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Front Page: Strike Explodes in Lebanon, India Fires Missile, Medvedev Sworn In, Chile Volcano

  • Strike Explodes in Lebanon: Explosions and gunfire heralded protests in the Lebanese capital of Beirut as opposition supporters held a one-day general strike for higher pay. Unions protested demanding the government triple the minimum monthly wage — currently $200. Tensions were fanned yesterday after the government announced it would shut down Hezbollah's private telecommunications network. Lebanon is in the midst of its biggest political crisis since the civil war, and it's been without a head of state for five months following a power struggle between the Western backed government and the Hezbollah-led opposition, which is supported by Syria and Iran.
  • India Fires Missile: India has just test-fired a nuclear-capable ballistic missile, Agni-III. The long-range missile is capable of hitting targets as far away as Beijing, or almost 2,000 miles, and it's capable of carrying a 1.5 ton nuclear payload. Agni means "fire" in Hindi and Sanskrit.
  • Medvedev Sworn In: Dmitry Medvedev was just sworn in as Russia's new president. He has promised to extend Russia's civil and economic freedoms, saying at his inauguration, "human rights and freedoms . . . are deemed of the highest value for our society." Medvedev follows Vladimir Putin's administration, becoming Russia's third leader since the collapse of the USSR in 1991. Almost immediately after the ceremony, Medvedev nominated Putin to be prime minister.
  • Chile Volcano: The Chaitén volcano in southern Chile erupted ash and lava a dozen miles into the air yesterday. The government has ordered the immediate and complete evacuation of everyone living within a 30-mile radius of the volcano, which began trembling last Friday. President Michelle Bachelet has visited the area and is announcing subsidies and other aid for affected families.
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