- Making News: Secretary Rice Begins Trip with Surprise Visit to Beirut
President Bush has announced that US ships and helicopters will take humanitarian aid to Lebanon. Meantime, Condoleezza Rice is looking for what she calls a "sustainable cease-fire." The Secretary of State met with Lebanon's Prime Minister Siniora today, commending him for "courage and steadfastness." Warren Strobel of McClatchy News Service is traveling with Secretary Rice.
- Reporter's Notebook: Saddam on Hunger Strike
Saddam Hussein was hospitalized yesterday as the result of the hunger strike he began more than two weeks ago. Reported to be in "stable" condition, he being fed through a tube. Today, his trial resumed, but without his presence. The defense team for him and all his co-defendants also failed to appear at today's proceedings, as we hear from Malcolm Beith, who reports from Baghdad for Newsweek magazine.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Secretary Rice made a surprise visit to Beirut today in what aides called a "dramatic signal" of President Bush's concern about Lebanon. On her way to Jerusalem, she's now talking about the "urgent need for a cease-fire," but not until the "right conditions" have been established. In Beirut, Hezbollah claimed to have established a "security perimeter" around its headquarters, but it's now been reduced to a "smoldering wasteland." Civilians are fleeing Southern Lebanon, even as Israeli bombs are hitting trucks thought to be re-supplying Hezbollah forces. We hear what conditions might lead to a cease-fire, how long it might take before Hezbollah stops the rockets and Israel stops the bombing, and about reports that some Lebanese officials are glad to see the weakening of Hezbollah and its ambitious leader.