September 2nd, 2013
10:17 AM ET

Prison break in Tunisia; at least 3 dozen at large

At least 49 inmates broke out of a prison in Tunisia on Sunday night, the country's state-run Tunis Afrique Presse reported.

Security forces have detained 13 of the escapees, according to the report, which cited a security source.

The incident occurred in Gabes, in the southeastern part of the North African country. It is the latest mass prison break in the turbulent Muslim world.

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Report: Tunisia's prime minister resigns
Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali meets with members of his cabinet on Tuesday.
February 19th, 2013
01:33 PM ET

Report: Tunisia's prime minister resigns

[Updated at 3:12 p.m. ET] Tunisia's prime minister Hamadi Jebali resigned Tuesday, Tunisia state TV said, marking the latest development in a nation wracked by political unrest.

He submitted his resignation after the failure of his initiative to form a technocratic government, state TV reported. Jebali told CNN last week he'd step down if the effort was not approved.

It's possible that his ruling Muslim Brotherhood-linked Ennahda party will reappoint him to form another government or choose another politician to do the task.

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Report: Protesters storm political offices after opposition leader assassinated in Tunis
Tunisians gather around an ambulance carrying opposition leader Chokri Belaid, who officials said was assasinated outside his home.
February 6th, 2013
07:13 AM ET

Report: Protesters storm political offices after opposition leader assassinated in Tunis

[Updated at 7:07 a.m. ET] Protesters stormed several offices of Tunisia's ruling political party Wednesday after a prominent opposition leader was assassinated outside his home in Tunis, Tunisian Interior Minister Ali Al-Areed told Tunisia State TV.

"I call everyone in Tunisia and our intellectual elite not to allow the chaos to takeover and we urge the security forces to track down these perpetrators and bring them to justice," he said.

The protests took place in offices of the party al Nahda across the country, he said.

[Posted at 5:13 a.m. ET] A Tunisian opposition figure was shot dead Wednesday morning outside his home in Tunis, Tunisian State TV reported.

Chokri Belaid, was a leader of the Popular Front coalition.

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Obama: Americans laid down lives 'in service to us all'
President Barack Obama speaks Friday at a ceremony in for the four Americans killed Tuesday in Benghazi.
September 14th, 2012
01:23 PM ET

Obama: Americans laid down lives 'in service to us all'

Editor's note: Several protests stemming at least in part from an anti-Islam film produced in the United States are unfolding outside U.S. embassies around the world. Friday's protests follow ones Tuesday at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, where attacks killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans.

In Tunisia, protesters have scaled a U.S. Embassy gate and set fire to cars on the property, a journalist there says. In Egypt, the influential Muslim Brotherhood canceled nationwide protests planned for Friday, but a running battle between police and protesters in Cairo continued into its fourth day.

Follow the live blog below for all of the developments around the world.

[Updated at 3:04 p.m. ET] A ceremony at Maryland's Joint Base Andrews for the returned bodies of the four Americans killed at the Benghazi consulate has ended, and the caskets are being carried to hearses. See the 2:59 and 2:51 p.m. entries for remarks by President Barack Obama, who said the four laid down their lives "in service to us all."

[Updated at 2:59 p.m. ET] President Barack Obama, at a ceremony at Maryland's Joint Base Andrews for the returned bodies of the four Americans killed at the Benghazi consulate, added:

"The United States of America will never retreat from the world. We will never stop working for the dignity and freedom that every (person) deserves. ... That’s the essence of American leadership. ... That was their work in Benghazi, and that is the work we will carry on."

At the beginning and toward the end of his remarks, Obama cited the Bible's John 15:13: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Obama said the four killed Americans laid down their lives "in service to us all."

"Their sacrifice will never be forgotten," Obama said.

[Updated at 2:51 p.m. ET] President Barack Obama, at a ceremony for the returned bodies of the four Americans killed at the Benghazi consulate, is now eulogizing the four at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

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September 7th, 2012
09:39 AM ET

Italy rescuers search for dozens feared missing from migrant boat

 Rescuers searched for dozens of people feared missing at sea when a boat carrying as many as 100 migrants ran into trouble overnight, Italian officials said Friday.

At least 56 people have been rescued so far - some from the sea and others from the small island of Lampione, said Filippo Marini, a coast guard commander. They are believed to be Tunisians, he said.

At least one body has been found, said Capt. Davide Miserandino of Italy's finance police, which is helping in the search.

