Finnish president approves 250 troops for UN force

Finnish President Tarja Halonen on Friday gave final approval for a 250-member Finnish contingent to be deployed in the expanded UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon. The soldiers will mainly clear mines and set up bases, officials said. A small intelligence unit will be deployed in early October and the full force a month later. Halonen's approval came after two days of debate in the 200-member Parliament over sending the troops.