Plot picked off.

A summary of what's in the major U.S. newspapers.
Aug. 11 2006 3:39 AM

Royal Flush

(Continued from Page 1)

Lines at U.S. airports went down as the day went on. Still, it wasn't easy. "I'm throwing away my whole face," said one traveler. "There's my lip gloss. There's my other lip gloss. There's my lipstick." Here's a FAQ on the new no-nos. (Tip: Books are banned on flights to Britain.)

Israel is still holding off on launching its expanded offensive as the U.S. and France are still trying to hash out a deal for a cease-fire. The latest formula involves a call for a phased Israeli withdrawal, which Lebanon and Hezbollah say is a no-go.

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About 140 rockets landed inside Israel, killing a young Israeli-Arab woman and her son.

In Beirut, Israel dropped leaflets "in most of the city" warning residents that Israel intends to "expand their operations in Beirut." (Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah warned last week that if Beirut is hit—presumably as opposed to just the suburbs—he'll go after Tel Aviv.)

The NYT off-leads Israel asking the U.S. to speed up delivery of a cluster-bomb rocket system that Israel thinks could help against Hezbollah. State Department officials, who presumably tipped the Times, are opposing the delivery because of the likelihood of civilian casualties. As the Times puts it, the rockets "carry hundreds of grenade-like bomblets that scatter and explode over a broad area." The U.S. blocked the sale of cluster bombs to Israel back in the 1980s after concluding that Israel used them in civilian areas.

The Post fronts about 35 Iraqis killed when a suicide bomber got within a few yards of one of Shiite Islam's holiest sites, the Imam Ali shrine in Najaf. There was also a gunbattle in Baghdad between Shiite militia and Sunni gunmen—four people were killed before GIs arrived and ended the fight.

The WP notes that about 30 percent of U.S. diplomats required to speak the language of the country they're in don't actually speak the language of the country they're in.

The Journal flags yet another study showing that Greenland's ice sheet is melting faster than predicted, meaning oceans might rise faster than predicted. Scientists have long expected the ice cap's shrinkage, but, said one scientist not involved in the study, "it is disquieting to see how fast [it is] taking place."

The WSJ notices that Kim Jong-il hasn't been seen much lately in public. Which is understandable really, since according to a state news agency cited by the Journal, the Dear Leader has been busy writing a screenplay: Diary of a Girl Student.

Eric Umansky, previously the "Today's Papers" columnist for Slate, is currently a Gordon Grey Fellow at Columbia University's School of Journalism.

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