Al Jazeera reports that rebels in Free Benghazi are coming heavy fire from Gadaffi's military and its mercenaries: "The international community is late in intervening to save civilians from Gaddafi's forces. Today in Benghazi there will be a catastrophe if the international community does not implement the resolutions of the U.N. Security Council. We appeal to the international community, to the all the free world, to stop this tyranny from exterminating civilians."
The UN Security Council has approved air strikes against Gadaffi loyalist forces and the Gadaffi mercenary army as they advance on "Free Benghazi," the Libyan rebel stronghold. In response, Gadaffi told a Portuguese TV station, "This is craziness, madness, arrogance. If the world gets crazy with us we will get crazy too. We will respond. We will make their lives hell because they are making our lives hell. They will never have peace." The no-fly zone and intervention will be enforced with support from Arab League members who earlier passed a resolution calling on the UN to take action (the Arab League has always had a fraught relationship with Gadaffi, whose presence at League meetings has been marked by the aforementioned "crazy").
7.05pm ET: There's some very impressive singing in central Benghazi, accompanied by celebratory gunfire, right now, based on al-Jazeera's footage.
An al-Jazeera English reporter, Tony Birtley, later says: "I haven't been hugged by so many people since my daughter's birthday party."
7.11pm ET: US enforcement of a no-fly zone in Libya could begin by Sunday or Monday, according to anonymous US officials quoted by AP, and would involve "jet fighters, bombers and surveillance aircraft".
7.16pm ET: Italy announces it is opening its air force and naval bases in Sicily for operations against Libya - the obvious spot to base US and British jets.
The Berlusconi government may have had relatively warm relations with Libya, but Italy's Nato obligations gave it little choice but to allow other members to use its bases.
The New Statesman's Laurie Penny has gotten into Saif Gadaffi's multi-million-pound mansion in London's tony MayfairHampstead, which has been squatted by Libyan exiles. She reports on life inside the reclaimed house:
We drink stewed tea from Saif's best china and eat cheese sandwiches using his silver cutlery, while the young man, Abdulla, tells me about how his uncle was "disappeared" by Saif's father. "In Libya, people disappear all the time. There was a prison massacre where 1,200 people died. They poured cement over the bodies." Abdulla nervously adjusts his glasses. "It's important that people know we're not creating a civil war for no reason.
Nearly every room of this enormous house boasts a large, flat-screen television. The occupiers have tuned each one to al-Jazeera, for rolling coverage of the people's revolutions that are sweeping the Arab world. Televised gunfire echoes in the marble hallway as Jay, 25, explains how activists from the London squatting movement took over the Gaddafi family mansion, moving in secretly and putting up notices declaring their intention to hold the empty house under English common law. "We wanted to show our solidarity the best way we know how," he says.
"It's a symbolic and practical reclamation of private property that belongs to the Libyan people. It's about their struggle, which is why the place has been handed over to the Libyans as a place to organise and a safe space for refugees," he says. "People have been arriving in support from all over the UK..."
"Last night, at about four in the morning, someone came to the door," says Jay. According to Abdulla, "It was a well-dressed Arab person, [wearing] nice clothes and gold. When I asked him what he was doing here so late, he said, 'I want to make you an offer.' He told us: 'I have £40,000 in cash. You can have it if you leave immediately.' No amount of money could make us leave this house. It's not a financial issue."
A group of activist squatters have occupied Saif "War Criminal/Plagiarist/Zillionaire" Gadaffi's swanky £10M mansion in London's Mayfair.
A spokesman for the group said "We didn't trust the British government to properly seize the Gaddafi regime's corrupt assets, so we took matters into our own hands."
"The British government only recently stopped actively helping to train the Libyan regime in "crowd control" techniques, through the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and a midlands based arms manufacturer, NMS Systems. As well as training the regime in repression, British corporations are also guilty of providing the same weapons that are now being used by Gaddaffi against the Libyan people."
The mansion is managed by Gaddaffi through a holding company registered in the British Virgin Islands. The spokesman for occupiers said "Gaddafi, Mubarak, the House of Saud and numerous other tyrants use front companies in British protectorates to avoid paying tax and above all to protect their anonymity. Britain actively assists tyrants, corporations and the super rich to rob their people blind. Our aim is to make sure that the assets stolen by Gaddafi are returned to the Libyan people and don't disappear into the pockets of governments or corporations. In the meantime we want to welcome refugees from the conflict in Libya and those fleeing tyranny and oppression across the world."
Charlie Brooker's commentary on Gadaffi's erratic atrocities -- and the western leaders who've kissed up to him over the years -- from last week's Ten O'Clock Live is some of the most nose-milk-spurting material ever aired. I wish that all of Ten O'Clock Live's clips were on YouTube, as it would be amazing blogfodder -- the show is better than The Daily Show most weeks, IMO (I've asked, C4 say their lawyers won't let them because there are clips of the BBC, Sky, etc, which is some pretty weird fair dealing analysis).
Libya's UN ambassadors have joined the ranks of Libyan diplomats around the world to denounce Gadhafi's brutal crackdown on the popular uprising across the country. The entire Libyan UN diplomatic has appealed to the Security Council to defend their countrymen from the crackdown.
Dabbashi urged the international community to impose a no-fly zone over Libya to prevent mercenaries, weapons and other supplies from reaching Gadhafi and his security forces.
Dabbashi also said he was not resigning.
The diplomat says the Libyan delegation is also urging the International Criminal Court to investigate possible crimes against humanity committed against the Libyan people during the current protests.