Another Gadhafi regime official defects
TRIPOLI, Libya — Another high-ranking Libyan official has defected and fled the country amid a widening NATO campaign of bombings as well as leafletting and other psychological warfare to persuade Moammar Gadhafi’s troops to stop fighting.
Shukri Ghanem, the Libyan oil minister and head of the National Oil Co., crossed into neighboring Tunisia by road on Monday, according to a Tunisian security official and Abdel Moneim al-Houni, a former Libyan Arab League representative who was among the first wave of Libyan diplomats to defect.
Queen makes historic peace trip to Ireland
DUBLIN — Sometimes words aren’t necessary. That was the case Tuesday when Queen Elizabeth II placed a wreath in Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance to honor the Irish rebels who lost their lives fighting for freedom — from Britain.
The queen became the first British monarch to set foot in Dublin for a century. Her four-day visit is designed to show that the bitter enmity of Ireland’s war of independence 90 years ago has been replaced by Anglo-Irish friendship, and that peace has become irreversible in the neighboring British territory of Northern Ireland.
The ceremony under threatening steel-gray skies was simple and direct, its meaning clear. There were no apologies, no acknowledgment of misdeeds, but the presence of the British monarch on ground that is sacred to many Irish was a powerful statement of a desire to start anew.
NATO chopper, Pakistani army exchange fire
DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan — Pakistani troops and a NATO helicopter that crossed into Pakistani territory exchanged fire on Tuesday, wounding two soldiers, local officials said, and Pakistan protested, further straining relations with the West following the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
Also Tuesday, the army said a ‘‘senior al-Qaida operative’’ had been arrested in the port city of Karachi. In a brief statement, it said Yemeni national Muhammad Ali Qasim Yaqub, alias Abu Sohaib Al Makki, had been working directly under al Qaida leaders along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. It did not say when he was arrested.