April 10th, 2011

Libyagate: Tuesday, 5th April

The amount of people that fled the violence in Libya to date numbers 400,000, UN spokesman Farhan Haq said here Friday. Link
[Is that since the coalition's humanitarian aid bombing began?]

Rebels execute black immigrants while forces kidnap others
While much of the world’s attention is focusing on crude oil prices and the Libyan pipelines in the east of the country– human right groups say rebels are committing crimes against humanity.
In east Libya, African hunt began as towns and cities began fall under the control of Libyan rebels, mobs and gangs. They started to detain, insult, rape and even executing black immigrants, students and refugees. /Link
[It would be enlightening to discover how many were killed in east compared to west Libya.]

How Libya kept migrants out of EU – at any cost
European leaders have been criticised for the selective humanitarian impulses that impelled them to turn against their erstwhile ally Colonel Gaddafi, while remaining passive in the face of the repression of pro-democracy protests in Yemen or Bahrain. Libyan oil has been cited as one of the main reasons for this discrepancy.
But there is another aspect of European hypocrisy and double-standards in dealing with the Libyan dictator that has received less attention ­ namely Libya’s crucial role as a barrier against Europe’s unwanted immigrants.
With a possible endgame in the Libyan civil war now beginning to emerge, with Gaddafi sending his envoy Abdelati al-Obeidi to Greece to discuss a way out of the conflict, it is worth reminding ourselves of the extent of such cooperation. /full woeful tale here

2 Qaddafi Sons Are Said to Offer Plan to Push Father Out NYT link
At least two sons of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi are proposing a resolution to the Libyan conflict that would entail pushing their father aside to make way for a transition to a constitutional democracy under the direction of his son Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, a diplomat and a Libyan official briefed on the plan said Sunday.

Yanks asking why the US is involved in Libya
youtube.com/watch?v=Fbd8WgfjAos

Moussa Koussa could face criminal proceedings Daily Telegraph
Moussa Koussa could face criminal proceedings in a British court for his alleged involvement in IRA bombings within weeks, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.
The legal team representing nearly 160 British victims of IRA bomb attacks which used Libyan-supplied Semtex are considering bringing a private prosecution against the former Libyan foreign minister within weeks. /Link

The ‘dirty secret’ of British arms sales to Libya just months before Gaddafi slaughtered pro-democracy protesters Mail
Britain sold weapons to Libya and other dictatorships in North Africa and the Middle East just four months before Colonel Gaddafi’s regime slaughtered hundreds of protesters, a damning report reveals today.Ministers approved the export of sniper rifles, bullets, tear gas and other ‘crowd control’ ammunition to Tripoli shortly before the murderous dictator ordered his military to crush a pro-democracy uprising.

Do we really have the stomach to keep bombing Gaddafi for six months? Mail
So it becomes official: this will not be over by Easter. Yesterday the head of the RAF, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, revealed that he expects his Tornados to fly many more missions over Libya.
‘In general terms’, he said, ‘we are now planning on the basis of at least six months, and we’ll see where we go from there’.
[Then another, and another, 12 years may still be conservative. Gaddafi will not go for free.]

Al Jazeera GMT+2 blogs.aljazeera.net/live/africa/libya-live-blog-april-5
Monday
10:30pm Franco Frattini, the Italian foreign minister, has once again reiterated his government’s stance that Muammar Gaddafi “must go”.

10:32pm The US government says that it has lifted sanctions on Moussa Koussa, the former Libyan foreign minister who has resigned from his post and left Libya for the UK, AFP reports.

10:42pm Training for Libya’s rebel army is an ongoing process. These pictures were taken today at a training camp near Benghazi by Reuters.

10:52pm Lawrence Gonzi, the Maltese prime minister, met with Abdel Ati al-Obeidi, Libya’s acting foreign minister, today, though officials remain tightlipped about the content of the talks.
[out of 'arms way?]

11:13pm A statement is expected within a few minutes regarding those talks between Gaddafi’s envoy al-Obeidi and the Maltese PM.
Karl Stagno-Navarro, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Malta, reports that it is possible that Libya is looking for Malta and Greece to act as mediators with the European Union in order to ease the pressure.
Navarro reports that it is possible that Malta could play an important role, but the prime minister has put the precondition that Gaddafi’s forces must lay down their arms.

11:30pm Libyan state television has shown footage of Muammar Gaddafi saluting supporters at his Bab Al Aziziyah compound in Tripoli, Reuters reports.

Tuesday
12:23am A Libyan government spokesperson said Libya is ready for a “political solution” with world powers, the Reuters news agency reports.
[Talk to the dog rather than the tail?]

12:31am Libya has said Gaddafi must stay, but the country is ready to discuss reforming its political system, Reuters reports.
The government said only Libyans themselves can decided if Gaddafi should stay or not.

12:37am The Libyan government says it’s ready to hold elections, a referendum or any other reform to its political system, Reuters reports.

2:27am The US Treasury is ending its freeze on former Libyan foreign minister Moussa Koussa’s assets following his decision to sever ties to Gaddafi’s government and flee to Britain last week, a senior US Treasury official said.

3:20am Libyan rebels fighting Gaddafi’s forces are worried about their financial resources and want to start exporting both oil and natural gas, the UN special envoy to Libya said.

4:03am The European Union said it could provide special assistance to member countries facing a refugee crisis and ease refugees’ conditions after political upheaval in north Africa.
“In case of a massive inflow of displaced persons and refugees (from Libya, Tunisia or Egypt), the European Commission would be ready to make use of the 2001 directive that provides immediate protection” to these people, said Cecilia Malstroem, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, on Monday, the AFP news agency reported.
This comes as more than 22,000 migrants, mostly from Tunisia, have landed on the Italian island of Lampedusa since the Tunisian revolution in January.
[Any accepted by the UK should cause the number allowed in from elsewhere to be reduced, and not a "quango" type reduction either.]

7:00am Moussa Ibrahim, the Libyan government spokesman, tells reporters that they are ready for negotiations as long as it is from within Libya.

8:00am US fighter jets have ended their combat missions in Libya, with Nato to take full command of operations.

8:15am Al Jazeera’s Sue Turton reports on how the pro-democracy fighters have managed to push Gaddafi’s troops into the old town of Brega. And how many of the residents are desperate to leave due to shortage of basic supplies.

I’ll add DT Libya Live items that Al J hasn’t already reported to this post a little later.

Some stories I’ll be reading later:
World Socialist Web Site
Two or Three Things You Need to Know About Afghanistan
Egypt: Revolution or Coup?

Russians Have Second Thoughts on Libya Israel Shamir
Russia is different. The Americans, the British, the French by and large approve of their forces’ Libya bombing spree (yes, some doubt whether it’s good value for their tax money). The Russians are flatly against it, without ifs and buts. The Russian Ambassador in Tripoli Vladimir Chamov came back to hero welcome in Moscow. President Dmitri Medvedev dismissed him publicly after the Ambassador had sent him a cable. In the five-points cable leaked to the press, the Ambassador called Medvedev’s response to Libya crisis “betrayal of Russian national interests”.  (Later, the two sides climbed down a bit: the Foreign Office said Chamov was not “fired”, just “called back” from Tripoli, and that he retains his ambassadorial rank and salary, while Chamov denies he used the word “betrayal”.)
The Russians do not like the Western intervention in Libya. The rebels do not appear genuine, note the Russian internet critics; they are a peculiar, mixed bag of Kaddafi’s ministers fired for corruption, al-Qaeda mujahedeen,  riff-raff beefed up by SAS soldiers and supported by these best friends of every Arab, American cruise missiles. The Russian media discovered that the first reports of massive civil casualties inflicted by ruthless Kaddafi appears to have been invented by editors in London and Paris. More civilians were killed by the Western intervention than by the rebels. The mass-readership Komsomolskaya Pravda published reports from Russians in Libya that flatly disproved claims of Kaddafi’s planes bombing residential quarters: this was done by the French and British bombers. /more

A Very Dirty Trade-Off: the US / Saudi Deal on Libya and Bahrain
Fukushima Forecast: 417,000 Cancers, Will George Monbiot Donate His Bone Marrow?

Etceteras
Migrant crime wave revealed: Foreign arrests have almost doubled in just THREE years Mail
On climate time series, although the raw data is still inaccessible BEST have produced data that is not dissimilar to previous findings. Motl is still trying to download gigabytes of data from their website. We know T increased around 0.6C last century as a net, about a tenth of a degree above the average since the LIA ended. I’m expecting there to be a renewed war of attrition over hundredths of degrees when the graphs come out. Motl pointed out the speed with which the exercise reached a conclusion and the speed with which the conclusions were related to the US Houses.
The alarmist NYT piece (to stymie claims of bias) here

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Update

Comment on this Tuesday
08.41 Reports are emerging of a family rift opening up between Gaddafi’s two sons Mutassim and Saif over plans for a ceasefire.
Damien McElroy reports in today’s paper: Gaddafi sons split over plans for ceasefire
While Saif believes that talks would be impossible without a ceasefire, Mutassim wants to ensure the regime cannot be beaten. He is reported to have said ‘people get sick of dying, we have to keep fighting until we’ve beaten the opposition’.

08.18 Ministers have been criticised by MPs over arms exports to regimes in Libya and Bahrain.
Telegraph In a report MPs from the arms export control committees accused the Coalition Government of misjudging the risk that arms could be used for internal repression. Sales only stopped in January this year.
(Article)

08.45 Col Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi claims Moussa Koussa was allowed to leave Libya and insists he knows nothing about the Lockerbie bombing. He tells BBC world affairs editor John Simpson:
“The British and the Americans they know about Lockerbie, they know everything about Lockerbie so there are no secrets anymore. Come on. The British government say this: you have no immunity unless you co-operate. He [Moussa Koussa] is sick, he is sick and old so if you put it this way, no immunity of course… [he] will come out with the funny stories.”

08.55 Meanwhile in war-torn Ivory Coast, The Telegraph’s Africa Correspondent Aislinn Laing is reporting that defeated Presidential candidate Laurent Gbagbo is negotiating his surrender.
(Article)

09.28 The Telegraph’s Damien McElroy reports that al-Qaeda meanwhile have benefited from the Libya unrest, with convoys of weapons looted from barracks to be taken to camps in northern Mali.

13.01 David Cameron, who is in Pakistan, has sought to reassure the Muslim population that the military operation in Libya is not an “attack on Islam”.
Opinion Nothing could be further from the truth.
I don’t think anyone can seriously argue that international action in Libya is an attack on Islam. Backed by the United Nations and the Arab League, we have taken action to protect people – predominantly Muslim people – from slaughter, just as we did in Kosovo over a decade ago.
(Article)

09.31 In Yemen, the US has quietly signalled it no longer backs embattled president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
(Article)

09.33 And in Syria, authorities are to unveil new legislation to replace the country’s emergency laws before the weekend, according to the al-Watan newspaper.
(Article)

10.14 Libyan rebels have been sent scattering under a barrage of shelling early today by Gaddafi forces on the edge of Brega, according to AFP.

10.25 Reports from AFP breaking that Nato has launched its latest airstrike on Gaddafi forces near the eastern oil town of Brega.

10.49 The Gbagbo camp is now saying that an assault by UN and French forces on two military camps killed many, as soldiers lived with their families on the bases.

11.06 Gbagbo’s camp is also now denying that he has reached the point of surrender.

11.59 William Hague yesterday assured the House of Commons that Britain is not involved in arming Libyan rebels but that non-lethal military equipment may be provided to support them.
[Cameron went to Egypt before starting the war sightseeing?]

12.33 The International Criminal Court prosecutor has now said he wants to speak with Moussa Koussa, the former foreign minister, for his investigation into crimes against civilians in Libya.

13.20 Teodoro Obiang Nguema, the African Union chairman, has condemned foreign military intervention in Ivory Coast and Libya

13.55 Alistair Burt, Britain’s foreign minister, stressed there will be no foreign occupation in Libya in an interview with the Arabic daily El Chourouk.
Opinion There will be absolutely no foreign occupation or invasion in Libya… the UK believes that Gaddafi should go, and should go now. Libya has no future with him at the helm.
[" ... unleashed hell", evidence please. Did he use British supplied weapons? The invasion will start when Italian troops "accompany" aid workers. Hell is Somalia, the Ivory Coast and dictatorships where unarmed protesters are shot.]

