World News Brief, Friday March 4

Libyan rebels regain oil port of Brega, then face airstrikes (+ analysis); 90,000 refugees pour into Tunisia; Egypt military appoints PM with opposition support; Phillipines air force sees off Chinese boats; Battles flare in South Sudan; and more

Top of the Agenda: Airstrikes Continue Over Libyan Towns

Libyan airstrikes (WSJ) hit the rebel-held oil port of Marsa el-Brega, as pro-regime forces and rebels battled for control over the strategic oil installation. In their first major counteroffensive against pro-Qaddafi forces, rebel soldiers were able to regain control of the city of Brega after a ferocious battle on Wednesday. The Libyan opposition asked the United States and its allies to impose a no-fly zone (FT) and bomb forces supporting the regime, but there appears to be international opposition to such a proposal.

The International Criminal Court at The Hague is scheduled to announce a summary of alleged war crimes (CNN) since the anti-government protests started last month. According to news reports, Amr Moussa, the head of the Arab League, said a peace proposal by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (NYT) was "under consideration" but gave no specific details. The UN estimates 80,000 to 90,000 refugees have fled to neighboring Tunisia since the uprising began and thousands more are still waiting to leave. Britain, France, Spain, and other countries are conducting emergency airlifts (BBC) to evacuate those gathered at the border.


In this op-ed for the New York Times, CFR's Steven Simon ponders whether the United States should act militarily against the Qaddafi regime.

Violence by Qaddafi's government has resulted in at least three hundred civilian deaths and the attempted flight of Libyans and migrant workers, says Human Rights Watch's Tom Malinowski. The US and NATO should consider preparing military options against the regime and ensure delivery of relief aid, he says.

In this article for The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Lt. Col. Jason Hanover and Jeffrey White detail the risks and the chances for success inherent in three main options for outside military intervention in Libya.


PACIFIC RIM: Amid Rallies, China Targets Journalists

A Chinese newspaper accused foreign journalists covering the recent anti-government rallies of fabricating news. The remarks come a day after police warned journalists on that they could lose permission to work in China unless they obey new restrictions on covering protests (AFP).

Phillipines: The military dispatched two warplanes to the South China Sea region after a local ship searching for oil claimed it was pestered by two Chinese patrol boats (CP). The Chinese vessels left later without an altercation.



- Egypt Military Appoints New PM
- Militia Clashes with South Sudan Army
- Obama Set to Meet Calderon


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