Six In The Morning

Libya rebels flee eastward by the hundreds

Kadafi’s forces appear poised to take Port Brega after pushing the opposition fighters out of Ras Lanuf, another oil refinery city.

By David Zucchino, Los Angeles Times

March 31, 2011

Reporting from Port Brega, Libya- Dispirited rebel fighters continued their headlong retreat across eastern Libya on Wednesday, surrendering a strategic oil city they captured just three days earlier and fleeing eastward by the hundreds.

Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi appeared poised late in the day to seize a second oil refinery city, Port Brega, as rebels in gun trucks near the city turned and fled at the sound of exploding rockets and artillery. Kadafi’s men had pushed rebels out of Ras Lanuf, site of a petrochemical complex and port, on Wednesday morning.

Japan under pressure to widen nuclear evacuation zone

High levels of radiation detected outside current 20km zone

• Prime minister plans to review nuclear energy policy

• Concerns over water contaminated by reactor cooling operation

Justin McCurry in Tokyo, Thursday 31 March 2011 09.16 BST

Pressure is mounting on Japan to expand the evacuation zone around the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, as the prime minister says he plans to review the country’s nuclear energy policy.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Japanese authorities should consider expanding the zone beyond its current 20km (12-mile) radius after high levels of radiation were detected at a village about twice that distance from the plant.

The government has so far resisted calls to evacuate more people from the area, but said its policy was under constant review, and that monitoring of radiation levels was being increased.

Spain’s family bonds lie at the heart and soul of great healthcare

Spain leads the world in organ transplants, but its success in the operating theatre is matched by its holistic approach outside  

Sarah Boseley , health editor

The Guardian, Thursday 31 March 2011

Looking tired, Adolfo Martínez Pérez, dressed in a white clinical coat, apologises for being late, saying he has been to see a judge. A difficult patient suing for compensation, perhaps? No. The surgeon and his fellow transplant co-ordinator, nurse Mercedes González González (her mother and father had the same surname), have just returned from witnessing the uncle of a five year-old girl sign a legal document in another part of Madrid’s Ramón y Cajal hospital, declaring that he understands the consequences of donating part of his liver to his niece.

Spain has probably the best organ transplant system in the world. Its healthcare is highly regarded – it ranked seventh in the World Health Organisation’s top 10 in 2000 (the UK was 18th) – and, like the NHS, it is free at the point of delivery. It has an excellent network of family doctors and a health centre within 15 minutes of every home. But when it comes to transplants, Spain is way out in front.

Ivory Coast war intensifies as battle for capital looms

By Daniel Howden, Africa Correspondent   Thursday, 31 March 2011

Ivory Coast has been plunged back into civil war after a slow-burning election crisis developed into violence with forces loyal to the internationally recognised president-elect, Alassane Ouattara, poised to take the capital.

The fighting threatens to provoke a humanitarian crisis, with civilians seeking refuge in public buildings or fleeing over the border into Liberia.

Laurent Gbagbo, who has defied the international community by refusing to relinquish power, yesterday appealed for a ceasefire.

Afghan President Condemns Actions of ‘Kill Team’

‘They Killed for Entertainment’


The photographs shocked the world and led to fears of revenge attacks against NATO troops in Afghanistan. Now, almost two weeks after the pictures of US soldiers posing with the dead bodies of Afghans were published in SPIEGEL, Afghan President Hamid Karzai publicly commented on the “Kill Team” for the first time.

Karzai told an audience of new teachers at a graduation ceremony in the capital city of Kabul on Wednesday that he had been “shocked and hurt” by the photographs. He said he was talking about the incidents now because the world has to “finally wake up.”

The Afghan leader said he had read about the story in a “German magazine,” an apparent reference to SPIEGEL. “They killed our youth for entertainment,” he said.

Pak intelligence arrests high value Bali bomber


Pakistan has arrested a much sought after Indonesian al-Qaida militant suspected in the 2002 bombing of a Bali nightclub and will turn him over to Jakarta, a Pakistani intelligence official said Wednesday.

The official did not say when or where Umar Patek was arrested, but according to the Philippines army, who has also been hunting him, he was seized on Jan. 25 along with a Pakistani associate believed to have been giving him shelter.

The arrest of Patek, who has a $1 million American price on his head, is a major victory in the global fight against al-Qaida and – since he was taken alive – could provide very valuable intelligence about regional militant networks and possible future plots.