NYT’s gov’t approved view of events
Libya, an oil-rich nation in North Africa, has been under the firm, if sometimes erratic, leadership of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi since he seized power in 1969. But in February 2011, the unrest sweeping through much of the Arab world erupted in several Libyan cities. Though it began with a relatively organized core of anti-government opponents in Benghazi, its spread to the capital of Tripoli was swift and spontaneous. Colonel Qaddafi lashed out with a level of violence unseen in either of the other uprisings, but an inchoate opposition cobbled together the semblance of a transitional government, fielded a makeshift rebel army and portrayed itself to the West and Libyans as an alternative to Colonel Qaddafi’s erratic control.
Momentum shifted quickly, however, and the rebels faced the possibility of being outgunned and outnumbered in what increasingly looked like a mismatched civil war. As Colonel Qaddafi’s troops advanced to within 100 miles of Benghazi, the rebel stronghold in the west, the United Nations Security Council voted to authorize military action, a risky foreign intervention aimed at averting a bloody rout of the rebels by loyalist forces. On March 19, American and European forces began a broad campaign of strikes against Colonel Qaddafi and his government, unleashing warplanes and missiles in a military intervention on a scale not seen in the Arab world since the Iraq war.

Etceteras
Tata group chairman Ratan Tata quizzed over ‘G band allocation scam The Hindu
Tata spoke frankly, says PAC chief.
[Tata is renown in the UK for a charity that failed to disclose funding, Pachauri, (TATA chair) Houghton, Tickell vouched for it then didn't.]

Quake jolts north India The Hindu
A “moderate” 5.7 magnitude earthquake, with its epicentre on the India-Nepal border, jolted north India on Monday evening.
[No nuclear reactors were harmed in the shaking of this quake.
Reminds me, Piers Corbyn may be the man who almost always right about the weather but his N.US quake prediction failed to deliver. No great shakes, so to speak
.]

Update 2
Al J
3:59pm Denmark and Norway have expressed their support for an open-ended military campaign against Gaddafi, while all five Nordic nations have called for him to immediately step down.

4:21pm Brigadier General Mark van Uhm, NATO’s chief of allied operations, says that coalition airstrikes have continued apace since NATO took command of bombing operations from the US.
Van Uhm says that Misurata is the new priority for NATO. Residents of the western town report that they have come under constant bombardment from pro-Gaddafi forces, and have repeatedly called for NATO to intervene in the city.
“Misurata is a number one priority because of the situation on the ground over there. We have confirmation that in Misurata tanks are being dispersed, being hidden, (and) humans being used as shields in order to prevent NATO sorties to identify targets.”
Van Uhm also says that pro-Gaddafi forces are changing their tactics to cope with coalition airstrikes.
“What we have seen is that pro-Gaddafi forces have changed their tactics over days, what we see is that they are more and more using trucks and light vehicles to move their personnel to the frontline. We are trying to identify where those heavy assets like tanks and armoured vehicles are because we have seen that they have chosen to hide in urban areas, even using human shields in order to not be targeted.”

4:34pm A tanker has docked at the eastern Libyan oil port of Tobruk to pick up the first oil cargo to leave Libya for 18 days, says Michelle Bockmann, markets editor of shipping news and data provider Lloyd’s List.
The boat is expected to be loaded on April 6.

4:38pm The Associated Press reports that diplomats are dangling offers of immunity from prosecution and the lifting of asset and travel freezes to members of Gaddafi’s family in order to persuade them to withdraw their support for the Libyan leader.
[Clutching at straws? Who is the genius that came up with this idea? ]

4:40pm Chris Stevens, the US deputy ambassador to Libya, has arrived in Benghazi to hold talks with the opposition’s national council there, according to a US official who was speaking to the Associated Press.
Stevens will be discussing humanitarian and possible financial assistance to be provided to the opposition by the US.

4:53pm Anita McNaught, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Tripoli, reports that Libyan state television is planning to broadcast live from Brega at some point this evening.
Hoda Abdel-Hamid, our correspondent who has been reporting from the frontlines, says that it can be said with a fair degree of certainty that Gaddafi’s forces have taken all of Brega, given the intensity of their assault this morning towards Ajdabiya.

5:33pm Al Jazeera’s Laurence Lee has been reporting from Benghazi on the status of the conflict near Brega, as well as other stories out of the opposition stronghold.
youtube.com/watch?v=FPDPnGxpDuU

DT
15.00 Sky News’s Jeremy Thompson, who is in Tripoli this week, Tweets that a mosque on Zawiyah that was the subject of a Sky report three weeks ago, is now no longer there.
Twitter #Zawiya mosque now flattened was scene of #skynews Alex Crawford’s dramatic report 3 wks ago.
[Rockets, shells, grenades and bullets don't flatten.]

15.30 Andrew Mitchell, the international development secretary has told the Commons that the international community will learn the lessons of Iraq in planning to rebuild Libya.
[Anxious to help, cartel banks will lend the funds needed...]

15.46 Shifting focus to Yemen for a moment, William Hague has said he is “appalled” by the bloodshed. At least 24 people have been killed in as many hours.
[No goodwill humanitarian bombing for them then? The Yemenese people say thank the gods.]

15.47 Nato’s Brig Gen Mark van Uhm has said that the death of Libyan civilians in an air strike last week was an “unfortunate accident”. The air raid on Friday killed 13 people, four of them civilians, 10 miles east of Brega after rebels fired celebratory gunfire into the air prompting warplanes to act in self defence.
[And the 9 combatants?]

16.02 The International Criminal Court proescutor is alleging that Libyan authorities decided they were ready to kill unarmed proesters opposed to Gaddafi’s rule as early as January, even before unrest spread from Tunisia and Egypt.
[The war against Libya was planned in Nov. by some accounts. If so and the UN was aware, perhaps agreement had been secretly made and hence the unique speed the published approval was given for the assault.]

17.10 Watch the Telegraph’s latest Libya video here.
Rebels in Brega with waging war with a homemade rocket launcher mounted on the back of trucks.
[Milk bottles? Joking apart, these things have no guidance. Are they targetting the gov't forces in civilian areas?]

Marsa al Hariga

Google Earth map of Tobruk with Marsa al Hariga indicated.

Libyagate: Tuesday, 5th April

The amount of people that fled the violence in Libya to date numbers 400,000, UN spokesman Farhan Haq said here Friday. Link
[Is that since the coalition's humanitarian aid bombing began?]

Rebels execute black immigrants while forces kidnap others
While much of the world’s attention is focusing on crude oil prices and the Libyan pipelines in the east of the country– human right groups say rebels are committing crimes against humanity.
In east Libya, African hunt began as towns and cities began fall under the control of Libyan rebels, mobs and gangs. They started to detain, insult, rape and even executing black immigrants, students and refugees. /Link
[It would be enlightening to discover how many were killed in east compared to west Libya.]

How Libya kept migrants out of EU – at any cost
European leaders have been criticised for the selective humanitarian impulses that impelled them to turn against their erstwhile ally Colonel Gaddafi, while remaining passive in the face of the repression of pro-democracy protests in Yemen or Bahrain. Libyan oil has been cited as one of the main reasons for this discrepancy.
But there is another aspect of European hypocrisy and double-standards in dealing with the Libyan dictator that has received less attention ­ namely Libya’s crucial role as a barrier against Europe’s unwanted immigrants.
With a possible endgame in the Libyan civil war now beginning to emerge, with Gaddafi sending his envoy Abdelati al-Obeidi to Greece to discuss a way out of the conflict, it is worth reminding ourselves of the extent of such cooperation. /full woeful tale here

2 Qaddafi Sons Are Said to Offer Plan to Push Father Out NYT link
At least two sons of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi are proposing a resolution to the Libyan conflict that would entail pushing their father aside to make way for a transition to a constitutional democracy under the direction of his son Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, a diplomat and a Libyan official briefed on the plan said Sunday.

Yanks asking why the US is involved in Libya
youtube.com/watch?v=Fbd8WgfjAos

Moussa Koussa could face criminal proceedings Daily Telegraph
Moussa Koussa could face criminal proceedings in a British court for his alleged involvement in IRA bombings within weeks, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.
The legal team representing nearly 160 British victims of IRA bomb attacks which used Libyan-supplied Semtex are considering bringing a private prosecution against the former Libyan foreign minister within weeks. /Link

The ‘dirty secret’ of British arms sales to Libya just months before Gaddafi slaughtered pro-democracy protesters Mail
Britain sold weapons to Libya and other dictatorships in North Africa and the Middle East just four months before Colonel Gaddafi’s regime slaughtered hundreds of protesters, a damning report reveals today.Ministers approved the export of sniper rifles, bullets, tear gas and other ‘crowd control’ ammunition to Tripoli shortly before the murderous dictator ordered his military to crush a pro-democracy uprising.

Do we really have the stomach to keep bombing Gaddafi for six months? Mail
So it becomes official: this will not be over by Easter. Yesterday the head of the RAF, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, revealed that he expects his Tornados to fly many more missions over Libya.
‘In general terms’, he said, ‘we are now planning on the basis of at least six months, and we’ll see where we go from there’.
[Then another, and another, 12 years may still be conservative. Gaddafi will not go for free.]

Al Jazeera GMT+2 blogs.aljazeera.net/live/africa/libya-live-blog-april-5
Monday
10:30pm Franco Frattini, the Italian foreign minister, has once again reiterated his government’s stance that Muammar Gaddafi “must go”.

10:32pm The US government says that it has lifted sanctions on Moussa Koussa, the former Libyan foreign minister who has resigned from his post and left Libya for the UK, AFP reports.

10:42pm Training for Libya’s rebel army is an ongoing process. These pictures were taken today at a training camp near Benghazi by Reuters.

10:52pm Lawrence Gonzi, the Maltese prime minister, met with Abdel Ati al-Obeidi, Libya’s acting foreign minister, today, though officials remain tightlipped about the content of the talks.
[out of 'arms way?]

11:13pm A statement is expected within a few minutes regarding those talks between Gaddafi’s envoy al-Obeidi and the Maltese PM.
Karl Stagno-Navarro, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Malta, reports that it is possible that Libya is looking for Malta and Greece to act as mediators with the European Union in order to ease the pressure.
Navarro reports that it is possible that Malta could play an important role, but the prime minister has put the precondition that Gaddafi’s forces must lay down their arms.

11:30pm Libyan state television has shown footage of Muammar Gaddafi saluting supporters at his Bab Al Aziziyah compound in Tripoli, Reuters reports.

Tuesday
12:23am A Libyan government spokesperson said Libya is ready for a “political solution” with world powers, the Reuters news agency reports.
[Talk to the dog rather than the tail?]

12:31am Libya has said Gaddafi must stay, but the country is ready to discuss reforming its political system, Reuters reports.
The government said only Libyans themselves can decided if Gaddafi should stay or not.

12:37am The Libyan government says it’s ready to hold elections, a referendum or any other reform to its political system, Reuters reports.

2:27am The US Treasury is ending its freeze on former Libyan foreign minister Moussa Koussa’s assets following his decision to sever ties to Gaddafi’s government and flee to Britain last week, a senior US Treasury official said.

3:20am Libyan rebels fighting Gaddafi’s forces are worried about their financial resources and want to start exporting both oil and natural gas, the UN special envoy to Libya said.

4:03am The European Union said it could provide special assistance to member countries facing a refugee crisis and ease refugees’ conditions after political upheaval in north Africa.
“In case of a massive inflow of displaced persons and refugees (from Libya, Tunisia or Egypt), the European Commission would be ready to make use of the 2001 directive that provides immediate protection” to these people, said Cecilia Malstroem, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, on Monday, the AFP news agency reported.
This comes as more than 22,000 migrants, mostly from Tunisia, have landed on the Italian island of Lampedusa since the Tunisian revolution in January.
[Any accepted by the UK should cause the number allowed in from elsewhere to be reduced, and not a "quango" type reduction either.]

7:00am Moussa Ibrahim, the Libyan government spokesman, tells reporters that they are ready for negotiations as long as it is from within Libya.

8:00am US fighter jets have ended their combat missions in Libya, with Nato to take full command of operations.

8:15am Al Jazeera’s Sue Turton reports on how the pro-democracy fighters have managed to push Gaddafi’s troops into the old town of Brega. And how many of the residents are desperate to leave due to shortage of basic supplies.

I’ll add DT Libya Live items that Al J hasn’t already reported to this post a little later.

Some stories I’ll be reading later:
World Socialist Web Site
Two or Three Things You Need to Know About Afghanistan
Egypt: Revolution or Coup?

