Israeli army chief resigns over Lebanon failures

Israeli army commander Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, under fire for failures in last summer’s war in Lebanon, has resigned, the Defense Ministry said early today.

Halutz has been under pressure to step down since the end of the 34-day war, which failed in its goals of defeating the anti-Israel militant group Hezbollah and bringing home two captured soldiers.

Israeli launched a full-scale attack on Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas after they seized the two men and killed three other soldiers in a cross-border raid July 12.

Army Radio reported that Halutz sent his letter of resignation to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, saying that he was taking responsibility for the outcome of the war.

“For me the concept of responsibility is everything,” Halutz wrote, according to Army Radio.

Islamabad, Pakistan
Pakistani airstrikes spark protest

Pakistani helicopter gunships attacked a suspected al-Qaida hide-out in a forest near the Afghan border yesterday, killing up to 10 people and sparking anger among tribesmen who said the dead were woodcutters, not terrorists.

The raid in South Waziristan came as Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited Afghanistan and as pressure grew on Pakistan to crack down on militants launching attacks across the frontier.

Pakistan’s army said intelligence sources confirmed the presence of 25 to 30 militants, including four or five unidentified al-Qaida terrorists, occupying five compounds in the area of Zamzola – a village about two miles from the frontier.

Pakistani forces backed by Cobra gunships attacked them, destroying three of the compounds.

Chrysler to slash jobs at engine plant

About 250 workers at a Chrysler Group plant that makes V-8 engines will be furloughed next week as the company reduces engine production to match truck manufacturing cuts, a company official said Monday.

The job cuts at the Mack Avenue Engine 1 plant in Detroit come as the struggling company is studying all of its operations as part of a restructuring plan that will include more job cuts and plant closures. Details of the full plan are to be made public when DaimlerChrysler AG releases its 2006 earnings next month.

The plant makes Chrysler’s 4.7-liter V-8 that is used mainly in the slow-selling Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Commander and Dodge Dakota.

Tehran, Iran
Despite tension, warm welcome in Iran for wrestlers

U.S. wrestlers were welcomed to Iran yesterday with bouquets of pink and white flowers at a time of increasing tensions between the two countries, recalling the days before Tehran’s reformers were defeated by its current hard-line leadership.

The Americans, wearing jackets emblazoned with “USA Wrestling,” were given the warm greeting by young girls in traditional Iranian dresses at an airport in the southern city of Bandar Abbas.

The 14 wrestlers are to participate tomorrow and Friday in the Persian Gulf Cup, also known as the Takhti Cup, the top wrestling tournament in Iran, where the sport has been a national obsession for centuries.

– Compiled from Daily wire reports

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