Yemen

One Dead in Yemen; GCC Deal Unravels

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Unrest has left one demonstrator dead in Yemen's south after the unraveling of a deal that would have eased Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh out of power.

Officials say the army opened fired on protesters in the port city of Aden Monday, killing one demonstrator.

Activists and medics say at least two protesters were killed in Aden Saturday as security forces moved in to clear a square they had occupied. They are demanding the immediate removal of Mr. Saleh from office.

At least 140 people have died in the unrest since January.

Meanwhile, Gulf officials said Sunday they are sending a top official back to Yemen to try to salvage the deal after Mr. Saleh refused to sign the agreement.

Officials with the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which sponsored the accord, said the deal's signing ceremony had been postponed indefinitely.

They said Mr. Saleh had agreed to sign the deal as leader of the ruling General People's Congress party but not in his capacity as president - as required by the deal.

The Yemeni president had been expected to sign in advance of a formal ceremony in Riyadh planned for Sunday or Monday.

The GCC plan called for President Saleh to hand over power to a deputy and resign within 30 days of signing the initiative. It would establish a unity government that would include opposition members. A presidential election would take place two months after Mr. Saleh leaves office.

Both the opposition and Mr. Saleh said last week that they agreed to the deal.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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China Calls for Libya Ceasefire After Gadhafi's Son Dies http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/China-Calls-for-Libya-Ceasefi...

Published: Mon, 2 May 2011 15:50:10 GMT http://media.voanews.com/images/ap_china_libya_480_file.jpg

China's Foreign Ministry has renewed its call for a ceasefire in Libya after reports that a NATO airstrike killed the son of leader Moammar Gadhafi, saying it is concerned about civilian casualties in the fighting there.

A Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said China disapproves of any NATO action beyond that authorized by the United Nations Security Council. Jiang Yu urged all parties to halt combat and resolve the Libyan crisis peacefully.

China abstained from the U.N. Security Council vote authorizing intervention to protect civilians in Libya, where rebels are fighting to end Moammar Gadhafi's authoritarian rule.

A Libyan government official has said that a NATO airstrike on Saturday killed 29-year-old Saif al-Arab Gadhafi and three of his children, in what the government calls an attempt to assassinate the Libyan leader. The deaths have not been independently confirmed.

The senior Gadhafi and his wife were in their son's home at the time, but were not hurt.

China usually opposes U.N. efforts to impose sanctions or use military action against other countries. And since a wave of popular protests calling for new governments began sweeping the Middle East early this year, Beijing has cracked down on dissent and cut off access to information about the protests. Experts on Chinese politics say the ruling Communist Party does not want the protests to spread to the country.

US Celebrates Osama Bin Laden's Death http://www.voanews.com/english/news/US-Celebrates-Osama-Bin-Ladens-Death...

Published: Mon, 2 May 2011 15:32:55 GMT http://media.voanews.com/images/Reut_NYFirefighters_binLaden_02may11.jpg

U.S. President Barack Obama was preparing to announce Osama bin Laden was dead when word got out and crowds started gathering late Sunday outside the White House in Washington and at Ground Zero in New York City.

From Times Square to Ground Zero to the White House, the familiar chant of "USA , USA" resonated as citizens learned that the Osama bin Laden was dead.

The announcement sparked immediate jubilation. In Time Square, people gathered around giant news tickers to see the latest updates. Pam Sather recalls the moment she heard the world's most wanted terrorist was dead.

"It is just amazing, we were just walking out of a pizza joint," she said. "And, all the sudden we saw in the bar on the television. We were just glued."

At the White House, young Americans climbed trees, climbed light posts, donned American flags and sang the national anthem.

The feeling was euphoric as thousands of Americans gathered in front of the White House just hours after U.S. President Barack Obama made the announcement that Osama bin Laden was dead.

For many, including student Kathryn Costello, it became a moment of reflection, thinking back to the nearly 3,000 lives lost on September 11, 2001, an act of terror Osama bin Laden claimed responsibility for.

"I think a lot of us have grown up with the memory of 9/11 and sort of this constant notion of a threat and the danger of terrorism," said Costello. "So this is a triumphant moment for all of us."

For many U.S. soldiers, including U.S. Marine Jake Diliberto, this is a day they have been fighting for.

"We feel really really vindicated that we finally got him," he said. "This is our generation's VE, VJ. This is our generation's victory and enduring freedom day."

Patriotism filled the air outside the White House into the early hours Monday.

Two hours after the announcement, with celebrations still roaring, the U.S. Secret Service brought in barriers to push back revelers from the White House.