Russians Have Second Thoughts on Libya Israel Shamir
Russia is different. The Americans, the British, the French by and large approve of their forces’ Libya bombing spree (yes, some doubt whether it’s good value for their tax money). The Russians are flatly against it, without ifs and buts. The Russian Ambassador in Tripoli Vladimir Chamov came back to hero welcome in Moscow. President Dmitri Medvedev dismissed him publicly after the Ambassador had sent him a cable. In the five-points cable leaked to the press, the Ambassador called Medvedev’s response to Libya crisis “betrayal of Russian national interests”.  (Later, the two sides climbed down a bit: the Foreign Office said Chamov was not “fired”, just “called back” from Tripoli, and that he retains his ambassadorial rank and salary, while Chamov denies he used the word “betrayal”.)
The Russians do not like the Western intervention in Libya. The rebels do not appear genuine, note the Russian internet critics; they are a peculiar, mixed bag of Kaddafi’s ministers fired for corruption, al-Qaeda mujahedeen,  riff-raff beefed up by SAS soldiers and supported by these best friends of every Arab, American cruise missiles. The Russian media discovered that the first reports of massive civil casualties inflicted by ruthless Kaddafi appears to have been invented by editors in London and Paris. More civilians were killed by the Western intervention than by the rebels. The mass-readership Komsomolskaya Pravda published reports from Russians in Libya that flatly disproved claims of Kaddafi’s planes bombing residential quarters: this was done by the French and British bombers. /more

A Very Dirty Trade-Off: the US / Saudi Deal on Libya and Bahrain
Fukushima Forecast: 417,000 Cancers, Will George Monbiot Donate His Bone Marrow?

Etceteras
Migrant crime wave revealed: Foreign arrests have almost doubled in just THREE years Mail
On climate time series, although the raw data is still inaccessible BEST have produced data that is not dissimilar to previous findings. Motl is still trying to download gigabytes of data from their website. We know T increased around 0.6C last century as a net, about a tenth of a degree above the average since the LIA ended. I’m expecting there to be a renewed war of attrition over hundredths of degrees when the graphs come out. Motl pointed out the speed with which the exercise reached a conclusion and the speed with which the conclusions were related to the US Houses.
The alarmist NYT piece (to stymie claims of bias) here

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Update

Comment on this Tuesday
08.41 Reports are emerging of a family rift opening up between Gaddafi’s two sons Mutassim and Saif over plans for a ceasefire.
Damien McElroy reports in today’s paper: Gaddafi sons split over plans for ceasefire
While Saif believes that talks would be impossible without a ceasefire, Mutassim wants to ensure the regime cannot be beaten. He is reported to have said ‘people get sick of dying, we have to keep fighting until we’ve beaten the opposition’.

08.18 Ministers have been criticised by MPs over arms exports to regimes in Libya and Bahrain.
Telegraph In a report MPs from the arms export control committees accused the Coalition Government of misjudging the risk that arms could be used for internal repression. Sales only stopped in January this year.
(Article)

08.45 Col Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi claims Moussa Koussa was allowed to leave Libya and insists he knows nothing about the Lockerbie bombing. He tells BBC world affairs editor John Simpson:
“The British and the Americans they know about Lockerbie, they know everything about Lockerbie so there are no secrets anymore. Come on. The British government say this: you have no immunity unless you co-operate. He [Moussa Koussa] is sick, he is sick and old so if you put it this way, no immunity of course… [he] will come out with the funny stories.”

08.55 Meanwhile in war-torn Ivory Coast, The Telegraph’s Africa Correspondent Aislinn Laing is reporting that defeated Presidential candidate Laurent Gbagbo is negotiating his surrender.
(Article)

09.28 The Telegraph’s Damien McElroy reports that al-Qaeda meanwhile have benefited from the Libya unrest, with convoys of weapons looted from barracks to be taken to camps in northern Mali.

13.01 David Cameron, who is in Pakistan, has sought to reassure the Muslim population that the military operation in Libya is not an “attack on Islam”.
Opinion Nothing could be further from the truth.
I don’t think anyone can seriously argue that international action in Libya is an attack on Islam. Backed by the United Nations and the Arab League, we have taken action to protect people – predominantly Muslim people – from slaughter, just as we did in Kosovo over a decade ago.
(Article)

09.31 In Yemen, the US has quietly signalled it no longer backs embattled president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
(Article)

09.33 And in Syria, authorities are to unveil new legislation to replace the country’s emergency laws before the weekend, according to the al-Watan newspaper.
(Article)

10.14 Libyan rebels have been sent scattering under a barrage of shelling early today by Gaddafi forces on the edge of Brega, according to AFP.

10.25 Reports from AFP breaking that Nato has launched its latest airstrike on Gaddafi forces near the eastern oil town of Brega.

10.49 The Gbagbo camp is now saying that an assault by UN and French forces on two military camps killed many, as soldiers lived with their families on the bases.

11.06 Gbagbo’s camp is also now denying that he has reached the point of surrender.

11.59 William Hague yesterday assured the House of Commons that Britain is not involved in arming Libyan rebels but that non-lethal military equipment may be provided to support them.
[Cameron went to Egypt before starting the war sightseeing?]

12.33 The International Criminal Court prosecutor has now said he wants to speak with Moussa Koussa, the former foreign minister, for his investigation into crimes against civilians in Libya.

13.20 Teodoro Obiang Nguema, the African Union chairman, has condemned foreign military intervention in Ivory Coast and Libya

13.55 Alistair Burt, Britain’s foreign minister, stressed there will be no foreign occupation in Libya in an interview with the Arabic daily El Chourouk.
Opinion There will be absolutely no foreign occupation or invasion in Libya… the UK believes that Gaddafi should go, and should go now. Libya has no future with him at the helm.
[" ... unleashed hell", evidence please. Did he use British supplied weapons? The invasion will start when Italian troops "accompany" aid workers. Hell is Somalia, the Ivory Coast and dictatorships where unarmed protesters are shot.]

NYT’s gov’t approved view of events
Libya, an oil-rich nation in North Africa, has been under the firm, if sometimes erratic, leadership of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi since he seized power in 1969. But in February 2011, the unrest sweeping through much of the Arab world erupted in several Libyan cities. Though it began with a relatively organized core of anti-government opponents in Benghazi, its spread to the capital of Tripoli was swift and spontaneous. Colonel Qaddafi lashed out with a level of violence unseen in either of the other uprisings, but an inchoate opposition cobbled together the semblance of a transitional government, fielded a makeshift rebel army and portrayed itself to the West and Libyans as an alternative to Colonel Qaddafi’s erratic control.
Momentum shifted quickly, however, and the rebels faced the possibility of being outgunned and outnumbered in what increasingly looked like a mismatched civil war. As Colonel Qaddafi’s troops advanced to within 100 miles of Benghazi, the rebel stronghold in the west, the United Nations Security Council voted to authorize military action, a risky foreign intervention aimed at averting a bloody rout of the rebels by loyalist forces. On March 19, American and European forces began a broad campaign of strikes against Colonel Qaddafi and his government, unleashing warplanes and missiles in a military intervention on a scale not seen in the Arab world since the Iraq war.

Etceteras
Tata group chairman Ratan Tata quizzed over ‘G band allocation scam The Hindu
Tata spoke frankly, says PAC chief.
[Tata is renown in the UK for a charity that failed to disclose funding, Pachauri, (TATA chair) Houghton, Tickell vouched for it then didn't.]

Quake jolts north India The Hindu
A “moderate” 5.7 magnitude earthquake, with its epicentre on the India-Nepal border, jolted north India on Monday evening.
[No nuclear reactors were harmed in the shaking of this quake.
Reminds me, Piers Corbyn may be the man who almost always right about the weather but his N.US quake prediction failed to deliver. No great shakes, so to speak
.]

Update 2
Al J
3:59pm Denmark and Norway have expressed their support for an open-ended military campaign against Gaddafi, while all five Nordic nations have called for him to immediately step down.

4:21pm Brigadier General Mark van Uhm, NATO’s chief of allied operations, says that coalition airstrikes have continued apace since NATO took command of bombing operations from the US.
Van Uhm says that Misurata is the new priority for NATO. Residents of the western town report that they have come under constant bombardment from pro-Gaddafi forces, and have repeatedly called for NATO to intervene in the city.
“Misurata is a number one priority because of the situation on the ground over there. We have confirmation that in Misurata tanks are being dispersed, being hidden, (and) humans being used as shields in order to prevent NATO sorties to identify targets.”
Van Uhm also says that pro-Gaddafi forces are changing their tactics to cope with coalition airstrikes.
“What we have seen is that pro-Gaddafi forces have changed their tactics over days, what we see is that they are more and more using trucks and light vehicles to move their personnel to the frontline. We are trying to identify where those heavy assets like tanks and armoured vehicles are because we have seen that they have chosen to hide in urban areas, even using human shields in order to not be targeted.”

4:34pm A tanker has docked at the eastern Libyan oil port of Tobruk to pick up the first oil cargo to leave Libya for 18 days, says Michelle Bockmann, markets editor of shipping news and data provider Lloyd’s List.
The boat is expected to be loaded on April 6.

4:38pm The Associated Press reports that diplomats are dangling offers of immunity from prosecution and the lifting of asset and travel freezes to members of Gaddafi’s family in order to persuade them to withdraw their support for the Libyan leader.
[Clutching at straws? Who is the genius that came up with this idea? ]

4:40pm Chris Stevens, the US deputy ambassador to Libya, has arrived in Benghazi to hold talks with the opposition’s national council there, according to a US official who was speaking to the Associated Press.
Stevens will be discussing humanitarian and possible financial assistance to be provided to the opposition by the US.

4:53pm Anita McNaught, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Tripoli, reports that Libyan state television is planning to broadcast live from Brega at some point this evening.
Hoda Abdel-Hamid, our correspondent who has been reporting from the frontlines, says that it can be said with a fair degree of certainty that Gaddafi’s forces have taken all of Brega, given the intensity of their assault this morning towards Ajdabiya.

5:33pm Al Jazeera’s Laurence Lee has been reporting from Benghazi on the status of the conflict near Brega, as well as other stories out of the opposition stronghold.
youtube.com/watch?v=FPDPnGxpDuU

DT
15.00 Sky News’s Jeremy Thompson, who is in Tripoli this week, Tweets that a mosque on Zawiyah that was the subject of a Sky report three weeks ago, is now no longer there.
Twitter #Zawiya mosque now flattened was scene of #skynews Alex Crawford’s dramatic report 3 wks ago.
[Rockets, shells, grenades and bullets don't flatten.]

15.30 Andrew Mitchell, the international development secretary has told the Commons that the international community will learn the lessons of Iraq in planning to rebuild Libya.
[Anxious to help, cartel banks will lend the funds needed...]

15.46 Shifting focus to Yemen for a moment, William Hague has said he is “appalled” by the bloodshed. At least 24 people have been killed in as many hours.
[No goodwill humanitarian bombing for them then? The Yemenese people say thank the gods.]

15.47 Nato’s Brig Gen Mark van Uhm has said that the death of Libyan civilians in an air strike last week was an “unfortunate accident”. The air raid on Friday killed 13 people, four of them civilians, 10 miles east of Brega after rebels fired celebratory gunfire into the air prompting warplanes to act in self defence.
[And the 9 combatants?]

16.02 The International Criminal Court proescutor is alleging that Libyan authorities decided they were ready to kill unarmed proesters opposed to Gaddafi’s rule as early as January, even before unrest spread from Tunisia and Egypt.
[The war against Libya was planned in Nov. by some accounts. If so and the UN was aware, perhaps agreement had been secretly made and hence the unique speed the published approval was given for the assault.]

17.10 Watch the Telegraph’s latest Libya video here.
Rebels in Brega with waging war with a homemade rocket launcher mounted on the back of trucks.
[Milk bottles? Joking apart, these things have no guidance. Are they targetting the gov't forces in civilian areas?]

Marsa al Hariga

Google Earth map of Tobruk with Marsa al Hariga indicated.

Libyagate: Will the coalition allow the insurgents to fail?

No. They will maintain the war till Gaddafi dies of old age. If the Libyan gov’t goes democratic with Gaddafi behind the scenes, perhaps like an EU president over a facade parliament, while the humanitarian aid bombs continue to fall, who will be the bad boys (terrorists) in that scenario?

Excerpts from the action as it happened from DT and Al J. (Catch up with the BBC here)

There Was Nothing Friendly About the GCC Invasion Why Zogby is Wrong About Bahrain
The Many Qaddafis The man’s changing influence on affairs of Libya and elsewhere.

————
DT Late Tuesday 18.10 Two boats with 600 migrants have arrived at Lampedua island. Silvio Berlusconi has promised to evacuate.

