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ALEX CHADWICK, host:

This is DAY TO DAY. I'm Alex Chadwick.

MADELEINE BRAND, host:

And I'm Madeleine Brand with an update on the fighting in the Middle East. Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, ruled out any immediate cease-fire today. Olmert said Israel will stop the war when the threat from Hezbollah rockets is removed and captured Israeli soldiers are freed. Earlier, the Israeli air force carried out new strikes in Southern Lebanon. Israel said it launched the attacks near the village of Tibay(ph) to protect Israeli ground forces in the area.

A second air strike, that Israel said was meant for a Hezbollah official, accidentally killed a Lebanese soldier near Tyre. Today's attacks come despite Israel's announcement yesterday that it would halt air raids for 48 hours after a bombing killed dozens of civilians, many of them children.

CHADWICK: After that bombing, the U.N. Security Council passed a declaration expressing, quote, extreme shock and distress. The council is meeting again today on this crisis. President Bush says he wants the U.N. to establish a quote, long-lasting peace, one that he calls sustainable. So far the Bush administration has resisted international pressure to call for an immediate cease-fire.

BRAND: In a speech in Miami this morning, the president made clear that he sees regional powers beyond Lebanon and Israel as key.

President GEORGE W. BUSH: Iran must end its financial support and supply of weapons to terrorists groups like Hezbollah. Syria must end its support for terror and respect the sovereignty of Lebanon.

BRAND: In the three weeks of fighting, Lebanon's Health Ministry confirmed 519 deaths in Lebanon. Fifty-one Israelis have died, most of them soldiers.

CHADWELL: Over the past week's, we've spoken to American photographer Stephanie Sinclair. She has lived in Beirut, Lebanon for the last two years. She had some pictures from there in The New York Time Sunday magazine yesterday. Last week, we asked Stephanie to undertake an assignment for DAY TO DAY's photo op feature. You can see it now up on the Web at npr.org. We're going to be talking about some of these pictures she's taken. These are from Beirut.

Stephanie, you shot these to demonstrate the difference between what is going on in Southern Lebanon and the relatively untouched north. Just tell me about that. Can you?

Ms. STEPHANIE SINCLAIR (American Photographer in Lebanon): Yes, I spent a lot of time in the south and everyone was going north. And so, just taking pictures, we were able to show the differences and lifestyles, and why people would want to go north and flee what's happening in the south.

CHADWICK: There are pictures of bombed out - I would guess, they are apartment buildings. They look like residential kinds of places. Cars covered with dust, children outside them and an image of, I think, a nurse holding a young child?

Ms. SINCLAIR: That is from Tyre, the southern port city, and it has been targeted a lot over the last couple of weeks. It's where a lot of the journalists are hanging out and ordered to try to get further south, but it's only about 25 kilometers from the border. Last week, there was an apartment building, a six story apartment building that was targeted by an Israeli missile, and when it came down, you know, there were several residents that were injured.

We heard, you know, at the scene from different bystanders that this may have been a meeting place for Hezbollah. However, you know, as always, there were civilian casualties, and the young girl that's being held by the nurse with her family is severely injured, as well as several other people.

CHADWICK: Okay. And then - maybe this is a kind of a transition picture - you've got a picture of a man fishing. He looks like a sports fisherman. I mean, this isn't a commercial fisherman. This is some guy out fishing for fun. And across the bay, where he's got his rod in the water, there's a huge fire.

Ms. SINCLAIR: Yes, that was taken in Saida. That is on the way, when you're going from the south to Beirut, that's like a fuel tank is burning in the background. And he's actually a tractor driver and said he can't work right now because, you know, if you drive any large vehicle you're libel to be targeted because the Israelis fear that, you know, rockets are being launched off these large trucks. And so he's just decided to, you know, take some time and do some fishing. He wasn't catching much. They were just a couple of small fish that he caught, you know. And there's oil, because of that fuel tanker and stuff there's lots of oil in the water. And we asked him about that, like if he was afraid to, you know, to eat these. And he said no, it's just on the outside.

CHADWICK: Well, the fisherman whose picture you take and the mother whose child has been wounded in a raid, how do these people respond when you take their picture?

Ms. SINCLAIR: Most people have been welcoming. I mean, it's a little difficult because I am American, and they obviously ask me where I'm from. And a lot of times I do have to listen to a lecture about that. So that's the only, you know, about our foreign policy. And so that's the only kind of problem I ever have taking pictures. But normally, people in these types of situations want their story to be out there.

CHADWICK: And what about some of these other pictures? Because you move on into, I guess, northern Beirut or farther up in northern Lebanon, and these could be pictures from a mall in Los Angeles or any other American community. I mean it looks completely normal.

Ms. SINCLAIR: The north is fairly untouched. But the main thing is - and I try to show this in a couple of the photographs - is that, you know, in this, this is a predominately Christian area of the country and there's a lot more Muslims. In one picture there's a non-Christian school with a lot of Muslim children who've fled from the south. So you know, some things are very normal and on other things, if you look a little deeper they're actually, you know, not quite normal.

CHADWICK: You told me in an earlier conversation that you had moved to Beirut because it seemed like it might be a refuge of sanity after you'd covered the war in Iraq for a while. And that is such total violence there. I wonder how it seems to you to find this dichotomy in Lebanon, where you can find people going on with more or less normal life, and then other scenes of just utter and complete devastation.

Miss SINCLAIR: I mean, this whole thing has actually, you know, honestly been quite painful for me. Because in the two years I've been here I've been, you know, really made a lot of close friends, and in the north and the south. I mean, even if they're separate, they're still intertwined. In fact, I had more problems taking pictures in the north than I did in the south because the Christians, you know, are pretty frightened that they are going to be victims next.

CHAWICK: There's an image here, this shop window it's of a - it looks like a women's dress shop and it's kind of blown out in a way that frames the - follows the frame of the window. Where is that?

Ms. SINCLAIR: Yes, that was in Nevatia(ph), also in the south. And that area was still being bomb actually while we were there. The mannequins that I saw in the window, you know, to me symbolized the struggle that Lebanon and Beirut have been going through over the last, you know, 15 years of trying to rebuild after their long civil war. And you know, just to see kind of the new dresses and then the shattered window made me kind of, I don't know, made me kind of sad and me feel like, you know, that's where this place is as a country, you know, after working so long to rebuild.

CHADWICK: Photographer Stephanie Sinclair joining us from Beirut. Her photo and essay for DAY TO DAY is now up at npr.org.

Stephanie, thank you.

Ms. SINCLAIR: Thank you very much.

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