Good morning! Here’s what you need to know:
1. President Obama – under domestic political pressure to lessen the U.S. role in the Libya campaign – is trying to resolve internal conflicts among its allies. In the meantime, Qaddafi’s defiant victory speech last night indicates Western airstrikes have done little to shake the Libyan leader’s confidence.
2. Tensions in Gaza have escalated quickly since Israeli fire killed eight Palestinians yesterday in response to weekend rocket attacks. Palestinian militants fired rockets deep into southern Israel early today and Israel is responding with airstrikes.
3. Yemen’s parliament today passed emergency laws that suspend the constitution, ban protests and expand the president’s powers to arrest and detain suspects. The vote escalates a standoff between the beleaguered – and increasingly isolated – Yemeni government and the newly-empowered opposition movement. Protest leaders have called for a mass march on the palace Friday.
4. Syrian security forces killed at least six people in Daraa today after hundreds of anti-government protesters marched through the southern city Tuesday. The Syrian government has cracked down sharply on the country’s nascent political uprising, arresting several major activists this week.
5. Radiation levels in Tokyo tap water have spiked to levels unsafe for infant consumption, renewing fears about food contamination from the damaged Fukuskimi Daiichi nuclear plant. Repair workers at the plant were forced to evacuate today after black smoke was seen coming out of the third reactor.
6. Portuguese lawmakers will vote today on a series of EU-backed austerity measures, which the country’s opposition parties have promised to block. The outcome of the vote could trigger the collapse of Portugal’s government, bringing the country one step closer to a financial bailout less than 24 hours before European leaders meet to finalise a new bailout deal.
7. New census data shows Detroit’s population fell 25% over the last decade, illustrating the dramatic decline of the Midwest’s industrial base. Detroit – America’s fifth largest city in 1950 – is now smaller than Austin, Tx., Charlotte, N.C., and Jacksonville, Fla.
8. Public employees are retiring at a growing pace, prompted by pay cuts and fear of losing their pension benefits, the WSJ reports. The mass departure is great for state and local governments struggling to save money but the loss of expertise threatens to diminish the quality of public services.
9. Republican leaders in Congress have pledged to block any deficit reduction package that raises taxes, The Hill reports. The promise could make reaching a deal with the Dems much harder.
10. Donald Trump will make his first stop in Iowa this June for the Iowa Republican Party’s Lincoln Day event, according to the Des Moines Register. He says he’ll make a decision about running for the 2012 GOP nomination in June.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.