Four weeks after Western powers began enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya, rebels there are stepping up criticism over the NATO mission, with a rebel spokesman questioning NATO's commitment as pro-government forces reportedly hit a rebel-held city with missiles and mortars. Here is a look at this and some of the other stories CNN plans to follow this week:
Libyan rebel spokesman: 'NATO wants to use any excuse' to halt airstrikes
Battles between Libyan rebels and forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi continue, with pro-Gadhafi forces bombing the city of Ajdabiya from 40 to 50 kilometers away on Sunday, a Libyan rebel spokesman said. Referring to unconfirmed reports that NATO airstrikes were halted in the area because of weather conditions, he said the pro-government forces that were bombing Ajdabiya "have no problem with the weather conditions there." He said that sometimes rebels feel "that NATO wants to use any excuse out there so they don't carry out their duties." NATO did not immediately respond to a CNN inquiry.
Planes and missiles from a coalition then led by the United States, the United Kingdom and France began attacking Libyan air-defense targets March 19 in part to establish a no-fly zone. It was authorized by a U.N. Security Council resolution, which approved military action - short of occupation - to prevent Gadhafi's forces from attacking civilians and cities. The intervention came amid a Libyan civil war, which began in mid-February after clashes between government forces and protesters. Opposition forces are seeking the ouster of Gadhafi, who has ruled for nearly 42 years.
New leak at Japan's crippled nuclear plant?
Crews working to mitigate the post-tsunami nuclear crisis in Japan might be dealing with a new leak, a Japanese safety official said over the weekend. Elevated levels of the nuclear waste iodine-131 - 6,000 times Japan's legal standards - were recorded Saturday around a water intake at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, up from 1,100 times the legal standards two days earlier. The discovery comes more than a week after workers stopped a more severe leak of contaminated water - containing radioactive iodine at 7.5 million times the limit - into the Pacific Ocean. The weekend increase could be from a fresh leak or from sediment stirred up while fixing the first leak, officials said.
The crisis at Fukushima began March 11, when the plant was hit by a tsunami that followed a 9.0-magnitude earthquake, knocking out the plant's cooling systems and causing reactors to overheat. The plant's owners on Sunday said it will take three months to reduce the levels of radioactivity in the plant and restore normal cooling systems in the reactors and spent fuel pools. Another three to six months will be needed before the reactors are fully shut down.
On Monday, Toyota Motor Corp. will take a step toward recovery by resuming vehicle production at its Japanese facilities.Â Production will be at about 50% of normal, and will continue through April 27, when facilities will close for an annual spring holiday, the company said. Rolling blackouts triggered by the power-plant crisis were among the problems that Toyota and other Japanese manufacturers have faced after the tsunami.
Rescuers trying to reach man trapped in Idaho mine
Rescuers are trying to dig through a collapsed portion of an Idaho mine in an attempt to save worker Larry Marek, 53. Marek was one of two men working in the mine near the town of Mullan when a 10-foot by 20-foot section of mostly rock fell on Friday, the mine's owner said. The second worker got out unharmed.
By Sunday afternoon, workers had cleared nearly half of the earth that had caved in roughly 6,150 feet below the surface, according to the mine's owner.
Results of Nigerian presidential election expected soon
The winner of presidential elections in Africa's most populous nation - where voting over the weekend was relatively calm despite fears of violence - could be announced on Monday. Nigeria voted for president on Saturday, a week after parliamentary elections were marred by bomb blasts at a polling station and a collation center. Saturday's presidential voting was largely peaceful; Human Rights Watch has estimated that at least 85 people have been killed in political violence so far. President Goodluck Jonathan, who assumed office last year after his predecessor died of a kidney ailment, was considered the front-runner heading into the vote.
Obama raising funds for 2012, aiming to eclipse 2008's record
U.S. President Barack Obama will be traveling the country this week for town-hall meetings on the nation's debt and budget deficit woes and fundraisers for his re-election campaign. The town-hall meetings will be in Virginia and Nevada - battleground states he might need to win if he's to be re-elected - and California. He'll also hold fundraisers in Los Angeles and San Francisco, having kicked off his re-election fundraising appearances last week in Chicago. The Obama campaign is believed to have set a fundraising goal of $1 billion for 2012, more than his record-breaking 2008 haul of nearly $750 million.
One year after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill
Wednesday will mark one year since what has been called the worst oil spill in U.S. history began. On April 20, 2010, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig off Louisiana's coast injured 17 workers and killed 11 others, and a 3-month-long leak of a BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico began. Federal officials on Wednesday will present updates on the safety of Gulf seafood.