World News Brief, Wednesday August 31

Libyan rebels are giving Qaddafi loyalists until Saturday to surrender; Qaddafi's whereabouts unknown--some of his family members are sheltering in Algeria; People's Bank of China is reining in lending; Japan's sixth prime minister in five years elected; Pentagon wasted $30 billion on wartime contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan, says report; Angela Merkel warns indebted eurozone countries to make substantial efforts to reduce debt; and more

Top of the Agenda: Libyan Rebels Give Qaddafi Loyalists Ultimatum

Libyan rebel leader Mustafa Abdul Jalil said forces loyal to ousted leader Muammar al-Qaddafi have until Saturday to surrender (BBC), or face military force. Jalil's comments came as the rebels' National Transitional Council (NTC) prepares to advance on Qaddafi's hometown of Sirte.

While Qaddafi's whereabouts remain a mystery, Algeria acknowledged that it had given sanctuary (NYT) to some of his relatives, including his second wife and three children.

The NTC accused Algeria of an "act of aggression" (al-Jazeera) and called for Qaddafi's family to be extradited to Libya. A rebel spokesman said Libya's new government wanted to arrest and try Qaddafi and his relatives.

The authoritarian government (Reuters) of Algeria--fearful of any spillover from the pro-democracy protests sweeping the Arab world--is Libya's only neighbor not to recognize the NTC as the country's new governing authority.


Qaddafi's defeat at the hands of the Western-backed rebels was a triumph for Obama and the principle of humanitarian intervention--one that is, unfortunately, unlikely to be repeated any time soon, writes CFR's Stewart Patrick in Foreign Affairs.

After a six-month struggle, Libya's rebels have seized power. The Economist looks at Tripoli in rebel hands and at the people now in control.

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 CFR Interview.



China Central Bank Secretly Curbs Lending

The People's Bank of China reportedly issued a secret memo requiring the country's banks to keep more money on hold (WSJ) at the central bank in an effort to rein in lending. The move is at odds with efforts by the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank to keep monetary policy loose in order to encourage lending.

JAPAN: The country's parliament elected Yoshihiko Noda, the former finance minister, as the new prime minister (BBC)--Japan's sixth in five years--after Naoto Kan and his cabinet resigned en masse on Tuesday.

Noda could be a reassuring presence amid economic and political turmoil, but it's not clear what energy he will have for global affairs, writes CFR's Sheila Smith.



-Report claims Pentagon 'wasted' $30 billion on contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan

-Angela Merkel warns indebted eurozone countries to make debt-reduction effort

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