FROM Maggie Farley
Burma's Misery, Myanmar's Intransigence China has mobilized massive resources to deal with yesterday's earthquake. More than a week after the cyclone hit Myanmar it's a different story. The Burmese government now concedes that 60,000 have died since the Cyclone Nargis struck the Irrawaddy River Delta a week from last Saturday. Resources comparable to those that helped Indonesia recover from the tsunami four years ago are waiting off shore, but they're not getting in. As many as two million people are at risk for their lives, while the government distributes what aid there is to supporters and soldiers. Does that constitute a "crime against humanity?" Would an invasion for "humanitarian reasons" make things better or worse?
UN Weighs Sanctions against North Korea In light of Sunday's nuclear test, an unidentified North Korean official announced to the state news agency today, "We hope the situation will be resolved before an unfortunate incident of us firing a nuclear missile." But there's still doubt about the real nature of Sunday's test. However successful North Korea's nuclear test might have been, the fact that it happened at all is a set-back for efforts at non-proliferation. At the United Nations today, even China says there must be "some punitive action" against North Korea for testing a nuclear weapon. America's Ambassador John Bolton called for a "strong resolution and swift response from the Security Council." Who's to blame? We hear from the UN, see how North Korea's test compares to those of other nations and ask about failures of diplomacy.
The Politics of Peacekeeping France is not the only nation in Europe with cold feet about sending troops to southern Lebanon. Italy, Spain and Finland want to know if the rules of engagement will require their soldiers to make the peace or just keep it. Will they have to disarm Hezbollah? Meantime, Israeli commandos engaged Hezbollah 60 miles inside the Lebanese border. Israel says they were trying to stop arms smuggling prohibited by the UN resolution, but Secretary General Kofi Annan says they violated the cease-fire . There are rumors that they were trying to rescue two kidnapped soldiers. We get perspectives from Paris, Beirut and Jerusalem, and hear about a new UN resolution proposed by the US.
Israeli Troops Get Go-Ahead for Expanded Assault in Lebanon Despite what appears to be progress on a Security Council cease-fire resolution, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has given the military the go-ahead to expand the ground offensive in southern Lebanon. At the United Nations, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Secretary General Kofi Annan, and John Bolton, America's Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton was optimistic about the resolution. Has Israel lost its patience, or is it trying to speed-up a diplomatic solution? We get updates from Jerusalem, Beirut and the UN.
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?