Saturday, March 5, 2011

Egyptian security officials say Christian and Muslim families have clashed south of Cairo in a dispute over a romance between children from the two families. The fathers from both families have been killed and a crowd of Muslims has torched a church.

Mixed relationships are taboo in Egypt, where the Muslim majority and sizable Christian minority are both largely conservative. Such relationships are often the source of deadly clashes between the faiths. Christians also complain that they face discrimination.

Officials say a crowd of Muslims encircled the church in Soul on Saturday and set the building on fire after police and soldiers took those inside to safety.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.

The Palestinian president says he won't accept any Israeli peace initiative if it calls for temporary borders for a future Palestinian state.

Mahmoud Abbas says he hasn't been notified yet of the new plan that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to announce in the coming weeks.

The remarks highlight the chasm between Palestinian and Israeli officials over where to begin negotiations that are meant to lead to the creation of a Palestinian state.

Abbas spoke on Saturday at a press conference in Ramallah.

Netanyahu hasn't revealed details of the new initiative but Palestinians fear it will include provisional borders, which they say could allow Israel to annex remaining lands that they seek for their future state.

Svetlana Cojochru feels insulted.

The Moldovan has lived here seven years as a nanny to Italian kids and caregiver to the elderly, but in order to stay she's had to prove her language skills by writing a postcard to an imaginary friend and answering a fictional job ad.

"I feel like a guest," said Cojochru. She had just emerged from Beato Angelico middle school where she took a language test to comply with a new law requiring basic Italian proficiency for permanent residency permits following five years of legal residence.

Italy is the latest Western European country turning the screws on an expanding immigrant population by demanding language skills in exchange for work permits, or in some cases, citizenship. While enacted last year in the name of integration, these requirements also reflect anxiety that foreigners might dilute fiercely-prized national identity or even, especially in Britain's case, pose terror risks.

Milan, March 5 (TMNews) - available one day a week for hearings and trials, on Monday, "was the request of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's lawyer Niccolo Ghedini through. And the preliminary hearing judge Maria Vicedomini, deciding the date of return Mediatrade hearing because of failure to notify the legal Piersilvio Berlusconi, right click on a Monday, March 28. Start the season of the spirit of genuine cooperation between state institutions as he solemnly laid on the Constitutional Court in answer to such failure? To ensure you have to wait for the next few weeks, the bundle of processes on the real prime minister. Next Friday in the courts of the Tenth Criminal Division, headed by Frank Vitale college who had tried everything without success, to remain quiet in the new position in the Court of Appeal challenging the "application" will resume the process in which Berlusconi replied that he had bribed the witness David Mills. No such failure will be invoked, and reaffirm Niccolo Ghedini Piero Longo. Moreover Friday it will only make the schedule of hearings.

"Lock the agenda of the Prime Minister on Monday to allow the presence in the classroom is the most that can be expected, says Ghedini, whose availability for the customer always comes to the ability to recover, however, in the same week that were skip to commitments and also occurred in two cases in one day, "perhaps a preliminary hearing and trial, not two debates."
President Barack Obama is urging lawmakers to find common ground on a budget deal to avert a government shutdown and says he's willing to agree to steeper cuts to get there.

The president issued a call for compromise Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet address but without offering any specifics on how to bridge the $50 billion gulf that divides the White House and Democratic budget proposal from the much steeper cuts offered by Republicans.

The competing plans are headed for test votes in the Senate in the coming week that neither is expected to survive but that will set the stage for further negotiations. The government is running on a stopgap spending bill that expires March 18, so the parties have until then to come up with a plan to pay for the remainder of the fiscal year through Sept. 30.

"We need to come together, Democrats and Republicans, around a long-term budget that sacrifices wasteful spending without sacrificing the job-creating investments in our future. My administration has already put forward specific cuts that meet congressional Republicans halfway. And I'm prepared to do more," said Obama, although the claim that Democrats are meeting Republicans halfway only stands up under the Democratic explanation of the intricate numbers game being played on Capitol Hill.

