Campaign to eradicate pot crop spurs protest
BEIRUT - Protesters set up roadblocks and burned tires in Lebanon to protest a government campaign to destroy cannabis fields in the eastern Bekaa Valley, the state-run news agency reported on Saturday.
The protesters want the government to compensate them for the loss of illegal marijuana crops.
The Lebanese Army fired shots in the air in an attempt to disperse the protesters in the area of Yamouneh, where growers on Friday attacked Lebanese soldiers.
The Bekaa region is notorious for its cannabis and poppy cultivation, which was eradicated under a U.N. program in the early 1990s. Farmers have returned to drug cultivation in recent years.
Upgraded missile successfully tested
TEHRAN - Iran claimed Saturday that it has successfully test-fired an upgraded version of a short-range ballistic missile with improved accuracy, increasing the Islamic Republic's capability to strike both land and naval targets.
Defense Minister Gen. Ahmad Vahidi said the solid-fueled Fateh-110 has a range of 185 miles. He claimed the weapon could strike with pinpoint precision, making it the most accurate weapon of its kind in Iran's arsenal.
"By reaching this generation of the Fateh-110, a new capability has been added to our armed forces in striking sea and land targets," state TV quoted Vahidi as saying. "Few countries in the world possess the technology to build such missiles."
Iran's military leaders have said they believe future wars will be air- and sea-based, and Tehran has sought to upgrade its air defense systems and naval power in anticipation of such a possibility.
Iran has also been pushing to upgrade its missiles, which already can target Israel and U.S. bases in the Middle East. The Pentagon released a report in June noting significant advances in Iranian missile technology, acknowledging that the Islamic Republic has improved the accuracy and firing capabilities of missiles.
Truman grandson visits Hiroshima park
TOKYO - A grandson of ex-U.S. President Harry Truman, who ordered the atomic bombings of Japan during World War II, is in Hiroshima to attend a memorial service for the victims.
Clifton Truman Daniel visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on Saturday and laid a wreath for the 140,000 people killed by the Aug. 6, 1945, bombing authorized by his grandfather. The Nagasaki blast three days later killed 70,000 more.
"I think this cenotaph says it all - to honor the dead to not forget and to make sure that we never let this happen again," Daniel said.
Daniel, 55, is in Japan to attend ceremonies this week in Hiroshima and Nagasaki marking the 67th anniversary of the bombings. His visit, the first by a member of the Truman family, is sponsored by the peace group Sadako Legacy, named after Sadako Sasaki, an A-bomb victim who died of leukemia at age 12. While in the hospital, Sadako folded hundreds of paper cranes after hearing a legend that people who make 1,000 origami cranes can be granted a wish. Origami cranes have since become a symbol of peace.
Daniel, a former journalist, met Sadako's 71-year-old brother, Masahiro Sasaki, who survived the bombing, at a peace event in New York in 2010.
The U.S. government sent a representative - the American ambassador - to the annual commemoration of the atomic bombings for the first time two years ago. Ambassador John Roos also is to attend the Hiroshima ceremony on Monday.