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Lebanese Returning Home in Droves, Despite Risks; Israeli Troops Slowly Pulling Out of Lebanon; Advertising Campaign Seeks to Promote Iraqi Government and its Effort to Inspire Confidence in Iraq's Future

Aired August 15, 2006 - 12:00   ET


HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Thousands of Lebanese make the long and still dangerous journey back to their homes in southern Lebanon as Israel withdraws a growing number of its troops.
Syria and Iran proclaim victory for Hezbollah and cast Israel and the United States as enemies of peace.

A medical breakthrough gives women a powerful weapon to fight HIV and AIDS.

To the naked eye, a new airport security device makes waves among privacy advocates.

I'm Hala Gorani, reporting live from Beirut.

From the shattered suburbs of southern Beirut, to researchers pushing the envelope in medical laboratories around the world, this is YOUR WORLD TODAY.

Well, Israeli leaflets and U.N. agencies all have the same message for Lebanese trying to return home to southern Lebanon. It is still not safe to do so, but many of them are ignoring the warnings, preferring to go home than to remain refugees in their own country.

Our Brent Sadler, our Beirut bureau chief, joins us now with more. He has just returned from southern Lebanon.

Brent, tell us more about what you saw.

BRENT SADLER, CNN BEIRUT BUREAU CHIEF: Hala, that's right, many, tens of thousands of Lebanese now abandoning caution and heading for south Lebanon, and they're getting there by going about some extraordinary ways, showing a lot of desperation and determination to overcome many obstacles. They had to use roads they would not normally use because they've been gouged with multiple bomb craters. Bridges lie in ruins, so they're having to take detours.

One of the most extraordinary scenes I saw earlier this day, on the Litani River in south Lebanon. This is Israel's strategic borderline that it was aiming for at the peak of the fighting. I saw many, many Lebanese trying to drive across a narrow section of the river using old cars that frankly were not up to the job.

They were getting stuck for many, many hours as they tried to pull each other out of the water. I saw one woman carrying children one by one through the water, trying to keep her feet -- an extraordinary scene of another woman using here shoes to bail out water in the back of the car as the vehicle slowly sank in the soft riverbed.

Also this day, I joined up with Lebanese Red Cross workers who were able to get to the front line area right along the Lebanese- Israeli border to recover bodies that had been lying, decomposing in the fierce heat for at least two weeks, they said. Adding day by day one corpse by one corpse to the death toll that Lebanon has suffered during this month-long war -- Hala.

GORANI: Now Brent, we're about 36 hours into this cease-fire, and one of the crucial components of making this all work is the deployment of the Lebanese army south of the Litani River. The government said this will happen by the end of the week.

What did you see in southern Lebanon?

SADLER: Well, it's really a vacuum down there at the moment. I saw one or two Hezbollah fighters going about their business, whatever that might have been. They were too far away too really understand what they were doing.

But right along the border, I was up to the Israeli electrified fences that used to be next to the Lebanese territory, and there's nobody there. So you're seeing some of the most die-hard Lebanese driving their vehicles into villages that are scenes of utter devastation.

This is where the Red Cross people were trying to recover those bodies. And it's still very much, from what I can see, under the control of either directly Hezbollah members, or those certainly very sympathetic to them, and that's one of the concerns that the international community has, Hala, that there has to be a quick deployment of the Lebanese army and international troops, boots on the ground as quickly as possible, so there can be no vacuum situation around there.

I can confirm from Lebanese defense ministry official sources, Hala, that there has been orders given to the Lebanese army to start that deployment as early as tomorrow night. That will be in about 30 hours for now.

That would not be a deployment down to the border with Israel, it will be a deployment to the Awali River (ph) line, which is just north of Sidon. But it would seem to be an attempt by the authorities here to get the Lebanese army at least into a first phased deployment, if you like, ahead of the expectation, as early as possible, of those international troops -- Hala.

GORANI: Brent Sadler, our Beirut bureau chief.

Well, signs of the cease-fire are everywhere, it seems, in northern Israel as well. Shops unshuttering their windows, cafes even reopening, people leaving tent cities. Our Fionnuala Sweeney is in northern Israel and has more on what's happening on that side of the border -- Fionnuala.