19.59 The Telegraph’s Middle East correspondent Richard Spencer reports on how a major town in Yemen has fallen to al-Qaeda-backed rebel forces:

20.06 Top Libya rebel commander says NATO leaving people of Misurata to die. (Article)

21.19 Full details of this evening’s rebel press conference: Libyan rebels fighting Muammar Gaddafi’s forces on Tuesday criticised Nato as too slow to act and said they would ask the U.N. Security Council to suspend its mission unless it “did its job properly”.
[Tail wagging the dog?]

21.33 Read our full report on Nato asking the RAF to contribute more warplanes to step up ground strikes against Col Muammar Gaddafi’s forces after the alliance yesterday said a third of the Libyan leader’s forces had so far been destroyed.  (Article)

DT Wednesday
07:32 From the Telegraph’s front page today: Nato will ask the RAF to contribute more warplanes to step up ground strikes against Col Muammar Gaddafi’s forces. (Article)

08:09 MI5 believed the former Libyan foreign minister, Moussa Koussa, was “involved in killing dissidents in Britain”, according to security service files, Duncan Gardham, the Telegraph’s Security Correspondent, writes. (Article)

09:05 Alain Juppe, the French foreign minister, has weighed in over Misrata: “Misrata is in a situation which cannot continue and I am going to discuss it in a few hours time with the Secretary General of NATO.”
Abdelfatah Yunis, the rebel commander, says: “NATO waits one more week, there will be nothing left in Misrata.”
[If the insurgents return...]

09:08 Jordan has sent fighter aircraft to a European air base to support the no-fly zone over Libya and protect humanitarian flights from the Arab kingdom, its foreign minister, Nasser Judeh, told the Jordan Times newspaper.

10:10 Libyan rebels will now be able to supply the besieged city of Misurata by sea, according to the French defence minister, Gerard Longuet, who said: “We are going to ensure that aid comes from Benghazi and that at no moment Gaddafi’s military forces will be able to stop this.”
[Would they anyway? Who is vetting the cargo for weapons? Will Libyan army forces receive humanitarian aid bombs to just in case they try to prevent it? I smell a tactic.]

10:38 Gaddafi’s men using human shields, according to NATO spokeswoman Carmen Romero.
[Insurgents being suicidal don't fire from private residences and mosques ... There is nothing clean about an armed uprising nor the measures to counter it. The insurgents are no better than the gov't according to the reports on ethnic cleansing.]

11:44 Battles have reportedly been raging for hours today on the Mediterranean coast road as both sides try to break the stalemate. Mohamed el-Masrafy, a member of a rebel special forces unit, said clashes began at 4am (GMT) after Gaddafi’s forces were resupplied with ammunition and moved eastwards out of the oil port of Brega.

12:03 Denmark has appointed a special envoy to the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi, the Danish foreign ministry has said. The country does not have an ambassador in Tripoli.

12:21 NATO has dismissed rebel criticism of the pace of its military campaign in Libya, saying the number of its airstrikes is increasing every day.

12:28 More than 200 Iranian parliamentarians have condemned the “frightening crimes” of Saudi troops in Bahrain and demanded their departure, state television website reported.

12:30 As fuel supplies continue to paralyse parts of Libya, a source told AFP that Gaddafi has been able to import 19,000 tonnes of petrol from a foreign tanker that had been anchored in Tunisian waters. In the rebel-held east of the country, oil exports were set to resume for the first time since mid-March after the arrival of a tanker capable of holding 100 million dollars’ worth of crude.

*************
Al J
GMT+2 Late Tuesday
6:04pm The United Nations has doubled its aid appeal for Libya to $310 million, Elisabeth Byrs, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says.
[Both sides have plenty of money, is the aid for Libya or for the migrant refugees and illegals or just an excuse to get funding?]

6:30pm More on NATO operations near Misurata: coalition aircraft launched 14 strikes on Monday, including “a number” targetting air defence systems, tanks and armoured vehicles in the area around the besieged Western town, the alliance says. The alliance also hit a rocket launcher near Brega on Monday, and ammunition storage facilities in other parts of the country.
[Didn't the insurgents flee at least 18km towards Ajdabiya? How is it besieged?]

7:50pm Algeria is concerned by a noticeable increase in al-Qaeda presence in Libya, Abdelkader Messahel, the country’s deputy foreign minister, said today.

7:56pm Two boats carrying 600 migrants, including Eritreans and Somalians feeling Libya, arrived at Lampedusa island today. [Fleeing the insurgents by all accounts.]

7:57pm Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, says he wants to question Moussa Koussa, the former Libyan foreign minister who has resigned and fled to London. Moreno-Ocampo said that Koussa could have crucial information about the inner workings of Muammar Gaddafi’s government.

7:58pm Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, has paid tribute to the countries bordering Libya for taking in hundreds of thousands of refugees during the current crisis in the country. He has also paid tribute to Italy and Malta for sheltering thousands of economic migrants and refugees from North Africa – even though Rome says that it wants to send many Tunisians seeking a better life in Europe back home.

8:17pm Geoff Morell, the Pentagon’ spokesman, says that no decision has yet been made on whether or not the US will be helping to arm rebels. At the moment the topic of “non-lethal” aid is being discussed, he says.
[The US has little regard for the UN. Expect more funding cuts if the UN does not support the US more directly.]

8:19pm Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi have razed a mosque in Az Zawiyah that had been used by rebels as a base, as well as a graveyard in a central square where opposition fighters are buried in that city. Gaddafi’s forces are now in firm control of the city, which for weeks had fought back against siege by government troops.
[Army or citizenry? We need a report.]

8:54pm Responding to a question on whether there are divisions on the front line in the rebel army, Younis says: “I don’t know why the journalists these days are picking up on these rumours. These rumours, whether right or wrong, do not influence the position of the armed forces. There is no disagreement, no problems, between the rebel forces.”
“The front line is OK, and there is opportunity for every citizen to join us at the front line.”

[There are several reports on the insurgents leader's speech. He talks about the army invading forgetting that insurgents invaded the oil towns. Then he talks about the slow response of the air force in bombing targets insurgents have designated.]

9:10pm “The situation in the southern areas, as we said the forces that we command the regular armies are on the front line. The oil fields have some patrols and some of our rebel youths that have joined the rebellion. They have tried to shell the Sidr oil field, and there are some damages, but are working on repairing them. All of this is to deny the eastern area access to its oil. Because now the National Council has the legitimacy to sell the oil. And we have started these contacts with Qatar. And the Gaddafi regime does not want the people to enjoy their rights.
“Yesterday we intercepted a brief from their forces saying that they have destroyed the field. These Gaddafi forces have been lying so that they would not be executed by the regime. We also informed NATO about these groups that are trying to sabotage the fields. We told NATO about them, NATO says we cannot shell them when they are in the oil field.
“But these people are on tarmac, and it would not influence the oil fields, but unfortunately they were not bombed.”
“The security of the oil fields have intercepted these groups and defended the oil fields. ”

9:33pm General Carter Ham, the chief of the United States’ Africa Command, has been testifying before American lawmakers in Washington DC. He has reiterated that NATO is now in full command of the mission, and the US is acting only in a supporting role. Regarding al-Qaeda, he says that it remains the “number one security threat” to the US, particularly in eastern Africa.
[Some bloggers have retitled the group Cialquaeda.]

10:36pm Reuters reports, citing a rebel spokesman, that shelling in Misurata stopped at about 5:00pm local time, after beginning at 10:00am.

10:46pm AFP reports that Abdelati al-Obeidi has been formally appointed as Libya’s foreign minister, replacing Moussa Koussa, who fled the country to the United Kingdom. 11:11pm The Associated Press reports that rebels in towns southwest of Tripoli have banded together to fight pro-Gaddafi forces, pushing them out of the mountain town of Yefren. Shaban Abusitta, a rebel leader from the town of Nalut, said youths from Nalut and Az Zintan infiltrated Yefren and helped their allies there to fight against government forces, who had surrounded the town. The rebels, armed with Kalashnikov rifles, attacked the armed forces’ lines and pushed them away from the town. Abusitta said at least 25 families from Yefren were now taking shelter in Nalut, and that many others were escaping towards the Tunisian border.

0:00pm With oil tankers now docking at the eastern oil ports of Tobruk and Marsa el Hariga, and the rebels desperate for an inflow of funds, as much to prove their viability as a government as to  fund their opposition, Laurence Lee reports on the state of play on Libya’s oil.
****************
Al J Wednesday
12:52am Two people were killed and 26 injured in shelling by Muammar Gaddafi’s forces in the besieged city of Misurata on Tuesday, a rebel told the Reuters news agency.

1:47am Libyan opposition leaders continue to say that Gaddafi must leave before talks can take place. And that is a key dilemma in the country overcoming it’s current crisis. [So prolonging the misery.] 4:26am Libyan anti-government soldiers are reportedly being tortured and executed in an underground prison in Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte, according to one prisoner who since escaped. Al Jazeera’s Sue Turton reports that there are more and more stories emerging across the country of abuse and suffering at the hands of the Gadaffi forces.

6:01am [The Lockerbie card is played in the propaganda war despite Gaddafi being forgiven (while claiming no part) and compensation paid.]

6:17am Al Jazeera’s Laurence Lee, reporting from Benghazi, says the criticism of NATO from opposition forces reflects the fact they continue to struggle in their battles against pro-Gaddafi forces, and that the conflict may be prolonged.
[Recognition that the insurgents can't win without an air force and or heavy armour.]

10:37am AFP – NATO, accused by Libyan rebels of failing to protect civilians in the besieged city of Misurata, vows to do everything to protect the population.

**************
If the puppeteers are throwing Obama to the wolves, Obama will take little part in their campaigns and laugh at them from the sidelines.
The Libyan army has been let off the leash. It seems Brega, Ajdabiya, Tobruk and the inland oil fields are the main bargaining pieces now Misurata has been returned to Libyan gov’t control. I can’t see the coalition recovering it. Brega looks to have been secured and Ajdabiya may go by the weekend. Tobruk is likely to be the next domino after Ajdabiya. If the fields go that will mean all the coalition has to offer is Benghazi, a bank and more bombs.
Short of invading the UN puppets, the US and NATO puppets are powerless. I wonder just how strong the insurgent force would be without islamic extremist assistance? That the extremists are a force to be reckoned with is shown by the ongoing presence of christian invasion forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and now AQ is starting a takeover in Yemen. It seems that the Libyan conflict has expanded their capability by putting more weapons in their hands. Mali appears to be a distribution centre. It is unlikely to be attacked as many part of the extremist organisations appear to be under secret services’ control and direction.

I believe a division should happen, the border to be along old tribal divisions. That would give the western Libyans the biggest slice. The state bank should be mutually shared under public ownership and controlled by representatives according to population in each tribal zone. Oil revenue proportionate to population rather than which side the oil is on going to each government. The border should not be more than a definition of liability to the laws and taxes of each gov’t and should not be visible. The army should remain as one unit overseen by reps of both sides. The banksters should be kicked out and refused the possibility of controlling the gov’ts as they do everywhere else. The coalition should go back to minding its own business of which its parts are making such a mess. The banksters’ UN should be defunded. The banksters’ NATO should be disbanded. The banksters’ ECs (both of them) should be dismissed as they are both as harmful to humanity as the UN and NATO.
Now the masses are becoming aware of how they are being played, the various gov’ts should be put on trial alongside the secret services. Perhaps then the truth about Libya, IraQ, Afghanistan, ME disturbances, 9/11, Lockerbie and other atrocities will emerge.

Despite Gaddafi and the Libyan gov’t’s abuse of the people Libya was the healthiest and probably the richest African country. It will be interesting to see if a democratically elected gov’t can do better. Massive projects like pyramids and making a dry nation wet are not undertaken by wimps such as Cameron and Bush. Gaddafi will be remembered for exploiting the immense aquifer that is enabling Libya to slowly become self dependent with regards to food as the deserts are greened long after Cameron (that has only aided the rape of the UK and can’t even get the leaky UK water infrastructure fixed) is forgotten.

If both Libyas decide to sell oil to the highest bidder (likely China) they should be allowed.

Cameron’s excuse for joining the civil war was to protect civilians. How many deaths in total have occurred compared to how many would have died had the coalition not partied? How much stronger are extremist groups because of the intervention? One consolation. The coalition is making such a cock up with their rag tag army on the ground, China has felt no need to intervene.
**********
Update 1

DT
13:16 NATO is being “particularly careful” with its air strikes in Libya as Gaddafi’s troops have begun using civilians as human shields, the deputy commander of operations, Rear Admiral Russell Harding, has said. He added: “Libya must be 800 miles wide and in all that air space we are dominating, so perhaps, and I am not criticising anyone, in one or two areas, if they don’t hear us or see us, I can understand how that might lead to a lack of confidence.”
“But I can reassure you that at every hour of every day we are watching what is going on in Libya and making sure that we are protecting civilians.”
[And there is the "get out for free" when it loses too many votes.]

