As NATO steps up a bombing campaign targeting government strongholds in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, countries that comprise the so-called Contact Group are meeting in the United Arab Emirates today to discuss Libya's future after the expected fall of leader Moammar Gadhafi (BBC).
The group - which includes Britain, France, the United States, Jordan, Kuwait, and Qatar - is expected to outline plans for a joint fund that will support the Libyan rebels. The rebels' National Transitional Council has already set up shadow ministries in the eastern part of the country and named a civilian to head the military in anticipation of Gadhafi's fall (AFP).
Gadhafi broke a week-long silence to declare on Libyan state television that he will stay in the country "dead or alive" (Guardian). His announcement came as the International Criminal Court's Luis Moreno-Ocampo requested arrest warrants for Gadhafi and his son on the grounds that they had implemented a policy of raping opponents (Reuters) – by allegedly providing Libyan soldiers with the impotency drug Viagra - in an effort to crush the country's rebellion.
On his blog Politics, Power, and Preventive Action, CFR's Micah Zenko analyzes the consequences of a civil war stalemate in Libya, arguing for increased humanitarian aid to end the impasse.
Daniel Byman and Matthew Waxman argue in Foreign Policy that Libya remains in limbo because of political constraints that bind the United States and its NATO partners.
In an interview with al-Jazeera, Nigel Pont, the regional director of Mercy Corps in the Middle East, discusses the ICC's allegations that Gadhafi is using rape as a weapon of war against rebels in Libya.
MIDDLE EAST: Thousands of Syrians Flee to Turkey
More than a thousand Syrian refugees escaped to Turkey (Telegraph)overnight, as government troops led by President Bashar Al-Assad's brother advanced on the town of Jisr al-Shughur in northern Syria. Human rights activists have warned of the potential for ramped-up violence, citing Maher al-Assad's record of "butchery for butchery's sake."
CFR's Mohammad Bazzi unpacks the Syrian regime in a recent analysis for the London Review of Books.
PACIFIC RIM: Thai Election Breeds Uncertainty
International investors have hedged their bets that the upcoming Thai elections will breed continued political instability (WSJ). In the run-up to the July election, the Stock Exchange of Thailand index is down 3 percent.
CFR's Joshua Kurlantzick discusses Thailand's volatile political situation in Washington Monthly.
China: Computer hackers from China and neighboring Vietnam have escalated a territorial dispute (BBC) through hacking campaigns that target the other's government websites.
SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA: Militants Attack Pakistani Security Post
Over one hundred militants armed with rockets attacked a security post in the Waziristan region of northwest Pakistan (al-Jazeera), killing eight Pakistani soldiers and wounding at least twelve others. The United States has recently stepped up drone attacks against militant strongholds in the tribal region bordering Afghanistan.
U.S. drone strikes and "kill/capture" missions against al-Qaeda operatives, particularly in Pakistan, have gained new attention and notoriety this spring. Four experts debate the legality and efficacy of the controversial counterterrorism strategy.
Afghanistan: Insurgents targeting "un-Islamic" activity (Reuters),including music and dancing, killed nine wedding guests and wounded five others following a wedding party in the eastern Nangarhar province.
AFRICA: Somalia Defers Elections
Rival Somali leaders in the country's transitional government agreed to extend their mandate and defer elections until August 2012, staving off political instability (Reuters) in a country with a pervasive al-Qaeda presence.
AMERICAS: Goldman Under Investigation for Libya Bribery
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is examining whether investment bank Goldman Sachs violated U.S. anticorruption law in its dealings the Libyan government and the country's sovereign wealth fund (WSJ), just prior to the February uprisings.
Haiti: A recently released batch of U.S. documents released by the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks show the U.S. government's role incontrolling Haiti's economy and politics (al-Jazeera) in order to bring the country's policies in line with U.S. interests.
EUROPE: Report Confirms Second Bailout for Greece
A new report compiled by the European Commission, European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund says that Greece will need a new bailout (DerSpiegel), estimated at $132 billion, to combat its debt crisis. It also notes that the country will be unable to return to borrowing on the capital markets by 2012 as originally presumed.
Italy: Brazil freed ex-leftist Italian militant Cesare Battisti (AFP) from a maximum security prison, denying Rome's extradition request.
TRANSNATIONAL: U.S. Hedge Funs May Displace African Farmers
A report by researchers at the Oakland Institute claims that major U.S. universities are using European hedge funds to profit from "land grabs" of African farmland (Guardian) that often force thousands off their own land.