Oil installations ablaze in Libya as battles rage
RAS LANOUF, Libya -- A giant yellow fireball shot into the sky, trailed by thick plumes of black smoke Wednesday after fighting between rebels and forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi set two oil installations ablaze and inflicted yet more damage on Libya's crippled energy industry.
In the west, Gadhafi claimed victory in recapturing Zawiya, the city closest to the capital that had fallen into opposition hands. The claim could not immediately be verified; phone lines there have not been working during a deadly, six-day siege.
The fall of Zawiya to anti-Gadhafi residents early on in the uprising that began Feb. 15 illustrated the initial, blazing progress of the opposition. But Gadhafi has seized the momentum, battering the rebels with airstrikes and artillery fire and repulsing their westward march toward the capital, Tripoli.
Gadhafi's successes have left Western powers struggling to come up with a plan to support the rebels without becoming ensnared in the complex and fast-moving conflict.
Official: Kurd forces will stay near key city
SULAIMAN-IYAH, Iraq -- Thousands of Kurd forces will remain in their new positions around the oil-rich Iraqi city of Kirkuk for now, a senior Kurdish official said Wednesday.
While the Kurds have described the move as temporary, the fighters' continued presence is seen by some as a gambit to bring the city under Kurdish control and is sure to increase tensions between the central government in Baghdad and the Kurds' self-ruled northern region.
Lasagna trail leads police to fugitive in Italy
ROME -- He avoided Italian police for a decade on the run, but couldn't resist his wife's lasagna.
Police said Giancarlo Sabatini went into hiding in 2000, shortly after being given a 3-year, 8-month prison sentence in a cocaine trafficking case.
Acting on a tip, police staked out the homes of Sabatini's wife and daughter Tuesday in Rocca Priora, a town near Rome. When they spied the daughter leaving her mother's house and furtively dashing toward her home bearing a tray of lasagna, police, suspecting a secret guest, burst in and arrested Sabatini.