Survivors picked up during the night reported that there were about 100 people on board, said Laura Boldrini, head of the U.N. refugee agency in Italy.

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October 24th, 2011
03:04 AM ET

Tunisia puts election turnout at 90%

More than 90% of registered voters cast ballots in Tunisia's first national elections since independence, officials said.

"The polling stations registered a turnout rate of more than 90%," said Boubaker Bethabet, secretary-general of the Independent High Authority for the Election.

Workers have begun manually counting the votes, with final results expected Tuesday afternoon.

The manual-counting method "requires time," Bethabet told the official Tunisia News Agency. "It is carried out twice by two distinct teams. The obtained results are then compared to ensure greater accuracy."

Polls closed late Sunday in the country

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August 15th, 2011
01:41 PM ET

High-level Tripoli government official leaves Libya

As Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi urged supporters to take up arms and battle rebel forces Monday, a senior member of Gadhafi's government arrived in Cairo amid rumors that he had defected, Egypt's state-run Al-Ahram newspaper reported.

Nasr al-Mabrouk Abdallah arrived with nine of his family members on a private plane from Djerba, Tunisia, the newspaper reported, citing an unidentified airport official. Djerba is about 150 miles (240 kilometers) west of Tripoli.

Libyan Embassy officials did not greet the plane when it pulled up to Terminal 4, which is the arrival point for private planes, fueling speculation that Abdallah may have abandoned Gadhafi, the newspaper said. Al-Ahram and an official at Cairo International Airport identified Abdallah as Libya's minister of the interior.

But a Libyan government official - whose information has proved reliable in the past but who is not allowed to talk to the news media for attribution - identified Abdallah as an administrative director at the Interior Ministry and a former Libyan minister.

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Ousted Tunisian strongman convicted of corruption charges
June 20th, 2011
04:34 PM ET

Ousted Tunisian strongman convicted of corruption charges

A Tunisian court sentenced ousted President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali and his wife to 35 years in prison in absentia on Monday after a one-day trial on corruption charges.

Ben Ali (pictured) and his wife, Leila Trabelsi, have been living in exile in Saudi Arabia since the January revolt that ended his 23-year rule and touched off a wave of uprisings across North Africa and the Middle East. In addition to the prison term, the court imposed a fine of 91 million dinars ($65 million).

The trial began Monday morning in a packed courtroom in Tunis, and a verdict and sentence were handed down Monday night. Ben Ali and Trabelsi were represented by a team of court-appointed Tunisian lawyers.

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June 14th, 2011
10:01 AM ET

Unrest: Middle East and North Africa, country by country

Countries in the Middle East and North Africa have been swept up in protests against longtime rulers since the January revolt that ousted Tunisian strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. In many cases, these demonstrations and movements have been met with brute force and escalated into seemingly unending violence.

Here are the latest developments from each country and information on the roots of the unrest.

LIBYA

NATO refused to say Tuesday whether or not it would bomb ancient Roman ruins in Libya if it knew Moammar Gadhafi was hiding military equipment there. The alliance recently extended its mission - officially to protect civilians in Libya from Gadhafi's efforts to crush an uprising that has left rebels in control of parts of the country - for another 90 days, into September.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Germany formally recognizes the rebel Transitional National Council as the representative of the Libyan people, putting Berlin in line with the United States, France, Italy and a handful of other countries. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressed for diplomatic support for the rebels at a meeting of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The UAE has recognized the Transitional National Council as the legitimate Libyan government.

After a siege of nearly two months, rebels have freed the city of Al-Rayyana, northeast of Zintan, said rebel fighter Talha Al-Jiwali. Nine rebels were killed, and 35 were wounded.

What should NATO bomb first, soldiers or Gadhafi himself?

Roots of Unrest: Protests in Libya started in February when demonstrators, fed up with delays, broke into a housing project the government was building and occupied it. Gadhafi's government responded with a $24 billion fund for housing and development. A month later, more demonstrations were sparked when police detained relatives of those killed in an alleged 1996 massacre at Abu Salim prison, according to Human Rights Watch. High unemployment and demands for freedom have also fueled the protests.

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WikiLeaks roundup: Gitmo only the latest target
Australian Julian Assange directs WikiLeaks, which has released many headline-grabbing classified documents this year.
April 25th, 2011
11:36 AM ET

WikiLeaks roundup: Gitmo only the latest target

WikiLeaks has released close to 800 secret military documents that reveal fascinating insights into al Qaeda and terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, including close-up photographs of detainees. One document reveals that a detainee threatened guards by saying he would fly airplanes into houses. Another said that Osama bin Laden was, at one point, in good health despite having only one kidney.