Beady Eye – review

Liam Gallagher is ruling Glasgow before he has even come on: 2,000 voices roar his name, mixing this with a booze-sozzled chant that carries on throughout the gig: "Beady! Beady! Beady fuckin' aye!"

Oasis may be no more, but if this lot are missing Noel Gallagher, it doesn't show. Still, it's hard to pinpoint exactly what Liam does that has made him the sort of idol who comes along once a generation. He wears a motorcycle jacket buttoned up (helpful for dodging the traditional Glasgow welcome of hurled beer). He edges a hand towards his private regions (not quite a Michael Jackson crotch grab, more like scratching an itch). He stands motionless and casts, yes, a beady eye over the crowd. Yet somehow his presence in this medium-size hall (as opposed to an Oasis-size arena) is formidable.

It also helps that the frontman is certainly singing – and projecting his voice – better than he was doing as Oasis reached the end of the line, when they sounded like a band ready for retirement. Measuring roughly twice the volume of the band's wall-of-guitar noise, that trademark Lennon-Lydon sneer combines with the atmosphere to produce a proper, wild rock'n'roll concert. The raucous Bring the Light, hammered out over Jerry Lee Lewis-style piano, provides some of the most electrifying minutes of Liam's career, and leads one fan – a drunk veteran of 17 Oasis gigs – to proclaim Beady Eye are "pissing on them".
A Somali official says pro-government forces have retaken a border town from Islamist militants after several hours of fighting.

Sharif Abdiwahid Sharif Aden, a spokesman for the pro-government militiamen, said Saturday that his forces wrested control of Belet Hawo, which borders Kenya, from al-Shabab militants.

Al-Shabab officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Belet Hawo's capture is part of an ongoing government-led offensive aimed at ending Islamist militants' grip on large swaths of the country's south and central regions.

Meanwhile, the African Union force propping up Somalia's government said it killed suicide bombers riding in a jeep who tried to attack its base at the former defense ministry building in the capital, Mogadishu.

Police say a suspected militant has died in a blast at his home in south Pakistan.

Senior police Tanveer Alam says at least one person was also wounded when the blast ripped through the house on the outskirts of the southern port city of Karachi on Saturday.

He says the victims, who lived in the rented house, were apparently handling explosives at the time. Alam gave no further details and identity of the men was not immediately known.

Karachi is the capital of southern Sindh province and police often arrest members of outlawed domestic militant groups there.

Guitarist says the band are 'wondering where to go next'

Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood has given an update on the band's plans following the shock release of their new album 'The King Of Limbs' last month (February 18).

The guitarist said Radiohead are currently recording and rehearsing, while planning what their next move will be following the album's release.

Speaking to BBC 6Music, Greenwood said: "We're recording at the moment, Radiohead. We're rehearsing a bit and just playing and making music and trying to work out what to do really."

Greenwood added: "We've stopped planning ahead very far and we're just making music and wondering where to go next and what to do."

He also spoke about his forthcoming soundtrack for the Japanese film Norwegian Wood, which is released on Monday (March 7).
Sean Penn says he thinks Charlie Sheen could do a lot of good in Haiti, both for himself and the nation struggling to recover from a devastating earthquake.

"I think his energies, intelligence and passion could be both of service and servicing to him, as it is to all who are touched by the struggle of the Haitian people," Penn said in a statement Friday.

"Charlie is one of the very few public people who cannot be accused of using the media to his own benefit. I would very much like to show my old friend the world of needs on the ground in Haiti, and introduce him and his tremendous wit to our hard working Haitian staff."

Penn's message of support came hours after Sheen told "Access Hollywood" that he and Penn were planning a trip to the Caribbean nation, although no date for their travel has been announced.

