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Qadafi may have fled to Venezuela (unconfirmed but credible British sources)


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Wow. Will have to watch for confirmation on that. Confirmed reports show his 40 year hold on Libya is coming apart fast - diplomats abroad and the justice minister have resigned, some air force pilots are defecting. Benghazi, the second largest city, appears to be in control of the opposition. The main government hall in Tripoli is on fire.

The speed of events across the Middle East and North Africa has been amazing to watch.

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MSNBC reports the defection of two Libyan pilots, along with their MIG's, to Malta rather than obey orders and bomb their own countrymen protesting in the street.

I heard the same report on WTOP's national news update at the top of the hour - and that other pilots decided to obey the order. Unbelievable.

---------- Post added February-21st-2011 at 04:15 PM ----------

Resident: Libyan Warplanes Bombing Tripoli

(Reuters) - Libyan warplanes were bombing indiscriminately across Tripoli on Monday, a resident of the Libyan capital told al Jazeera television in a live broadcast.

"What we are witnessing today is unimaginable. Warplanes and helicopters are indiscriminately bombing one area after another. There are many, many dead," Adel Mohamed Saleh said. Saleh, who called himself a political activist, said the bombings had initially targeted a funeral procession.


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A lot of news today. I'll post some of the more interesting stuff I've noticed.


8:45pm: Ibrahim Dabbashim Libya's Deputy Ambassador to the UN, tells Al Jazeera if Gaddafi does not get out, "the people will kick him out".

This is the end of the game. The whole of the regime is crumbling. It will not be long before it is over.

8:49pm: Online reports suggest Shukri Ghanem, Libya's oil minister and former prime minister, is apparently missing and has fled.
9:29pm: Ali Richi, the Libyan minister for immigration is in Boston. He denies he has resigned yet, but is calling for all Libyan ambassadors to continue their work independently of he regime.
9:46pm: Confirmed - Ali al-Essawi, ambassador to India, has resigned. He has accused the government of deploying foreign mercenaries against Libyan citizens.
10:25pm: More on the resignation of the two diplomats from the embassy in Washington DC. Counsels Saleh Ali Al Majbari and Jumaa Faris denounced Gaddafi, saying he "bears responsibility for genocide against the Libyan people in which he has used mercenaries".

They said they had nothing to do with the events and they no longer represent Gaddafi’s regime - but that they represent the Libyan people. The pair also called on Barack Obama to "work urgently with the international community to press for an immediate cessation of the massacres of the Libyan people", and they are asking the United Nations to impose a no-fly zone imposed on Libya to prevent the arrival of mercenaries to Libya.

10:40pm: Yusuf Al Qardawi, a leading Sunni cleric, has just issued a fatwa on Al Jazeera Arabic, encouraging the assassination of Gaddafi.
10:49pm: Yet more airstrikes are targeting civilians, right now, in the city of Az-Zawiya- west of Tripoli,
10:52pm: Two military planes reportedly land at Benghazi airfield - after their pilots refused to attack the city, our colleagues at Al Jazeera Arabic tell us.
10:59pm: Libyan city of Misratah, east of Tripoli, is latest to be attacked by airstrikes. Heavy artillery fire devastates buildings as tanks roll into the city, witnesses tell Al Jazeera
1:05pm: The Egyptian army's Facebook page says the Egypt-Libya border is now open, Reuters reports.
11:18pm: Ojli calls for international action "to stop the killings".

11:16pm: Ali Ojli, Libya's ambassador to the US, is on air live now on Al Jazeera English

11:38pm: Gaddafi's top aide tells Al Jazeera: To keep his seat and his power, Gaddafi will "stop at nothing".

There's also news that a third tribe has abandoned Gaddafi.

And Al Arabiya is reporting that Gaddafi will speak soon.

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Whatever happened to "fighting to the last bullet"???

What a massive cluster**** that region has quickly become...even moreso than before. I feel terribly for the people living under these repressive regimes. We really are just so lucky here in America; it's unfortunate so many people don't recognize how good we have it.

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12:09am: Libyan deputy foreign minister denies any massacres have occurred in Benghazi or anywhere else in the country. He then blames Al Jazeera for "inciting strife".

What do you gain from your coverage? More employees?

It doesn't seem like the US or the UN or anyone except maybe the Arab League is planning on doing anything to help people there.

(despite pleas of help from Libyans and even Libyan diplomats)

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Okay i've stopped watching movies and syfy and universe this or ufo's over bigfoot.

Regular T.V. hasn't been this crazy since OJ.

