Friday, January 9, 2009

Olmert: Israel to Continue Gaza Offensive

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says Israel will continue its offensive against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, despite a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire.

Hamas leaders also dismissed the measure, saying it did not take Palestinian interests into account.

The resolution, approved late Thursday by a 14-0 vote, calls for a truce leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces. It also demands an end to Hamas rocket attacks and calls for the unimpeded distribution of humanitarian aid.

The United States abstained from the vote, saying it wants to see the outcome of mediation efforts by Egypt.

In Gaza, Israeli warplanes carried out at least 50 air strikes overnight and early today, killing at least 12 Palestinians. Hamas also continued firing rockets into southern Israel.

Meanwhile, a U.N. report issued today said 30 Palestinians were killed earlier this week when the Israeli army moved more than 100 civilians into a house, warned them to stay inside, and later, shelled the building repeatedly.

The U.N. humanitarian office said the event took place in Gaza City's Zeitun neighborhood.

On Thursday, the International Committee of the Red Cross highlighted the same incident, accusing the Israeli military of delaying rescue efforts and failing to meet its obligations under international humanitarian law. The Israeli Ambassador in Geneva, Aharon Leshno-Yaar, said his country did not fail in its humanitarian obligation.

Gaza health officials today said a Ukrainian woman and her two-year-old son were killed Thursday by an Israeli tank shell. Officials say the woman, who was married to a Palestinian doctor, was the first foreign national to die in the conflict.

Also Thursday, the U.N. aid agency, UNRWA, suspended operations in Gaza after an aid convoy came under attack in northern Gaza and two contract workers with its Relief and Works Agency were killed. Israeli officials say they are investigating.

Israel has implemented a three-hour-a-day halt between 1100 and 1400 GMT in its Gaza offensive for the past two days, to allow humanitarian aid into the Palestinian territory.

In the two weeks since Israel began its air and ground attacks in Gaza, U.N. officials say more than 750 Palestinians have been killed. At least eighteen Israelis have died, including at least nine soldiers.

Tom Cruise calls little Jett Travolta death 'horrific'

NEW YORK (AP) — "Horrific" is how Tom Cruise described the sudden death of the son of his friend, John Travolta.

Cruise struggled to maintain his composure as he spoke on "The View" about last week's death of 16-year-old Jett Travolta.

"John just adored him, both of his children," Cruise said haltingly. "... It's something that I don't have the words for."

The 46-year-old actor called Travolta and his wife, Kelly Preston, "doting parents, just wonderful people." The couple have an 8-year-old daughter, Ella Bleu.

Jett died at the family vacation home in Grand Bahama. He had a history of seizures and was found unconscious in a bathroom. Results of an autopsy performed Monday were not released, but a Bahamas undertaker said the teen's death certificate listed "seizure" as the cause of death.

In response to a question from "The View" host Barbara Walters, Cruise defended Scientology, which he and the Travoltas follow, against rumors that have swirled since Jett Travolta died.

The church doesn't discourage conventional medical care, Cruise declared — "actually, the exact opposite."

"They say, 'Get your physical, get your medication, get your physical illnesses handled.'"

Taped Thursday, Cruise's appearance on the ABC daytime talk show is scheduled to air Friday. His latest film is "Valkyrie."

It really was a very "Horrific" tragedy in the Holywood life.

Earthquake gives CA a little shake

(NECN/KABC) - San Bernardino, California was struck by a moderate earthquake on Thursday night, with shaking felt from Los Angeles to Orange County.

A preliminary reading by the U.S. Geological Survey showed a 4.5-magnitude quake struck at 7:49pm.

"It was a little roll and big jolt, then a sonic boom kind of noise," San Bernardino County Fire Supervisor Tim Franke said.

Franke said there had been no reports of damage in the areas his department covers.

That was very sudden for people California.

KABC's Leanne Suter reports.