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Gadhafi forces are hit by NATO warplanes

MISRATA, Libya (AP) -- NATO warplanes pounded forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi that have been attacking this besieged rebel-held city, blasting fighting vehicles advancing on the port that serves as Misrata's sole lifeline, a NATO spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The battle for Misrata has become the focal point of the uprising against Gadhafi's regime, and the near-constant shelling of the city by government troops over the last two months has spurred calls for more forceful international intervention.

In Brussels, the EU commissioner for humanitarian aid said the shelling of the Misrata port has worsened the already bad humanitarian situation in the city and that the 27-nation group has set aside more than $146 million to address pressing humanitarian needs.


Five countries deplore Syria actions to envoys

GENEVA (AP) -- Five European nations summoned Syrian ambassadors Wednesday in a coordinated demand that President Bashar Assad stop gunning down his people, and Germany said sanctions were possible if the crackdown did not ease.

The United States called on the U.N.'s Human Rights Council to approve an independent probe and recommend prosecution if violations of human rights law are uncovered.

France, Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain told Syrian ambassadors that they condemned the violence and that Assad must change tactics, according to France's Foreign Ministry.

The European condemnation was a significant personal blow to Assad, a British-educated self-styled reformer who has made a high priority of efforts to bring Syria back into the global mainstream.

The relentless government crackdown against pro-democracy protesters has killed more than 450 people across Syria since mid-March, with 120 dead over the weekend, according to the United Nations. Security forces have been conducting sweeping arrests and raids.


Harvard scholar voted premier of Tibet exiles

DHARMSALA, India (AP) -- A Harvard legal scholar has been elected the next prime minister of Tibet's government-in-exile, officials announced Wednesday, paving the way for new leadership in the Tibetan community as the Dalai Lama gives up political power.

Lobsang Sangay, 43, a lawyer and scholar who has spent years studying international law and conflict resolution, won with 55 percent of the votes cast by tens of thousands of Tibetans around the world, chief election commissioner Jamphel Choesang said in the north Indian town of Dharmsala, where the exile government is based.

Earlier this year, the Dalai Lama announced he would give up his political role, saying that it was time for elected leadership in the Tibetan community.

The political change reverses centuries of tradition in which the Dalai Lama was also the region's political leader.

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