Gaddafi's youngest son killed in NATO strike

Gaddafi’s youngest son killed in NATO strike

Libyan government spokesman says air strike kills Saif al-Arab Gaddafi and three of the Libyan leader’s grandsons.

Saif al-Arab, the youngest son of the Libyan leader, has been killed in a NATO air strike, a Libyan government spokesman said.

The spokesman said Muammar Gaddafi was unharmed but three of his grandsons were also killed in the attack in Tripoli on Saturday.

“The house of Mr Saif al-Arab Gaddafi was attacked tonight with full power. The leader with his wife was there in the house with other friends and relatives.

“The leader himself is in good health, he wasn’t harmed,” the spokesman said, adding that Muammar Gaddafi’s wife was also unharmed but other people in the house were injured.

“This was a direct attempt to assassinate the leader of the country”, he said.

He said reporters would be brought to the site in daylight to witness the destruction……….http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/04/2011430224755721620.html

Assad tightens the noose in Syrian town of Deraa

Assad tightens the noose in Syrian town of Deraa

He has bullied rebel hotspots as fiercely as Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi, but Syria’s leader has little reason to fear foreign intervention, report Colin Freeman and Adrian Blomfield

7:48PM BST 30 Apr 2011

For six turbulent weeks, its minaret has been a landmark of rebellion, emboldening the faitfhful in their demands for democracy. As the besieged Syrian city of Deraa has come under ever more ferocious siege from government troops, the stone tower of the Omari Mosque, peering out over Deraa’s ancient Roman quarter, has served as an august focal point for protests.

Yesterday, though, as Syrian security forces drew their stranglehold ever tighter, helicopters backed by tanks dropped troops onto the mosque’s grey ramparts, in what seemed to be a symbolic move to stamp their authority on the town. After spraying the Roman quarter with shellfire, and killing a mother and two children in the process, the soldiers converted the Omari’s minaret to a different purpose – as yet another snipers’ nest from which to terrify the city.

“There are snipers on the roof of the mosque,” said one eyewitness, sobbing over the phone as he spoke. “My family and friends are being slaughtered.”

This was the scene in Deraa yesterday, where a growing picture of horror is emerging as Syrian governnment forces relentlessly punish the city that hosted the first protests against President Bashar al Assad’s dictatorial rule in late March.

Since the arrival on Monday of the feared 4th Brigade, controlled by President Assad’s brother, Maher, the reprisals have grown ever fiercer. Deraa’s 120,000 residents say their town is now effectively one giant prison, with rooftop snipers shooting anyone who strays into their sights. Troops have also cut off power supplies, blown up water tanks, and raided bakeries, milk depots and food shops, in a systematic bid to starve them out. “We are living in the dark, suffering boredom and fear,” one resident told The Sunday Telegraph. “If you go out, you know you will probably die. But if we stay at home, we will probably also die. We are running out of food, of water, of medicine.”………http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/8485759/Assad-tightens-the-noose-in-Syrian-town-of-Deraa.html

'Mubarak could face death penalty for fire on protesters'

‘Mubarak could face death penalty for fire on protesters’

Egyptian justice minister: Only former interior minister’s testimony that Mubarak gave order to fire could secure conviction, ‘Al-Ahram’ reports.

04/30/2011 18:22

Egyptian Justice Minister Mohammed el-Guindi on Saturday said that former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak will face the death penalty if convicted of ordering the shooting of demonstrators, the Associated Press reported.

Guindi told Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram, “Certainly, if convicted for the crime of killing protesters, it could result in the death sentence,” according to the report………..http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=218547

'138 Baath Party members resign to protest Syria crackdown'

‘138 Baath Party members resign to protest Syria crackdown’

Mostly low-level members of ruling party show contempt for violence used on anti-gov’t demonstrators, report says; tanks shell, storm Deraa’s old quarter; 6 killed; rights group: 85 killed in latest round of fighting.

04/30/2011 18:49

138 members of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s ruling Baath Party resigned Saturday to protest violent crackdowns on anti-government protesters, The Associated Press reported.

Earlier this week, another 200 mostly low-level Baath party members in the Deraa province resigned over the deadly crackdown.

Earlier on Saturday, the Syrian government ordered more tanks into Deraa and heavy gunfire was heard in the city as security forces tried to crush a revolt against Assad, residents said. Six people were killed in the offensive, the BBC reported.

Syrian troops and tanks first swept into Deraa on Monday to quell pro-democracy protests against Assad that have spread across the country of 20 million, posing the biggest challenge to his rule and prompting Western powers to impose sanctions.