FIONNUALA SWEENEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hala, indeed, we're just on the Israeli-Lebanese border, as you pointed out. Lebanon just 50 meters to my right. And behind me you can probably see the tanks carrying soldiers who came out of Lebanon in the last couple of days.

Now, an IDF spokesman told us earlier today that the re- deployment was going smoothly and that Israeli commanders were talking to their parallel commanders within the Lebanese army and that they expected the re-deployment to continue, hopefully over the next few days, as smoothly as it has so far. Of course, there have been sporadic incidents.

We're also hearing Israeli media reports suggest that Israel could have re-deployed completely within 10 days. Soldiers are continuing to be pulled out of Lebanon. We don't have any exact numbers because the Israeli military, for obvious reasons, is not giving those. But earlier we did see Israeli tanks leaving the area and heading back towards their various barracks.

It is a tentative cease-fire, but as each hour passes and there has been no serious violation of the cease-fire, there is growing hope that it may last. But, of course, the Israeli military say that they have every right to defend themselves if they are attacked by Hezbollah.

Earlier today, there was an incident early in the morning when Hezbollah fired at Israeli soldiers leaving the Lebanon -- Lebanese theater of battle. And the Israeli foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, saying that this was a breaking not just of the cease-fire itself, but the spirit of the cease-fire.

So, it's still a very tentative cease-fire, a cease-fire very much on probation. But so far, still holding -- Hala.

GORANI: All right.

Fionnuala, we're seeing pictures there -- on our screens there of returning Israeli soldiers, presumably. Tell me if you're able to speak to some of them, what their view is on that mission, that fight inside of Lebanese territory for the last month.

What have they been telling you?

SWEENEY: Well, you know there's a debate raging within Israel here about just how successful this war was. And that debate is continuing, also, among Israeli soldiers.

Soldiers that we spoke to today say that it was very hard. They didn't want to particularly talk about what went on. But they all said to a man that obviously they were glad to get out.

In terms of whether Israel gained or lost or how much Israel gained or lost during this war, there were varying opinions reflecting public opinion for the main parts. Some saying that Israel had definitely won the war, that there now is a U.N. resolution in place that reflected Resolution 1559 of two years ago. Others saying that it may be over for now, but there is a feeling that perhaps this war has been put off for another day.

And indeed, an IDF spokesman saying to us that Hezbollah was like a cancer which the Israeli military put into remission, but there was every possibility that this cancer, as he put it, would come back. And it was up, he said, to the Lebanese government and the international community to ensure that it didn't -- Hala.

GORANI: All right. Fionnuala Sweeney at the Israel-Lebanon border.

Thanks very much, Fionnuala.

Well, there was much talk throughout this conflict that there was a real regional spread to the war that raged on in Lebanon and northern Israel for the last 34 days. Israel says weapons from Syria and Iran were found at Hezbollah positions inside of Lebanon. And U.S. commanders say Iran is helping arm and train Shia militias in Iraq.

And let's turn our attention to Iraq now.

In Karbala, supporters of an anti-American Shiite cleric and security forces there clashed. Six people were killed. Authorities had raided the cleric's offices searching for weapons.

And in Mosul, the headquarters of the political party of Iraq's Kurdish president were bombed. Nine people were killed.

And on the streets and in the homes of Baghdad there is a new message, an advertising campaign that seeks to promote the government and its effort to inspire confidence in Iraq's future.

Harris Whitbeck has that story.


HARRIS WHITBECK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The Mansour neighborhood of Baghdad is or was one of the nicer shopping districts of the capital. In better times, its streets would fill with afternoon shoppers out for a stroll.

These days, those shops are all closed. Shuttered windows, heavy locks on doors one of the signs of the times. Mansour used to provide a comfortable living for its shopkeepers. Now they spend their time sitting outside their closed stores, lamenting just how much their lives have changed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Every day is the same for me now. I used to have a shop, but I closed it because of the security situation. I can't open another for the same reason.

WHITBECK: The only new signs of commercial activity around here are billboards, part of a public service campaign aimed at inspiring confidence in the new Iraq, and aimed at stopping some of the violence that has had such a devastating effect on, among so many other things, the economy in Mansour. This sign says, "The military patrols and convoys are here for everybody's protection." This one, appealing for unity, reads, "One hand, one heart. We're all Iraqis."

And on television, more graphic messages, like this spot which tells Iraqis to be on the lookout for suicide bombers. Ironically, it was filmed by a U.S. production company on a movie set in Los Angeles.

