World Week Ahead: Libya’s Stalemate; Syrians’ Demand for Change

BY Larisa Epatko  April 18, 2011 at 9:59 AM EST


Libyan rebel firing a mounted machine gun in Misrata (Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images)

Syria’s anti-government protests, still surging after a month, and a breakthrough in delivering humanitarian assistance in Libya, despite the military stalemate, are among the international developments we’re keeping an eye on this week.

LIBYA | Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi shelled the city of Misrata in the west, reportedly killing 17 people on Sunday, while rebels were able to maintain a hold on the city of Ajdabiya.

Amid the fighting, Gadhafi’s government and the United Nations struck a deal on providing humanitarian aid to western parts of Libya under the government’s control. The U.N. is already providing aid to rebel-controlled eastern areas.

Read: A U.N. recap of a press conference provides more details of the humanitarian situation in Libya.

Editor’s Note: Our partners at GlobalPost report that their freelance contributor James Foley and three other foreign journalists captured at the same time in Libya by Gadhafi forces are still believed to be held in Tripoli, 13 days later. Foley’s friends and family held a candlelight vigil for him and the other captured journalists at his Rochester, N.H., home on Sunday.

Read: Human Rights Watch says at least nine foreign and six Libyan journalists are being detained or are missing in Libya.

SYRIA | Street demonstrations continued across Syria last weekend, despite President Bashar al-Assad’s promise to lift emergency law this week. The law, which has been in place for 48 years, bans gatherings of more than five people. But demonstrators are seeking further political freedoms and an end to repressive rule.

Watch: Reuters shows amateur video of the protests:

NIGERIA | Preliminary results in Nigeria’s presidential election on Saturday show President Goodluck Jonathan in the lead, sparking riots Monday.

Read: BBC provides a profile of low-key incumbent President Jonathan.

AFGHANISTAN | A gunman wearing an Afghan military uniform and a vest of explosives opened fire inside the Defense Ministry in Kabul on Monday, killing two soldiers and injuring seven others. The ambush was the worst security breach in several years.

Read: The Washington Post reports on how the Taliban are starting this season of fighting with less territory and control in the south than they had last year.

ROYAL WEDDING | The NewsHour begins its coverage of the royal wedding on April 29 with a Q&A with Michael Goldfarb, GlobalPost’s London correspondent, on Thursday. Tell us the questions you would like us to ask him in the comments section below this post.

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