American soldier Pfc. Bradley Manning is suspected to have leaked the documents to WikiLeaks. Manning, a 23-year-old from Oklahoma, is being held in Fort Leavenworth Prison in Kansas.

The Guantanamo document dump is only the latest in 2011 from WikiLeaks, which gained international prominence in 2010 when it leaked thousands of papers about the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan. Late last year, WikiLeaks began publishing 251,287 leaked United States Embassy cables dating from 1966 to February 2011. The cables are still being slowly released. The content is so broad, and involves so many countries, there isn't room enough on this blog to adequately describe it. Need a WikiLeaks refresher? Watch this.

A few notable 2011 WikiLeaks revelations:

Tunisia - WikiLeaks released cables alleging the president of Tunisia's corruption and high spending. The documents painted a scathing portrait of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his relatives by describing them as a "quasi-mafia" that pushed businesses for a slice of any venture they were involved in.

How did the cables fuel the Tunisian revolution?

Syria - In the past few days, Syria has erupted in violence, and witnesses tell CNN that authorities are going door to door shooting people. On April 19, the U.S. State Department denied it was seeking to undermine the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, despite the revelation in diplomatic cables unveiled by WikiLeaks that the U.S. is financing groups seeking to overthrow him.

Libya - Cables related to Libya were credited by some for helping fuel the fighting in the country. A cable described the town of Derna, Libya, as a "wellspring" of Libyan foreign fighters for al Qaeda in Iraq. They also revealed much about Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi's odd personal life, his penchant for hiring celebrities and his love of a good party.

Mexico - The U.S. ambassador to Mexico resigned after a January 2010 WikiLeaks leaked cable described the Mexican army as "slow" and "risk averse" and concluded that only 2% of people arrested in Ciudad Juarez, the most violent city in Mexico, were charged with a crime.

Bahrain - A cable showed the "deep suspicion" that Bahrain has for its Persian Gulf neighbor, Iran.

Iran - WikiLeaks exposed an alleged secret plot to assassinate an Iranian-American dissident.

Egypt - A cable revealed details about Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, Egypt's new deputy prime minister, as more details and images emerged from the country that experienced a historic revolution this year.

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On the Radar: Libyan conflict, Islam hearings and CNN's Freedom Project
People who fled Libya are shown at a U.N. camp in Tunisia on Sunday.
March 7th, 2011
11:09 AM ET

On the Radar: Libyan conflict, Islam hearings and CNN's Freedom Project

Libya - Supporters of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi continue to battle anti-Gadhafi forces throughout the country. The unrest has been going on for weeks and is affecting oil prices worldwide as gas prices have spiked in recent weeks. Check out CNN's reporting around Libya, city by city. On Monday, air strikes continued to target the opposition-controlled oil town of Ras Lanuf as Gadhafi supporters tried to take back the city. CNN correspondent Ben Wedeman was just outside Ras Lanuf and heard someone say, "We'll capture [Gadhafi], put him on top of this car and drive all around Libya. Every Libyan will get one shot [at the leader]." Wedeman was one of the first journalists inside the country when the protests began, and he reports on who will be fighting in the conflict.

CNN's Nic Robertson reports that fighting is getting closer to the Libyan capital of Tripoli. Also Monday, as several families in Ras Lanuf fled for cover, Gadhafi's forces made headway in the city of Bin Jawad, which was hotly fought over during the weekend. Anti-government protesters have been rallying for weeks in the hopes that Gadhafi, who has ruled the country for 42 years, will leave power. Similar uprisings occurred earlier this year in Egypt and Tunisia, and other protests have raged throughout the Middle East and North Africa as demonstrators have called for changes in leadership and power structures in their countries. What's next in Libya? Do you have a story that relates to the country? Are you there? Send an iReport.

Hearings on radical Islam - Over the weekend, protesters demonstrated in New York ahead of congressional hearings on radical Islam scheduled for this week. Other critics of the hearings include music mogul Russell Simmons. The topic is sure to remain hot all week as CNN covers every angle of the debate. Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, called the for hearings on what is being called "the radicalization of American Muslims." Critics say the hearings would unfairly target Islam and could stoke fear and fuel violence against  Muslims. King and Rep. Keith Ellison, who is the first Muslim elected to Congress, talked about the reasons for the hearings on CNN on Sunday with Candy Crowley.

