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Libyan Rebels Claim to Retake Key Oil Port Town

Libyan rebels are claiming to have captured the strategic oil port town of Brega Saturday as fighting continues against forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.  Popular protests are also continuing across the region, especially in Yemen and Syria. News that the key oil port town of Brega had fallen to rebel fighters Saturday appeared to...

Gadhafi Envoy Reportedly Held Talks in Britain

British media say an envoy of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has visited London for talks with British officials.The reports said the envoy was Mohammed Ismail, a senior aide to Gadhafi's son Saif al-Islam.  A British Foreign Office spokesman told The Guardian newspaper that a clear message was delivered that Gadhafi "has to go."  The spokesman...

Opposition Hopes to Gain Information from Libyan Defector

A member of the rebels fighting forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi says members of the Transitional Council have begun efforts to gain “strategic” information from defecting Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa in their objective to force the embattled leader from power. Awad Juma says recent defections are, in his words, the beginning of the...

US Defense Chief Says Political, Economic Pressure Will Oust Gadhafi

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says political and economic pressures will eventually drive Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi from power.Gates said the NATO-led operation under way can degrade Mr. Gadhafi's military capacity enough to force him and his supporters into a "very different set of choices and behaviors."   But he said the removal of...

NATO Takes Over Libya Air Operations

NATO has assumed full command of all air operations over Libya, taking over from the U.S., which had played a leading role since international forces began enforcing a no-fly zone on March 19.NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the transition was completed early Thursday. The NATO operation, called "Unified Protector", includes...

Gbagbo Aide: U.N. Sanctions Won’t Work

A legal adviser to Ivorian incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo says the renewed U.N. sanctions imposed Wednesday on the embattled leader are, in his words, highly unlikely to force Gbagbo to step down and cede power to the internationally-recognized President, Alassane Ouattara. This came after Gbagbo re-scheduled an address to the nation for...

White House: No Decision to Arm Rebels; Obama Considering All Options

The White House says no decision has been made to provide arms to rebel forces in Libya, but says President Obama is considering all options to help the Libyan people.  A White House statement late Wednesday came amid reports Obama approved a secret authorization in recent weeks for covert efforts to support international actions to protect...

Egyptian Activists to Rally Against Torture

Egyptian activists have called for a protest Friday against torture, which they say continues under the nation's new army leadership. The call comes as the army pledges to help Egypt transition to the rule of law, beginning with an amended constitution. The anti-torture rally will take place on Tahrir Square where democracy protesters have...

Nigerian President Will Not Face Main Rivals at Final Debate

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan Wednesday takes part in the final presidential debate ahead of three weeks of nationwide elections. But he will not be facing his biggest rivals, who are boycotting the event because Jonathan refused to take part in an earlier debate. President Jonathan will not be facing his biggest rivals in this debate...

Rights Group: Ivory Coast Journalists At Risk

Journalists in Ivory Coast are facing attacks from supporters on both sides of Ivory Coast's presidential crisis, the Committee to Protect Journalists says.  Three months after a presidential election devolved into a violent power struggle for control over West Africa's second largest economy, Ivory Coast has become a dangerous land for reporters...

Groups Blast Arrests of Somali Journalists

International and local rights groups are demanding the immediate release of journalists being held by the Somali government. Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government is facing intense criticism after the detention of two journalists from Mogadishu’s Shabelle Media Network. On Sunday, the National Security Agency arrested Radio Shabelle News...

Nigerian Opposition Candidates Complain About Meeting Place Restrictions

Nigerian opposition parties say they're being denied access to public venues to hold rallies and other campaign events ahead of next month’s election. Some of the candidates running against incumbent PDP governors also say they're not allowed to place adverts and programs on state media, which they call a ploy to deny them access to the public....

Moroccan King’s Speech Long on Reform Promises, Short on Details?

King Mohamed VI has sometimes been called “the King of the Poor” for the reforms he has instituted in that country since inheriting the throne from his father, King Hassan II,  in 1999.  He instituted wider media freedoms and allowed media to report on corruption; he released political prisoners and amended the country’s penal code to ban torture...

China Calls for Libya Ceasefire

China Tuesday called for an immediate ceasefire in Libya, where a United Nations "no-fly zone" is being enforced.  After abstaining last week from the U.N. Security Council vote on military action, the Chinese government says it wants immediate talks to end the violence.  Ever since it abstained from the U.N. Security Council vote on military...

World Bank President Warns Overthrowing Rulers is Not Enough

The president of the World Bank cautioned on Monday that much remains to be done to improve the economies in countries in the Middle East and North Africa where popular uprisings have removed repressive leaders. Regional experts at a conference sponsored by the World Bank discussed recent events in the Arab world. World Bank President Robert...