World News Brief, Thursday September 1

Rebels in Tripoli divided along geographic lines with no unifying leader; Libyan rebels rejected UN's offer of peacekeeping troops to help with transition; Australia's High Court blocked Julia Gillard's plan to send 800 asylum seekers to Malaysia; latest WikiLeaks release includes names of Australians linked to Yemeni terror groups; Hurricane Irene damage estimated at $7 billion; economic growth in South Africa slows; and more

Top of the Agenda: Divisions Among Libyan Rebels

A week after Libyan rebels moved into Tripoli, the capital is loosely divided (NYT) among different groups of rebel fighters with links to various geographic areas of Libya. There is no unifying military leader in the city and the top civilian leaders of the rebels' National Transitional Council (NTC) are not yet on the scene, contributing to a growing power vacuum.

There is also a dispute within the NTC about who has temporary authority over the Libyan Investment Authority (FT), the oil-rich country's $65 billion sovereign wealth fund.

Despite growing divisions, rebel leaders rejected a United Nations offer (BBC) for an international peacekeeping force to help the NTC with the upcoming political transition.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for embattled leader Muammar al-Qaddafi rejected the NTC's ultimatum (Reuters) that Qaddafi loyalists in holdout cities surrender by Saturday or face military action. The announcement came as the NTC's military leader (al-Jazeera) in Tripoli, Abdelhakim Belhaj, claimed that Qaddafi's son, Saadi, had called him to surrender.


This TIME photo essay documents the challenges the Libyan rebels have faced in their battle for Tripoli.

As rebels try to strengthen their hold on Tripoli, the odds of a peaceful, democratic transfer of power in Libya are long and the need for ongoing international intervention is very likely, says CFR's Robert Danin.

In this Financial Times editorial, CFR President Richard N. Haass says international assistance, and probably an international force, is likely to be needed for some time to restore and maintain order in Libya.



Australia's High Court Blocks Refugee Swap

Australia's High Court blocked Prime Minister Julia Gillard's plan to send eight hundred asylum seekers to Malaysia (SydneyMorningHerald) in exchange for four thousand of its refugees over four years.

AUSTRALIA: The Australian attorney general called WikiLeaks' release of a new batch of over one hundred and thirty-thousand confidential U.S. diplomatic cables "incredibly irresponsible" (Australian) for failing to redact the names of Australians linked to Yemeni terror groups.



Hurricane Irene does $7 billion damage in Eastern US

Economic growth in South Africa slows, unemployment stays at 25 per cent


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