Freedom Project begins - CNN has launched its Freedom Project, a first-of-its-kind global effort to draw attention to and end all forms of slavery around the world, including in the United States. See  what the project is about, and read the first story in the series. It's about a group of boys from Zambia who were trafficked into the U.S. to make money for a faith-based organization. The boys saw little profit for their work and were not given the education or school in their home country that they were promised.

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N. Africa, Mideast protests: Egypt's new prime minister says he is 'of the people'
Anti-government protesters pray Friday in Benghazi, Libya, during a call to arms to join the fight against the government forces of President Muammar Gaddafi.
March 4th, 2011
10:51 PM ET

N. Africa, Mideast protests: Egypt's new prime minister says he is 'of the people'

Across the Middle East and North Africa, CNN's reporters and iReporters are covering protests, many of them inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt that toppled those countries' longtime rulers. Check out our interactive map explaining the roots of the unrest in each country and full coverage of the situation in Libya. Have a story to tell from the scene? Click here to send an iReport. CNN's Fareed Zakaria breaks down what the movements toward democracy mean.

Developments on unrest in the Middle East and North Africa:

[LIBYA 9:06 p.m. ET, 4:06 a.m. local] Egypt's new prime minister, Essam Sharaf, appeared before thousands of protesters at Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday, telling them he is "of the people" and would resign if he failed to meet their demands. Sharaf, Egypt's former transportation minister, was sworn in Friday after the resignation of Ahmed Shafik, the last prime minister appointed by Hosni Mubarak.

[LIBYA 6:00 p.m. ET, 1:00 a.m. local] The United Nations said Friday it is studying Libya's request to install a more loyal diplomat as its ambassador. A letter from Libya's government asked that former Foreign Minister Ali Abdussalam Treki be approved as its envoy. Treki, who recently served as the president of the U.N. General Assembly, would replace Mohamed Shalgham as ambassador in New York.

[LIBYA 2:16 p.m. ET, 9:16 p.m. local] Libyan government spokesman Majid al-Dursi told CNN that "Zawiya has been captured, Zawiya has been liberated."

Battalions of forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi attacked protesters with mortars and machine guns as they were demonstrating in the city's Martyrs Square, eyewitnesses said. The troops also assaulted an ambulance and killed people who fell wounded.

"Civilians were killed but we can not say how many. We buried nine people so far," the witness said. "The attack was indescribable. Direct gunfire was opened on people."

[SAUDI ARABIA, 12:04 p.m. ET, 8:04 p.m. local] A second protest unfolded in Riyadh after Friday prayer, according to two Saudi activists who requested they not be identified because of concerns for their safety.

As many as 40 anti-government demonstrators gathered outside Al-Rajhi Mosque for a short protest. At least one man involved in organizing the protest was arrested, the activists said.

The activists said the protesters attracted a crowd of worshipers leaving the mosque. Some of the protesters carried signs showing a map of Saudi Arabia that did not contain the words "Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," an affront to the Saudi royal family.

[LIBYA, 11:56 a.m. ET, 6:56 p.m. local] A witness said the Friday attack in Zawiya was an "indescribable" and deadly assault. The witness said forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi attacked peaceful protesters in Zawiya with mortars and machine guns.

[LIBYA, 11:32 a.m. ET, 6:32 p.m. local] A C-130 cargo plane labeled with a U.S. flag landed in Tunisia, Libya, on Friday, CNN has learned.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated Friday that two C-130 planes were en route to Tunisia to help with the humanitarian crisis in Libya.

[LIBYA, 11:02 a.m. ET, 6:02 p.m. local] At least 15 people have been killed and 200 wounded in the Libyan city of Zawiya, according to a doctor, who said "there is a river of blood" at the hospital where the injured are being treated.

Earlier, a report from Libyan State TV said that people in Zawiya, west of Tripoli, and "their public leadership have secured and took control over the city from the 'armed terrorist elements.'"

The doctor said wounded people started arriving at the hospital Friday morning, and most of the injuries are from gunshots.

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N. Africa, Mideast protests: Obama says U.S. aircraft to fly refugees out of border
March 3rd, 2011
06:43 PM ET

N. Africa, Mideast protests: Obama says U.S. aircraft to fly refugees out of border

Across the Middle East and North Africa, CNN's reporters and iReporters are covering protests, many of them inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt that toppled those countries' longtime rulers. Check out our interactive map explaining the roots of the unrest in each country and full coverage of the situation in Libya. Have a story to tell from the scene? Click here to send an iReport. CNN's Fareed Zakaria breaks down what the movements toward democracy mean.

