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GADHAFI'S OIL MINISTER DEFECTS

Associated Press

Another high-ranking Libyan official has defected and fled the country amid a widening NATO campaign of bombings as well as leafleting and other psychological warfare to persuade Moammar Gadhafi's troops to stop fighting.

Shukri Ghanem, the Libyan oil minister and head of the National Oil Co., crossed into neighboring Tunisia by road on Monday, according to a Tunisian security official and Abdel Moneim al-Houni, a former Libyan Arab League representative who was among the first wave of Libyan diplomats to defect.

In Naples, Italy, Wing Cmdr. Mike Bracken said NATO planes have been dropping leaflets and broadcasting messages to Libyan forces urging them "to return to their barracks and homes," and to stay away from military equipment that could be targeted.

Elsewhere

Syria: The United States and European Union said Tuesday they are preparing to hit Syria's leadership with new sanctions as it continues a brutal crackdown on antigovernment protesters. The Obama administration for the first time suggested that the decades-long repressive rule of the country by the Assad family may have to end.

Egypt: Suzanne Mubarak, 70, wife of deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, was released on bail after agreeing to forfeit roughly $4 million. Her lawyer said she did not admit wrongdoing but acknowledged that certain assets that appeared to belong to her were in fact public property.

Information from the New York Times was used in this report.

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