13:58 The Ministry of Defence said RAF Tornados yesterday attacked targets around Misrata and Col Gaddafi’s home city of Sirte, hitting a total of six armoured fighting vehicles and six battle tanks. As a whole, the alliance flew 137 missions on Monday, 186 on Tuesday, and had planned 198 for today.

14:10 Human rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have stepped up pressure for action by the UN on the popular unrest in the Middle East, warning in particular that a crackdown in Bahrain had reached critical levels.

15:25 Startling footage via CNN of the devastation in Zawiyah, a town that was almost entirely destroyed when Col Gaddafi’s army crushed a rebel stronghold. (Article)

19.55 Latest from Misurata is that one resident has been killed in clashes as pro-Gaddafi forces shelled the city.

BENGHAZI, Libya, April 6 (Reuters) – Production at rebel-held oilfields in eastern Libya has stopped after they came under attack from forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, a rebel spokesman said on Wednesday. (Article)

20.15 For Bruno Waterfield's report on Libyan rebels complaining that Nato is not doing enough to protect Misurata, go here.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new...

20.20 And for Col Gaddafi's letter to Barack Obama in full, then go here.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new...

21.10 Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, when asked about the Gaddafi letter to Barack Obama, has said he knows what he needs to do - step down and leave the country.
[Yes but what about Gaddafi?]

Al J
4:15pm Speaking to Al Jazeera from London, Ashur Shamis, a Libyan journalist, said there seemed to be some discrepancies between the number of NATO flyovers and actual hits on the ground. “It is not hitting anything. More and more people in Benghazi are getting to the end of their tethers in relation to this situation.”
“As long as Gaddafi remains in Tripoli he will turn nastier and nastier, and he will produce more weapons and more tricks so that there will be more citizens dying because he has no aim or cause … he is just destroying the country, the people and causing more bloodshed.”
Shamis says NATO should get its act together and show the people that it is up to task in implementing the UN resolution.
“They have to show that they are doing something in Misurata and preventing Gaddafi’s troops from killing civilians. “They have to do something in Tripoli … I understand there are ways there with which to get at Gaddafi’s forces. Now it is slowly opening up to strikes and this will encourage people to turn against Gaddafi.”

4:49pm Gaddafi troops have reportedly shelled an oil field in Ojla, south of Ajdabiya, according to a source from the local council in Tobruk.
Meanwhile rebel fighters tightened security measures and strengthened military fortifications in the western district of Ajdabiya, allowing only authorised persons to enter.
In Misurata Gaddafi’s troops attacked the coastal road leading to the port and tried to seize supplies and rations warehouses.

5:13pm An oil tanker left the Libyan port of Tobruk on Wednesday with the first consignment of crude since the rebel administration that controls the country’s east from Benghazi won recognition from some countries.
The Greek-owned, Liberian-registered vessel docked a day earlier to load the oil shipment worth $100m for export. The potential buyer remains a mystery.
[Gadaffi?]

5:58pm Black African migrants have claimed that Libyan troops were turning them into “instant mercenaries” to fight the rebels, a Reuters report said, citing young men who had fled to Tunisia earlier.  (Article)

6:39pm Libyan rebels have regained ground in a new advance on the oil port of Brega on Wednesday, after accusing NATO of mission failure in protecting civilians in Misurata.

************
David Cameron vowed to hand hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money plus vital military secrets to Pakistan yesterday to make amends for offending the Muslim nation last year.
The Prime Minister pledged to invest £650million in Pakistani schools at a time when the education budget at home is being cut.
Britain is also to give highly sensitive military technology to combat roadside bombs to the Pakistani security services, which are widely blamed for funding and arming the Taliban.
In a huge gamble with the lives of British troops in Afghanistan, Mr Cameron agreed to spend millions more on a centre of excellence for the country’s soldiers and spies near Peshawar, a hotbed of militancy.
The gesture came after Mr Cameron sparked a diplomatic rift last year when he accused the country of ‘looking both ways’ on terrorism. /Mail

The Palestinian Fatah movement is investigating reports alleging that Mohammed Dahlan and Khalid Salam were involved in supplying Israeli-made weapons to embattled Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi. /full story Press TV

Stuff I’ll be reading as time permits.
The Mire of Shame NATO’s Fascist War
Bahrain and Saudi Arabia’s Rulers Goose-Step to the Brink of the Abyss
Egyptians on March to Keep Revolutionary Spirit Alive: Revolution or Coup?
Demonstrators fearful that the tide of revolution is on the ebb in Egypt staged a mass protest in Tahrir Square in Cairo last Friday to demand that a less authoritarian form of government be introduced.
The protesters appeared to sense that political power is drifting away from them and the old system is reasserting itself as they gathered after Friday prayers beside the blackened hulk of the old headquarters of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP).
“I am worried that there are so many forces against the revolution, mainly in the army,” said Ahmed Maher, a 30-year-old civil engineer and coordinator of the 6 April Movement, a group that played a crucial role in organizing the street protests that ended the rule of President Hosni Mubarak. He added: “By demonstrating, we are showing our anger at what is happening.”

———————–
Libya Live Telegraph link, Al Jazeera link

Libyagate. New 7.1 quake 7th April

Press TV
Israel, far from being discreet during the destabilisation of the ME and N Africa has fired missiles hitting a car in Sudan’s Port Sudan. Sudan has reserved the right to respond. Link
At least four Palestinians have been wounded after Israeli F-16 warplanes pounded several targets in the southern Gaza Strip. Link

Reaping the rewards
Tunisian Migrants Open Tensions in Europe NYT
France and Italy are at loggerheads over refugees from North Africa’s turmoil, and the migrants are in the middle.
[Sarkozy's re-election chances must be going from zero into negative territory. I wonder how Cameron and Obama's ratings are doing? An influx would severely damage them and the US must take its share of those it has helped cause to flee the war zone.]

Under Con Coughlin’s article “Hiring dogs of war for Libya is a recipe for disaster” aswasizziz wrote:
This is a very disturbing trend that has been going on for years.
Blackwater may have renamed themselves, but are they going to become the NWO enforcers? Wiki
The Daily Mail just happens to have a story about a couple of British ex dogs of war who are also paedophiles. I suppose that qualifies them for UN missions. See below.
Mail
UN Child abusers in Haiti and Liberia: BBC,
UN shame over sex scandal, Indy
The international organisation says that almost 200 of its peacekeepers around the world have been disciplined for sex offences – including rape and child abuse – but not one seems to have been prosecuted.

Legacy from all sides:
Libya: unexploded munitions pose major risk for civilians. Alertnet

Aftershock 7.1, off the N.E coast of Japan. A tsunami warning was issued. No injuries reported.
Because the original quake was so strong more aftershocks are anticipated.

Banksterism
Portugal has submitted to a bail-out joining Ireland as a debt slave to the EU’s EC.
Darling’s last act of euroslimery, sparing Osborne the job “… signed the UK up to the new EU stability mechanism aimed at bailing out the weaker brethren in the eurozone. He agreed that the British Government, despite not being in the eurozone, would underwrite 13 per cent of the new fund.” See David Hughes DT
The bill – Ireland 3.8, Portugal 4 bil

Excerpts from live reports
DT
07:06 British war jets bombed a major Libyan oilfield overnight, killing three civilian guards and injuring a number of other workers, according to Tripoli’s deputy foreign minister, Khaled Kaim. He offered no proof.

07:16 The director of the FBI, Robert Mueller, has warned the US that Libyan agents could be preparing retaliatory attacks on American soil.
“We want to make certain that we’ve identified these individuals to ensure no harm comes from them, knowing they may well have been associated with the Gaddafi regime.

07:20 The Libyan crisis has raised doubts about the Coalition’s defence review and could force ministers to reverse cuts including the scrapping of Britain’s Harrier jump jets, a senior military adviser has said, the Telegraph’s James Kirkup writes: (Article)

07:27 Arab states are being urged to train and lead Libya’s rebels, with former British soldiers in line to play a central role, reports the Telegraph’s political correspondent, James Kirkup: (Article)

10:49 An oil industry source in Dubai has told the Associated Press that a Liberian-flagged tanker has left the eastern port of Tobruk, headed either to Singapore or China.

11:05 Two blasts have been heard in Tripoli, shortly after warplanes flew overhead.

11:24 Abdeljalil Mayuf, of the Arabian Gulf Oil Company (AGOCO), said forces loyal to Gaddafi attacked the al-Sarir oilfield, denying a Libyan government charge that it was hit by a British air strike.

11:49 Rebels have now accused NATO forces of attacking their forces near Brega, killing two rebels and wounding 10, although some estimates put the dead at at least five.

13:01 Rebels report five killed by pro-Gaddafi forces’ bombardment of Misrata.

13:24 Ben Farmer, the Telegraph’s man on the ground close to the front line, says “the rebels are furious” about the airstrikes, which he has been told have killed seven people.
“The rebels had captured some armour from the early days of the war and were trying to move it towards the front when the airstrike hit them. The rebels are furious, especially after what happened last week. I’ve been told that seven people are dead.”

14:02 Both rebel fighters and civilians are reportedly fleeing Ajdabiya for Benghazi in their thousands as rumours spread that Gaddafi's forces are mounting a charge on the town.

14:20 NATO has dismissed Libyan claims that Britain struck the oilfield, blaming Gaddafi's forces for the attacks that halted production. The eastern Sarir and Messla fields came under fire just as the rebels had sold their first oil cargo in weeks

18.17 The US Treasury has now frozen $34 billion of Gaddafi's assets. David Cohen, the Treasury's top financial intelligence officer, said:
"That money is frozen, Colonel Gaddafi and his government cannot get access to it, and we are holding it for the Libyan people. One thing that is clear is that we are not going to return these assets to Colonel Gaddafi and the people that are in power in Tripoli"

Al J
1:31am Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim told the Reuters news agency that a British air strike hit the major Sarir oil field on Wednesday, killing three guards. He said the strike damaged a pipeline connected the field to Hariga port and that it violated international law.

6:17am Al Jazeera’s Laurence Lee, reporting from Benghazi,  said that Abdel-Hafidh Ghoga, the Vice-Chairman of the Libyan National Provisional Council, continues to insist that NATO do more.
“He has certainly strengthened his language, and he even went on to call NATO a “burden”, which is an extraordinary thing to say under the current circumstances.”
“There is obviously agreement here among the opposition that if more military gains are to be made, international forces must step up their operations.”
[There is obviously agreement between the coalition and their ground force that it is not about protecting civilians - unless armed insurgents commanded by and with the assistance of trained military are now classed as civilians. Bombing another country is an act of war.]

1:04pm AFP – At least five opposition fighters killed in a NATO air raid in the eastern oil town of Brega.
“It was the planes of NATO. They fired twice at our tank and blew up the tank’s position,” said rebel fighter Ali Sahli.
[Oops.]
[BBC says 12.]

Libyagate: Friday

Rebels and residents flee Ajdabiya following a claimed NATO strike on insurgent forces massing (if that is the correct term) outside Brega. Gov’t forces took advantage and pressed east towards Ajdabiye. Seems the important towns west of the insurgents’ HQ, Benghazi are being returned to gov’t control that will leave Misurata isolated and far from the possibility of reinforcements.

Al Jazzeera article – Libyan rebels and residents flee Ajdabiya

Libyan rebels regroup on eastern front NZ news

Koussa is being questioned by Scots police. If it transpires that stories about Palestinians being responsible are supported then Cameron’s Lockerbie card is lost to him.
Police chief- Lockerbie evidence was faked Scotsman (2005)

Saif Gaddafi: his father’s son, or the would-be face of Libyan reform? Guardian
[Doubtful, looks like he is too easily swayed.]

Al J
2:18am On Thursday, Abdel Fattah Younes, the defected head of the rebel military, confirmed for the first time that the opposition forces have received foreign weapons: anti-tank guns from Qatar. The tiny but wealthy Gulf country has been at the forefront of support for Libya’s anti-Gaddafi movement, offering them official recognition and to be a broker for their oil.

7:47am Our correspondent Sue Turton reports from Tobruk, on the rebels’ need of better weapons and claims that they are receiving arms from abroad.
[Good report in the vid.] ‘Leftovers’ vid – youtube.com/watch?v=bVwB-N0_wYM

10:39am This video posted online by Wefaq Media is said to show the air strike that killed at least four people outside Brega yesterday.
[13 seconds in, looks to be 2 bombs.] facebook.com/video/video.php?v=207877309240836

11:27am Reuters quotes rebels as saying they are fighting Gaddafi forces trying to enter the city of Misurata from the east.

