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Foes are closing in on Libyan capital

BENGHAZI, Libya–Unrest drew closer to Tripoli, even igniting Thursday in areas of western Libya previously under tight government control, the day before a planned demonstration in the capital against President Moammar Gadhafi’s 41-year span in power, designed to coincide with the Muslim Sabbath. After braving days of extreme violence and seizing…

Libyan leader blames al-Qaeda for uprising

MICHAEL JANSEN LIBYAN LEADER Muammar Gaddafi has blamed al-Qaeda for the unrest which is threatening his regime of more than 40 years. “It is obvious now that this issue is run by al-Qaeda,” he asserted in response to a statement of support from the network’s North African franchise. He said that young people staging the uprising are being…

Palestinian killed as Israeli air raids in Gaza target Hamas

MARK WEISS in Jerusalem AT LEAST one Palestinian was killed and three wounded in an Israeli airstrike on a Palestinian vehicle last night in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, close to the Egyptian border. The Israeli military said the vehicle targeted was carrying “terrorists“. Palestinian sources confirmed that four missiles were fired at “a…

Iraq braces for large-scale protests

Thousands of Iraqis are expected to take part in rallies organised mainly through social networking site Facebook, after weeks of scattered protests around the country calling for an end to corruption, shortages of jobs, food, power and water. “February 25 is the Iraqi day of rage for change, an end to corruption and sectarianism in Iraq,” said one…

Algeria’s state of emergency lifted after 19 years

ALGERIA has officially lifted a state of emergency ordered 19 years ago as the country catapulted into a period of chaos. The measure was entered into the Official Journal, undoing the procedures that put it in place, the official APS news agency reported, citing a statement from the president’s office. The decision to do away with the…

U.S. Arrests Saudi Man in Bomb Plot

WASHINGTON –A 20-year-old Saudi student living in Texas has been arrested by federal agents, who charged him with planning to build bombs for terror attacks inside the United States, the Justice Department announced on Thursday. According to an affidavit filed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the man, Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, indicated…

Ivory Coast fighting threatens 6-year ceasefire

MARCO CHOWN OVED Associated Press= ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — Heavy fighting in Ivory Coast over the country’s disputed election may auger a return to civil war, the United Nations warned Thursday as clashes raged in Abidjan and in western regions of the country. Residents reported automatic arms fire Thursday morning in the Abobo district of…

Russia plans $650bn defense spend up to 2020

Russian defence industry fights for clients Russian missile test launch fails Eight nuclear submarines, 600 jets and 1,000 helicopters feature in plans to renew Russia’s military by 2020, priced at 19tn roubles (£400bn; $650bn). One hundred warships are also due to be bought in, including two…

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