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Libyan rebels in Zawiyah repel attacks by pro-Gaddafi forces

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Rebels holding the Libyan city of Zawiyah said they repelled two attacks on Saturday by forces loyal to leader Muammar Gaddafi using tanks and artillery. In a second day of fierce fighting for control of the coastal town, 50 km (30 miles) west of Tripoli, government forces…

Double-digit rise for China’s military spending

BEIJING (AFP) – China announced a renewed double-digit hike in military spending on Friday after funding slowed last year, but insisted the nearly $92 billion outlay posed no external threat despite concerns abroad. The defence budget will rise 12.7 percent in 2011 to 601.1 billion yuan ($91.7 billion), said Li…

Libyan town bombed as rebels push west

UQAYLA, Libya (AFP) – Libyan forces bombed the rebel town of Ajdabiya on Friday as anti-regime fighters pushed the front line westwards and the UN refugee agency voiced concern for the safety of those fleeing the violence. US President Barack Obama said all options were on the table for driving…

Beijing to trial mobile tracking system: report

BEIJING – A system designed to track the location of millions of mobile phone users is to be tested in Beijing, sparking concerns over privacy, state media reported Thursday. The information platform will enable authorities to check on the location of China Mobile’s more than 17 million users in the…

Obama steps up pressure as Libya jets strike

BREGA, Libya – Libyan jets struck rebel positions Thursday as US President Barack Obama stepped up demands that Moamer Kadhafi cede power and his Russian counterpart warned of an impending civil war. Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez joined the diplomatic offensive, proposing an international mediation mission to pull the North African…

Germany probes ‘terror’ attack at airport

BERLIN – German authorities said Thursday they suspected a Kosovan man arrested over the fatal shooting of two US airmen was an Islamic extremist, but played down fears he was part of a cell. “In view of the circumstances, there is a suspicion that this was an act with Islamist…

Hundreds airlifted from Tunisia in mass evacuation

DJERBA, Tunisia – A major European operation was under way Thursday to airlift out of Tunisia thousands of people who fled the bloodshed in Libya as Washington also offered planes to repatriate Egyptian refugees. More French and British flights were planned Thursday with extra aircraft due, including from Spain, and…

Gaddafi has lost legitimacy, must leave: Obama

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi has lost legitimacy and must leave office, US President Barack Obama said Thursday. “The United States and the entire world continues to be outraged by the appalling violence against the Libyan people,” Obama told a press conference at the White House. “Going forward,…

WikiLeaks: How the Cola war was won in Libya

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An unpublished U.S. diplomatic cable obtained by WikiLeaks tells the previously undisclosed story of how an American corporate powerhouse — the $35-billion Coca-Cola Co. — got caught up in a fierce fraternal dispute between two of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s sons. The contretemps among the freres Gaddafi…

‘Six women shot dead’ in I. Coast demo

ABIDJAN (AFP) – Security forces loyal to Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo shot dead at least six women at a demonstration Thursday in support of his rival for the presidency, witnesses said. The shooting happened as several hundred women had gathered in the Abobo neighbourhood of Abidjan, a stronghold of…

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