"If he chooses to give support, I'll trust it," the Academy Award winner said.
Pop sensation Britney Spears has claimed her new album – Femme Fatale – could well be her best to date.

The Toxic singer, speaking to V Magazine, noted the work – which is due to be released later this month – is something she is particularly proud of.

Commenting on the record, Spears said: 'I think Femme Fatale speaks for itself. I worked really hard on it and spent almost two years recording it. I think it's the best album I have ever made. There's nothing to say. I'll let the music speak for me.'

Meanwhile, the songstress admitted she had failed to consider the implications of her rise to stardom when she was growing up and first hitting the big time.

Spears revealed that while she always knew she wanted to perform, she did not plan for the impact international recognition would have on her.

The US star added she is not worried about her career coming to an end, claiming she would simply become a stay-at-home mum in such a scenario.

She suggested the 'love' from fans would be hard to give up, but would potentially do so as she loves her two children – Sean Preston and Jayden James – more than anything else in the world.

HELLRAISING actor CHARLIE SHEEN met The Sun yesterday - and told how his TWO beautiful lovers "rule" him.

We were the first newspaper invited to the LA home Charlie, 45, shares with bespectacled NATALIE KENLY and porn star RACHEL OBERLIN. Holding the paper, Charlie spoke frankly of his life with the women he calls "the Goddesses".

He insisted: "The Goddesses rule. They rule the kingdom.

"I got a chance to label them before the world did and now they're the Goddesses. Those two are like the toughest cats in the room."

He added: "We have to have two beds - we're not amateurs, we're all adults. It's very smart and that way no one gets demoted to the couch.

"I met Natty through mutual friends at a little party we had round here and I thought, this one is special. So she stuck around."

The girls, both 24, were equally open about their three-way relationship with Charlie.

Former nanny Natalie said: "Life in the house is cool. Charlie is the coolest guy ever. Who knows, everyone might live like this one day."

And the wild man has lifted the lid on his drug-fueled benders and romps with porn stars - and insisted: "I've simply been living the dream."

The Hollywood star said he had few regrets and added: "The partying has been epic - what I can remember of it. It was entertaining as hell."
A priest has given last rites to a man who fell into a Nevada mine shaft so deep and treacherous that rescuers have abandoned efforts to reach him, officials say.

The man was still alive but they said any rescue attempt would pose too great a risk to people trying to descend into the pit.

A video camera determined the man was still breathing after plunging 190 feet into the shaft on Wednesday in Jersey Valley, northeast of Reno.

"The mine is so unstable that walls were crumbling and rocks were hitting rescuers on the head when they tried to reach him," JoLynn Worley, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, told The Associated Press. "They're people who will make every effort to save someone, but they really can't get to him. It would endanger the lives of rescuers."

The name of the 28-year-old man from Battle Mountain wasn't immediately released.

The video camera showed the man was breathing but not moving and had suffered serious head injuries. Images taken Thursday night revealed he had been moving his hands.

Authorities intended to keep monitoring the mine shaft until the man stopped breathing, Worley said.

"I know some of his family members were out there," she said.

The man was working in the area with a geothermal drilling crew and visited the shaft with two friends during off-hours.
Nick Clegg has raised the possibility the Welsh Assembly may get tax-raising powers, following a referendum that backed direct law-making.

The deputy PM told BBC Radio Wales said there was now a gap between Wales's new powers and its lack of responsibility for raising its own budget.

He said the UK Government would set up a commission to look at the assembly's financial powers.

But he warned against reform of the assembly government budget formula.

Thursday's referendum saw a majority of Welsh voters backing a move to give the assembly direct law-making power in 20 devolved areas, such as health and education.
'Greater financial responsibility'
Russian news reports say an Antonov-148 airliner has crashed during a test flight, killing six people including two pilots from Myanmar.

The reports citing officials in the Emergencies Ministry and the Investigative Committee say the crash took place Saturday morning in the Belgorod region about 600 kilometers (350 miles) south of Moscow.