Comment on this
09:09 Sky News reporting that NATO airstrikes have hit targets in Sirte, Gaddafi’s home town, this morning.

09:17 Rear Adml Harding adds a denial of a strike on the Sarir oilfield, which NATO was accused of conducting by Gaddafi’s people, saying it was “absolutely false”, adding: “There was no NATO strike in that area.”
Instead, he says it was conducted by Gaddafi’s forces “in an attempt to disrupt supplies to Tobruk”.

09:33 NATO will not apologise for killing rebels in Brega yesterday, Harding says, to some confusion from journalists in press conference.

09:35 The basic premise seems to be that the alliance military had no choice but to attack when it saw tanks taking positions which could have threatened civilians.

———————-
There are some suggestions that gov’t forces are flying planes and they attacked the insurgents outside Brega yesterday. I find that hard to swallow. Why are there no satellite pictures in the news, not just about this latest incident? Russia, China, Google where are you when the truth is needed?

What next? The Libyan army may bypass Ajdabiye and go straight for the heart, Benghazi. That will likely be the excuse for the coalition “boots on the ground” invasion force. OTOH, with the army at the gates to Benghazi another ceasefire may be offerred. The coalition of bank clerks would be wise to step up to the table and start negotiating before they lose the Benghazi central bank, all their other gains and any hope of profit.

If Benghazi falls, Gaddafi will hold all the cards and very likely many US, UK and French “advisors”. What then? And if the Lockerbie atrocity cannot be laid at Gaddafi’s door then Cameron will look worse than Gaddafi. If the insurgents have half as many terrorists in their ranks as suggested then Gaddafi’s claim to be fighting to suppress militant extremists may hold water and the intervention loses its validity.

Etcetera: Trump’s Hunt for Obama’s Birth Certificate [vid]
Danger: Comedians at work -  Lawmakers Weigh Giving Up Paychecks if Shutdown Forces Federal Furlough Fox
With Congress accelerating toward a possible shutdown, lawmakers are trying to make this failure of governance seem a tad less offensive to everyday Americans by vowing to give back part of their $174,000 paychecks.

Update 1
Comment on this 11:00 Here is a conundrum to which there appears no easy answer for the rebels: Sirte is loyal to Gaddafi, many civilians live there, if the rebels attack Sirte, they are attacking civilians, and NATO will be bound by the terms of the mandate to destroy their forces, as Sky News points out.
[That is the question.]

11:42 NATO’s airstrikes have hit T72 tanks, armoured personnel carriers, rocket launchers and surface-to-air missiles, ammunition dumps to the south of Tripoli and along the coastal road between Ras Lanuf and Sirte, as well as air defence sites which were targeting aircraft enforcing the no-fly zone.
[That is the answer. If the coalition attacks the insurgents don't need to.]

12:07 UNICEF, the UN’s children’s agency, claims snipers are targeting children in besieged Misurata. A spokeswoman said:
[We have received] “…reliable and consistent reports of children being among the people targeted by snipers in Misrata.”
[Again I ask, why hasn't a daylight ceasefire been called to allow civilians and unarmed insurgents to escape?]

13:49 Civilians are reportedly fleeing the east of Misurata as Gaddafi’s forces attack the heavily populated Esqeer district where families are crammed together.

14:27 Apologies for not bringing you more updates from the wider region today. Here are the main developments in grossly abbreviated form:
• In Syria, security services have shot dead three protesters in Daraa during pro-democracy rallies
• In Gaza, Israeli jets have killed three civilians and two militants after a nascent truce broke down
• In Yemen, President Saleh rejected the Saudi-led exit plan as massed protests began
• In Iraq, at least three died when local military battled an Iranian opposition group
• Bahrain’s King Hamad boasted of his links to Israel’s intelligence services, according to a 2005 leak

14:39 Gaddafi’s troops have fired salvoes of rockets which have forced the rebels in Ajdabiya to retreat to the city centre, apparently leaving the rest of the town undefended.

Reuters -  Revolutionaries near Ajdabiya have painted the roofs of their vehicles bright pink on Friday, to avoid more friendly fire casualties.
[That is going to be really difficult for the army to replicate. What if the army paints the Union Jack on their vehicles? Ahh yes, bomb them for racism.]

Nato Asked to Back Off Libya All Africa
A group of individuals and Organizations calling itself Coalition Against Foreign Military Intervention in Africa(CAFIA) has damned the onslaught of foreign military aggression on Libya and Cote d’ Ivoire.

Two Press TV reports are reminders of the dung pile bankster financed and oil lubricated aggressive intervention results in:
Blast kills 2, injures 4 near Baghdad
At least two civilians have been killed and four others wounded in a bombing attack northwest of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, a local security source says.
Video shows Afghan attack on US convoy
The convoy had entered Afghanistan through Torkham border in the east and was carrying supplies, including fuel, for a US military base in the province.
The convoy was escorted by eight US armored vehicles carrying about 40 American soldiers and an Afghan military truck when it came under attack in Jalala village.
The Afghan fighters claim they have killed all 40 American troops in the attack and seized the convoy’s supplies.

JPMorgan chief gets $5m in cash bonus (Blair’s boss?)

Map source – upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1e/Ly-map.png

Here’s a potted background to the oil aspect of the coalition intervention in the Libyan insurgency.
Why the Oil Companies Decided Qaddafi Has to Go – Counterpunch

Update2
15.47 A witness in the only major rebel-held city in western Libya says militiamen and pro-government forces are battling for control of a key road.
The witness says rebel forces are trying keep Gaddafi’s troops from taking full control of a coastal route linking Misurata to its port, a critical lifeline for besieged civilians and opposition fighters.

16.14 The United States has increased pressure on Gaddafi and extended financial sanctions to five senior Libyan government officials and two entities controlled by Gaddafi’s children. The US Treasury Department said it added Libya’s prime minister, oil minister, finance minster, Gaddafi’s chief of staff and the country’s internal security director to its sanctions blacklist. The sanctions prohibit US transactions with them and seek to freeze any assets they may have under US jurisdiction.
[The money grab that is continuing splendidly continues. Cutting losses as a division looks increasingly likely?]

16.57 The report from the United States has found that human rights abuses were “especially serious” last year in Bahrain, Libya and Syria. It concluded that mass uprisings in those nations raise hope for a brighter future. In its 2010 country reports on human rights practices, the State Department also singled out for serious violations Iran and Iraq, China and Myanmar, the Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe as well as Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.
[How come Cameron's winter cold deaths aren't in there? Perhaps they are considered friendly fire (or lack thereof) casualties.]

Al J
5:35pm Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO secretary-general, talks to Al Jazeera about what he says is progress being made in implementing UN Security Council resolution 1973 – and about the deaths caused by NATO forces near Brega. Vid youtube.com/watch?v=TqNTxgT5Lj8

In a list of those targetted by US sanctions – The Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation and the Waatasemu Charity Association were also designated today. The Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation is a Geneva-registered organization founded in Libya in 1998 and incorporated in Switzerland in 2004.
It was designated for being owned and controlled by Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, who is the foundation’s president and a board member.
——————–

Can anyone say if the “treasury reserve” supposedly funding the Libya fiasco is the gold left over after Brown’s finesse?

Libyagate. “No boots on the ground” BS

In preparation for the invasion the EC has told the UN it may send an expeditionary force to protect aid. All that is needed is to provoke an attack, perhaps a massacre and the Italian forces on standby and 600 Royal Marines that are being “dispatched to an exercise” will be right in there. Perhaps they are wearing sandals.
When the truth emerges about Lockerbie and if/when Palestinian terrorist are proven to be the guilty party, Cameron being a man of honour will go into exile. perhaps Blair has a spare bedroom.
On the actual invasion, Sirte is where the gov’t moved much of its hardware, the rest being in Tripoli. Sirte has received increasing attention from the humanitarian aid bombing as has Tripoli in the last few days despite there being no threat to civilians from planes or armour there. There has been little follow up on either the use of DU tipped weapons used by the US nor the possibility that the Libyan gov’t forces have mini nukes.
An unlikely but nonetheless possible scenario is that because the invasion is not wanted by either the insurgents or the Libyan gov’t, they could unite and fight the invaders. Hence the stealth by using aid as a cover and then reinforcements for the aid “protectors”. Then you have the AQ and other factions fighting back in their familiar role killing UK troops.
The EC’s UK gov’t needs to be ejected as quickly as possible.

Finishing yesterday’s live reports excerpts:
DT Friday
20.57 The EU has told the UN it is ready to bring humanitarian aid to Misrata, using military assets if needed, according to a diplomat.
“We cannot match their weapons,” said Kamal Mughrabi, 64, a retired soldier who joined the rebel army as shells drove the rebels back once again from Brega on Tuesday. “If the planes don’t come back and hit them we’ll have to keep pulling back.”
[I think DT is taking a well earned break for the weekend.]

Al  J Friday
10:27pm Getting ready for boots on the ground? The European Union says it is ready to launch “a humanitarian mission” in Libya’s Misurata within several days, but only if it has United Nations backing, says the Associated Press news agency.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has reportedly contacted UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to share her concerns over Misurata, a source told the agency.
The mission might require military backing, but it would not go beyond strictly providing assistance for humanitarian action.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, say any military involvement would only come if backed by the UN.

10:32pm Anti-Gaddafi fighters say they have fought off an assault on the east of Misurata by forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

10:40pm NATO airstrikes have hit weapons depots belonging to Gaddafi’s forces near the town of Zintan, a resident told Reuters:

10:56pm Five people were killed and ten wounded in fighting in Misurata today, Reuters reports.

Commenting under DT’s reports, spearofodin writes satirically -
Breaking News
Peter Tatchell has welcomed the news that the Al Qaeda rebels have adopted the colour pink as a symbol of their respect for gay rights in Libya.
” Its wonderful news “, says Peter to Reuters News, ” I am now organising a Gay Pride demo in Benghazi and George Michael has offered to sing at a benefit concert for the wounded of the war.
He has changed the lyrics of his hit single Last Christmas to ‘Ha ha you missed us’ in homage to the failure of Gaddafis forces to hit a barn door at five feet.
Asked to respond to the news that the Al Qaeda Gay Division have adopted the colour pink as a symbol of their respect for the gay rights agenda, the leader of the Libyan rebels, Mustafa Headchoppa said, ” DIE INFIDEL PIG DOG “.

——————–
Al J Saturday
8:43am Our correspondent Hoda Abdel-Hamid sent this report from Brega on how poorly trained opposition fighters are struggling to hold their ground, as Gaddafi’s forces continue to have the upper hand on the battlefield.
youtube.com/watch?v=zo9uDIVPcuY

—————–
Noteworthy
Airstrikes leave Libyan rebels and govt matched Sify.com
[...] “We cannot match their weapons,” said Kamal Mughrabi, 64, a retired soldier who joined the rebel army as shells drove the rebels back once again from Brega on Tuesday. “If the planes don’t come back and hit them we’ll have to keep pulling back.”
[Gaddafi is holding the country together and waiting out the coalition whose war against Libya started with less than popular support that is dwindling as time passes.]

The Link Between War and Big Finance Oped news
[Educational, why banksters like and promote wars for those that don't know.]

The DC/NATO Agenda And The Next Great War Oped news
In the 1930s the US, Great Britain, and the Netherlands set a course for World War II in the Pacific by conspiring against Japan. The three governments seized Japan’s bank accounts in their countries that Japan used to pay for imports and cut Japan off from oil, rubber, tin, iron and other vital materials. Was Pearl Harbor, Japan’s response?
Now Washington and its NATO puppets are employing the same strategy against China.
Protests in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, and Yemen arose from the people protesting against Washington’s tyrannical puppet governments. However, the protests against Gaddafi, who is not a Western puppet, appear to have been organized by the CIA in the eastern part of Libya where the oil is and where China has substantial energy investments.
Eighty percent of Libya’s oil reserves are believed to be in the Sirte Basin in eastern Libya now
controlled by rebels supported by Washington. As seventy percent of Libya’s GDP is produced by oil, a successful partitioning of Libya would leave Gaddafi’s Tripoli-based regime impoverished.
The People’s Daily Online (March 23) reported that China has 50 large-scale projects in Libya. The outbreak of hostilities has halted these projects and resulted in 30,000 Chinese workers being evacuated from Libya. Chinese companies report that they expect to lose hundreds of millions of yuan.
China is relying on Africa, principally Libya, Angola, and Nigeria, for future energy needs. In response to China’s economic engagement with Africa, Washington is engaging the continent militarily with the US African Command (AFRICOM) created by President George W. Bush in 2007. Forty-nine African countries agreed to participate with Washington in AFRICOM, but Gaddafi refused, thus creating a second reason for Washington to target Libya for takeover.
A third reason for targeting Libya is that Libya and Syria are the only two countries with Mediterranean sea coasts that are not
under the control or influence of Washington. Suggestively, protests also have broken out in Syria. Whatever Syrians might think of their government, after watching Iraq’s fate and now Libya’s it is unlikely that Syrians would set themselves up for US military intervention. Both the CIA and Mossad are known to use social networking sites to foment protests and to spread disinformation. These intelligence services are the likely conspirators that the Syrian and Libyan governments blame for the protests.

