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Posted at 4:35 PM ET, 02/28/2011

Middle East in turmoil: Gaddafi interviewed by Christiane Amanpour

By Elizabeth Flock
Libyan boys sitting on the cannon of a destroyed army tank celebrate the freedom of Benghazi, Libya, Monday, Feb. 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

As demonstrations continue around the Middle East, we keep you updated on the developing situation. We'll be marking time in Eastern Standard Time. Tunisia is six hours ahead, Egypt and Libya are seven hours ahead, Yemen and Iraq are eight hours ahead, and Oman is nine hours ahead. (See World Clock here.)

LIBYA: 12:00 a.m. (EET), Tuesday / WASHINGTON: 5:00 p.m. (EST), Monday

We'll be signing off for the night, but come visit us tomorrow for the latest developments. Thanks for being with us today.

And if you haven't yet read the story of the former radio engineer in Libya who used his newfound freedom to start a broadcasting station "Radio Free Libya," it's a must read. You can find it here.

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Saleh Zayani, 44, opened the air waves on Feb. 21 of what once was a government propaganda station, in Tripoli, Libya. "This is Free Libya and Tripoli is our capital," he proclaimed at 2 p.m. and that was the start of Radio Free Libya. (Leila Fadel/The Washington Post)

YEMEN: 12:27 a.m. (AST) / 4:27 p.m. (EST), Monday

Yemen "Day of Rage" tomorrow

Tuesday has been designated a "Day of Rage" by Yemen's opposition coalition, who continues to rebuff President Ali Abdullah Saleh's offer of a unity government. Read the full report from Sanaa here.

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Anti-government protesters are reflected on the sunglasses of a fellow protester during a demonstration demanding the ouster of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh outside Sanaa University Feb.28, 2011. (REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah)

WASHINGTON: 3:48 p.m. (EST), Monday

Watch the White House briefing, live now:

LIBYA: 10:27 p.m. (EET) / 3:27 p.m. (EST), Monday

Helicopter tries to attack radio station

On Monday, protesters in the town of Misrata, 125 miles east of Tripoli, fired at a helicopter that was trying to attack the antenna of the local radio station.

According to residents of the town and an eyewitness account, the helicopter was armed with missiles. The helicopter flew away in the direction of Gaddafi's hometown of Sirt, further to the west, after opposition supporters opened fire on it.

Residents spoke on condition of anonymity because they fear for their lives.

WASHINGTON: 2:34 p.m. (EST), Monday

U.S. freezes $30 billion in assets belonging to Gaddafi.

"As of today, at least $30 billion in government of Libya assets under U.S. jurisdiction have been blocked," David Cohen, Treasury's acting undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in Washington. "This is the largest blocking under any sanctions program ever." He said the action was taken by executive order of President Obama.

LIBYA: 9:31 p.m. (EET) / 2:31 p.m. (EST), Monday

Gaddafi said that he felt betrayed by the United States, given his country's role in the fight against al-Qaeda, Al Jazeera reported Monday. "I'm surprised that we have an alliance with the West to fight al-Qaeda, and now that we are fighting terrorists they have abandoned us. ... Perhaps they want to occupy Libya.

Gaddafi called Obama a "good man" that may be misinformed about the situation in Libya and said the U.S. was not the "international police of the world," according to Al Jazeera.

LIBYA: 9:04 p.m. (EET) / 2:04 p.m. (EST), Monday

Tweets from around the Middle East

As protests continued around the Middle East, the twittersphere continued to light up with the observations of journalists and strong emotions of human rights activists in Libya, Iran, Yemen, and Egypt.

From Libya:

One of most beautiful parts of #libya struggle: emergence of competent & dedicated leadership stifled by decades of repression #feb17less than a minute ago via web

Gaddafi can't bear the suspense. Be patient, the Libyans will come and get you. In the mean time enjoy the insomnia #libya #gaddaficrimesless than a minute ago via web

On Iran:

Reports circulating that rooftop chants will be heard in Tehran & various cities in #Iran tonight #IranElection - let's seeless than a minute ago via TweetDeck

From Yemen:

#Yemen - ordinary ppl starting to talk in of guns..Tmrrow may b a tipping point...less than a minute ago via web

On Egypt:

@blakehounshell In the late 1990s Gamal Mubarak flirted with the idea of starting a party called "Future"less than a minute ago via Twitter for Mac

LIBYA: 8:29 p.m. (EET) / 1:29 p.m. (EST), Monday

Amanpour interviews Gaddafi; $10 million in humanitarian relief on way; Libya foreign intelligence head to address protesters

In a U.S. exclusive, Christiane Amanpour of ABC News interviewed Gaddafi earlier today. The Libyan leader also sat down with the Times of London and the BBC. The interview will air first on "World News with Diane Sawyer," then on "Nightline" this evening and "Good Morning America" Tuesday morning.

Watch a clip of Gaddafi denying demonstrations against him anywhere in Libya here:

While addressing a meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Council, Clinton announced some $10 million in relief funds from government agency USAID. Two teams of experts are also being dispatched to Libya's borders to organize the delivery of aid. U.S. officials are most concerned about shortages of medical supplies and delivery of food.

Gaddafi has appointed the head of Libya's foreign intelligence service to speak to the leadership of the anti-government protesters in the east of the country, Al Jazeera reported. A spokesperson for the protesters' "national council" said Sunday that he saw no room for negotiation.

LIBYA: 7:25 p.m. (EET) / 12:25 p.m. (EST), Monday

Libya photos of the day

A look at photos of the day from Libya as skirmishes between rebels and government loyalists continue and European and U.S. officials put pressure on Gaddafi to resign.

