Nicolas Sarkozy’s aggressive campaign against Libya has not helped his party, UMP, in local elections. UMP was beaten by the Socialists, and Marine Le Pen’s National Front also did surprisingly well, with 11%
The Libyan rebels recaptured three key oil cities today, and are closing in on Col. Gadhafi’s hometown of Sirte, which is now under bombardment by NATO warplanes. Meanwhile, the Syrian army continues to crack down on protesters, and the death toll in recent days has risen to more than 60. In Jordan, one protester is reported to have been killed during Friday’s clashes with police and soldiers.
In other news, water in the basements of all six reactors at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant is contaminated with radioactive materials. Radiation levels spiked again today, hampering efforts to restore the reactors’ cooling systems. Trace amounts of radioactive iodine from Fukushima have been detected in rainwater in Massachusetts.
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