BUSH / SPEECH: President Bush has delivered his annual State of the
Union address, urging Congress to give his new Iraq strategy a chance to work. Mr. Bush stressed late Tuesday that "American must not fail in Iraq" and said his decision to deploy more than 20-thousand additional forces provides the best chance of success. Opposition Democrats who now control Congress and some lawmakers from Mr. Bush's own Republican party are skeptical about the plan. Mr. Bush stressed that lawmakers "did not vote for failure" when most of them voted to authorize the 2003 Iraq invasion.
BUSH SPEECH SIDEBAR: DEMO RESPONSE: Democratic U.S. Senato
r Jim Webb of (the southern state of) Virginia has called on President Bush to change course in Iraq so U.S. forces can come home soon. In the official Democratic response to Mr. Bush's State of the Union speech, Webb said the president took the nation into the Iraq war "recklessly" and said the war's costs has become staggering.
SUDAN-CHAD-HIJACK: A hijacker seized a Sudanese passenger plane today (Wednesday) and forced the pilot to fly to the Chadian capital, N'Djamena, before surrendering to authorities there. No one was injured. Officials say the plane, carrying 103 passengers, was hijacked this morning after it took off from Khartoum for Sudan's western city of Al-Fasher. Chadian forces surrounded the plane shortly after it landed in N'Djamena.
LEBANON: Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora has traveled to Paris to attend a donors' conference on rebuilding his country, after the devastation caused by last year's Israel-Hezbollah war. Mr. Siniora left Beirut today (Wednesday), a day after the Hezbollah-led opposition called off a general strike that had paralyzed Lebanon. Police said three people were killed and 133 others were wounded in clashes across Lebanon during Tuesday's strike. The clashes involved security forces, government supporters and opposition protesters.
CHINA - INTERNET: China says its number of Internet users could become the world's largest within two years, surpassing the United States. The state-run China Daily newspaper says the country's Internet population increased more than 23 percent last year to 137 million people. An estimated 210 million Americans are on-line.
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