The shopkeepers of Mansour aren't very convinced of the campaign's effectiveness.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): What is the point of spending millions of dollars on advertisements that have no effect on the situation? They should start to rebuild the country, fix the electricity, improve our security. Otherwise, these advertisements are useless.

WHITBECK: Locals in Mansour say the PR campaign seems trite, even irrelevant in the face of so much bloodshed.

(on camera): Bloodshed that shows no sign of letting up, as sectarian strife divides a once bustling city and fear empties in streets.

Harris Whitbeck, CNN, Baghdad.


GORANI: You are with YOUR WORLD TODAY. A lot more ahead after a short break.

Hezbollah's two closest allies praise what they call the victory over Israel. Also, we uncover more details about the airline terror plot foiled by British officials. And we'll tell you why the manhunt for more suspects is not over.

Stay with us.


STEPHEN FRAZIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Riot police face or with leftist protesters in Mexico City, leaving almost three dozen people hurt. Leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is claiming that last month's election was fraudulent, and his supporters have swarmed the Mexican capital today.

Conservative rival Felipe Calderon says a partial recount confirms his victory. But it's up to a court which has to declare a winner by September 6th or annul the election.

Welcome back, everybody. I'm Stephen Frazier at CNN Center with more of YOUR WORLD TODAY on CNN International.

British anti-terror investigators have now been given another day to hold suspects in an alleged plot to blow up commercial jetliners over the Atlantic Ocean. Warrants to detain them have been extended now until Wednesday. Police can hold terror suspects there up to 28 days without charge.

Dan Rivers has details on their investigation.


DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): British security sources have told CNN they are confident in finding bomb-making material, even as the detailed forensic investigation into the alleged terror plot focuses on this apartment in east London. These exclusive CNN photos taken by a neighbor with a camera phone show plastic containers being carried from the flat by police.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most of it's been packaged up. There seems -- drums, the chemical drums are sealed tight (INAUDIBLE). There's a few of them have come out.

RIVERS: The intensive police search is also continuing in woods near the town of High Wycombe. According to security sources, the police are looking for evidence of explosives testing.

The British security sources confirm the evidence seen so far indicates the alleged plotters were planning to blow up aircraft at their maximum cruising altitude mid-Atlantic, positioning the explosives at the weakest part of the aircraft, intending for evidence to sink to the bottom of the ocean, potentially, the sources said, allowing similar, follow-up attacks.

(on camera): Security sources have told CNN that they expect that some of the suspects being held at this high security police station in central London may well be released without being charged.

(voice over): The British security sources have also cast doubt on multiple British and Pakistani media reports that the suspects have links to this man, Matiur Rehman, one of Pakistan's most wanted men for his alleged links to al Qaeda.

Security delays eased slightly at London's main airports after the threat levels on both sides of the Atlantic were reduced. But Britain's home secretary stresses the security service MI-5 is still hunting dozens of potential terror cells.

JOHN REID, BRITISH HOME SECRETARY: There are a number of other security service operations under way. There is still a very serious threat of an attack. The threat level is at severe, indicating the high likelihood of an attempted terrorist attack at some stage.

RIVERS: MI-5 officers who were following the movements of the suspects have already been re-deployed to monitor dozens of other suspected terror cells around Britain. The security service estimating there are more than 1,200 individuals of concern across the U.K.

Dan Rivers, CNN, London. (END VIDEOTAPE)

FRAZIER: And we have more on the security response to that investigation. Is it a security measure that can catch all, or simply to force you to bare all?

Still to come, a machine that can subject you to a strip search virtually. And we'll take a look at the controversy it has raised.

First, though, a financial heavyweight lending his support to the health of women.

We'll explain.


DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Daryn Kagan at CNN Center in Atlanta.

More of YOUR WORLD TODAY in just a few minutes. First, though, let's check on stories making headlines, including this just in to CNN.

The Associated Press is reporting that the British officials have arrested yet another person in that alleged airliner plot. That would make 24 people currently in custody in the U.K. and at least seven in custody in Pakistan.

Moving on to what we know right now from the Middle East.

The fragile U.N. cease-fire appears to be holding despite sporadic outbreaks of violence. And there's now word from Israel that it plans to complete its withdrawal from southern Lebanon within 10 days.