The Interfax-AVN military news agency said the Myanmar air force has ordered two An-148s. It was not immediately known if the plane that crashed was to be delivered to the country.

The An-148 is a regional high-wing jet with a maximum range of about 5,000 kilometers (3,000 miles) and passenger capacity of 99.

There was no information on the cause of the crash. State airline Rossiya last year criticized the An-148 for door lock and engine problems.

Ukip spring conference starts today

Nigel Farage will set a target of overtaking the Liberal Democrats to become the third force in British politics by 2015

Nigel Farage will set a target of overtaking the Liberal Democrats to become the third force in British politics by 2015

Ukip leader Nigel Farage will today urge his party to use its strong showing in the Barnsley Central by-election as a 'springboard' for further success.

Speaking at the party's spring conference, Mr Farage will set a target of overtaking the Liberal Democrats to become the third force in British politics by 2015.

The rallying cry comes after Ukip secured a creditable second place behind Labour in the poll this week - its best performance in a national election.

We've proved it before in Euro elections but now we've come second in a by-election,' Mr Farage will tell delegates in Scarborough.

'This is not a one-off result, this is a springboard and we will go on from here to fight a thousand council seats and contest in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.'
As Libya churned with popular rebellion, Serbia's ex-president flew to Tripoli to arrange an interview with Moammar Gadhafi for a Serbian TV channel - giving the Libyan leader a platform to bluster about his grip on power.

"The Libyan people are fully behind me," Gadhafi defiantly told Pink TV in a telephone interview.

The gesture of support for Gadhafi was not officially endorsed by the Serbian government. But it has been criticized at home for failing to join worldwide condemnation of Gadhafi's bloody crackdown against the uprising.

A possible reason for the silence: hundreds of millions of dollars worth of military and construction contracts. Serbia's cozy ties with Libya sit ill with its recent efforts to rehabilitate its image after the Balkan wars, in particular by participating in peace keeping missions.

It's almost certain that some of the ammunition fired by Gadhafi's troops against pro-democracy protesters in Libya was made in Serbia, and that some of the air force pilots who targeted rebel-held positions were trained by Serbs.

Western nations like Britain and Italy have armed and cooperated with Gadhafi's regime, but the issue is particularly sensitive for Serbia as it tries to join the European Union and possibly NATO and shed its image as a pariah nation.
The last time Michigan faced Michigan State, the Wolverines turned their season around with a stirring road victory.

Now it's the Spartans who are eager to play the role of unfriendly guest with a point to prove.

"We understand that people are disappointed in us and we're disappointed, but we know some of the reasons that people don't," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. "Everybody knows our backs are against the wall and it seems our backs have been against the wall for a while."

In a regular-season finale that will mean a lot more than expected, Michigan hosts Michigan State on Saturday with NCAA tournament berths - not to mention the usual in-state bragging rights - on the line. The Wolverines and Spartans are both on the bubble, a position neither team was really expected to be in.

Since his brother was shot and killed by an American CIA contractor last month, scores of Islamist politicians have met with Waseem Shamzad in his bare sitting room to bring sympathy, offers of help and a stark message: if U.S. envoys come offering "blood money" to get their man out of jail, tell them to go away.

Shamzad and two other families mourning a dead relative because of the shooting say America has not offered compensation yet, but Pakistani officials have suggested such payments could help end a crisis that has exposed the fragility of ties between the two nations.

While the United States insists Raymond Allen Davis, the detained CIA contractor, has immunity from prosecution, his lawyer said Friday that "bloody money" was "not just a good way, but the best way" to resolve the issue. The United States has not commented on whether it intends to try that approach, either formally or as a way of cooling popular anger if Davis is freed on other grounds.

The families, meanwhile, say they want justice, not money.

Davis was driving on a busy street in this eastern city when he says two men, at least one of whom was armed, tried to rob him. He shot them dead. Minutes later, an American vehicle speeding to the scene on the wrong side of the road ran into a motorcyclist, killing him.

