Document: Iran Caught Red-Handed Shipping Arms to Taliban

The United States has canceled the visas of 22 Costa Rican immigration officials suspected of selling visa stamps so that Costa Ricans could stay illegally in the U.S. without getting caught, the two countries said Wednesday. (AP)

IRAN/FINLAND

Iran Seizes 3 Finns in Persian Gulf

Iran has detained three Finns for allegedly straying into its territorial waters during a fishing trip in the Persian Gulf but is releasing no information on their whereabouts, the Finnish ambassador to Tehran said Wednesday. Ambassador Heikki Puurunen said Iranian officials assured him that the three men were in good condition and had been treated well since their Saturday detention. However, Puurunen told The Associated Press that Iran had not yet agreed to a Finnish request to see the men in accordance with consular agreements between the two countries. (AP)

LEBANON

Army Goes Back on Offensive against Fatah Al-Islam

Fierce combat resumed Tuesday evening at the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp after the Lebanese Army had maintained steady pressure throughout the day with sporadic shelling aimed at the camp's southwestern quarter, where Fatah al-Islam militants are reportedly concentrated. After a quiet night, heavy fighting resumed in Nahr al-Bared on Tuesday morning, with exchanges of gunfire and intermittent explosions in the camp. Troops shelled militants' hideouts with artillery fire, while militants fired rocket-propelled grenades. (The Daily Star)

Lebanese Officials: Soldiers Seize Hezbollah Weapons Truck

Lebanese troops have seized a truckload of rockets and ammunition belonging to the Hezbollah guerrillas in eastern Lebanon, security officials said Wednesday. (AP)

U.S./LAOS

US Smashes Dad's Army Conspiracy against an Old Communist Enemy

A plot by pro-American dissidents to overthrow one of the last Asian communist dictatorships has been thwarted by a US undercover agent who posed as an arms dealer. (Time Online)

SCOOTER LIBBY TRIAL

Bush Faces Question of Whether to Pardon Libby

The sentence imposed on former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby yesterday put President Bush in the position of making a decision he has tried to avoid for months: Trigger a fresh political storm by pardoning a convicted perjurer or let one of the early architects of his administration head to prison. (Washington Post)

DC MADAM SCANDAL

Despite Madam Scandal, Tobias Honored as 'Living Legend'

Randall Tobias may have become the butt of late-night comics' jokes after admitting to ABC News he was a client of the so-called "D.C. Madam" and resigning his top State Department post in April. But his home state of Indiana is celebrating him as a "legend." (ABC News)

FRANCE

France Terror Removals Condemned

France is failing to safeguard foreign terror suspects it deports from human rights violations such as torture, an international watchdog claims. (BBC)

TAINTED FOOD FROM CHINA

China Launches Drive for Food and Drug Safety

China will launch a long-term offensive against dangerous medicines and bad foods that have alarmed consumers, the government announced in a plan that vows stronger export controls. (Reuters)

U.S.

Navy Doctor Charged With Taping Sex

The military has charged a former Naval Academy doctor who hosted midshipmen at his home with secretly videotaping the students having sex, the Navy said Tuesday. (AP)

ANALYSIS & OPINION

Before Talking, See If There Is Anything to Talk About

By Tony Badran

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