Portal:Current events/2011 March 20

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Armed conflict and attacks
  • Arab Spring
    • 2011 Libyan civil war:
      • Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani says Qatar will join the anti-Gaddafi forces, making it the first Arab country to commit military forces. (Bloomberg)
      • The United Arab Emirates sends aircraft to Sardinia to join the anti-Gaddafi effort. (AFP)(Reuters)
      • Amr Moussa of the Arab League expresses concerns about Gaddafi retaliation after supporting the imposition of a no-fly zone. (Christian Science Monitor)
      • A Libyan army spokesman says Libyan armed forces have been issued a command to observe an immediate ceasefire following air bombardment from American, French and British forces aiming to implement a UN resolution authorising the use of force to protect Libyan civilians from government troops. (The Jerusalem Post)
      • Libyan state television claims that 48 people have been killed and 150 injured in Operation Odyssey Dawn. (AP)
      • Residents of Misrata claim that snipers loyal to Muammar Gaddafi are posted on rooftops in the town. (Reuters)
      • The Opposition claim that more than 8,000 people have been killed. (Al-Jazeera)
      • The Arab League speaks out against the military airstrikes on Libya as civilians are killed. (Press TV)
      • Germany's foreign minister Guido Westerwelle defends his country's refusal to participate in the invasion of Libya, speaking of "the risks of a lengthy mission". (Press TV)
      • NATO's top decision-making body approves a plan to implement a United Nations arms embargo but fail to agree on plans to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya. (AP via the Seattle Times)
      • A missile totally destroys an administrative building in Muammar Gaddafi's compound in Tripoli. (Sydney Morning Herald)
    • 2011 Syrian protests:
      • Thousands of people demonstrate for a third consecutive day in Daraa, Syria, with crowds setting fire to the headquarters of the ruling Baath Party while one protester is killed by security forces. (The Jerusalem Post)(BBC)
      • The Syrian government announces its intention to release children it locked up for their pro-democracy actions. (Al Jazeera)
    • 2011 Bahraini protests:
      • Opposition groups in Bahrain call for prisoners to be released amid the country's two-month-long pro-democracy demonstrations. (Al Jazeera)
      • Iran and Bahrain expel diplomats following Iran's criticism of the crackdown on the protesters. (AFP via Google News) (BBC)
    • 2011 Yemeni protests:
      • The Yemeni human rights minister, Huda al-Baan, resigns in protest after a sniper attack on anti-government demonstrators. (AFP via Google News)
      • The country's most powerful tribal confederation Hashed requests that Saleh resign. Hashed includes Saleh's own tribe. (Al Jazeera)
      • Saleh sacks his cabinet. (BBC)
    • 2011 Saudi Arabian protests:
      • Security forces in Saudi Arabia break up a protest outside the interior ministry in the capital Riyadh demanding the release of political prisoners. (CNN) (Press TV)
      • Saudi forces arrest and take away around 15 people as they gather outside the interior ministry building to request details of the whereabouts of their friends or family members who have been imprisoned without trial. Such expressions of opinion are outlawed in Saudi Arabia. (Al Jazeera)
    • 2011 Moroccan protests:
      • Thousands of people rally across the country demanding more civil rights and an end to corruption. (Reuters)
  • Israeli–Palestinian conflict:
    • Palestinian militants fire a Grad-type rocket from Gaza into southern Ashkelon, Israel; two residents are taken to a clinic for medical treatment. (The Jerusalem Post) (Ynet)
    • The bodies of two 17-year-old Palestinians, shot dead by the Israeli military near the Gaza-Israel border yesterday, are retrieved; the military says the army opened fire on two men who were spotted moving suspiciously toward a frontier "no-go" zone, after fierce cross-border exchanges in which militants fired dozens of shells into Israel. (AFP via Google News) (BBC)
    • Israel shuts down every crossing with the Gaza Strip, citing "security reasons", ahead of the Purim Jewish holiday. (Press TV)
  • 12 people are killed in clashes between Transitional Federal Government troops and al-Shabaab rebels in southern Somalia. (AFP via Google News) (Press TV)
  • Demonstrations against the treatment of Bradley Manning:
    • A protest against the alleged "appalling" treatment by the United States of Bradley Manning occurs in London, with supporters from Wales, where Manning attended school, attending. (BBC) (Wales Online)
    • A rally occurs in Quantico in the U.S. state of Virginia where Manning is currently imprisoned. (AP via WTKR) (Huffington Post)
    • American security forces arrest 35 people protesting against the "torture" of Manning at Quantico during an event addressed by, among others, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg. (Inside NoVA) (AP via Google News) (Newsday) (Washington Examiner)
    • Ellsberg, who leaked information about U.S. government lies during the Vietnam War, says he does not mind being arrested in Manning's name, claiming "I was that young man; I was Bradley Manning". (CNN)
Arts and culture
Business and economy
International relations
  • After a gag order is lifted and Sunday publication is permitted, Israel's security service admits it has arrested Gazan engineer Dirar Abu Sisi who disappeared in Ukraine almost two weeks ago and whose wife thought he had been abducted by Mossad. (Haaretz) (CP via Google News) (AFP via Google News) (Ma'an News Agency) (Ynetnews)
  • U.S. president Barack Obama visits a favela and delivers a speech in Rio de Janeiro as part of his five-day Latin American journey. (BBC)
Law and crime
  • Police are growing concerned for the safety of Sian O'Callaghan, a 22-year-old woman who went missing while walking home from a nightclub in the English city of Swindon in the early hours of Saturday 19 March. (BBC)
Politics and elections
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