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A Libyan anti-government fighter shoots in the air as he stands guard at the entrance gate of Benghazi airport in eastern Libya on Feb. 28, 2011. (GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)
egypt riots
A supporter kisses a picture of Libya's leader Gaddafi in Sabratha, around 46 miles west of Tripoli, Feb. 28, 2011 during a guided government tour. (REUTERS/Chris Helgren)
egypt riots
Libyans wave Libyan monarchist-era flags on a monument in the southwestern town of Nalut, Libya, Monday, Feb. 28, 2011. The town is currently in control of the Libyan anti-government forces. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
egypt riots
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gestures during a news conference following her speech at the 16th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council focusing on deadly repression in Libya on Feb. 28, 2011 in Geneva. Clinton said today that backing political transitions in the Arab world was not just a matter of ideals, but a "strategic imperative". (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

IRAN: 6:51 p.m. (EET) / 11:21 a.m. (EST), Monday

Two main opposition leaders in Iran were placed under "restrictive circumstances" and not allowed to receive visitors or make phone calls, Iran's prosecutor said Monday. Both former presidential challengers, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, were isolated. The isolation of opposition leaders comes as part of Iran's crackdown on waves of unrest.

LIBYA: 5:25 p.m. (EET) / 10:25 a.m. (EST), Monday

'Voluptuous' Gaddafi nurse returns to Ukraine

A Ukrainian nurse who's been by Gaddafi's side for years has left him. Galyna Kolotnytska, who was described by a US diplomat in leaked cables released by WikiLeaks as a "voluptuous blonde" on whom Gaddafi "relies heavily", returned to Kiev on Sunday morning on a plane with 185 other Ukrainian evacuees, Ukrainian media reported.

egypt riots
Ukrainian nurse Galyna Kolotnytska (5th R) stands next to Gaddafi (C) in this undated photo. (REUTERS/Segodnya Newspaper/Handout)

GENEVA: 4:31 p.m. (CET) / 10:31 a.m. (EST), Monday

Hillary Clinton says Gaddafi must step down

Watch Clinton speak at a meeting on the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva Monday:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is meeting Monday with European and Middle Eastern allies to organize an international response to Libya's growing humanitarian crisis. Clinton said the international community is "speaking with one voice" where Gaddafi is concerned.

Clinton says Gaddafi must leave power "now, without further violence or delay," Al Jazeera reported. "Gaddafi and those around him must be held accountable for these acts, which violate international legal obligations and common decency," she said.

"Our message is unmistakable. These violations of universal rights are unacceptable and will not be tolerated," Clinton said.

LIBYA: 4:36 p.m. (EET) / 9:36 a.m. (EST), Monday

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon announced that two planeloads of French doctors, nurses and medical supplies were on the way to Benghazi. Fillon described it as "the beginning of a massive humanitarian support operation to the populations of liberated territory" in Libya.

The announcement came as rebels challenging Qaddafi showed increased coordination and power in several cities across Libya. The exodus of contract workers to Libya's borders with Tunisia and Egypt is now being called a humanitarian emergency by the UN, ABC News reported.

LIBYA: 4:11 p.m. (EET) / 9:11 a.m. (EST), Monday

Oil shipments resume, military attacks could be "crimes against humanity"

After Libyan rebels took control of a key city near the capital of Tripoli and declared a provisional government, oil shipments were allowed to resume from territory under the demonstrators' control, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday. Stock market futures have perked up and oil prices have backed off slightly in response to those shipments after several days of concern in America and Europe over the loss of Libyan oil.

At the International Criminal Court, prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said military attacks against civilians in Libya could amount to a "crime against humanity" and warrant the launching of a full investigation in the next few days, Al Jazeera reported.

YEMEN: 4:31 p.m. (AST) / 8:31 a.m. (EST), Monday

Yemen unity government

Yemen's president Ali Abdullah Saleh is to announce a government of national unity "within the next 24 hours", according to government sources, Al Jazeera reported Monday. Yemen's opposition says it will not accept the unity government.

egypt riots
Anti-government protesters shout slogans after performing the Muslim noon prayers during a protest demanding the ouster of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh outside Sanaa University Feb. 28, 2011. (REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah)

BRUSSELS: 2:03 p.m. (CET) / 8:03 a.m. (EST), Monday

EU will adopt sanctions against Libya

The EU will adopt sanctions against Libya later in the day, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said Monday, according to AP. Sanctions will include an arms embargo, asset freeze and visa ban and would bolster the U.N. Security Council measures against Libya that were approved Saturday, Ashton said.

Earlier Monday, Germany's foreign minister proposed cutting off all oil and other payments to Libya for 60 days, and France announced it was sending two planes with humanitarian aid to Libya's opposition stronghold of Benghazi.

EGYPT: 2:36 p.m. (EET) / 7:36 a.m. (EST), Monday

State television announced Monday that ousted president Hosni Mubarak and his family had been banned from foreign travel, and their financial assets were being frozen inside the country, wire services reported.

OMAN: 4:36 p.m. (GST) / 7:36 a.m. (EST), Monday

Hundreds of Omani protesters gathered in a roundabout in the center of the city of Sohar blocking a major road for a third consecutive day of protests. At least one person has been killed and 20 others injured in anti-government protests, Oman's health minister said, but hospital workers put the death toll at six, Al Jazeera reported.

By Elizabeth Flock  | February 28, 2011; 4:35 PM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Yemen: "Day of Rage" tomorrow
Next: ♪♫ Jane Russell: Hollywood's 'First Brunette' dies


Imposing worthless sanctions on a person like Gaddafi is about as effective as clipping a cats nails and telling it not to scratch anymore.
And now that we have Hillary over there running her mouth, well, things should start getting done immediately.
She is about as feckless as Obama is.
Both of them are a total waste of American resources.

Posted by: JimW2 | February 28, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

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