The opposite of what everyone thought would happen in the middle east (Africa) is happening in front of our eyes. This is like the Berlin Wall coming down but for multiple countries.

i don't care if they get democracy or 'whatever'. Once they win once, the have recent history to show the next guy to be better.

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Assuming that the reports that the Libyan AF is bombing their own capital, do we intervene?

Very mixed feelings about if we should or not. On the one hand, we do not ever want to accept slaughter, but on the other hand, Obama's non-interaction policy seemed to be right in Egypt. Had we come in it might have been the Big bad Satan versus the Egyptian gov't and might have cut off some of the pro-democratic support.

It's a tough call, but that's why President's age in dog years. Seriously, must Presidents look like they've aged 28 years after their first term.

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I would have guessed Scotland/England given all the trade they've recently conducted. :D

Thought that but that would be a bad PR move after he is kicked out

---------- Post added February-21st-2011 at 07:05 PM ----------

MSNBC reports the defection of two Libyan pilots, along with their MIG's, to Malta rather than obey orders and bomb their own countrymen protesting in the street.

Yeah saw it on FNC. Malta was a nice vacation spot when I was stationed in Sicily.

---------- Post added February-21st-2011 at 07:06 PM ----------

The dominoes are falling as predicted by that conspiracy theory guy when he was on CNN

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I lived in Tripoli Libya as a young boy and I always recall my father telling me how much of a hero Qadafi was to Arabs because he stood up to the Texas oil barons and dictated the price of oil to them (largely unheard of at the time & because they were used to it being the other way round). He has at best a checkered history with the United States but you know its not in his nature to just step down. You have to feel terribly for the common man there.

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Here's another source because many here..........................Fox. ;)

Across the Middle East and North Africa, CNN's reporters and iReporters are covering protests, many of them inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt that toppled those countries' longtime rulers. Check out our story explaining the roots of the unrest in each country. Have a story to tell from the scene? Click here to send an iReport.

Developments on unrest in the Middle East and North Africa:

LIBYA, 6:49 p.m. ET, 1:49 a.m. local: Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi said Tuesday morning on state-run television that he is not in Venezuela as rumored, but in Tripoli.

"I'm not in France or Venezuela. ... I'm still here," he said, according to an English translation.

Earlier today, British Foreign Secretary William Hague told Reuters that Libyan leader Gadhafi may have been on his way to Venezuela.


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Ben Wedeman of CNN is the first outside journalist to enter the country, apparently from Eygpt.

He's now reporting from Eastern Libya.

(he also did a lot of live coverage from Egypt from Tahrir square during the protests)


Eastern Libya appears to be under opposition control

Groups of men in civilian clothing, armed with weapons ranging from shotguns to machine guns, guarded streets in eastern Libya on Monday as opposition leaders appeared to be in firm control of much of the region.

Opposition groups formed "popular committees" to maintain some sort of order after pushing out government forces in a spreading revolt against longtime strongman Moammar Gadhafi, who has led the north African country since 1969.

They're talking to him on CNN NOW.

From Al Jazeera:


1:20am: Al Jazeera Arabic reports that adverts appear in Guinea and Nigeria offering would-be mercenaries up to US $2000 dollars per day
2:00am: A group of Libyan army officers have reportedly issued a statement urging fellow soldiers to “join the people” and help remove Gaddafi from power
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Wedeman's latest blog from eastern Libya:

When we finally reached our destination - which I can't disclose - we drove up to a nondescript villa and were greeted by a dozen men who could barely contain their excitement.

After endless handshakes, embraces and greetings, a man in his 50s wearing a dark overcoat and red sweater pushed through the crowd.

"You must show the world what has happened here. We will show you everything, everything!" I'll call him Ahmed, and he described himself as one of the leaders of "the resistance." He had studied briefly in the United States, but his academic career was cut short when he was imprisoned for three years for leading student protests against Gadhafi in the 1970s.

From Al Jazeera:


another ambassador resigns

6:31am More than 200 very vocal protesters are demonstrating at the Libyan embassy in Kuala Lumpur. The Libyan Ambassador says he has realigned himself with the people of Libya and is supporting the demonstrators.
6:37am Khalid Alkhalifa, the foreign minister of Bahrain, uses Twitter to express his views on the violence in Libya. Bahraini security forces last week killed pro-reform protesters who were demonstrating in the island nation's capital.
What is happening in #Libya is senseless , ruthless brutality against innocent people .. God help them
8:30 am As we discuss the kind of ammunition being used against Libyan protesters, here's a video allegedly of a sniper operating in Tripoli last night:


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