Mar 05 2011

Six In The Morning

Gadhafi’s forces break through Libya rebel lines

Opposition appear to be losing in Zawiya in west, but their flag flies over new city in east

NBC, msnbc.com and news services  

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s forces broke through rebel defenses at the city of Zawiya Saturday, witnesses said after a battle in which dozens of people were killed.

The attack on the city, about 30 miles west of Tripoli, saw an improvised force of rebels armed with hunting rifles and swords take on troops from the elite Khamis Brigade – named after the son of Gadhafi who commands it.

The witnesses said that forces loyal to the regime had overcome rebel positions with tanks, heavy mortar shelling, machinegun fire.

The rattle of gunfire and explosions could be heard as they spoke to The Associated Press by phone. They did so on condition of anonymity because of fears for their safety.

Saudis mobilise thousands of troops to quell growing revolt

By Robert Fisk, Middle East Correspondent Saturday, 5 March 2011

Saudi Arabia was yesterday drafting up to 10,000 security personnel into its north-eastern Shia Muslim provinces, clogging the highways into Dammam and other cities with busloads of troops in fear of next week’s “day of rage” by what is now called the “Hunayn Revolution”.

Saudi Arabia’s worst nightmare – the arrival of the new Arab awakening of rebellion and insurrection in the kingdom – is now casting its long shadow over the House of Saud. Provoked by the Shia majority uprising in the neighbouring Sunni-dominated island of Bahrain, where protesters are calling for the overthrow of the ruling al-Khalifa family, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is widely reported to have told the Bahraini authorities that if they do not crush their Shia revolt, his own forces will.

Kosovo man’s deadly attack on US soldiers dismays fellow countrymen

A Kosovo man’s deadly attack on American soldiers at Frankfurt’s airport has shocked those back in Kosovo, many of whom remember the American military as a protective ally during their war in the late 1990s.


When it was confirmed that a Kosovo man was behind the attack on American soldiers at Frankfurt airport that left two dead and two others in critical condition earlier this week, the people of Kosovo were stunned.

“This attack was macabre, tragic news for the Kosovo people,” Bajram Rexhepi, Kosovo’s interior minister, said.

“We are all deeply moved here. We just can’t believe it. The United States is the country that helped us most in our most difficult moments.”

China says military build-up is no threat

The Irish Times – Saturday, March 5, 2011


CHINA IS planning to boost its defence spending by 12.7 per cent this year, but Beijing insists the return to double-digit growth rates in military spending does not pose a threat to other countries in the region.

China’s defence build-up and military plans in recent years have alarmed its neighbours and the United States, where military and political leaders have spoken about a lack of transparency and co-operation in the process. The build-up has been matched with a markedly tough tone in dealing with various regional disputes.

“This will not pose a threat to any country,” said parliamentary spokesman Li Zhaoxing.

53 peacekeepers killed in Somalia

Katharine Houreld

March 5, 2011 – 6:29PM

More than 50 African Union peacekeepers have died in fighting in Somalia since an offensive against Islamist militants began two weeks ago, officials told The Associated Press on Friday.

The death toll is far higher than any publicly acknowledged casualty figures for the AU, which appears to be trying to keep the extent of its losses under wraps due to political considerations in Burundi, one of two nations providing the bulk of the forces fighting alongside Somali troops.

Kurils: The great game in Asia-Pacific  

By M K Bhadrakumar

The Russian decision this week to deploy cruise missiles on the disputed South Kuril Islands significantly takes forward what began as a diplomatic row with Japan last November to a new level of activity. When the row erupted in November following the visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to the islands, the first-ever such trip by a Russian (or Soviet) head of state, Moscow’s narrative was that it was a symbolic assertion of sovereignty that came naturally and spontaneously.

“There are so many picturesque places in Russia. Kunashir” – that was what Medvedev noted when he uploaded on his Twitter account soon after landing. The narrative has since changed.