David Cameron’s gift of war and racism, to them and us johnpilger.com
[This article adds to the info given in Craig's item above.]

Info on just who the UN, the EC, the US and the UK are fighting the Libyan war for.
“Our Man in Tripoli”: US-NATO Sponsored Islamic Terrorists Integrate Libya’s Pro-Democracy Opposition Global Research

Pan-Canadian Day of Action to End the War in Afghanistan, No Military Intervention in Libya Global Research
Make the war an election issue!

UK air strike on Libyan oil field kills 3 Voice of Russia via Global Research
Three people were killed and several others were wounded on Wednesday in a British air strike on Sarir, one of Libya’s largest oil fields controlled by the Gaddafi government.
An oil pipeline connecting the deposit to a Mediterranean port was damaged.
The attack came after Libyan rebels complained earlier in the day that Colonel Gaddafi’s gunfire disrupted oil extraction at two rebel-controlled oil fields in the east of the country.
[NATO emphatically denies bombing the Sarir oil works fearing reprisals from big oil.]

“Legalizing” War With Secret Memos
In the good old days of Bybee and Yoo, before we let them get away with it, thereby guaranteeing worse things to come, Justice Department memos “legalizing” the crime of aggressive war were secret. Now they’re published quickly, and there’s a new one out on Libya (PDF). It begins:
“The President had the constitutional authority to direct the use of military force in Libya because he could reasonably determine that such use of force was in the national interest.   Prior congressional approval was not constitutionally required to use military force in the limited operations under consideration.  April 1, 2011.”

———————–
Nuclear Nightmare on the Great Lakes Counterpunch
[Highlighted by the disaster in Japan but ongoing from undamaged reactors around the world, low level contaminated waste water pumped into the sea has consequences. This article gives an example of such consequences.]

Libyagate: Intervention with boots in Misurata?

If the Rothschild family (that includes the Rockefellers) didn’t want war there would be no war.

Where will the EC send its forces to “protect aid”? Misurata is where the insurgents need weapons and reinforcements the most, their escape can only be to a relatively safe refuge that is Benghazi but the road passes through Brega that is held by the army and Ajdabiye (deserted by civilians) that is being shelled and by now bombed to protect the civilians.
China and perhaps Russia are the main stumbling block to the globalist gov’t project. (Oil for China is allowed to break the embargo to keep them neutral maybe?) Libya, Korea, Iran are just minnows. What is disturbing is that the globalists no longer care about rules and don’t care who knows. Cameron and Osborne like the middle management before them are employees, not representatives. They are there to do a job and if they fail, no problem the next bank clerk can pick up where they fell down. The UN is a doormat and an obedient servant to its paymasters.
Even the French are waking up.
The war in Libya was supposed to boost French prestige abroad and restore government popularity at home. Instead, as the bombing continues, opposition on both sides is growing.
Demonstrators in France say they see through France’s noble claims.
“France calls it humanitarian intervention. But it is really imperialism,” believes anti-war protestor Ambre.
In local elections, Nicolas Sarkozy got thumped, his UMP party winning just 19 per cent of the votes. The French President hoped for a ratings lift from the war. He got the opposite.
“Sarkozy has become the most unpopular president in the last 40 years,” informs Pierre Concialdi from Institute for Economic and Social Research.
Link
But the public aren’t listened to – unless they are being killed on the street…

Al J Saturday
8:43am Our correspondent Hoda Abdel-Hamid sent this report from Brega on how poorly trained opposition fighters are struggling to hold their ground, as Gaddafi’s forces continue to have the upper hand on the battlefield.
youtube.com/watch?v=zo9uDIVPcuY

11:05am The Red Cross says it’s extending it aid activities to western Libya. A ship carrying medical supplies has docked in the besieged town of Misurata and aid workers were on the way to Zawiyah.
[The coalition of bank clerks wouldn't use the Red Cross to smuggle in ammunition and arms - would they?]

11:58am Opposition fighters say they have pushed deeper towards the oil port of Brega. They say they took two prisoners after a clash  with soldiers near Brega’s university.
The eastern Libyan port has changed hands more than five times since the uprising against Gaddafi’s rule began in February.

12:37pm Gaddafi’s forces have shelled the western outskirts of the opposition-held town of Ajdabiya. Reuters correspondent Michael Georgy reported he heard blasts and machinegun fire for around 30 minutes from the western boundary of the town.

Al J is doing a Middle East Live blog here.
————————
CAIRO (Reuters) – An oil tanker carrying 80,000 tonnes of crude from rebel-held east Libya entered Egypt’s Suez Canal on Saturday heading towards the Red Sea, a canal official told Reuters. The Liberia-registered tanker Equator left the rebel-held east Libyan port of Marsa el Hariga on Tuesday. Oil traders say the cargo, which rebels need to finance their uprising against Muammar Gaddafi, is headed for China. Link

————————
To say the Arab League supports the intervention is false as only 9 of 22 Arabs supported the intervention:
The US / Saudi Deal on Libya and Bahrain

Libya, Syria and the Road to World War III – Paul Craig Roberts on The Corbett Report
youtube.com/watch?v=A0Y0DMM1MOY
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts joins The Corbett Report to discuss recent military intervention in Lybia, possible military intervention in Syria, and the long-term Western goal of encirclement of China in a future engagement that will lead to a (nuclear) third world war.

Moussa Koussa given the cold shoulder by rebels DT

Moussa Koussa ‘could leave Britain’ DT
Libyan defector who faces questions over the Lockerbie bombing could be allowed to leave the country, William Hague has said.
[Either that or a "shut the f up about Lockerbie" heart attack or perhaps a bullet from an unknown attacker?]

Ex-Congressman in Libya for talks with Gaddafi
Former Republican Congressman Curt Weldon has arrived in Tripoli to meet and speak with Gaddafi in order to find a way to resolve the ongoing crisis and ask the leader to step-down from office.
Weldon previously met with Gaddafi in 2004, and has described this visit as private, but with the permission of the White House. The visit is a sign America is less sure Gaddafi is willing to step down any time soon, or that NATO efforts will resolve the conflict quickly.
It is expected that the former congressman will ask Gaddafi to call for democratic elections under a temporary government lead by one of his sons. His goal is to allegedly negotiate a political settlement that meets the needs of both sides.
The White House has refused to comment on Weldon’s visit beyond acknowledging it is taking place.

————————-
Some comments to DT’s Libya Live: Friday
dandaniels
NATO is starting to lose the plot. This was warned of, that they risk alienating everyone, by targeting everyone. Fidel Castro was bang on the money when he said that NATO would invade Libya.
This is spiralling out of control now and is further proof that the Western elite are terrified that oil and other resources are being taken away from their control.
Happeh
“Libya: Nato refuses to apologise for rebel deaths during air strikes”
“Look. They’re just Muslims. Killing Muslims Is What We Do.
No we are not going to apologize”.
ameliemaryann
And where’s the outcry from the EU and the bleeding hearts about Italy refusing entry to thousands of refugees?
a_display_name
The British government armed the Taliban when the Ruskies were in Afghanistan and now they hate our guts. Incompetent, Bliar got us involved in the invasion of Iraq (with the blessing of the Tories) and now they rightly detest us. Cameron has interfered in Libya, has cost the British taxpayer £millions when the country is on it’s knees, is about to help arm the rebels and already there is internal conflict and criticism. There is a pattern here that our politicians seem unable to recognise. They say it is for the protection of the British public, however, with imbecilic politicians like these protecting us, who needs enemies.
pecan99
Theory – in jest – : NATO pilots probably believed the lie that rebels do not have heavy arms. So, when they saw 20 tanks in the field, NATO pilots attacked them not realising they were part of the ‘allies’.
Where are the new heavy arms coming from?
telegraph1
They just sprouted overnight?
NATO were well aware of the movement of these heavy weapons from the day they left the army bases in Benghazi. They watched them drive the 300km, watched them stop, watched them receive ammunition, watched them deploy around Brega and watched them point their guns/missiles at a civilian populated area.
Unfortunately nobody told the ITNC air-force/NATO planes and if you send a monkey to bomb tanks in Libya they do it.
carltoncm
Another angle about French involvement ‘between a libyan rock and a french hard place…and that France was involved in planning a coup in Libya. Link
This claim echoes the article below,  and how USA got involved for its Africom mission, details of which were in Tony’s posting earlier.
According to right-wing Italian journalist Franco Bechis, (published a couple of weeks ago in a leading Italian newspaper with photos of leaked french secret service papers) ‘plans to spark the Benghazi rebellion were initiated by French intelligence services in November 2010. These revelations which have the blessing of the Italian secret services should be interpreted as the sign of existing rivalries within the European capitalist camp.
Voltaire Network wishes to point out that Paris promptly paired up with London in its scheme to overthrow Colonel Khadafi (Franco-British expeditionary force). This plan was recalibrated in the context of the Arab revolutions and taken over by Washington, which imposed its own objectives (counter-revolution in the Arab world and landing AfriCom on the Black continent). Therefore, the current coalition arises from a diversity of ambitions, which accounts for its internal contradictions. The timeline of events which set the stage for the military intervention against Libya is presented below
‘. full article in link
telegraph1
“14:39 Gaddafi’s troops have fired salvoes of rockets which have forced the rebels in Ajdabiya to retreat to the city centre, apparently leaving the rest of the town undefended.”
Will NATO condemn the ITNC army for using civilians and civilian populated areas as human shields?
Will they attack the Libyan army forces which are either outside the “city centre” or moving towards the city but in the desert?
tony_opmoc
Its all turning predicted – even in our home port.
So what happens if the Islamic State of Bradford declares independence from the UK and aligns itself with Pakistan – and the minority Christian’s nick a couple of tanks from the Vickers Royal Ordnance Factory in Leeds?
Are we going to start shooting tomahawk missiles at our tanks?

—————
From an Al J commenter:
A letter from an Arab dictator’s son:
“My dear Dad, Berlin is beautiful, I attend lectures at the University but I am a bit embarrassed: I come to lectures in my gilded Ferrari, but all my fellow students and most of the professors come by train. Love. Your son Hassan.”
The reply from his father:
“Dear Hassan, do not blame our family any more! Twenty million US dollars have been just transferred to your account: BUY YOURSELF A TRAIN, TOO. Your Dad.”
:-)

Libyagate: Has NATO caused a stalemate? Partition predicted (10thApril)

[Also see http://my.telegraph.co.uk/clothcap]
Has NATO caused a stalemate? The insurgents appear to be “pressing back” (as a down under rag called it) to Benghazi.
As I recall the Libyan gov’t was reported to have said it could accept a partition, (true, link) probably between Brega and Ajdabiya if the army can’t take Ajdabiya. Will the bankster and oil cartels accept it? If it happens it will be a sad day for Libya and not what the original peaceful youth protest (that got hijacked by the insurgents) wanted. At the end of the day if it ends the bloodshed it is a solution to be pursued and quickly. Sarkozy should tell his “advisor” to advise the insurgents to do it.
There was an anti NATO protest of around 400 people in Benghazi following the bombing of some of their heavy armour and fighters. The majority of US, UK and now apparently French voters don’t want the bombing to continue, i.e. they do not support the intervention or the killings in a country that offerred no threat to any coalition country. Bombing both sides (unequally) instead of just the gov’t forces does not add to NATO’s popularity.

Prospects fade for military overthrow of Gaddafi (Reuters via Rocket news)
NATO leaders acknowledged the limits of their air power, which has caused rather than broken a military stalemate, and analysts predicted a long-drawn out conflict that could end in the partition of the North African oil producer.

Special Forces officers arrested on suspicion of leaking secrets DT
The arrests took place shortly before eight men, six reportedly SAS, were detained by rebels in the Port city of Benghazi.

Gaddafi troops launch heavy assault on Misurata ‘killing 30 rebel fighters’ DT
Troops loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi launched a heavy assault on the coastal city of Misurata on Saturday, killing at least 30 rebel fighters, according to a spokesman for the Libyan rebels.

