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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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An unpublished U.S. diplomatic cable obtained by WikiLeaks tells the previously undisclosed story of how an American corporate powerhouse — the $35-billion Coca-Cola Co. —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…

Mubarak ally quits as Egyptian PM

CAIRO (AFP) – Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq resigned unexpectedly Thursday, sparking celebrations from protesters who demand a purge of the remnants of ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s regime. The country’s military rulers said he would be replaced by Essam Sharaf, a former transport minister who joined the rallies in Cairo’s…

WikiLeaks’ Assange appeals extradition

LONDON (AFP) – Lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange have lodged an appeal against a British court ruling that he should be extradited to Sweden over rape accusations, the court said Thursday. A court official confirmed that it had received the request for an appeal, but no date has yet…

Libya jets hit rebel town, crimes probed

BREGA, Libya (AFP) – Government jets pounded the rebel-held town of Brega on Thursday sparking fears of a fresh onslaught by loyalist soldiers as the warcrimes court announced a crimes against humanity probe in Libya. With thousands fleeing a violent crackdown on an anti-regime uprising that began on February 15,…

Iran contacting Arab opposition movements: Clinton

WASHINGTON – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that Iran is directly or indirectly communicating with opposition groups in Egypt, Bahrain and Yemen in a bid to shape events there. It was the first time that Clinton detailed alleged efforts by Iran to meddle in the three-month wave…

NATO allies debate Libya military option

BRUSSELS — As US warships entered the Mediterranean Wednesday, NATO allies were divided on whether to use military might in Libya while Moamer Kadhafi warned that any Western foray would leave thousands dead. The United States and Britain have raised the possibility of creating a no-fly zone to prevent Kadhafi…

Gaddafi warns of bloodbath if West intervenes

TRIPOLI – Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi warned on Wednesday “thousands” would die if the West intervened to support the uprising against him, as rebels drove back an attack by his forces on an eastern town. The chilling warning came as western powers dampened expectations of any early imposition of a…

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