Editor's Note: The following is reprinted with the permission of the Council on Foreign Relations.
NATO warplanes attacked Tripoli Tuesday night, while rebel fighters edged closer (Reuters) to the Libyan capital by pushing back government forces loyal to leader Muammar al-Qaddafi in the east and the west of the country.
In the west, rebels forced Qaddafi's forces to retreat (al-Jazeera) from the town of Kikla, about 150km southwest of Tripoli. While in the east, fighters launched attacks on government forces near the strategic oil town of Brega, a point considered vital to clearing the road to the capital.
The rebel advances came as Qaddafi's forces shelled a residential area (WSJ) in Msurata , disrupting the fragile peace in the rebel-held city, east of Tripoli. Meanwhile, according to the Guardian, the leader of Msurata , Sheikh Khalifa Zuwawi, appealed to NATO to rescue inhabitants of a neighboring town who are being "annihilated" by government forces.
In Foreign Policy, Portia Walker outlines the challenges facing rebels in Msurata , a stronghold "deep in Qaddafi-held territory."
In the International Herald Tribune, Lynda Calvert, a visiting scholar at the NATO Defense College in Rome, argues that NATO is losing the "war of words" on Libya to Qaddafi.
In a recent op-ed for Foreign Policy, Georgetown University's Daniel L. Byman and CFR's Matthew Waxman discuss six reasons why it has been so tough to get Qaddafi to quit.
MIDDLE EAST: Syrian Refugees Call for International Action
Syrians taking shelter in U.N. refugee camps in southern Turkey are calling on the international community (WSJ) to take action against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, whose violent crackdown in the northeast of Syria has forced over 8,000 people to flee.
In a CFR interview, Andrew Tabler discusses the "downward trajectory" of the Syrian regime, arguing that President Assad has an increasingly narrow base of support.
PACIFIC RIM: Group Says China Denies Help on Lead Poisoning
Hundreds of thousands of children suffering lead poisoning (Reuters) from polluting smelters and factories are denied testing, treatment, and the necessary information to combat the illness by local officials a report by Human Rights Watch says.
Paupa New Guinea: Police are investigating the alleged murder (BBC) of a woman whose body was discovered at the home of acting Prime Minister Sam Abal. Police arrested Abal's adopted son Wednesday in conjunction with the inquiry.
SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA: Pakistan Arrests Bin Laden CIA Informants
Pakistan arrested five informants who provided critical information to the CIA in the months leading up the U.S. raid (NYT) on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, further complicating U.S.-Pakistan relations.
Sri Lanka: The UK is calling on Sri Lanka to investigate allegations of war crimes (al-Jazeera) following the release of a British documentary that claims to show troops executing Tamil prisoners at the end of the country's civil war in 2009.
A south Sudanese rebel militia killed twenty-nine people in a cattle raid yesterday, adding to the "south-south" violence (Reuters) that has claimed the lives of at least 1,500 people. Frequent gun battles between the army and at least seven different tribal militias have compounded the wider regional conflict between north and south Sudan ahead of the latter's formal succession in July.
In his blog Africa in Transition, CFR's John Campbell analyzes the conflict between north and south Sudan and claims of "ethnic cleansing" in the region.
Côte d'Ivoire: Over 300,000 residents remain displaced (Mail&Guardian) nearly two months after the country's post-election crisis, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said yesterday.
AMERICAS: Whites House Seeks Help in Debt Cap Fight
The Obama Administration is looking to the U.S. business community to help persuade Republican lawmakers to raise the country's borrowing cap (Reuters) before an August deadline so that the nation does not temporarily default on its interest payments, potentially plunging the country deeper into recession.
United States: The Republican presidential primary debate signaled a shift in the post-9/11 hawkish GOP foreign policy line (NYT), with contenders arguing for a quick U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
EUROPE: Anti-Austerity Strike in Greece
Greece's major labor unions are in the middle of a 24-hour strike protesting further government spending cuts (Guardian), which are required for the country to continue receiving installments of a €110 billion EU-IMF rescue package that was granted last year. The strikes come as the EU debates a plan to provide Greece with additional financing to allow the country to meet its debt obligations and avoid default.
Economist Iain Begg says in a CFR interview that the European debt crisis will ultimately 'deepen' EU integration.
Germany: The EU will grant farmers in northern Germany $304 million in aid (DeutscheWelle) to combat the fallout from the E.Coli breakout that killed thirty-seven people and forced huge losses on vegetable producers in the region.