms transfers to Hezbollah from Syria and Iran. The army said the force completed its mission successfully. Army officials said such missions would be carried out until a multi-national force is in place to prevent Hezbollah from re-arming.
ISRAEL - PALESTINIANS: Palestinian officials say
Israeli soldiers have detained Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister Naser al-Shaer. Two Hamas lawmakers say troops burst into Shaer's home early today (Saturday) and took him away. An Israeli army spokesman said al-Shaer was taken into custody because of his membership in what the spokesman called a "terrorist organization."
IRAQ: A temporary vehicle ban has begun in Iraq's capital as thousands of Shi'ite pilgrims converge on Baghdad for Sunday's commemoration of the death of an eighth-century imam. The Iraqi government imposed the ban Friday as part of security operations intended to keep the pilgrims safe. It will last until Monday morning (0200 UTC). Experts say with hundreds of thousands of pilgrims arriving in Baghdad, protecting the entire religious festival may prove impossible.
IRAN NUCLEAR: Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad says Tehran has a right to nuclear power, and "no one" will stop Iranians from developing the country. In an interview with Britain's Guardian newspaper, the Iranian leader accused the United States of instigating a United Nations resolution urging Tehran to suspend its nuclear activities. He said the effort would fail. Iran insists it is enriching uranium to generate electricity from nuclear power. The United States, Britain, France and Germany, among others, say Tehran is secretly building nuclear weapons.
NOKOR FLOODS - AID: Red Cross officials from North and South Korea are meeting today (Saturday) to work out details of Seoul's proposed emergey relief aid to help the North recover from devastating floods. South Korea's Yonhap news agency says that South Korean officials are expected to offer about 100-thousand tons of rice during discussions at the North's Diamond Mountain resort. Last week, South Korea announced it will provide emergency aid of more than 10-million dollars to independent aid groups helping flood victims in North Korea.
CHINA TRIAL: The United States says it is disturbed by reports that three lawyers representing a blind Chinese activist were detained and prevented from attending his trial. A State Department spokesman said Friday that incidents surrounding Chen Guangcheng's trial, as well as the recent detention of another high-profile activist, Gao Zhisheng, call into question China's commitment to the rule of law. On Friday, Chinese authorities held a brief trial for Chen, but his lawyers and his wife say they were not allowed to attend. The trial in China's eastern Shandong province, ended after two hours without a verdict.
EAST TIMOR - UN: The United Nations has extended its peacekeeping mission in East Timor by one week, pending a decision by the Security Council on whether to expand the force there. U.N. officials say the peacekeeping mission, due to expire this week, will be extended until August 25th. Last week U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan asked the Security Council to approve a year-long mission in the young nation, which would include boosting the peacekeeping force to at least 16-hundred officers.
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