Syria and Iran's leaders are praising Hezbollah and blasting Israel. Both countries are key backers of the militant group.

Along the Litani River in southern Lebanon, thousands of displaced civilians are trying to return home. But the region is still very dangerous, with plenty of unexploded munitions left over from the fighting.

Right now, Israel's vice premier is in Washington, D.C., at the State Department. Shimon Peres is holding a closed-door meeting with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.


SHIMON PERES, ISRAELI VICE PREMIER: I came in the aftermath of the fighting in Israel to thank the secretary of state for her role, the president for his position, and the American people for their support.


KAGAN: Peres meets later today with other diplomats before returning to Israel.

President Bush is spending a large chunk of his day at the National Counterterrorism Center in Virginia. He's getting briefed on security at home and the fight against terrorism overseas. We're expecting remarks from the president soon and we'll bring them to you once they become available.

And remember the guys from Texas arrested after buying tons of cell phones? The FBI says it can find no evidence that they're involved in a terror plot and no imminent threat to a major Michigan bridge.

The men were arrested last week after buying 80 prepaid cell phones. Police also found a thousand phones and pictures of that bridge in their van. The three are still in jail while authorities investigate further.

In Ohio, a prosecutor there is dropping terror-related charges against the two men that are being held there. They were also arrested for buying hundreds of prepaid cell phones. Again, in this case, the prosecutor says he can find no links to terror.

If you own a Dell laptop, listen up. The computer company has launched a massive recall. Dell is replacing more than four million notebook batteries made by Sony. Dell says the batteries can short- circuit and possibly burst into flames.

For more information, log on to

Lawyers for the Tennessee woman accused of killing her preacher husband are back in court. They are trying to get Mary Winkler out of jail today. A judge approved her $750,000 bond last week, but there was a glitch with the bond company. The judge is trying to sort that all out today.

Evacuees from Hurricane Katrina, where are they now and how are they doing? A new study shows that evacuees who went to Birmingham, Alabama, and Atlanta are faring better than those who landed in Houston and San Antonio.

Experts say that Birmingham and Atlanta absorbed fewer evacuees. Many of them had the resources to leave New Orleans on their own. Many evacuees who went to Texas were poor or ill, people who had to be rescued. The study was sponsored by (INAUDIBLE) Appleseed Foundation.

Jacqui Jeras is looking at weather across the country today.

Jacqui, what do you have?

JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, Daryn, we're keeping our eye on the tropics.


KAGAN: One of the most indelible recordings of our time is missing. NASA says it can't find the original tape of the first moon landing, the one where Neil Armstrong says, "One small step for man" -- well, you know the rest of that. Hundreds of boxes of Apollo transmissions were apparently misplaced about a year ago. The mission to find them has not been accomplished so far.

And now to the ever-changing face of America. Actually, we'll get to that in a minute.

We first want to tell you that he -- OK. Deep breath.

All right. What we have coming up, President Bush today is spending a large chunk of his day looking at terrorism. He had some comments a few minutes ago for reporters. Here is what he had to say.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's been my honor to be here at the NCTC. A couple of observations.

One, that because of the work being done here by some really fine Americans from different agencies in our government, America is safer than it has been, but it's not yet safe. The enemy has got an advantage when it comes to attacking our homeland. They've got to be right one time, and we've got to be right 100 percent of the time to protect the American people.

I'm proud to report that there's a lot of good folks that are working hard to see to it that we're right 100 percent of the time. And I want to thank all of the people in this building and around our government who spend an incredible amount of time and energy and effort to do a very difficult job, and that's to protect the American people.

Recently, we saw the fruits of their labor in conjunction with their counterparts in Great Britain. Because of the good work in Great Britain, and because of the help of the people there at NCTC, we disrupted a terror plot, a plot where people were willing to kill innocent life to achieve political objectives.

And that plot is -- in this building, and the work going on here, really is indicative of the challenge we face, not only this week, but this year and the years to come. Because the United States of America is engaged in a war against an extremist group of folks, bound together by an ideology, willing to use terror to achieve their objectives.

Our most solemn duty in the federal government is to protect the American people. And I will assure the American people that we're doing everything in our power to protect them. And we've got some good assets, and the best asset we have is the people, the people represented right here in this building.

