World News Brief, Wednesday August 24

Qaddafi's son claims loyalist troops have broken the backbone of rebel surge in Tripoli; Oman, Bahrain and Egypt have recognised the rebels as official governing authority of Libya; Japan's prime minister to quit; US expresses concern over detention of dozens of Vietnamese protesters; Standard and Poor's president to resign; UN Human Rights Council will investigate alleged human rights abuses in Syria; Strauss-Kahn cleared; and more

Top of the Agenda: Fighting Rages in Tripoli

Libyan rebels clashed with government troops loyal to Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi in Tripoli during a second day of fighting. Qaddafi loyalists fired heavy mortar (al-Jazeera) and shells into the city center, calling into question rebel claims that most of Tripoli had fallen.

Qaddafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound and the surrounding military barracks emerged as a stronghold (WSJ) for government loyalists, despite having been damaged by NATO airstrikes.

Qaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam, appeared at a Tripoli hotel Tuesday morning, rebuffing reports that he had been captured by opposition forces; his appearance raised questions about the credibility of rebel reports. He said loyalist troops had "broken the backbone" (BBC) of the rebels.

Despite the uncertainty in Tripoli, Oman and Bahrain joined Egypt in recognizing the rebel National Transitional Council (NYT) as the official governing authority of Libya. Qaddafi, though, remains at large.



Japan's PM to Quit

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan (al-Jazeera) is set to resign by the end of August amid ongoing criticism over his handling of the earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear crisis that left thousands dead.

VIETNAM: The U.S. embassy in Vietnam expressed concern over the detention of dozens (Reuters) of Vietnamese who held an anti-China protest in Hanoi over the weekend, protesting against China's perceived infringements on Vietnam's sovereignty in the South China Sea.



Standard and Poor's president to resign

UN Human Rights Council will investigate alleged human rights abuses in Syria

Way clear for Dominique Strauss-Kahn to run for French presidency


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