World News Brief, Friday March 11

NATO meets to discuss Libya no-fly zone as counterattacks intensify (+ multimedia); Yemen President promises "parliamentary system", but protesters remain defiant; Indonesian terror trial resumes; Dalai Lama to hand on political role; Wisconsin on verge of finally passing anti-union law

Top of the Agenda: NATO to Meet on Libya Crisis

NATO defense ministers are scheduled to discuss the international community's response to the ongoing political violence in Libya (CNN). Analysts expect negotiations over a potential no-fly zone to be a top priority. The talks come as anti-government fighters and forces loyal to Muammar al-Qaddafi are locked in fierce battles in several cities including Ras Lanuf, Brega, Bin Jawad, and Az Zawiyah. Reports indicate that pro-regime forces have intensified their counterattacks (al-Jazeera) over the last few days. US officials claim a significant factor in the regime's power is the established brigades of elite soldiers known as a "regime protection force" (WSJ)--designed to protect against a coup by the conscript forces of the regular army.

The French government officially recognized the Libyan National Council (Reuters), an opposition body fighting to overthrow the Qaddafi regime, as the legitimate representative of Libya's people. It is the first country to make such a move. The unrest in North Africa has also raised fears in Europe of new waves of illegal immigration (NYT).


In this article for CNN, CFR's James M. Lindsay discusses "Seven Ugly Options for the US in Libya."

This report from the National Security Network discusses the challenges to US interests in the Arab region, and the prospect of deeper changes that can create more legitimate governments and advance American security interests in the long term.

This CFR Analysis Brief looks at how the widening Mideast unrest--which could soon involve Saudi Arabia--continues to shake oil markets and has policymakers scrambling to quell markets and shield the global economic recovery.


This CFR Report says the United States must improve its responsiveness to mass atrocities and, absent action by the UN, make clear its willingness to act unilaterally.


This CFR interactive timeline tracks the relationship between oil dependency and US foreign policy.

In this CFR video, Senior Fellow Michael Levi says the main cause of volatility in oil markets hasn't been the physical impact on oil production. So long as oil prices do not remain high over time, he doesn't expect economic growth to be impacted.

Explore the tumultuous life and reign of Qaddafi in this interactive timeline from the New York Times.

In this podcast from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Jessica Tuchman Mathews discusses the politics associated with military intervention in Libya.


PACIFIC RIM: Bashir Trial to Proceed

An Indonesian judge declared that prosecutors can move on with their case against radical Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir (CNN) who has been charged with seven counts of terrorism. This will be Bashir's third trial, following his prosecution in the 2002 bombings in Bali and the 2003 hotel attack in Jakarta.

Japan: The US State Department fired its Japanese policy chief (Guardian), Kevin Maher, after he characterized people in Okinawa as "lazy" and manipulative in a speech to American students in December.

On her CFR blog Asia Unbound, Sheila A. Smith writes that the abrupt resignation of Japan's Foreign Minister, Seiji Maehara, has left the Kan cabinet reeling. Opposition party leaders' calls for Kan's resignation or for a general election suggest that Japan's ruling party may be fatally wounded.



- Yemen Edges to Parliamentary Democracy
- Dalai Lama to Pass on Power
- Wisconsin Senate Advances Anti-Union Bill


This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on