So I've come to listen and learn and to look at the reforms that have been put in place. And I've also come to thank the good people in the work here and elsewhere in our government for doing what they're doing.

Thank you very much.



KAGAN: And that's President Bush. He's at the National Counterterrorism Center in Virginia today. This comes on a day where other news coming out of Britain.

CNN has confirmed that British authorities there have arrested yet another suspect in that alleged airliner plot. That would make 24 people in custody in the U.K. and at least seven in custody in Pakistan.

Much more ahead.

YOUR WORLD TODAY continues after this break.

I'm Daryn Kagan.


FRAZIER: Welcome back to YOUR WORLD TODAY. I'm Stephen Frazier at CNN Center, and here are some of the stories we're following at this hour.

In Mosul, the headquarters of the political party of Iraq's Kurdish president has been targeted in an attack. A suicide bombing there has killed nine people.

In Karbala, supporters of an anti-American Shiite cleric and security forces fought. Six people were reported killed in that clash, which was triggered when police raided the cleric's office before dawn, searching for weapons. Now, authorities have imposed a curfew and have sealed roads in and out of Karbala.

British investigators say they have been given another day to hold 22 suspects in the alleged plot to blow up commercial airliners. And there's word just in now that Scotland Yard and British police have arrested another suspect. The search continues for more evidence of explosives and more suspects involved in the plot. Pictures taken by a neighbor of one of the suspect's arrest showed police removing plastic containers from the flat in question.

The cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah appears to be holding at this hour. Tens of thousands of Lebanese civilians are jamming roads, trying to get back to their homes or whatever is left of those. Israel says its forces will pull out from southern Lebanon within ten days. United Nations peace-keepers are now patrolling the region. Their numbers will grow in coming days. Fifteen thousand Lebanese army troops will move begin moving in, too, by the end of the week.

And for more on that situation, let's hand over now to Hala Gorani in Beirut -- Hala.

GORANI: Thank you very much, Stephen. Well, it's a perilous journey in Israel, as well as humanitarian agencies have warned of the perils of returning to the southern parts of this country. Still, though, tens of thousands people displaced by the fighting are choosing to go back to their homes or what is left of them.

Ben Wedeman is in the hard-hit city of Tyre. But we start with our Jim Clancy, just returned from the southern suburbs of Beirut.

Jim, give us a sense of the people's initial response as they go back to some of these neighborhoods that were hit by Israeli airstrikes for so many weeks.

JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There are two reactions that you often have. One is disbelief at the destruction that's been caused; the other, enormous relief that they're looking on and seeing a building perhaps with only minor damage, or, miraculously, no damage at all.

But by no means are the entire southern suburbs devastated at this point. Some neighborhoods, absolutely. But not all of the suburbs and none of Beirut really proper.

All right, so what we're looking at down there is a massive clean-up. And here, Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has come to the fore. He told the people there that he was going to have his own representatives out today. That's exactly what he did. They are making some big promises to the people of southern suburbs in Lebanon south, saying that they are going to cover a year's rent, a year's furniture for them if their home has been destroyed, or help to pay to rebuild damaged shops or homes. That's a tall order, but it's one of the reasons why Hassan Nasrallah is seen as such a powerful figure. Some complaints, he's acting as a state within a state.

Speaking of the state, the Lebanese army engineering units were out this day. They worked on the airport, filling in some of the holes in the runway. These are makeshift repairs. They also worked on the -- some areas south of Beirut, trying to repair some of the roadways. You look at that bridge and the destruction that's there. They're not rebuilding the bridges. What they've done is repaired the roads that run alongside those bridges, the bypasses that allow some of that traffic to get through.

Still, tens upon tens of thousands of people returning to the south of Lebanon today. Once again, all kinds of traffic jams, almost everywhere you turn. Lebanon well and truly in the midst of a reconstruction -- Hala.

GORANI: All right. Thanks for that report. Our Jim Clancy there, just returning from the southern suburbs of Beirut.

Let's go to Tyre in southern Lebanon, where it seems tens of thousands of people are ignoring warnings that it's still too dangerous to go back to their homes.

For the latest, Ben Wedeman joins us -- Ben. BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Hala, well, it appears with the cease-fire holding, as we've seen, thousands of people are coming back to southern Lebanon. But in many cases, it is not a happy homecoming.


