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March 31st, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Libyan defector has 'secrets to tell,' analyst says

CNN Wire Staff

London (CNN) - The surprise arrival Wednesday of a tall, gray-haired man at a small airport outside of London raised eyebrows - and it also raised hopes of a breakthrough on many fronts.

The man on the plane was Moussa Koussa, Libya's foreign minister and former intelligence chief, and he was defecting from the regime of Moammar Gadhafi, the highest-ranking official yet to do so.

Koussa was a stalwart defender of the government as recently as a month ago. But in recent weeks, his demeanor has visibly changed. At one recent media briefing, he kept his head down as he read a statement and left early.

He did not tell the Libyan government he was planning to quit before he arrived in Britain, Libyan government spokesman Mousa Ibrahim said Thursday.

But Ibrahim downplayed the defection itself, saying Moussa was an old man in poor health who had not been able to handle the pressure of his job.

"We gave him permission to leave," Ibrahim said, less than 24 hours after Libyan government denials that Koussa had defected, and insisted he was coming back.

The British Foreign Office announced late Wednesday that Koussa had resigned and come willingly to the United Kingdom.

There's debate about whether his departure from Tripoli will weaken Gadhafi, with some saying it will be a signal to other doubters around Libya's leader that it's time to jump ship.

Full story


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
March 31st, 2011
09:00 AM ET

Letters to the President: #801 'Arming the rebels'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: As of this writing, President Obama is leaving the door open to the idea of supplying the Libyan rebels with arms. So I am supplying him with yet another letter.

Dear Mr. President,

Here is a rule of thumb that I have gleaned from a parade of late night movies: Never hand a gun to the other guy unless you are absolutely certain he is your friend. Not a bad thing to keep in mind as you and your team debate the idea of opening up the great American arms funnel for the opposition forces in Libya.

Let’s run some pluses and minuses.
FULL POST

March 31st, 2011
01:34 AM ET
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09:49 PM ET

CIA operating in Libya: Join the Live Chat

Tonight on AC360°, two major stories from Libya – reports that President Obama has secretly authorized CIA involvement on the ground. And, Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa surfaced in London Wednesday and told officials there that he has resigned his post with the Libyan government. Plus, updates on situation in Syria and the nuclear emergency in Japan.

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)


Filed under: Live Blog
March 30th, 2011
07:45 PM ET

Crippled Japanese plant's reactors to be decommissioned, chief says

CNN Wire Staff

Tokyo (CNN) - The chairman of the Japanese company that owns the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant said Wednesday it has no choice but to decommission four of the plant's six reactors.

Tsunehisa Katsumata, chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Co., made the comment in a news conference as workers struggled to keep the reactors cool and prevent the further spread of radiation from the earthquake- and tsunami-stricken plant.

"Looking at current conditions, I have to say there are no options other than decommissioning reactors 1-4," Katsumata said.

He also said he is aware the Japanese government is considering nationalizing the company in the wake of the disaster, but "we want to make every effort to stay a private company."

Radioactive iodine at more than 3,000 times the regulatory limit has been found in ocean water near the plant, Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said.

Monitoring data collected Tuesday afternoon detected the I-131 isotope at 3,355 times the regulatory limit, the agency said. The sample was taken 330 meters (1,080 feet) away from one of the plant's discharge points, the agency said.

Full story


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
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