Lebanon – Israel: U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has visited southern Lebanon today (Tuesday), before traveling to Israel on a Mideast tour aimed at shoring up the ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah.
Mr. Annan met with commanders of the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) at the coastal town of Naqoura and took an aerial tour of the border region that bore the brunt of Israeli air strikes and artillery fire during 34 days of warfare.
When he was in Beirut Monday, Mr. Annan said he plans to ask the Israeli government to lift its air, land and sea blockade of Lebanon. He also Urged Hezbollah to release two captured Israeli soldiers.
Iraq: Iraqi officials say authorities have regained control of (the southern city of) Diwaniyah, where scores of people were killed in fighting between Iraqi soldiers and Shi'ite militiamen.
Officials say shops reopened today (Tuesday) and government troops are patrolling the Shi'ite-dominated city (about 130 kilometers) south of Baghdad.
Iraqi officials say at least 20 government soldiers, dozens of militiamen and several civilians were killed in fighting that continued for much of Monday.
Clashes ended after local political leaders worked out an agreement with radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who controls the Mahdi Army militia. (That meeting took place in the Shi'ite holy city of Najaf.)
Iran – Nuclear: The United States has expressed disappointment that Iran apparently intends to defy the U.N. Security Council and continue its uranium-enrichment program.
A State Department spokesman (Sean McCormack) told reporters Monday international consultations on a response are under way, now that it appears Iran has chosen the path of defiance.
Iran faces a Security Council deadline on Thursday to stop reprocessing uranium, or face possible sanctions.
Nearly three months ago, the United States and other world powers ( -- the other permanent members of the Security Council, plus Germany -- ) offered Iran a package of incentives if Tehran ends sensitive nuclear work and return to negotiations on its standoff with the West.
Pakistan – Baluchistan: Officials in Pakistan say rioting broke out in the southwestern region of Baluchistan after the funeral of a rebel chief killed by the military.
Police say more than 10-thousand mourners attended the funeral today (Tuesday) in the capital of Quetta for tribal leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, who was killed Saturday.
After the services, authorities say mourners set off at least two bombs outside the soccer stadium where the memorial was held. They threw stones at police and set fire to cars, a bank and a government building.
Uganda – Truce: Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has ordered his military to stop all offensive operations against the rebel Lord's Resistance Army as part of a ceasefire that took effect today (Tuesday).
A military spokesman says Ugandan forces will return to barracks and focus on protecting civilians in refugee camps. The official says troops will only shoot at the rebels in defense of civilians.
The L.R.A. and the Ugandan government agreed to the truce Saturday, raising hopes for an end to rebel's 20-year uprising. The ceasefire was mediated by southern Sudan's regional government.
Japan - US Military: A U.S. Cruiser with advanced missile defense capabilities arrived in Japan, as the two countries remain vigilant about North Korea’s missile program. The USS Shiloh docked in the port of Yokohama today, equipted with technology capable of shooting down ballistic missiles.
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