WEDEMAN (voice-over): Four-year-old Ali (ph) is going home in the back of the family pickup. At first, he's confused, as he stares wide-eyed at his village of Ay Taroun (ph), now in ruins. Then Ali sees his house.

The Rezat (ph) family had fled to Sidon when the Israeli bombardment began. With the cease-fire holding, they were hoping to sleep at home tonight, but that won't be possible.

"We must return, but how? It's all gone," says Ali's father, Ibrahim (ph). Down the street, Ali's grandmother, 80-year-old Masara (ph), struggles up the steps to the ruins of her home.


WEDEMAN: In a daze, she goes from room to room. She's lived her for decades. "Where am I going to go?" she mutters to herself.

The Alawi (ph) family was luckier. They returned in the morning. Their home took some hits. It's a mess, but not beyond repair.

"As long as we're fine, and the children are fine," says Tana Alawi (ph), a shepherd, "then thank God. That's what matters."

The cease-fire has allowed people to come back, and others, like these workers from the Lebanese Red Cross, to retrieve the dead.

Some of the bodies have clearly been here for a while. Hassan Mansour (ph) shows me where he found the body of his friend, Mohammed Hamoudi (ph), a U.S. national. Mohammed lived alone and died alone days, perhaps weeks ago, when shrapnel smashed into his living room. His burial in the olive grove beneath his house, was fast, the grave shallow. No time for a proper funeral. There are too many more bodies to bury.


WEDEMAN: And, Hala, what we also saw when we were in the south was that there are a lot of artillery shells lying around. And we've heard the U.N. and other organization that that's one of their main worries, all this unexploded ordinance lying around. And already several people have been killed and more wounded as a result of that very dangerous ordinance -- Hala.

GORANI: All right. Ben Wedeman in Tyre. Thanks very much. Well, after weeks of intense fighting, Iran and Syria, often accused of sponsoring and supporting Hezbollah financially and militarily, are touting the Lebanese militant group as victorious. The Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, for instance, says the United States plan for a new Middle East has failed, and that neither Israel nor Washington truly want peace.


BASHAR AL-ASSAD, SYRIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Israel is an enemy and does not want peace, because peace will impose on Israel to return the Arab lands and the rights, because this enemy has not changed, only to be expanded and occupied.

And we have always said the peace process is very important and crucial to the United States, through its position of super power and through connections with others. But not in the United States. This administration may adopt the preemptive war, and it contradicts the principle of peace.


GORANI: Well, speaking in Tehran hours ago, or in Iran, the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, also made some comments of his own.

Our Aneesh Raman joins us now live from the Iranian capital with more on what he said -- Aneesh.

ANEESH RAMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hala, both of these speeches from the Syrian president and his Iranian counterpart delivered within hours of each other, each of them carrying similar themes. The Iranian president, you see him there in the northwestern part of the country, speaking to huge crowds, screaming support for Hezbollah, waving Hezbollah flags. If victory of this war is determined by those who proclaim it loudest, they are attempting that here.

The Iranian president, as we heard from the Syrian president, said any new Middle East that comes will be one that not have domination -- his words -- of U.S. and Britain. He as well said that America shares the blame, along with Israel and Britain, for a prolonged effort before a cease-fire took hold, that they should be punished, they should tried in some sort of criminal court.

We have seen Syria and Iran grow closer by the day amid this war. Their presidents now seem they've grown stronger as well. Both of them directing their ire at not just Israel, but directly the U.S. both of them suggesting that the resistance will go on, both of them saying, there's no peace at hand in this region -- Hala.

GORANI: Aneesh, the Iranian president isn't just making speeches; he's also issuing threats.

RAMAN: He did. We heard him essentially say that those who supported Israel will have something coming back to them. He linked America, England and Israel consistently in his speech. Here's one soundbite when he spoke about the war that has just ensued.


MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, IRANIAN PRES. (through translator): American and England, and Zionist regime with all of the equipment, all of the army they had, and they face a group of decent, devout young people, and those young people, by putting their trust in God, and believing in God's fulfillment of his promises, stood against them.


RAMAN: And so, Hala, the fact that Hezbollah seems to be still standing means that Iran and Syria is standing even stronger -- Hala.

GORANI: Aneesh Raman, live in Tehran. Thanks, Aneesh.

We're going to take a short break here on YOUR WORLD TODAY.

