Gaddafi must go? Breaking News in Libya and MENA and JapanPosted: March 21, 2011
This is a breaking news post, Obama just held a press conference in Chile in which he actually answered a question about Libya. During this press conference new explosions have been heard in Tripoli. So please see the updates below and look for any new updates in the Comment Section.
President Obama said today that the goal of United Nations-sanctioned military action in Libya is to protect citizens, not regime change — but goal of U.S. policy is that Moammar Gadhafi “has to go.”
Speaking to reporters in Chile, Obama also said that the U.S. will soon hand responsibility over to allies who will maintain a no-fly zone over Libya.
2:40 p.m. — The Associated Press asks Obama why deposing Gadhafi is not a specific goal of the Libyan operation, and if he regrets launching the attack while on South American soil.
Obama cites the United Nations “mandate” behind the military mission, which focuses on protecting citizens from Gadhafi attacks (and does not mention regime change); says it is “U.S. policy” that Gadhafi “needs to go,” and that is the goal of the sanctions that the U.S. and allies put in place weeks ago.
Also notes there will be a transition in which the U.S. is one of many partners in the military action.
As for starting the action over the weekend in Brazil, Obama says he acted on short time frames; on Friday at the White House, he warned Gadhafi to follow through on a proclaimed cease fire; within hours, it became evident he would not, and so Obama says he and allies decided to move forward with establishing a no-fly zone.
Obama adds that “I could not be prouder” of the way the U.S. military performed, noting how “stretched” they are in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere.
Shepard Smith is reporting that reporters from Reuters and CNN were used as human shields by Gaddafi…
EXCLUSIVE: An attack on the compound of Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi on Sunday had to be curtailed because of journalists nearby, Fox News has learned.
British sources confirmed that seven Storm Shadow missiles were ready to be fired from a British aircraft, but the strikes had to be curtailed due to crews from CNN, Reuters and other organizations nearby. Officials from Libya’s Ministry of Information brought those journalists to the area to show them damage from the initial attack and to effectively use them as human shields.
The curtailment of this mission led to a great deal of consternation by coalition commanders, sources told Fox News, but they opted to call off the mission to avoid civilian casualties.
During a Pentagon briefing on Monday, coalition commanders said the huge compound was targeted due to its air defense systems on the perimeter and a military command and control center. It was not targeted to kill Qaddafi, commanders said.
“The military attacks on Libya are, following on from the Afghan and Iraq wars, the third time that some countries have launched armed action against sovereign countries,” said a commentary in the Communist Party’s main newspaper, People’s Daily.
President Obama has declared that Gaddafi “must leave,” but Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the administration’s most visible spokesman Sunday, acknowledged that the outcome of the conflict remains uncertain.
Despite a plume of smoke around one of Gaddafi’s compounds in Tripoli, U.S. officials said that they were not aiming to kill the Libyan leader.
“At this point I can guarantee he is not on the target list,” Gortney told reporters at the Pentagon. “We are not targeting his residence.”
A coalition air campaign over Libya is not aimed at removing Moammar Gadhafi from power, despite U.S. policy that the Libyan ruler “has to go,” U.S. President Barack Obama says.
Speaking to reporters on Monday during a visit to Chile, Obama insisted the purpose of the military mission is in response to the humanitarian threat Gadhafi poses to his people.
“There are a whole range of policies that we are putting in place that have created one of the most powerful international consensuses around the isolation of Mr. Gadhafi and we will continue to pursue those,” Obama said.
“But when it comes to the military action, we are doing so in support of UN Resolution 1973 that specifically talks about humanitarian efforts, and we are going to make sure we stick to that mandate.”
More news below:
Emergency workers lost precious hours Monday in their fight to prevent a full-scale meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after mysterious gray smoke seen emanating from the facility prompted a mass evacuation.
The smoke was spotted just before 4 p.m. coming out of the building that houses the No. 3 reactor, the most badly damaged of the plant’s half-dozen reactors. It tapered off after two hours, but more smoke was seen near reactor No. 2 about 20 minutes later, according to officials from the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO).
Though authorities concluded the smoke was steam and not coming from the overheated spent fuel pool, they acknowledged that radiation spiked one kilometer west of the facility, rising from 494 microsieverts at 5:40 p.m. to 1,932 at 6:30 p.m.
Tokyo Electric Power will be made to compensate farmers near its radiation-leaking nuclear power station for losses related to a widening ban on the sale of agricultural products from the area, Japan’s government has said.
In the first direct reference by a high-ranking government official to reparations by Tepco for victims of the world’s worst nuclear accident in a quarter of a century, Yukio Edano, chief cabinet secretary, said the state would “have Tepco take responsibility”.
But he added that if the company is unable to compensate people adequately, “then by law the government will step in and guarantee the claims”.
The cost of cleaning up the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, compensating victims and buying extra coal, gas and oil to make up for lost nuclear capacity is certain to be in the billions of dollars.
Japan needs to act quickly and ban food sales from areas around the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant if food there has excessive levels of radiation, the World Health Organisation said on Monday.
Tokyo widened a ban on shipments of leaf vegetables from areas around Fukushima on Monday after radiation in samples exceeded legal limits. The health and welfare ministry said: “The food is still safe to consume but we are taking a precaution because if the situation continues, [the consequences] would be undesirable.”
More on the Food Contamination and Japan’s decision to halt food exports:
News in Yemen:
News in Syria:
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