For Gaddafi, the Heat Is On
NATO stepped up its attacks on the forces of Muammar Gaddafi, intensifying air strikes on the regime's positions around the beleaguered city of Misratah and elsewhere, including a hit on Gaddafi's main headquarters in Tripoli. The dictator was unharmed, but international pressure for his departure is higher than ever. U.S. Senator John McCain flew into the rebels' stronghold of Benghazi on April 22, hailing the rebel leadership as his "heroes" and calling on the Obama Administration not to relent in the offensive against Gaddafi. U.S. Predator drones are now operating in Libya. Far from Benghazi, rebels in the country's rugged west seized a strategic border crossing to Tunisia, opening a new front in the civil war.
World by the Numbers
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$1,000 U.S. Potential fine levied in San Francisco if a proposed ban on male circumcision is passed
779 U.S. Number of leaked secret documents detailing interrogations of detainees at Guantánamo Bay
17% EGYPT Percentage of Egyptians who would like to see the Muslim Brotherhood in power
$225,000 INDIA Value of banknotes eaten by termites at a bank in the country's north; staffers were blamed for their "laxity"
1.8 million U.K. Number of people who have applied for tickets to attend the 2012 Olympics in London
Ancient Temples Ignite New Southeast Asian Skirmishes
Thai and Cambodian forces renewed hostilities over a number of medieval Hindu shrines they have contested for decades. Each country blames the other for the latest exchanges of fire, which killed a dozen people and forced tens of thousands to evacuate. Some of the heaviest shelling occurred near the ancient Preah Vihear temple, a flash point since it was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 2008. Thailand opposed the listing even though an international court ruled in 1962 that the temple was on Cambodian soil. In Bangkok, some analysts say the border clashes are the by-product of jockeying between Thailand's politically influential military and the civilian government.
There Will Be Blood
Tanks and troops swept into the restive southern city of Dara'a as the government of Bashar Assad sought to crush a growing rebellion against its rule. With foreign media barred from reporting in Syria, estimates of casualties vary, but rights groups report that anywhere from 450 to over 1,000 people have been killed in recent weeks. The crackdown on Dara'a echoed the brutal 1982 massacres in Hama by the regime of Assad's ironfisted father Hafez. Western governments pressed for a new round of sanctions against Syria. That has not thwarted Assad, who appears to have enough backing from the country's Sunni elites and minority Alawis--the Assads' religious sect, which dominates the government--to violently snuff out the protests.
Taliban Tunnel to Freedom