When we return, has anyone truly emerged as a victor in this war. We'll speak to a journalist in Washington D.C.

Also the newest weapon in the war against terrorists, the machine with the X-ray vision as Superman. But will the operator be as restrained as Clark Kent? Stay with us.


GORANI: Seen around the world, this is YOUR WORLD TODAY. I'm Hala Gorani, live from Beirut.

As Israeli forces start withdrawing from Southern Lebanon, the United Nations says U.N. forces are expanding their presence there. Of course the U.N. Security Council resolution and the cease-fire agreement calls for expanded UNIFIL force, as well as 15,000 Lebanese force.

But as Chris Lawrence now reports from the Lebanon-Israeli border, much of the focus still this day is on the fragile cease- fire.


CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The cease-fire has created peace, but not peace of mind.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It seems very fragile at the moment.

LAWRENCE: Even after the cease-fire, there were several skirmishes. Israeli soldiers shot and killed several suspected Hezbollah fighters, who they say posed a threat to their forces in southern Lebanon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's why it's imperative that the vastly expanded UNIFIL and the Lebanese army take up their positions as quickly as possible.

LAWRENCE: The commander of U.N. peacekeepers met with Israeli and Lebanese officials on the border. They expect a multinational force of 15,000 fighters to start deploying there by early next week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That buffer, then, makes the cease-fire hold. LAWRENCE: Israeli officials say that, until the United Nations takes over security, Israeli troops will engage Hezbollah guerrillas only if they're threatened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're calling upon them to leave their weapons and walk away. But, even if they don't leave their weapons, we're not shooting them from the back.

LAWRENCE: In northern Israel, the sound of mortars is giving way to the sound of mothers. Sigal Ifroth (ph) and her family evacuated last month. They have come back to Kiryat Shmona. Their hometown was hit by 242 rockets since they left.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We there's going to be peace, but I'm not believe it. And I think that it's not safe to be here.

LAWRENCE: Still, for the first time in more than a month, there was peace and life on Israeli streets.


GORANI: And that was Chris Lawrence reporting from the Israel/Lebanon border.

Are there any victors in this 34-day war? That's a question many people are asking this day as the cease-fire appear to be holding. We're joined by the "Annahar" Washington bureau chief Hisham Melhem for more on that.

Hisham, first off, that question -- has anyone won?

HISHAM MELHEM, "ANNAHAR" BUREAU CHIEF: Hala, this is a war that left only losers. And those who are claiming victory, they're victory is hollow and their victory is Pyhrric is at best.

It is true, however, that Hezbollah managed to shatter Israel's supposed military invincibility, because they fought with courage, discipline, determination and tenacity when they defended their homes and villages in the south.

However, Hezbollah also can not claim victory, because Hezbollah was unable to deter Israel and to prevent Israel from destroying the Lebanese economy, Lebanese society, shatter the Lebanese infrastructure, create quarter of a million -- excuse me -- quarter of the Lebanese population, displaced them, uprooted them, killed more than a thousand people.

Sheik Nasrallah could climb up on that huge mountain of rubble that killed the Israelis have created. He could plant his yellow fan on top of that heap and claim victory, but is still a Pyhrric victory. The Lebanese people will tell him and will remind him -- and I would hope that they would do that -- that in the year 2000, you drove the Israeli occupation out of Lebanon, then by your recklessness and adventurism, you invited them back, and the Israelis came back with their traditional callousness, and recklessness and disregard for civilian lives, and created this national nightmare, and nobody will believe that you have victory -- yes, go ahead.

GORANI: Hisham, it sounds like, basically, what you're saying, is this war created two losing sides. Is the reason the war ended more because neither side wanted to continue fighting rather than because there was international pressure?

MELHEM: Well, I mean the international pressure was one. But there was domestic pressure. The Israelis had their own domestic pressure because the performance was less than stellar.

On the other hand, Nasrallah could not ignore the suffering of his own people, his own constituency, and that's why now, he's telling his own people, we will help you financially, we will rebuild your homes. He is playing the role of a state within a state, hoping of course that his Iranian friends will provide the funds. Thereby, he's he's prolonging the period of certainty in Lebanon, preventing the emergence of a viable Lebanese states with viable institutions.