Developments on unrest in the Middle East and North Africa:

[LIBYA, 6:43 p.m. ET, 1:43 a.m. local] U.S. military aircraft and French charter jets joined efforts to get tens of thousands of people fleeing the fighting in Libya back home Thursday as the United Nations called for stepped-up aid to refugees.

Nearly 180,000 people, mainly foreign workers, have fled to the neighboring nations of Tunisia and Egypt amid fighting between government troops and rebels pushing to oust longtime strongman Moammar Gadhafi, the U.N. refugee agency reported. About 95,000 people have crossed into Tunisia and another 83,000 into Egypt, the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees estimated.

[LIBYA, 1:38 p.m. ET, 8:38 p.m. local] President Barack Obama said Thursday he approved the use of U.S. military aircraft to help return to Egypt those Egyptian citizens who have fled to Tunisia to escape unrest in neighboring Libya.

[LIBYA, 7:14 a.m. ET, 2:14 p.m. local] Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the International Criminal Court prosecutor, said the body is investigating Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and other government officials for crimes against humanity.

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N. Africa, Mideast protests: 4 killed in fighting in al-Brega, Libya
Libyan rebels in the city of Ajdibaya get ready for a fight after a government jet flies over them Wednesday.
March 2nd, 2011
03:55 PM ET

N. Africa, Mideast protests: 4 killed in fighting in al-Brega, Libya

Across the Middle East and North Africa, CNN's reporters and iReporters are covering protests, many of them inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt that toppled those countries' longtime rulers. Check out our interactive map explaining the roots of the unrest in each country and full coverage of the situation in Libya. Have a story to tell from the scene? Click here to send an iReport. CNN's Fareed Zakaria breaks down what the movements toward democracy mean.

Developments on unrest in the Middle East and North Africa:

[LIBYA, 3:55 p.m. ET, 10:55 p.m.]The USS Ponce and the USS Kearsarge have traversed the Suez Canal and entered the Mediterranean, a U.S. official said. The two ships have been sent with humanitarian relief equipment to aid in Libyan relief and evacuation efforts. The ships join the USS Stout, USS Barry and the USS Mount Whitney in the Mediterranean.

[LIBYA, 10:11 a.m. ET, 5:11 p.m.] At least four people have been killed and 23 have been wounded in the fighting Wednesday between pro-Gadhafi forces and the opposition in the town of al-Brega, a doctor who runs a hospital in the area told CNN.

[LIBYA, 9:37 a.m. ET,  4:37 p.m. local] The International Criminal Court prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, is opening an investigation into the situation in Libya, the court said in a statement Wednesday.

[LIBYA, 9:09 a.m. ET, 4:09 local] Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi abrubtly ended a 2-hour, 20-minute speech by saying, "The American president will leave office, the European leaders will leave their offices, and Gadhafi will still be a leader."

[LIBYA, 9:03 a.m. ET, 4:03 p.m. local] Two hours into his speech, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi mentioned President Obama.

"I think Obama is quite reasonable," he said. "He is not a yankee like Bush or Clinton, he's a reasonable person. He's capable to avoid another Iraq or Afghanistan. ... (However,) if they want to challenge us, we accept the challenge. Then we will distribute arms to 2 or 3 million and we won't care about killing them. We will defend the honor of all our innocent people. ... We will enter an honorable battle."

Gadhafi said if his country's rebellion cannot be resolved peacefully, "we'll see what can be done."

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N. Africa, Mideast protests: Yemeni president fires 5 governors
Moammar Gadhafi was warned by the head of the United Nations that "further action may well be necessary" against his regime.
March 1st, 2011
09:00 PM ET

N. Africa, Mideast protests: Yemeni president fires 5 governors

Across the Middle East and North Africa, CNN's reporters and iReporters are covering protests, many of them inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt that toppled those countries' longtime rulers. Check out our interactive map explaining the roots of the unrest in each country and full coverage of the situation in Libya. Have a story to tell from the scene? Click here to send an iReport. CNN's Fareed Zakaria breaks down what the movements toward democracy mean.

Developments on unrest in the Middle East and North Africa:

[LIBYA, 10:00 p.m. ET, 5:00 a.m. local] The Canadian government has frozen $2.3B (CDN) in assets tied to the Libyan government, President Gadhafi and those associated with Gadhafi, a government spokeswoman said. The assets were frozen after Canada enacted sanctions over the weekend, Canadian Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Lynn Meahan said.

