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Oil Hovers Above $102 as Traders Eye Libya Strife

Oil prices hovered above $102 a barrel Tuesday in Asia as traders mulled how long Libyan oil exports will remain shut down amid a third night of allied attacks on forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi.

Benchmark crude for April delivery was down 14 cents to $102.19 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The April contract, which expires Tuesday, rose $1.26 to settle at $102.33 on Monday.

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Coalition Pounds Libya for 3rd Night: International Air Campaign Provides Break for Rebels

Coalition forces bombarded Libya for a third straight night Monday, targeting the air defenses and forces of Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi, stopping his advances and handing some momentum back to the rebels, who were on the verge of defeat just last week.

But the rebellion's more organized military units still were not ready, and the opposition disarray underscored U.S. warnings that a long stalemate could emerge.

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U.N. Security Council Opens New Session on Libya

The U.N. Security Council began a closed-door meeting on Libya Monday, diplomats said, amid rising international criticism of air strikes directed at the regime of Moammar Gadhafi.

Missile and air strikes launched over the weekend by U.S., British and French forces targeted Libyan air defense systems to impose a no-fly zone on Gadhafi's forces, and on Sunday demolished a building in the Libyan leader's compound.

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Gadhafi Forces Retreat after Western Airstrikes

Libyan government forces pulled back 100 kilometers from rebel-held Benghazi but showed they still had plenty of fight on Monday as they easily beat off a rebel advance.

The forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi had retreated overnight to the key town of Ajdabiya, south of the city of Benghazi, after Western-led air strikes destroyed much of their armor, leaving dozens of wrecked tanks along the road.

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Phalange Warns of U.S. Intervention in Libya: Time for Miqati to Form New Government

The Phalange Party politburo stated on Monday that it is time that Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati “get his act together” and form a new government as soon as possible.

It said in a statement after its weekly meeting that since the premier had asserted that he is not being subject to any pressure, he should be able to form a new government soon.

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Putin Slams West for Libya 'Medieval Crusade', Medvedev Says Remarks Unacceptable

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday slammed Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's comments on military action against Libya as "unacceptable", in the most public clash yet between Russia's ruling tandem.

Putin earlier Monday denounced the U.N. resolution allowing military action on Libya as resembling a "medieval call to crusade", in one of his most virulent diatribes against the West in years.

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Jumblat Lauds Army for Uncovering Spy System: Yemeni President Should Step Down to Avoid More Massacres

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat praised on Monday the Lebanese army’s discovery of the Israeli spy system at Shamaa last week.

He said in his weekly editorial in the PSP-affiliated Al-Anbaa magazine: “The discovery is new evidence that Lebanon is greatly exposed on the political and security levels.”

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Mullen: Initial Part of Operation in Libya 'Successful'

The initial part of an international operation to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya "has been successful" and the government's offensive on Benghazi has been stopped, top U.S. military commander Michael Mullen said Sunday.

The initial part of an international operation to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya "has been successful," Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told ABC's "This Week" program.

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Gadhafi Vows ‘Long War’ after Western Attack

Libyan leader Moammer Gadhafi said Libya's people have been armed and are ready to fight a "long war" to defeat Western forces attacking his country, in a televised audio message on Sunday.

"All the Libyan people are united. The Libyan men and women have been given weapons and bombs ... You will not advance, you will not step on this land," said Gadhafi.

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West Pounds Libya with Airstrikes, Tomahawks after Paris Summit

The United States, Britain and France pounded targets in Libya with airstrikes and Tomahawk missiles on Saturday, in a campaign to prevent Moammar Gadhafi from crushing a month-old uprising against his rule.

Libyan state television said a French plane was shot down, as an official in Tripoli denounced the "barbaric aggression" despite its announcement of a ceasefire in a month-long showdown against rebels.

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