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Latest Beirut Stories

2006-08-24 06:32:49

By Alaa Shahine BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon undertook on Thursday to stop smuggling from Syria, playing down a dispute between Syria and Israel over whether U.N. forces should help the Lebanese army stop arms shipments to Hizbollah guerrillas. It did not rule out asking U.N. troops to help the army with its border task under a truce between Israel and Hizbollah, but Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh said no decision had been taken. Syria threatened on Wednesday to close the border if...

2006-08-21 20:01:10

By Alistair Lyon, Special Correspondent BEIRUT (Reuters) - Italy has offered to lead a U.N. force for Lebanon, but a week after a truce calmed Israel's war with Hizbollah guerrillas, few other countries with proven military capacity have made substantial commitments. European Union countries are meeting on Wednesday to discuss concerns about clear rules of engagement for the force. European contingents are thought to be vital if the United Nations is to get an advance party of 3,500...

2006-08-21 17:12:07

By Gideon Long BEIRUT (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi said on Monday his country was ready to lead a U.N. force in southern Lebanon, where the fragility of a week-old truce was underlined when Israeli forces fired at Hizbollah guerrillas. "I confirmed the Italian willingness (to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan)," Prodi told reporters, adding that Annan would make a final decision on the command of the force this weekend. The Lebanese government welcomed Italy's...

2006-08-21 15:15:25

By Gideon Long BEIRUT (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi said on Monday his country was ready to lead a U.N. force in south Lebanon, where shooting by Israeli troops at Hizbollah fighters showed the fragility of a week-old truce. Prodi told reporters in Italy that he had informed U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who he said would make a final decision on the command of the force this weekend. The Beirut government welcomed Italy's offer of 2,000 troops, the biggest...

2006-08-21 10:54:29

By Gideon Long BEIRUT (Reuters) - President Bush called on Monday for the urgent deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping force to southern Lebanon to shore up a week-old truce between Israel and Hizbollah guerrillas. He said there would be another U.N. resolution on the rules for such a force. "First things first will be to get the rules of engagement clear," he told a news conference in Washington. Announcing a $230 million aid package to Lebanon that includes 25,000 tons of...

2006-08-21 10:03:41

By Gideon Long BEIRUT (Reuters) - President Bush called on Monday for the urgent deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping force to southern Lebanon to shore up a week-old truce between Israel and Hizbollah guerrillas. He said there would be another U.N. resolution on the rules for such a force. "First things first will be to get the rules of engagement clear," he told a news conference in Washington. Announcing a $230 million aid package to Lebanon that includes 25,000 tons of...

2006-08-21 09:59:54

By Gideon Long BEIRUT (Reuters) - President Bush called on Monday for the urgent deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping force to southern Lebanon to shore up a week-old truce between Israel and Hizbollah guerrillas. He said there would be another U.N. resolution on the rules for such a force. "First things first will be to get the rules of engagement clear," he told a news conference in Washington. Announcing a $230 million aid package to Lebanon that includes 25,000 tons of...

2006-08-21 06:33:23

By Gideon Long BEIRUT (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel described the situation in Lebanon as "very fragile" on Monday as a truce between Israel and Lebanese Hizbollah guerrillas entered its second week. Speaking in Berlin, Merkel said it was vital to get United Nations peacekeeping troops to the area quickly to prevent a rekindling of the conflict, in which nearly 1,200 people in Lebanon and 157 Israelis died. Italy emerged as the potential leader of such troops...

2006-08-21 04:32:36

By Gideon Long BEIRUT (Reuters) - A truce between Israel and Hizbollah guerrillas entered its second week on Monday as Italy emerged as potential leader of a beefed-up U.N. force charged with helping keep the peace in southern Lebanon. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, due to host senior U.N. envoys in Jerusalem later, spoke to Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi late on Sunday and said he would be happy to see the Italians in charge. "Italy should lead the international force and...

2006-08-20 10:03:00

By Laila Bassam BEIRUT (Reuters) - The United Nations said on Sunday the week-old truce between Israel and Hizbollah could easily collapse, a day after it condemned an Israeli raid on the guerrillas in Lebanon as a violation. Senior U.N. envoy Terje Roed-Larsen said the truce that halted the 34-day war had provided the Lebanese government with a good chance to extend its authority over all of the country. "We also do believe that unfortunately there is a tilting edge where things...


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'