Related video report by Peter Fedynsky

International student Sunny Shih said the importance of the historical moment reaches beyond the gates of the White House.

"This is a very important moment for not only the U.S.A., but for the entire world," said Shih.

Many world leaders are praising the achievement of U.S. military forces Sunday in Pakistan, who killed Osama bin Laden, captured his body and buried it at sea. But they are cautioning bin Laden's death elevates security risks around the world.

Back at the White House, the focus remains on the justice the president said was delivered.

Obama: bin Laden Death is 'Good Day for America' http://www.voanews.com/english/news/usa/Obama-Good-Day-For-America-After...

Published: Mon, 2 May 2011 17:37:27 GMT http://media.voanews.com/images/AP_Obama_Osama_death_02may11_480.jpg

The day after U.S. forces killed terror network leader Osama bin Laden, President Barack Obama said it is a good day for America. And, the president’s top counterterrorism adviser briefed reporters on Monday about the details of the operation that killed bin Laden.

President Obama said the killing of the al-Qaida founder shows what Americans can do when they work together.

"I think we can all agree this is a good day for America," he said. "Our country has kept its commitment to see that justice is done. The world is safer. It is a better place because of the death of Osama bin Laden."

At a ceremony recognizing the heroism of two U.S. soldiers during the Korean War, Mr. Obama said he could not be more proud of the troops who carried out Sunday’s raid on bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.

Later in the day, John Brennan, the president’s assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism, told reporters that U.S. forces were prepared to take bin Laden alive, if possible. But he said that possibility was remote, and that bin Laden was killed in a firefight at his compound.

Brennan said the al-Qaida leader was "hiding in plain sight," and must have had help.

"I think it is inconceivable that bin Laden did not have a support system in the country that allowed him to remain there for an extended period of time," he said. "I am not going to speculate about what type of support he might have had on an official basis."

Brennan said U.S. intelligence officials are talking with their Pakistani counterparts, whose cooperation, he said, is crucial to rounding up more terrorists.

The president’s counterterrorism adviser said Pakistan has captured and killed more terrorists within its borders than any other country.

Brennan said Sunday’s gathering of the president and his top advisers in the White House Situation Room to monitor the progress of the operation was tense. He said there was some disagreement among the advisers on how to proceed.

"It was probably one of the most anxiety-filled periods of time, I think, in the lives of the people who were assembled here yesterday," he said. "The minutes passed like days."

According to Brennan, the tension increased when a helicopter malfunctioned, but he said there was a sigh of relief when word came that Osama bin Laden had been killed. He said President Obama’s response was, "We got him."

Brennan said the circumstances surrounding bin Laden’s death reveal his hypocrisy.

"Here is bin Laden, who has been calling for these attacks, living in this million-dollar-plus compound, living in an area that is far removed from the front, hiding behind women who were put in front of him as a shield," he said. "I think it really just speaks just how false his narrative has been over the years."

Brennan told reporters that al-Qaida has been damaged but remains dangerous, like a fatally wounded tiger.

"There is always the potential for terrorist groups to try to strike out and avenge an operation like this," he said. "But also, I think, some of them are asking themselves, 'Bin Laden is dead, the al-Qaida narrative is becoming increasingly bankrupt.' There is a new wave sweeping through the Middle East right now that puts a premium on individual rights and freedom and dignity."

Brennan said Pakistani authorities were not notified before the operation. And as a result, some Pakistani fighter jets were scrambled. But he said there was no engagement with U.S. forces.

The adviser said U.S. officials are 99.9 percent sure that the man they killed was Osama bin Laden, and that that confidence increased over time.

Brennan said bin Laden’s body was buried at sea on Monday. He said a place for a land burial could not be found in time to comply with Islamic custom.

John Brennan called the killing of Osama bin Laden a strategic blow to al-Qaida, but not a fatal blow. He said President Obama’s decision to proceed with the mission was "one of the gutsiest calls of any president in recent memory."

Opposition: Libyan Forces Resume Misrata Shelling http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/north/Opposition-Says-Libyan-...

Published: Mon, 2 May 2011 12:53:52 GMT http://media.voanews.com/images/ap_libya_misrata_shelling_1may11_eng_480...

Witnesses and opposition spokesmen say Libyan forces have launched new attacks on the western city of Misrata.

Witnesses said tanks on the western side of the besieged city launched shells Monday, a day after forces attacked the city's battered port area. The bombardment Sunday occurred as a Maltese aid ship, the Mae Yemanja, was unloading food and medical supplies. The vessel quickly moved back to sea.

