HEADLINES -- May 12, 2011 at 7:16 AM ET
NATO Strikes Gadhafi Compound, Demjanjuk Found Guilty of Nazi War Crimes
A picture taken in Gaza city on May 11, 2011 shows Moammar Gadhafi appearing on Libyan state television. (Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images)
NATO air strikes targeted one of Moammar Gadhafi's compounds in the Libyan capital of Tripoli Thursday, following attacks on several military and government assets Wednesday. Gadhafi is believed to have been unharmed.
NATO has stepped up its air campaign in recent weeks after a prolonged stalemate between rebel fighters and government forces. Rebels have claimed gains in Misrata, where they have been locked in battle for weeks, claiming Wednesday to have retaken the city's airport, an important strategic and humanitarian gain as the city has been cut off from food and medical supplies by the fighting. There are also reports that NATO strikes earlier in the week damaged the North Korean embassy.
Gadhafi appeared on state television in footage purportedly shot on May 11, the first time he has done so since the death of his son in an air strike on April 30. Thursday's air strikes were carried out after his appearance.
After meeting with the head of the opposition's Transitional National Council, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said, "We have succeeded in the initial mission, which was to prevent a massacre of civilians by Colonel Gadhafi on the ground." The chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee added that additional support would be needed to help build a stable government.
German Court Convicts Demjanjuk in Nazi Death Camp Trial
A German court found John Demjanjuk, a 91-year-old retired U.S. autoworker and a former guard at the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, an accessory to murder in the deaths of more than 28,000 people.
Demjanjuk has denied any complicity in the killings, saying he himself was a prisoner of war and had been subject to brutal conditions. A soldier in the Soviet Red Army, Demjanjuk was captured by the Nazis in 1942, after which the prosecution says he became a guard at Sobibor.
Demjanjuk was sentenced to five years in prison, although he may receive credit for time already served. He has been in German custody since his extradition in 2009. After World War II, Demjanjuk resided in Ohio and worked in an auto factory.
Rather than being tied to a specific killing, the court case was based on his being an accessory to a broad range of deaths that took place at the site.
Residents in Mississippi Delta Eye River's Rise
Photo courtesy U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Residents of Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana are waiting out the worst of the Mississippi River's crest Thursday, after near-record highs passed through Memphis, Tenn., and headed downstream. The river has already flooded farmland and forced evacuations in several states; now New Orleans and other towns and cities are shoring up their levees and stacking sandbags to mitigate the effects of the floodwaters. The river's crest could hit Louisiana next week.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has opened several spillways in an effort to divert the waters, and President Obama has approved federal assistance for counties affected by the flooding.
In addition to submerging homes, the water is expected to take an economic toll, shuttering businesses and damaging crops. In Arkansas, an estimated $500 million in crop damage is expected, and in Mississippi casinos that generate millions in tax revenue have closed their doors. The river also passes through counties with high poverty rates, adding to the burden of recovery.
Syrian Tanks Encircle City of '82 Revolt, Break Up Protest
Syrian soldiers surrounded the city of Hama, the site of a 1982 uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's father, in the latest stage of the government's nationwide crackdown on protesters. There are reports of shelling and arrests in the city. An estimated 10,000-25,000 were killed when it was leveled in 1982, according to Amnesty International, although no official figures exist.
In Aleppo, witnesses said security forces broke up thousands of students who were demonstrating on a university campus, dispersing them before they could reach the city center.
The military has launched attacks in several cities this week where demonstrations have been most prominent, including Daraa, Banias and Homs. The intensified efforts come ahead of Friday prayers, which have served as a segue into larger demonstrations.
Despite condemnation from the international community, Assad's government has vowed to end what it calls an uprising fueled by extremists and "thugs."