Recently in International News Category

Yemeni people Protest President's Immunity Deal

Thousands of Yemeni people took to the streets Sunday to protest the President Ali Abdullah Saleh's agreement to step down from power in exchange for immunity of those who served in his regime, CNN reported.

Saleh, who has been in power since 1978, has agreed to the deal but not yet signed anything that concretes it. According to the Guardian, the protestors believe the deal does not justify the thousands of people who have been demonstrating over the past three months.

There is also fear that although Saleh has agreed to the deal, he will not actually leave office. In an interview with BBC Arabic, Saleh said he would not accept being overthrown by a coup. "To whom shall I hand over power?" he said. "Those who are trying to make a coup? No. We will do it through ballot boxes and referendums. We'll invite international observers to monitor - but a coup is not acceptable."

Thousands Protest Yemeni Leader's Remarks on Women

Thousands of people took to the streets on Sunday to protest the Yemeni President Ali Abduhllah Saleh's remarks that women should not demonstrate or take part in rallies, the Guardian reported.

Security forces opened fire on the anti-government protesters, who were numbered in more than 100,000, shooting at least 10 and using tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd, the Star Tribune said.

More than 120 people have been killed in Yemen since a crackdown by security forces, and the country has been harrowed by protests demanding the president's ouster for the past two months. Last week the six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council advised Saleh, who has been in rule for 32 years, to hand over his powers to his deputy in order to quell the unrest.

NATO admits mistake in airstrikes

NATO expressed regret in the accidental bombing of Libyan rebels by airstrikes Friday, a day after reports surfaced forces had killed four people, the Washington Post said.

The admittance came after some initial confusion between rebel forces on the ground and the NATO air forces. Apparently the rebels had released tanks on the ground and not informed NATO, causing the tanks to become targets.

Adm. Russell Harding, the British deputy commander of the air campaign, said he would not apologize because "The situation on the ground, as I said, was extremely fluid and remains extremely fluid, and up until yesterday we had no information" according to the New York Times.

French take Control of Ivory Coast Airport

French forces have taken control of the Ivory Coast's primary airport in Abidjan Sunday according to the Telegraph , sending in an additional 300 peacekeeping forces to the already 1,200 stationed there.

Since November forces loyal to the newly elected president, Alassane Ouattara, and forces loyal to the incumbent, Laurent Gbagbo, have been clashing as Gbagbo has refused to leave office. Thousands are feared to have been killed in the fighting.

According to the New York Times, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called for Gbagbo's immediate resignation. "Gbagbo is pushing Côte d'Ivoire into lawlessness," she said. "He must leave now so the conflict may end."

Ouattara, the newly elected president who was endorsed by the African Union, has been criticized internationally for reports that some of his troops have been killing civilians.

At least 1 million flee the Ivory Coast

At least 1 million people have fled the Ivory Coast in an effort to escape a violent standoff, reported. Most have been fleeing the capital city of Abidjan, fueled by fear of an all-out war, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said.

The violence erupted as a result of Laurent Gbagbo's efforts to stay in office, despite losing the presidential elections last November. Gbagbo's security forces have been attacking neighborhoods loyal to the newly elected president, Alassane Ouattara.

France and Nigeria are asking for additional sanctions against Gbagbo, and there is already a heavy presence of peacekeeping forces in Abidjan.

Libyan Rebels Retreat From Key Strategic Town

Rebel fighters retreated from the key port town of Ras Lanuf after being bombarded by forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, Al-Jazeera English reported.

Government forces had bombarded the rebel fighters with mortar and rocket fire, forcing them eastward in what the New York Times called "a change in momentum." The rebel's retreat from Ras Lanuf, the site of a key oil installation, demonstrates the reality of pinning protesters-turned-rebel-fighters against fully-armed government forces.

After the French recognition of the opposition government, leaders of the rebel forces seem to be asking for help from other countries. "We expected it from the government that taught the world the notion of revolution," We're waiting for the Americans to follow."

A few lawmakers in the U.S. and other countries have called for a no-fly zone over Libya, which would require military enforcement, and the Obama administration has kept their options open.

U.S. Senators Urge Libya No-Flight Zone

Three U.S. senators have urged a no-fly zone over Libya, the New York Times said, despite a resistant attitude from the Obama administration and other officials.

Since the overthrow of governments in Egypt and Tunisia, the most violent and recent uprisings have been in Libya, where protesters are gaining more military support and control. If the U.S. decided to create a no-fly zone, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi wouldn't be able to attack rebel forces that have been developing.

Despite calls from several prominent bipartisan U.S. senators like John Kerry, John McCain, and Mitch McConnell, Obama has kept his options open, according to the Star Tribune.

"Let's just call a spade a spade," Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates said last week. "A no-fly zone begins with an attack on Libya to destroy the air defenses. That's the way you do a no-fly zone. And then you can fly planes around the country and not worry about our guys being shot down. But that's the way it starts."

Bahrain's Military Cracks Down On Protestors

Bahrain military have taken over several key areas in the capital, according to the New York Times.

Empowered by the Egyptian uprising, demonstrations began several days ago protesting the government, which is an absolute monarchy. Reports surfaced yesterday that the military had stormed a peaceful protest in Pearl Square, leaving at least four people dead, the Washington Post said.

The police threw tear gas and shot rubber bullets and pellets, and protesters told news reporters that they had no warning and were "attacked" by the police.

The U.S. holds a tricky position in regards to Bahrain because of good relations with the king, Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, who has been a key ally in pushing back the influence of Iran. Al-Khalifa is a Sunni in the small nation which is 70 percent Shiite.

Mubarak Tells Egypt He Won't Step Down

After another day of protests and rumors that the President would resign by nightfall, Mubarak announced on Egyptian national television that although he would allocate many powers to the Vice President, but not step down.

Throughout the day several sources told news networks like NBC Nightly News that Mubarak was planning on resigning by nightfall, but networks and protestors were shocked when he said he would stay in office until September.

Analysts were concerned that the country would erupt into chaos or violence, according to National Public Radio. As Mubarak made the announcement, many protestors in Cairo began chanting "Get out! Get out!" and holding their shoes in the air, the ultimate sign of disrespect in the arab world.

Protestors Clash With Mubarak Supporters In Cairo

Protests in Cairo became increasingly violent Wednesday while anti-government protestors clashed with pro-Mubarak supporters. The eruptions came were a result of Mubarak's announcement on national television that he wouldn't step down immediately but finish the last seven months of his term, the Huffington Post said.

Thousands of Mubarak supporters rhode into Tahrir Square on camels and horses, breaking through human chains made by protestors and armed with clubs, stones, knives and rocks, according to the New York Times. Many men were carried away bleeding.

There were many indications that the supporters were organized professionals. Protestors said that many of the supporters carried Police identification. Some offered the protestors 50 Egyptian pounds, or the equivalent of $8.50, to carry signs supporting Mubarak.

"Mubarak's primary responsibility is to ensure an orderly and peaceful transfer of power," an Egyptian government official said, "we can't do that if we have a vacuum of power." The official also said that the Egyptian government had "a serious issue with how the White House is spinning this," the New York Times reported.

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