The United States is demanding the 36-year-old Virginia native, currently on trial for murder, be released.
Thousands of refugees are being prevented from leaving Libya, the UK Government and aid agencies fear.

Satellite images show large numbers gathered near the border with Tunisia. But the dramatic flow of migrant workers has all but ceased.

United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said pro-Gaddafi forces were now in control of the Ras Jedir border crossing. And it fears thousands trying to flee are being held back.

Unhcr spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said: "We are very concerned. We have heard those who did get across had their mobile phones and cameras stolen. Many appear to be scared."

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell, speaking during a 24-hour visit to a sprawling refugee camp in Tunisia yesterday, said: "It is worrying. The flow of people did not slow down, it came to an abrupt halt.

"It seems people are being held 15km from the border." Mr Mitchell visited medical facilities and saw UK-supplied tents being put up in the desert - now home to 12,500 refugees.

Bangladeshi Mobarak Faruk, 25, who suffered a broken leg after being beaten by Libyan police, told him: "I just wanted to get out. On the way, police stopped us and robbed us."

Aid agencies said 200,000 people have now crossed Libya's borders.

Britain sent 36,000 blankets and 300 tents earlier this week. A second flight arriving today is due to deliver 2,000 blankets and 1,100 tents.

China's government called Saturday for higher social spending, controls on inflation and measures to urgently close a divisive rich-poor gap, betting that rising living standards and better services will dampen growing public expectations for change.

In a speech that is China's equivalent of a state-of-the-nation address, Premier Wen Jiabao said the government will boost spending 12.5 percent this year, with bigger outlays for education, job creation, low-income housing, health care and pensions and other social insurance.

More than just an economic plan, Wen reiterated several times during his two-hour-plus speech that the authoritarian government sees the program as crucial to forestalling unrest among a population grown used to greater prosperity and expecting more.

"We must make improving the people's lives a pivot linking reform, development and stability ... and make sure people are content with their lives and jobs, society is tranquil and orderly and the country enjoys long-term peace and stability," Wen told the 2,923 delegates gathered in the Great Hall of the People for the opening of the national legislature's annual session.

The emphasis comes as the government seems increasingly anxious about calls of unknown origin posted online urging Chinese to stage peaceful rallies every Sunday like the ones that topped autocrats in Tunisia and Egypt. Beijing has been smothering under ever heavier security since the Internet messages first appeared more than two weeks ago.
Three protesters were wounded on Friday evening when Yemeni security forces fired into the air and used tear gas to disperse demonstrators at a sit-in in the southern port city of Aden.

Protesters were dispersed after they had gathered at a square in the city's Sheikh Othman district following Friday prayers, witnesses told Reuters.

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh rejected on Friday an opposition plan for him to step aside this year, as protests against his three-decade rule over the impoverished nation swelled into hundreds of thousands.

Protesters say they are frustrated with widespread corruption and soaring unemployment in a country where 40 percent of its 23 million people live on $2 a day or less and a third face chronic hunger.

Possibly more than 100,000 protested on Friday in one of the largest demonstrations in Sanaa yet and similar numbers rallied in Taiz, south of the capital.

More than 20,000 protesters marched in Aden and tens of thousands marched in Ibb, south of Sanaa.

Why so glum?

Unemployment is dropping, but the reaction from both the left and right ends of the political spectrum is surprisingly unenthusiastic.

Conservatives fear the improvement will weaken their argument that the way to bring back jobs is less regulation and more fiscal discipline. Liberals worry that better job numbers will create momentum for spending cuts that will cause the fragile recovery to falter

The divided reaction illustrates the ideological forces pulling at President Barack Obama as he tries to gain economic and political traction out of the positive jobs report.