[LIBYA, 6:47 p.m. ET, 1:47 a.m. local] In Libya, the rivals for power appear to be heading a stalemate. CNN's Nic Robertson explains what's happening in the capital, Tripoli, why two cities in rebel control could be key to the country's future, and why neither side has the power to dislodge the other completely.

[LIBYA, 4:13 p.m. ET, 11:13 p.m. local] The U.N. General Assembly has adopted by consensus a resolution to oust Libya from its seat on the 47-member Human Rights Council.

[LIBYA, 3:53 p.m. ET, 10:53 p.m. local] U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Tuesday they have not seen independent confirmation corroborating reports that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has had Libya's military fire on Libyans from the air.

[WASHINGTON, 2:52 p.m. ET] U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday he has directed the Navy ships USS Kearsarge and USS Ponce to the Mediterranean as the United States positions ships in the region near Libya. The focus is on humanitarian assistance and evacuations, and there has been no authorization for use of force, he said.

[YEMEN, 12:01 p.m. ET, 8:01 p.m. local] Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh fired the governors of five of the nation's provinces, where anti-government protests have unfolded for several weeks. All five were appointed to other positions, according to a decree released Tuesday.

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N. Africa, Mideast protests: Diplomat says Libya long thought Gadhafi crazy
Libyans gather outside a Tripoli bank on Monday to collect promised payments of $300 each from the Gadhafi government.
February 28th, 2011
06:59 PM ET

N. Africa, Mideast protests: Diplomat says Libya long thought Gadhafi crazy

Across the Middle East and North Africa, CNN's reporters and iReporters are covering protests, many of them inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt that toppled those countries' longtime rulers. Check out our story explaining the roots of the unrest in each country and full coverage of the situation in Libya. Have a story to tell from the scene? Click here to send an iReport. CNN's Fareed Zakaria breaks down what the movements toward democracy mean.

Developments on unrest in the Middle East and North Africa:

[LIBYA, 8:30 p.m. ET Monday, 3:30 a.m. local] After United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday about possible measures to take regarding Libya, Ban told reporters that "further action may well be necessary."

Gadhafi "has lost his legitimacy when he declared war on his people," Ban said of the Libyan leader. "This is again a totally unacceptable situation. I sincerely hope and urge him to listen to the peoples' call. That's my message to him."

American officials slapped sanctions on Libya on Friday, and the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on Libya on Saturday.

[LIBYA, 6:59 p.m. ET Monday, 1:59 a.m. local] The Libyan ambassador to the United States, Ali Suleiman Aujali, tells CNN that his countrymen have long regarded Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi as crazy, but that Libya has had no alternative to his rule until now.

Aujali's comment came after he reacted to Gadhafi's interview with ABC News and the BBC, in which Gadhafi said Libyans love him and want to protect him, and that the uprising that led him to lose control of Libya's second-largest city was completed by al Qaeda, not the Libyan people.

"I think this man lost touch with reality," Aujali told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Monday evening, in reaction to Gadhafi's interview. "He doesn't want to realize there are thousands of people protesting against him. He doesn't want to realize that thousands of people have been killed by his soldiers, by citizens of other African countries."

Blitzer remarked that Aujali has said that he has worked as a diplomat for Gadhafi for 40 years, and asked Aujali whether he realized during those 40 years that Gadhafi was crazy.

"Well, I think we realize that he's crazy, but we have no alternative. We have no ways to get rid of him until now, when the people" responded to the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions with a revolt of their own," Aujali said.

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On the Radar: Day 14 of Libyan unrest, Wisconsin protesters, Oscar wrap-up
Children in Malta protest Libya's Moammar Gadhafi on Sunday. Malta has been at the center of evacuations from Libya.
February 28th, 2011
11:38 AM ET

On the Radar: Day 14 of Libyan unrest, Wisconsin protesters, Oscar wrap-up

Libya – It's Day 14 of a massive, and often violent, uprising to force Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi to step down. CNN's Nic Robertson has been in Zawiya, a town about 40 miles from Tripoli, and watching as crowds of Qadhafi opponents grow. Gadhafi clings to power despite members of the country's security forces deciding to defect and join the protesters over the weekend.

Abdullah Alzubedi, Libya's ambassador to South Africa, told journalists Monday that Gadhafi should leave office and that he would not continue to work for Gadhafi if the leader survives the popular uprising. But Alzubedi said he will not quit despite resignations by other Libyan officials because he said he must "serve the needs of Libyans living in South Africa and help South Africa evacuate its citizens."

