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4:45 PM ET, July 15, 2006


 Top Items: 
Report: Israel gives Syria ultimatum  —  London-based Arabic language newspaper Al-Hayat says Israel gave Syria 72 hours to stop Hizbullah's activity, bring about release of kidnapped IDF troops.  'Israel will not end military activity until new situation created that will prevent Syria …
Associated Press:
Israel Official: Iran Helping Hezbollah  —  JERUSALEM (AP) — A missile fired by Hezbollah, not an unmanned drone laden with explosives, damaged an Israeli warship off Lebanon, the army said Saturday.  Iranian troops helped fire the missile, a senior intelligence official said.
Sam F. Ghattas / Associated Press:
Israel targets Hezbollah in south Beirut  —  BEIRUT, Lebanon - Israeli warplanes pounded Hezbollah's south Beirut stronghold and roads around the country, killing at least 15 Lebanese as they fled the onslaught.  Hezbollah expanded its rocket fire, hitting another of Israel's main cities …
Robert Satloff / Weekly Standard:   The Rogues Strike Back  —  Iran thumbs its nose at Western diplomats …
Associated Press:   Israeli Blasts Central Beirut as Middle East War Heats Up
Glenn Reynolds /
READER STEPHEN CLARK has a question:
Associated Press:
IAF strikes southern suburbs of Beirut  —  IAF planes repeatedly blasted Beirut's southern suburbs early Saturday evening, causing a series of huge blasts, Hizbullah's Al Manar television reported.  —  The TV's correspondent said IAF strikes targeted the Hizbullah stronghold of Haret Hreik …
Lebanese hate Israel, upset at Nasrallah  —  Arab newspaper reviews: Lebanon residents openly criticize Hizbullah leader for putting their country at risk.  Surprising voices in Beirut call to disarm organization.  Iran threatens Israel, brother of Lebanese prisoner in Israel conveys his glee over abducted Israeli soldiers
Khaled Yacoub Oweis / Reuters:
Syria says fully backs Hizbollah against Israel
Ynetnews:   Missing sailor's body recovered
Judd / Think Progress:
Putin to Bush: "We Certainly Would Not Want to Have the Same Kind of Democracy as They Have in Iraq"  —  During a press conference today at the G8 summit in Russia, President Bush told President Vladimir Putin that Americans want Russia to develop a free press and free religion "like Iraq."
Putin rejects Bush's Iraq democracy model  —  ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (CNN) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has rejected a suggestion from U.S. President George W. Bush that his country should emulate democracy in Iraq.  —  During a joint news conference Saturday in St. Petersburg …
Discussion: Middle Earth Journal
David Lightman / Hartford Courant:
Evaluating Lieberman: A Party Guy?  —  WASHINGTON — By the numbers, Joe Lieberman is a true, consistent Democrat.  —  He votes with Democratic colleagues almost all the time.  His record gets him high marks from interest groups close to the party, from the AFL-CIO to the NAACP.
Associated Press:
Bill Clinton defends Lieberman's Iraq stance
Discussion: MyDD and Blue Crab Boulevard
Washington Post:
Wiretap Surrender  —  SENATE JUDICIARY Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) has cast his agreement with the White House on legislation concerning the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance as a compromise — one in which President Bush accepts judicial review of the program.
Glenn Greenwald / Unclaimed Territory:
The NYT, WP and Time all report the Specter bill as the opposite of what it is
Discussion: Balkinization and PrawfsBlawg
Massimo Calabresi / Time:
Why the Eavesdropping Deal May Have More Bark Than Bite
Lynn Brezosky / Austin American-Statesman:
Gunfire lasted 5-7 minutes  —  HARLINGEN — South Texas sheriff's deputies on Thursday were investigating whether Mexican gunmen who fired on deputies and Border Patrol agents from across the Rio Grande had crossed into the United States.  —  Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino said 200 …
John Pomfret / Washington Post:
Bribery At Border Worries Officials
Rick Weiss / Washington Post:
Clash Over Stem Cell Research Heats Up  —  Scientists Dispute Claims of Leading Foe of Bill to Ease Embryo Restrictions  —  With just days to go before the Senate is scheduled to vote on a hotly anticipated bill that would loosen President Bush's restrictions on human embryonic stem cell research …
Mike McIntire / New York Times:
New House Majority Leader Keeps Old Ties to Lobbyists  —  Representative John A. Boehner won the job of House majority leader amid a post-Abramoff clamor for an overhaul of lobbying and ethics rules.  But nearly six months later, the changes are still tied up in Congress.
Discussion: Daily Kos and Bring it On!
Ritholtz / The Big Picture:
Post-9/11 Option Grants Under Scrutiny  —  The WSJ continues its recent habit of burying killer stories in the under read Saturday edition.  This week's bombshell has to do with post 9/11 earnings grants: … What makes this so pathetic is that corporate executives could have stepped …
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 More Items: 
Kevin Drum / The Washington Monthly:
ISRAEL AND THE BLOGOSPHERE.....Via email, Matt Yglesias suggests …
Discussion: Unfogged
3 Patriot batteries stationed in Haifa
Discussion: Stop The ACLU
Michael Stewart /
Evangelist arrested on federal charges
Glenn Reynolds /
GAY MARRIAGE IN TENNESSEE: Not likely to happen in the near future …
 Earlier Items: 
Greg Giroux /
TX: Remap Plans Vary Widely; New Primaries a Possibility
Captain Ed / Captain's Quarters:
Talk About A Bad Draw!
Discussion: JustOneMinute
Bill Smith / Real Clear Politics:
Rove Secretly Runs The New York Times