Britain, France, Italy Sending Military Advisers to Libya; Wildfires Hit Texas

BY News Desk  April 20, 2011 at 7:34 AM EST

Italy and France announced they will follow Britain’s lead in sending a small team of military advisers to Libya to assist the rebel forces. None of the countries are planning to send ground troops.

Libyan Foreign Minister Abdul Ati al-Obeidi said the arrval of British advisers would “prolong” the conflict. But British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the move was in compliance with the U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing measures to protect civilians. “This is not British ground combat forces going in,” he told the BBC, categorizing the mission as a correllary to the existing diplomatic presence.

In the past two months, protracted fighting between forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi and rebels has resulted in a back-and-forth territory battle and a unabated siege on the city of Misrata, which has caused a humanitarian crisis for its civilian population.

Wildfires in Texas Destroy 170 Homes

All across Texas, firefighters are battling wildfires that have destroyed more than a million acres and 170 homes over a two-week period. Thirty-four states have sent additional firefighters to help contain the blazes, which have been fueled by dry weather and wind.

Fires inched closer to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, threatening residential areas.

Syria Arrests Opposition Figure After Lifting Emergency Law

Shortly after announcing the end of the nearly half-century-old emergency law, the Syrian government arrested opposition figure Mahmoud Issa shortly after he gave an interview to al-Jazeera. Issa, who has has already spent years in prison, apparently angered relatives of a military official who was killed Sunday.

President Bashar al-Assad has faced a growing wave of anti-government protests, which have prompted some conciliatory gestures aimed at quieting the demonstrations. But in recent days security forces have fired live ammunition at protesters, killing dozens.

The Syrian government has vowed to put a stop to “terrorist activities” and put down what it calls an “insurrection.”

Post-Election Violence Rocks Northern Nigeria

Hospitals in northern Nigeria say they are overwhelmed by the number of wounded following violence after weekend election results that handed incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan a win.

According to election officials, Jonathan, who is from the country’s southern oil-producing Niger Delta region, received double the votes of his challenger, Muhammadu Buhari.

Hospital officials say they are treating machete wounds, burns and gun shot wounds. In Kaduna, an estimated 20 were dead at one hospital alone.

In recent years, Nigeria has seen outbreaks of religious and sectarian violence in the mostly Muslim north and Christian south.

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