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N. Africa, Mideast unrest: Three killed as demonstrations turn deadly in Tunisia
A Libyan protester in Benghazi waves the country's old national flag, which was replaced in 1977, as demonstrations continued Saturday.
February 26th, 2011
09:13 PM ET

N. Africa, Mideast unrest: Three killed as demonstrations turn deadly in Tunisia

Across the Middle East and North Africa, CNN's reporters and iReporters are covering protests, many of them inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt that toppled those countries' longtime rulers. Check out our story explaining the roots of the unrest in each country and full coverage of the situation in Libya. Have a story to tell from the scene? Click here to send an iReport.

Developments on unrest in the Middle East and North Africa:

SUNDAY

[OMAN, 9:00 a.m. ET, 6:10 a.m. local] At least two protesters were killed and about 10 injured during clashes between protesters and police in the Omani industrial town of Sohar, according to reports from state media and Oman TV editor Asma Rshid. "The police shot them because they burned shops and cars in Sohar," Rshid said. Another source said police fired rubber bullets. A number of police had also reportedly been injured, but CNN has not been able to confirm how many.

[LIBYA, 9 am ET, 4:15 p.m. local] Protests are picking up in Libya's western city of Zawiya with former security forces who said they have switched sides and joined the opposition.

The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a draft resolution to impose sanctions against Libya amid escalating attacks on anti-government protesters in the north African country.

The resolution draft includes an arms embargo, asset freeze and a travel ban. It also refers Libya to the International Criminal Court.

SATURDAY

[TUNISIA, 9:12 p.m. ET, 3:12 a.m. local] Protests in Tunisia turned violent and deadly Saturday, just over six weeks after a popular uprising forced the president out of office, and lit a spark of desire for democratic reform in parts of Africa and the Middle East.

Three people were killed Saturday and nine others injured during mayhem in the capital, Tunis, according to a Interior Ministry statement cited by the state-run news agency, Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP).

More than 100 people were arrested, the ministry said, in the area around Habib Bourguiba Avenue, in the city's center, accused of "acts of destruction and burning."

[LIBYA, 4:58 p.m. ET, 11:58 p.m. local] City councils in areas no longer loyal to Moammar Gadhafi have chosen former Justice Minister Mustafa Abdul Jalil to head an interim government which will represent all of Libya, according to Amal Bogagies, a member of the February 17 Uprising coalition, and a separate Libyan opposition source.

[LIBYA, 4:40 p.m. ET, 11:40 p.m. local] President Barack Obama, in a statement issued Saturday after reports that forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi had fired on civilians, said "that when a leader's only means of staying in power is to use mass violence against his own people, he has lost the legitimacy to rule and needs to do what is right for his country by leaving now."

The White House statement was  issued after Obama spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

[BAHRAIN, 9:37 a.m. ET, 5:37 p.m. local] Exiled opposition leader Hassan Mushaima has arrived back in Manama, Bahrain. Mushaima, leader of the Haq Movement, had told followers earlier in the week that he had been detained in Beirut, Lebanon.

[YEMEN, 2 a.m. ET, 10 a.m. local] Four people were killed and 26 wounded in clashes Friday night between anti-government protesters and security forces in southern Yemen, medical officials in Aden said Saturday.

[LIBYA, 2 a.m. ET, 9 a.m. local] A U.N. security panel is scheduled to meet Saturday to discuss new sanctions against Libya amid escalating attacks on anti-government protesters in the north African country. The resolution draft includes an arms embargo, asset freeze and a travel ban. It also refers Libya to the International Criminal Court.

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N. Africa, Mideast unrest: Hundreds flee Libya as Obama orders sanctions
A U.S. ferry carrying about 300 people, including 168 Americans, arrived Friday night in Malta from Libya.
February 25th, 2011
08:46 PM ET

N. Africa, Mideast unrest: Hundreds flee Libya as Obama orders sanctions

Across the Middle East and North Africa, CNN's reporters and iReporters are covering protests, many of them inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt that toppled those countries' longtime rulers. Check out our story explaining the roots of the unrest in each country and full coverage of the situation in Libya. Have a story to tell from the scene? Click here to send an iReport.

Developments on unrest in the Middle East and North Africa:

[LIBYA, 8:46 p.m. ET, 3:46 a.m. local] U.S. President Barack Obama said Friday that sanctions against Libya will target the government while protecting the people.