"Overall, it's a very solid jobs report," said Austan Goolsbee, the chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers. "And overall there's been increasing optimism that despite having a long way to go, we're clearly headed in the right direction and we're putting some miles behind us and trying to get back to a good situation."

Indeed, a number of economic markers are moving in positive directions. The U.S. economy has been growing for 18 months. Retail sales are picking up. A Federal Reserve survey released this week showed factory activity rising in all Fed districts except St. Louis.

Obama, himself, made the point Friday, trumpeting the unemployment numbers during a visit to a Miami high school.

"That's the 12th straight month of private sector job growth," he said. "So our economy has now added 1.5 million private sector jobs over the last year. And that's progress."
The United States is increasing pressure on Sri Lanka to investigate the deaths of thousands of civilians at the end of its civil war. Rights groups contend a Sri Lankan government commission has demonstrated no intent of doing it.

The Senate passed a resolution this week urging an international probe into war crimes allegations. The State Department has yet to go that far but said Friday that pressure to do so would grow if Sri Lanka should fail to investigate the abuses properly.

The quarter-century-long Sri Lankan conflict had a bloody denouement in 2009, when ethnic Sinhalese-dominated government forces cornered the last Tamil Tiger rebels on a sliver of land in the northeast of the island nation.
Search teams in Christchurch, New Zea land, have reacted with relief after finding no bodies in the rubble of the earthquake-hit cathedral.

Cathedral Dean Peter Beck told Radio New Zealand that he "burst into tears" on hearing the news.

It was feared that as many as 22 people could have been inside the cathedral when the quake struck on 22 February.

The confirmed death toll stands at 165 after two more bodies were found in the rubble of the Canterbury TV building.

Christchurch's shattered cathedral with its broken spire became one of the most striking images after the 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck.

"We have cleared the cathedral site and we found no bodies in the cathedral at all, so to us that is fantastic news," police Supt Sandra Manderson told Radio New Zealand.

She said police were now reviewing the list of missing people and the death toll could be lower than first feared.
China's spending on police and domestic surveillance will hit new heights this year, with "public security" outlays unveiled on Saturday outstripping the defense budget for the first time as Beijing cracks down on protest calls.

 China's ruling Communist Party also issued its loudest warning yet against recent Internet-spread calls for "Jasmine Revolution" protest gatherings inspired by popular uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East.

The 13.8 percent jump in China's planned budget for police, state security, armed civil militia, courts and jails was unveiled at the start of the annual parliamentary session, and brought planned spending on law and order items to 624.4 billion yuan ($95.0 billion).

By contrast, China's People's Liberation Army budget is set to rise 12.7 percent to 601.1 billion yuan ($91.5 billion). "This would be the first time that the openly announced domestic security budget has surpassed military spending", said

Xie Yue, a political scientist at Tongji University in Shanghai. He called the figure a gauge of China's spending on what officials call "stability protection."

"This shows the rising costs of maintaining internal control," said Xie, who studies China's domestic security
policies and spending. "This system is very sensitive to any instability or contention."

China's main political risks:
China defence budget rises
Succession pressures stoke crackdown
China stability spending raises alarm
Protest call smothered in Beijing:
Risks slim of China soon erupting
China tightens reporting restrictions

Nuns in hot pants, nuns in full habits and even nuns with bushy mustaches - the motley band of costumed revelers gathered to celebrate the first day of Carnival, joining one of the growing number of roving street bands that take over Rio de Janeiro during the five-day party.

The "nuns" are all followers of the Carmelitas, a group started in 1991 by friends who gathered for soccer and drinks just outside a convent of Carmelite nuns. Jokes about the sisters escaping to join the party gave rise to the band, which parades twice: at the beginning of Carnival, when the nuns supposedly escaped the convent join the fun, and on the last day, when they returned to their cloistered existence.

"We're keeping the tradition, remembering the first nuns who jumped the fence," said Eliete dos Santos, 25, who was out with five other costumed "sisters" as the partying began Friday.