Libya: cash, fuel and food running short in Benghazi DT
Their most acute problem is money – the governor of the Central Bank in Benghazi has warned all the cash in the city’s banks will run out in just over a week’s time. Their oilfields are being attacked by Col Gaddafi and infrastructure destroyed, and Benghazi is starting to look more and more dilapidated because essential services have more or less ground to a halt.
The streets are strewn with uncollected rubbish, many businesses are still shut, and there are power cuts for a couple of hours daily.
Only an emergency shipment of gas from Qatar averted a complete power shutdown, and many petrol stations cannot obtain fuel, in one of the world’s principal petroleum-exporting nations.
But the looming problems are potentially even more serious.
Ahmed Ben Moussa, head of the National Transitional Council’s humanitarian aid committee, said Benghazi was running out of essential foodstuffs including pasta, cheese, tuna, milk and children’s food.
Although the city’s port was still working and lorries can cross the Egyptian border unhindered, the value of the Libyan Dinar has slumped at the same time as insurance costs and shipping fees have rocketed, causing prices of staples such as pasta to double in the past fortnight.
At the same time families are short of cash to pay the bills – huge numbers of workers have received no salaries from companies based in Tripoli.
“I can see a humanitarian crisis coming and the minute people starve they will raise Gaddafi’s green flag,” Mr Ben Moussa said.

U.N. rights investigators to start probe in Libya (Reuters via Trust’s Alertnet)
United Nations investigators said on Friday they would start next week to probe alleged human rights violations committed by all sides in Libya’s conflict and share evidence with the U.N. war crimes tribunal.

US Senate discusses sending troops to Libya Globalresearch

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Etcetera
Petraeus: Al-Qaida not on rise in Afghanistan Oped
[I wonder why not.]

Iraq A powerful Shiite cleric threatens reactivate feared militia if US troops stay past 2011 AP via WP
BAGHDAD — A powerful anti-American Shiite cleric threatened Saturday to reactivate his feared militia if American soldiers remain in Iraq beyond this year, after a U.S. offer to keep troops on if they are needed.

The United States has finally confirmed the presence of secret prisons in Afghanistan, where detainees are interrogated for weeks without being charge. Press TV
Anger flares at Egypt army for lethal protest raid (AP)

Egyptians turn anger on army in Cairo protest (Reuters)
CAIRO – Demonstrators burned cars and barricaded themselves with barbed wire in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square, demanding the resignation of the military’s chief Saturday hours after troops violently dispersed a protest there, killing at least one and injuring 71.
The army, which has ruled Egypt since Mubarak was forced out of office on February 11, has become a growing target for a hardcore of protesters who say the generals are colluding with remnants of Mubarak’s network and thwarting calls for a deeper purge.
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Memorable piece by Booker
What happens when the great fantasies, like wind power or European Union, collide with reality?

Cannabis could be used to treat epilepsy DT
Cannabis plants are being grown at a secret facility in the south of England in the hope of producing a new treatment for epilepsy.

House votes to strip EPA of power to curb carbon emissions Yahoo
Defying a veto threat by the White House, the House of Representatives on Thursday approved a bill to permanently eliminate all authority of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions.
Despite Washington’s preoccupation with devising a budget resolution to avert a government shutdown, House Speaker John Boehner brought to a vote a largely symbolic bill aimed at curbing EPA regulatory authority on climate change.
That might seem strange given that the bill – approved 255 to 172, with votes falling mostly along party lines – is not expected to become law.
A key reason: No fewer than four measures to curb EPA authority, including one with the same wording as the House bill, failed in the Senate Wednesday, falling far short of the 60 votes needed to prevent a filibuster. Moreover, President Obama has said he would veto such a bill.
So why vote at all? For one thing, the House vote puts on record, in time for the 2012 election cycle, which legislators voted for and against curbing EPA authority on climate-change regulations, analysts say. For another, the bill allows Republicans and a handful of Democrats to demonstrate continued determination to rein in the EPA on climate change.

Bookmarked
The CIA is behind the Rebellion: The Euro-American Attack on Libya has nothing to do with “Protecting Civilians”

America’s Planned Nuclear Attack on Libya Part I Globalresearch
Dangerous Crossroads: Is America Considering the Use of Nuclear Weapons against Libya? Part II

The USAF B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber: An Instrument of Peace
“Protecting the Lives of Libyan Civilians”

Live report excerpts
Al J Late Saturday
5:43pm A military helicopter with the Libyan rebel flag reportedly seen flying towards the front line around Ajdabiya on Saturday despite a UN-imposed no-fly zone, the AFP new agency said. (Helicopter pic – click)

5:50pm NATO denies its warplanes conducted any air strikes on Ajdabiya, refuting claims by residents that a huge explosion may have been caused by an alliance attack. A NATO official told AFP: “We can confirm that there were no NATO strikes in the city of Ajdabiya. We continue to engage government forces throughout the country. We have verified that the alleged air strike in Ajdabiya city was not the result [of a NATO strike".

6:03pm A Libyan opposition group wants the US to grant immediate access to Gaddafi's frozen assets to pay for humanitarian needs in rebel-held areas.
Ali Aujali, who resigned as Libyan envoy to the US in February and now heads the National Transitional Council, wrote to US treasury secretary Timothy Geithner saying the humanitarian conditions were getting worse.
The US has frozen more than $34bn in assets as part of sanctions against Gaddafi and his top aides.

8:00pm A group of activists claiming to be part of the February 17 youth revolution organises a small protest at dawn in Tripoli. It declared its main objectives to be - to support efforts to oust Gaddafi, to lift morale in the silenced capital, to resist attempts to silence dissent and to show solidarity with pro-democracy fighters across Libya. [Go to the Al J link above to read the long note and see the weapons free protest.]

8:13pm A Libyan official says a NATO attack has hit the southern outskirts of Misurata, adding that it was unclear what the target was. Referring to a plume of black smoke rising from the south of the city, the unnamed official said: “This smoke is from a NATO air strike which hit today.”
A Reuters witness claimed to have seen a warplane sweeping across the sky. [Perhaps it was a Mirage]

8:41pm NATO warplanes intercept a MiG-23 fighter jet operated by a rebel pilot , forcing him to land after he violated the no-fly zone. An unnamed NATO official said the jet took off from an airfield near Benghazi and was intercepted within minutes.
“No aggressive action was displayed by the MiG-23 and the NATO fighters proceeded to force it to land back at the Benina airfield.”
[Contrasted with the aggressiveness of a gov't plane "shot down" while moving on the tarmac?]

10:43pm NATO commander of the Libya operation Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard says air strikes hit armored vehicles firing on civilians near both Misurata and Ajdabiya. He said NATO jets also struck ammunition stockpiles east of Tripoli being used in attacks on Misurata and other populated areas.
An unnamed NATO official told The Associated Press that warplanes destroyed 17 tanks and damaged nine more.

Al J Sunday
2:59am Here’s some of that exclusive Ajdabiya video Al Jazeera has received, with some discussion from our correspondent Hoda Abdel Hamid:
youtube.com/watch?v=y-VnpLMdEtU

7:30am Here’s a longer version of the footage Al Jazeera has obtained of government forces in the battlefield. It’s filmed in mid-March and shows young men being taken into custody and beaten up by Gaddafi forces roaming the streets of Ajdabiya.
youtube.com/watch?v=gPDwpSv8xW4

7:58am North Korea has ordered its citizens in Libya not to return home in an apparent bid to block news of civil uprisings in the Arab World from reaching the isolated state, according to Yonhap news agency.
The report says Pyongyang sent a message to its embassy in Libya telling about 200 North Korean workers not to return.

9:50am Gaddafi’s forces have clashed with opposition fighters in Ajdabiya, according to rebels quoted by Reuters.
A witness at Ajdabiya’s eastern gate heard shooting and artillery fire and saw plumes of black smoke, suggesting Gaddafi’s forces had pushed towards the centre of the town.
“There is resistance inside the city. Gaddafi forces are fighting with rebels. They have a presence inside.”

12:41am African Union mediators have left Mauritania for Libya to attempt to negotiate a ceasefire.
[Turkey, South Africa, the AU all want to negotiate a peaceful settlement. It would be interesting to see who gets what out of it. Gaddafi has made large large contributions to the AU for example.]

13:09pm Al Jazeera’s Sue Turton, reporting from just north of Ajdabiya, says fighting is going on, mainly at the western side of the city.
“We’re seeing plumes of smoke and constant shelling … There are pockets of Gaddafi’s forces in the city.”
She said she’d been told that there were patients in a hospital who appeared to have been shot by sniper fire.
She described the city as something of a “ghost town” as not many civilians are left in the city. Many have fled eastwards to the opposition stronghold of Benghazi.
 

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Update

The Scottish police are being very coy about what Koussa said to them. telegraph.co.uk/…..-Scottish-police-interview-Moussa-Koussa-over-Lockerbie-bombing.html
Those affected want to see him: Lockerbie victims’ families split over call for full probe amid calls to quiz Koussa Herald
[...] Mr Swire has written to other Lockerbie families, attacking their campaign as “unwise”, based on “profoundly unsecure foundations” which “may lead to unnecessary further grief for them, and perhaps all of us Lockerbie relatives”.
He warned the war in Libya would provide “fog not clarity” and that allegations from rebels in Benghazi or Koussa would be difficult to assess “laced as they will be with strong but partially-hidden motivations”.
He writes: “However strong our need to find the truth about why our loved ones died, I believe we have an absolute obligation to find out what that truth really is, lest from our activities further injustice and revenge should be unleashed. We must not fall into that trap: surely the victims would not be proud of us if we did. Failure to show restraint now may make coping even harder in the years ahead.”
Meanwhile, leading criminal QC Paul McBride has pointed out that it was still possible for Scotland to grant Koussa immunity from prosecution in return for evidence on the Lockerbie bombing – although no such offer has been made.

There probably won’t be any further pics of the helicopter:
In Brega region, in the east of the country, two rebel helicopters violating the no-fly zone were shot down by Gaddafi forces, according to a government minister.
That was from DT’s article “Libya: Gaddafi troops launch heavy assault on Misurata ‘killing 30 rebel fighters‘ ” that also mentioned A second rebel spokesman, Saadoun, disputed the figure and said the day’s rebel death toll was eight confirmed and 10 unconfirmed.

Al J Live
4:14pm NATO airstrikes outside Ajdabiya destroyed 25 tanks earlier today, the alliance reports.
A Reuters correspondent also said he had seen at least 15 charred bodies lying next to bombed armoured vehicles in the aftermath of the strikes.

4:18pm At least 12 anti-Gaddafi fighters were killed in fighting for Ajdabiya over the course of the weekend, says Reuters.
Doctors in the city’s main hospital told Al Jazeera’s Sue Turton that 11 were killed yesterday.

4:20pm Al Jazeera’s Sue Turton tells us of seeing a Gaddafi soldier with a severe neck wound in Ajdabiya’s hospital.
“Doctors here were told that this soldier was surrounded in a school here. Fighters shouted at him to surrender and he shot himself. He is currently on life support here. He has a very vicious wound to his throat and doctors don’t think he is going to pull through.”

4:46pm Canadian Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard, who commands NATO’s Libya operations, says:
“The situation in Ajdabiyah, and Misrata in particular, is desperate for those Libyans who are being brutally shelled by the Gaddafi regime.”
[Ajdabiya - earlier described as like a ghost town with hardly any civilians...]

4:58pm More from General Bouchard: “We are hitting the regime logistics facilities as well as their heavy weapons because we know Gaddafi is finding it hard to sustain his attacks on civilians.”
“One recent strike cratered the road leading to Ajdabiya, west of Brega, where his fuel and ammunition is being moved forward on large trucks. Further west we hit two more storage bunkers where the ammunition is coming from.”
[I suspect Bouchard identifies combatants and civilians as identical.]

5:01pm This may not be what the anti-Gaddafi fighters had in mind – but the UN resolution was pretty clear… A NATO statement reads: “As an example of NATO impartiality, a fighter aircraft (MiG 23) flown by TNC forces was intercepted and forced to land within minutes of taking off from the Benina Airfield near Bengazi yesterday.  Under the UN mandated No-Fly-Zone no unauthorized aircraft is permitted to fly in Libyan airspace.”
[The insurgents take the fight into towns and cities then the army is bombed for attacking them. None of the insurgents'  (unguided) rocket launchers that were used to assault Brega and elsewhere have been targetted, none of their heavy armour that travelled from Benghazi was targetted except by accident. NATO is impartial like a Man Utd supporter at a derby match.]