"We will stand steadfastly with the Libyan people in their demand for universal rights and a government that is responsive to their aspirations," he said in a statement. "Their human dignity cannot be denied."

[MAURITANIA, 6:21 p.m. ET, 11:21 p.m. local] A rare demonstration took place Friday in the streets of Mauritania after hundreds of protesters gathered, calling for social and political change, a journalist says.

The call to action started last week on Facebook, which is said to be very popular in Mauritania, said the journalist. Young protesters were surrounded by police during several hours of peaceful demonstrations in the capital city of Nouakchott, according to reports.

[LIBYA, 4:02 p.m. ET, 11:02 p.m. local] Abdurrahman Mohamed Shalgham, Libya's ambassador to the United Nations, on Friday recommended targeted sanctions against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, members of his family and his supporters responsible for killing civilians in the North African country.

"It's not a crime to say, I want to be free," Shalgham said, adding that the targeting of people expressing discontent with Gadhafi's rule "cannot continue."

[LIBYA, 3:41 p.m. ET, 10:41 p.m. local] Members of the U.N. Human Rights Council recommend setting up an inquiry into allegations of abuse and rights violations in Libya, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said Friday afternoon. There was also a recommendation to suspend Libya from the council.

Ban pointed to what he called a "growing crisis of refugees and displaced persons" in Libya. He estimated that 22,000 had fled through Tunisia in recent weeks and another 15,000 through Egypt, adding that "larger numbers are, in fact, trapped and unable to leave" for fears of their safety.

"We anticipate the situation to worsen," Ban said.

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N. Africa, Mideast unrest: 17 killed in western Libyan city, doctors say
An internal security officer waves the old national flag Thursday in Libya's rebellious city of Tobruk.
February 24th, 2011
09:00 PM ET

N. Africa, Mideast unrest: 17 killed in western Libyan city, doctors say

Across the Middle East and North Africa, CNN's reporters and iReporters are covering protests, many of them inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt that toppled those countries' longtime rulers. Check out our story explaining the roots of the unrest in each country. Have a story to tell from the scene? Click here to send an iReport.

Developments on unrest in the Middle East and North Africa:

[LIBYA, 10:12 p.m. ET, 5:12 a.m. local] The following story from CNN's Ben Wedemen shows people in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, walking through what is left of a Gadhafi family palace, which was trashed by demonstrators:

[ALGERIA, 9 p.m. ET, 3 a.m. local] U.S. President Barack Obama has issued a statement commending Algeria for formally lifting a state of emergency that had been in place since 1992.

"This is a positive sign that the government of Algeria is listening to the concerns and responding to the aspirations of its people, and we look forward to additional steps by the government that enable the Algerian people to fully exercise their universal rights, including freedom of expression, association and assembly," Obama said in the statement, which was released by the White House.

Algeria's move lifts restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly. Those restrictions were imposed in 1992 to combat an Islamist insurgency. The decision to lift the restrictions comes as Algeria, like other Arab nations, faces waves of protest.

[LIBYA, 8:06 p.m. ET, 3:06 a.m. local] Doctors at a field hospital in Martyrs Square in the northwestern Libyan city of Zawiya said Friday that 17 people were killed and another 150 were wounded when government forces attacked the city. They predicted the death toll would rise by morning.

Six pro-regime soldiers who were captured said they had been told that the city was being run by Arab militants and it was their job to liberate it, according to the doctors, who asked not to be identified. The soldiers added
that they had been misled so that they would fight against their countrymen, the doctors said.

By the end of the day, the situation was calm in the seaside city, they said.

[LIBYA, 8:02 p.m. ET, 3:02 a.m. local] The U.N. Security Council will meet privately at 3 p.m. Friday to discuss taking additional measures against Libya.

[LIBYA, 6:54 p.m. ET, 1:54 a.m. local] U.S. President Barack Obama spoke Thursday with the leaders of France, Italy and the United Kingdom on coordinating an international response to the crisis in Libya, the White House said.

The statement said Thursday's discussions were to "coordinate our urgent efforts to respond to developments and ensure that there is appropriate accountability."

"The leaders discussed the range of options that both the United States and European countries are preparing to hold the Libyan government accountable for its actions, as well as planning for humanitarian assistance," the White House statement said.

U.S. officials have said all options were under consideration, including sanctions and enforcement of a no-fly zone, to try to stop the Libyan government from attacking protesters.

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