While the public face of Rio's Carnival is the famed two-day parade of samba groups, which can each spend more than $5 million on extravagant costumes and floats, its heart lies in these roving groups of irreverently costumed, mostly inebriated partiers who create a free, open-to-all street Carnival. Their cavorting is likely to hit a fever pitch Saturday.
State media say the last batch of Chinese workers in Libya has been flown home safely.

China Central Television says a plane carrying more than 300 Chinese workers who had been trapped in the strife-torn country arrived Saturday in Guangzhou in southern China. The workers were picked up in neighboring Tunisia, where many fled following the chaos in Libya.

An estimated 30,000 Chinese were working in Libya, mostly in the construction and oil industries, comprising one of the largest blocs of foreign laborers there.

China dispatched military transport planes to evacuate its citizens.

Tens of thousands are continuing with protests in several key cities across Yemen, pressing on with demands that the country's president step down.

The government has suspended classes at the universities in the capital Sanaa and the southern port city of Aden, which have been the focal points for daily demonstrations - inspired by the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia - against President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The protesters are rallying on the main squares of Sanaa, Aden, and the cities of Taiz and Hadramawt. They are also demanding an investigation into the killing of four people during Friday's protest in the northern town of Harf Sofyan.

Several members of Saleh's ruling Congress Party resigned on Saturday.

Saleh has been a key U.S. ally in the campaign against al-Qaida.

The real scandal at the LSE

There is a revealing remark in the minutes of the debate that took place in October 2009 at the governing council of the London School of Economics over whether to accept a donation of £1.5 million from Saif Gaddafi, son of the Libyan dictator. Fred Halliday, the school’s professor of international relations, had warned the council that accepting the money would taint the LSE’s reputation, but his concerns were dismissed by a fellow academic, David Held, professor of political science. Refusal, Held protested, would cause “personal embarrassment” to Saif Gaddafi.

Concern for Gaddafi Jnr’s feelings, rather than Halliday’s hard-headed analysis, evidently won the day. The governing council accepted the loot (of which £300,000 was subsequently paid) from the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation. The fact that among those members giving their assent to supping with the devil was Sharmi Chakrabarti, the director of Liberty and merciless scourge of those who compromise principles of justice, only adds to the air of unreality that surrounds the whole shameful episode. She has since spoken of her “bucketfuls” of regret.

They must all now be wishing that they had used a longer spoon because their decision, as the disgraced LSE director, Sir Howard Davies, observed this week, has backfired spectacularly. With Saif Gaddafi pictured on the streets of Tripoli brandishing a semi-automatic weapon and telling a global television audience that he would do anything to perpetuate his father’s regime, right down to “the last bullet”, Sir Howard has been forced to resign.
Protesters in Alexandria enter state security headquarters, saying officers destroyed documents to cover up past abuses.

Egyptian protesters have stormed the headquarters of Egypt's state security force in Alexandria, with several people suffering injuries in scuffles with riot police.

Around 1,000 people encircled the State Security Agency building late on Friday, demanding that the officers inside come out or they would storm the building.

Protesters then entered into the building and scuffled with riot police before military forces intervened and took control of the building.

Demonstrators said officers inside had been shredding and burning documents that may have proven past abuses.
Libyan rebels have captured the oil port town of Ras Lanouf from pro-Moammar Gadhafi forces, their first military victory in what could be a long, westward march from the opposition-held east of the country to the capital Tripoli.

Witnesses said on Saturday that Ras Lanouf, about 87 miles (140 kilometers) east of the Gadhafi stronghold of Sirte, fell to rebel hands on Friday night after a fierce battle with pro-regime forces who later fled.

An Associated Press reporter who arrived in Ras Lanouf late Saturday morning saw Libya's red, black and green pre-Gadhafi monarchy flag adopted by the rebels hoisted over the town's oil facilities.

The witnesses spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared reprisals.