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Muammar Qaddafi’s forces in Libya continued air strikes against antigovernment forces as fighting there devolved into civil war. Rebels took control of the oil port at Ras Lanuf but were beaten back at the coastal town of Bin Jawwad, which Qaddafi recaptured with the help of air strikes that killed at least five people. Saying he was “deeply concerned” about the fighting, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon promised that he would send a new “special envoy to Libya” to meet with officials in Tripoli. New York TimesCNNThe Obama Administration resisted urging from Senators John Kerry, Mitch McConnell, and John McCain to establish a no-fly zone over the country. “Lots of people throw around phrases like no-fly zone,” said White House chief of staff William M. Daley. “They talk about it as though it’s just a video game.” “Let’s just call a spade a spade,” said Defense Secretary Robert Gates. “A no-fly zone begins with an attack on Libya.” Gates made a surprise visit to Afghanistan to meet with U.S. troops and Afghan leaders. “You’ve had a tough winter,” he told the troops. “It’s going to be a tougher spring and summer.”New York TimesUSA TodayWall Street JournalAfghan President Hamid Karzai refused to accept an apology from U.S. General David Petraeus over a coalition helicopter attack that killed nine Afghan teenagers last week. “Civilian casualties are the main cause of a worsening relationship between Afghanistan and the U.S.,” Karzai said.Wall Street JournalThe U.S. Army announced new fitness requirements for the first time in 30 years. “There have been all kinds of rumors about what this is and what it isn’t,” said General Mark Hertling. “People have said, ‘It’s yoga-like, it’s like Pilates’ â?Š And frankly, it is all those things.” Christian Science Monitor
The House’s Homeland Security Committee prepared for upcoming Congressional hearings on the “radicalization” of American Muslims, despite criticism that the hearings unfairly targeted a specific religious group. “We know that Al Qaeda is not going to be recruiting in a Knights of Columbus Hall,” said committee chair Peter King (R., N.Y.). “It’s going to be recruiting within the Muslim community.”Daily NewsNegotiations broke down between Wisconsin’s Democratic state senators and Governor Scott Walker over Walker’s proposal to cut benefits and eliminate collective-bargaining rights for state workers. The senators, who left the state last month to prevent passage of the bill, acknowledged that they would likely be forced to return without a compromise solution. “We will have accomplished some of our purpose,” said State Senator Fred Risser. “To slow things up and let people know what was in this bill.” Wisconsin lawmakers were also considering a bill to ban prank phone calls.Washington PostNew York TimesThe Wisconsin Badger Herald
State legislators in Ohio announced plans to call two fetuses as witnesses during abortion hearings before the House Health and Aging Committee. Projection screens will display their ultrasound images.Cleveland Plain DealerBritish officials released 8,500 pages of documents relating to UFO sightings dating back more than 50 years. The documents included an account by a London man who said he was abducted by aliens after seeing a large “cigar-shaped vehicle” in the sky and that he gained an hour of time in the process of the abduction. Government officials wrote back to the man, telling him that the vehicle was an airship and the change of time was due to daylight savings.MSNBCFrank Buckles, the last surviving American veteran of World War I, died at 110, and Phil Collins retired from the music business. “I don’t think anyone will miss me,” he said.LA TimesCNNA tractor-trailer crash in southwest Missouri spilled 40,000 pounds of mayonnaise on Interstate 44, and a Northwestern University professor apologized after holding a demonstration in front of 100 students from his human-sexuality class in which a man repeatedly penetrated his naked fiancĂ©e with a “fucksaw.” “It is probably something I will remember for the rest of my life,” said Northwestern senior Justin Smith. “I can’t say that about my Econ 202 class.”Kansas City StarThe daily NorthwesternChicago Tribune
More from Christopher Beha:
From the Vault — February 7, 2014, 3:15 pm
Is it worth carrying on with the Olympic Games?
Six Questions — May 24, 2013, 8:00 am
Anna Badkhen on life in rural Afghanistan andÂ the friction between violence and beauty
Percentage of British elementary-school students who think Isaac Newton discovered fire:
The earth once had three moons; the two lost moons may have crashed into the surviving moon, or been sucked into the sun, or flung out of the solar system to drift through deep space.
In Florida, an 87-year-old World War II veteran flying touch-and-go drills in a Cessna collided with an airborne skydiver. âThere was a âwoofâ sound,â said a witness, âlike falling on your face into your pillow.â
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âAmerican politics has often been an arena for angry minds.â