King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifah of Bahrain has ordered the release of a number of Shi’ite political prisoners, one of a series of concessions made to protesters in an attempt to defuse the ongoing political crisis in the country.
Col. Moamar Ghaddafi insisted in a television appearance that he is still in Libya, and not in Venezuela. He remains defiant towards the protesters who have demanded his ouster. Violence continues throughout Libya, although reliable news about what is happening is scarce. A rumor that Italian warplanes assisted the Libyan air force in suppressing the demonstrators was vigorously denied by the Italian defense minister.
The conflict in Libya has raised the price of oil by 9%, and the damage to the Italian stock market caused the euro to fall against the dollar. The EU is concerned that a new flood of refugees may cross the Mediterranean from Libya, and some Italian analysts believe that more 100,000 people will flee North Africa in the coming weeks.
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