Deraa, a southern city of 120,000 people, is the cradle of a six-week-old uprising which started with demands for more freedom and an end to corruption. It developed into a movement to overthrow Assad following a violent crackdown by authorities……….http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=218550

Syrian forces shell Deraa, storm mosque

Syrian forces shell Deraa, storm mosque

Troops backed by tanks and helicopters attack a prominent mosque, killing four people

Published: 18:29 April 30, 2011

Ammam: Syrian forces shelled the old quarter of Daraa on Saturday and stormed a prominent mosque, killing at least four people, a witness said.

The operation in the town of Daraa came a day after President Bashar Al Assad unleashed deadly force to crack down on a months-old revolt, killing at least 65 people, mostly in the border town.

Daraa resident Abdullah Abazeid said the assault on the mosque lasted 90 minutes, during which troops fired tank shells and heavy machine guns.

Three helicopters took part in the operation, dropping paratroopers onto the mosque itself, he said.

The Omari mosque, in the city’s Roman-era old town, had been occupied by residents of Daraa.

Among the dead was Osama Ahmad, the son of the mosque’s imam, Shaikh Ahmad Sayasna, according to Abazeid.

The other three were a woman and her two daughters who were killed when a tank shell hit their home near the mosque, he said.

Casualties

Also on Saturday, troops and snipers killed six civilians as Syrians prepared to bury scores of people killed in a “day of rage”.

Baathists resign

At least 50 members of the ruling Baath Party in the besieged Syrian town of Rastan have resigned, a human rights campaigner said.

The Baathists’ resignation declaration was being read out at a demonstration in the town, when members of military intelligence and gunmen loyal to Al Assad fired at the crowd, killing 13 of them, he added.

A resident of Rastan, which has been surrounded by Syrian troops backed by armour for several days, also said that at least 13 people were killed at the demonstration, at which he said people demanded the “overthrow of the regime”………..http://gulfnews.com/in-focus/mideastunrest/syrian-forces-shell-deraa-storm-mosque-1.801204

Russia to Keep Nuclear-Energy Expansion Plan to 'Balance' Mix, Putin S

Russia to Keep Nuclear-Energy Expansion Plan to ‘Balance’ Mix, Putin Says

By Ilya Arkhipov and Anna Shiryaevskaya – Apr 30, 2011 4:01 AM ET

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Russia is keeping its plans to increase the share of nuclear power to have a “balanced” energy industry.

“We need to produce as many units, I mean big units, as in the entire Soviet period,” Putin said at a meeting with trade unions in Penza, central Russia, yesterday. “Our energy should be balanced; it should be based on several sources: nuclear, hydrocarbon, hydro power, wind, solar panels.”

Russia is seeking to increase the share of nuclear power in total electricity generation to about 25 percent within 10 to 15 years, up from 16 percent now, Putin said.

A devastating earthquake and tsunami last month in Japan forced some countries, including Germany, to revise their nuclear power programs. Putin ordered an inspection of all Russian reactors after the Japanese disaster, he said yesterday….

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-30/russia-to-keep-nuclear-energy-expansion-plan-to-balance-mix-putin-says.html

Afghan Taliban declares start of spring offensive

Afghan Taliban declares start of spring offensive

By REUTERS

04/30/2011 16:01

KABUL – The Taliban declared the start of a spring offensive across Afghanistan on Saturday, warning they would target foreign troops as well as Afghan security forces and top government officials in a wave of attacks including suicide bombings.

In a statement, the hardline Islamists warned Afghan civilians to stay away from public gatherings, military bases and convoys, as well as Afghan government centers and buildings, as these would be the focus of attacks starting on May 1.

The Taliban statement comes just a day after senior military officials and Western diplomats warned they expected a surge in attacks over the next week, beginning on Sunday…

http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=218534

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood will contest 50% of parliament

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood will contest 50% of parliament

By REUTERS

04/30/2011 15:28

CAIRO – The Muslim Brotherhood said on Saturday it will contest up to half the parliamentary seats in the elections scheduled for September.

The group, regarded as the most organized political force after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak in February, said in a statement on its website that its shura (consultative ..

http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=218531

Libyan rebels reject Gaddafi's ceasefire offer

Libyan rebels reject Gaddafi’s ceasefire offer

By REUTERS

04/30/2011 14:47

BENGHAZI, Libya – Libyan rebels on Saturday rejected Muammar Gaddafi’s offer for a ceasefire and negotiations if NATO stopped its attacks, saying the time for compromise had passed.

“Gaddafi’s regime has lost all credibility,” Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, spokesman for the rebel’s transitional national council, said in a statement.

The Libyan leader had repeatedly offered ceasefires only to continue violating human rights, it said.

“The time for compromise has passed. The people of Libya cannot possibly envisage or accept a future Libya in which Gaddafi’s regime plays any role,” it said.

http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=218529