And that is really the crux of the problem now -- the Lebanese body politick has to finally address this issue, are we going to have real, viable state with sovereignty that will respect itself, or are we allowing the Syrians, the Israelis, the Iranians to use Lebanon as an arena to settle tier the issue. The Iranians and the Syrians would like to fight the Israelis until the last Lebanese and the last Palestinians.

GORANI: All right. That's an expression I've heard being in Lebanon here over the last few weeks.

Let me ask you about these issues, Hisham Melhem, that have been pending for years: the Shebaa Farms, the prisoner swap, Hezbollah disarmament, you name it. Let's assume this U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 is applied and it's applied successfully. Who can claim credit for those issues having been resolved?

MELHEM: I think the Lebanese people could claim credit, the Lebanese government could claim credit, the international community could claim credit, wise leadership on this in Lebanon could claim credit. It's a tall order.

I mean, implementing 1701 will be a huge victory for Lebanon, because it will allow Lebanon, for the first time in 30 years, to build itself as a viable state, as a modern nation-state that represents all of its own -- all of its population that will protect itself against its predatory neighbors. All of them are predatory neighbors, the Israelis, the Syrians, the Iranians.

And, finally, the Lebanese body of politics has to address these issues and to allow their neighbors to use them. The Shia community in Lebanon should play the leading role in determining the future of Lebanon because they do represent the largest community in Lebanon, but they should not allow Iranians to use them as a proxy in a war that created a national nightmare.

GORANI: Hisham Melhem, the Washington bureau chief for "Annahar" newspaper joining us live from Washington, D.C. Thanks so much for being on YOUR WORLD TODAY.

MELHEM: Thank you.

GORANI: We're going to take a short break. Stay with us.


FRAZIER: U.S. president George W. Bush focusing on U.S. counter- terrorism efforts at this hour. He says the alleged plot to blow up U.S.-bound airliners is a stark reminder that terrorists are still trying to kill Americans.

Brian Todd explores America's latest high-technology antiterror weapon.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At London's Heathrow Airport, a weapon in the war on terror that can see through clothes carrying liquid explosives. Already used on more than one million passengers, these special X-rays can catch all kinds of contraband.

PETER KANT, RAPISCAN SYSTEMS: Regular weapons, guns, knives, box-cutters and the like, but also unusual types of weapons, explosives, liquid explosives, gels.

TODD: The U.S. government owns four of them, but none are in use at America's airports. One look at our demonstrations reveals why. I am advised that, if I don't want my private areas shown, I should put a metal plate in my pants.

(on camera): But those would be seen normally on the screen here. I'm going to do that now, right before I get screened.

(voice-over): I step just in front of the machine, turn around. In just a few seconds, the monitor displays my humble contours.

Now, in this test, I am playing the role of a would-be terrorist. I try to hide a plastic lipstick container in my vest pocket.


I sneak a sports drink bottle similar to one officials believe may have been used in the latest terror plot into my pants pocket.

Busted again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There it is, picked it up.

TODD: How about wires in a sealed sandwich bag hidden in my sock? On the monitor, they show up on my ankle.

But the machines have limitations. When I pour water into a sealed sandwich bag, place it inside my belt line and in a sock, you can barely see it. But the company behind this technology says trained screeners would detect it, and the TSA says they have other methods to detect liquids. Still, privacy advocates have seen enough.

MELISSA NGO, ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CTR.: It's a virtual strip search. What it is, is a detailed image of a person's body, so detailed that you can see genitalia.

TODD: What do passengers at New York's JFK Airport think?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That definitely seems like an invasion of privacy, and I would not be willing to do that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been through it over in Europe, and I didn't like it.

TODD: Machinemaker Rapiscan Systems says Heathrow Airport uses its devices as a secondary screening measure, segregating men and women with same-gender screeners in private rooms. Even then, passengers can choose between the see-through screen or a pat-down. And according to Rapiscan, the vast majority choose the machines.

(on camera): So is this an efficient screener of terrorist tools or a huge invasion of privacy? Well, officials at this company and others are trying to come up with a middle ground, a device that will maintain privacy, but not lose any detection capability. And they hope to have a machine like that ready in a matter of months.

Brian Todd, CNN, Arlington, Virginia.


FRAZIER: That's it for YOUR WORLD TODAY. For Hala Gorani in Beirut, I'm Stephen Frazier at CNN Center. Thank you for joining us.