Embassies attacked

Also Sunday, the Italian and British embassies in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, were attacked in apparent retaliation for a NATO missile strike that was said to have killed one of leader Moammar Gadhafi's sons and three young grandchildren. The unrest prompted the United Nations to pull its international staff out of Tripoli.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned the embassy attacks, which left the British mission badly burned. Hague said attacks on diplomatic missions violate the Vienna Convention, and he said his government is expelling the Libyan ambassador to Britain.

Italy confirmed its embassy was among several in Tripoli damaged by vandals. It accused Gadhafi's government of failing to take measures to protect foreign missions.

Most western countries had closed their Tripoli embassies and evacuated their staffs before the NATO military intervention began several weeks ago.

Condemnation

U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner condemned the attacks, adding that he also has seen reports indicating U.S. diplomatic facilities in Libya were targeted. He said Gadhafi's failure to protect the diplomatic missions was another "breach" of Libya's international obligations.

The United Nations said 12 international staff have been temporarily evacuated from Tripoli to Tunisia because of the unrest. The U.N. said the decision does not affect local staff or international personnel in rebel-held Benghazi.

No confirmation

Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said Saif al-Arab Gadhafi, 29, and three of his children were killed late Saturday in what Ibrahim called a direct attempt to assassinate the Libyan leader. The deaths have not been independently confirmed.

Ibrahim said the senior Gadhafi and his wife were in their son's home at the time, but were not hurt. He said several other people were injured. Journalists taken to the site of the house reported extensive damage.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said coalition targeting policy is in line with a U.N. mandate to prevent "a loss of civilian life." Cameron said NATO forces are targeting Libya's command and control units, as well as military hardware, not specific people.

Russia's foreign ministry condemned the airstrike, saying Moscow has "serious doubts about statements by coalition members that strikes on Libya are not intended to physically eliminate Gadhafi and his family."

World Leaders Welcome bin Laden's Death http://www.voanews.com/english/news/World-Leaders-React-to-bin-Ladens-De...

Published: Mon, 2 May 2011 11:27:00 GMT http://media.voanews.com/images/AP+New+York+Osama+Bin+Laden+death+react+...

The news that al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden is dead was widely welcomed around the world, as leaders warned the fight against terrorism was not over.

Former U.S. president George W. Bush called bin Laden's death a "momentous achievement." Bush was president when al-Qaida terrorists attacked the U.S. on September 11, 2001.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said New Yorkers have waited nearly 10 years for news of bin Laden's death. He said it is his hope that the development will bring some closure and comfort to all those who lost loved ones on September 11.

Crowds gathered outside the White House to celebrate bin Laden's death. There were similar scenes in New York City, both in Times Square and at the site known as "ground zero," where the World Trade Center twin towers stood before being destroyed in the September 11 attacks.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said bin Laden was a symbol of international terror. She said while the world is a bit more safe with his death, the danger of terrorism persists.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said the news of the al-Qaida leader's death brings "great relief" to people across the world. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi described the death as a great result for the U.S. and all democracies. French President Nicolas Sarkozy hailed bin Laden's death as a major coup in the fight against terrorism.

Both bin Laden's ancestral homeland of Yemen and his birthplace of Saudi Arabia also welcomed his death, saying that they hope it will contribute to anti-terrorism efforts.

In Israel, a key target of bin Laden’s wrath, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the al-Qaida leader's death a resounding victory for justice. India called the killing a joyous milestone, and said the world must press to eliminate safe havens provided to terrorists.

Pakistan called bin Laden's death a major setback for terrorist groups around the world. But the Pakistani Taliban threatened revenge attacks against the Pakistani and U.S. governments.

Video footage of reaction in Washington D.C., New York City

Israel Remembers Holocaust Victims http://www.voanews.com/english/news/middle-east/Israel-Remembers-Holocau...

Published: Mon, 2 May 2011 14:38:55 GMT http://media.voanews.com/images/reuters_israel_holocaust_netanyahu_480_0...

Israelis have observed a moment of silence in memory of the 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust.

Sirens wailed across Israel and traffic came to a halt Monday as the country marked its Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Flags flew at half-staff, and radio and television stations dedicated their broadcasts to remembering the Holocaust.

More than 200,000 Holocaust survivors currently live in Israel.

On the eve of the event, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the world must denounce Iran and others calling for the destruction of Israel.

Netanyahu told a large crowd at Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem on Sunday that Israel must not ignore threats to its existence. He accused Iran of arming itself with nuclear weapons to try to destroy Israel.

The U.N. Security Council has issued four sets of sanctions against Iran for its refusal to stop enriching uranium, a process that can be used to make nuclear weapons. Iran says its atomic program is peaceful.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.