Good morning! Here’s what you need to know:1. The U.S. and its allies failed again Wednesday to decide how to command military operations in Libya. In the meantime, allied forces have escalated their air campaign to rescue civilians and rebels in Misrata, where the U.S. fears a growing threat of a large-scale humanitarian crisis.
2. U.S. intelligence has found no organised Al Qaeda presence among the Libyan rebels, the LAT reports, despite fears that Islamic militants may be playing a shadowy role in the opposition movement. Still, the rebels are not a uniform movement and eastern Libya has historically been a hotspot for Islamic extremism. The Obama administration is worried that long-term instability could end up benefiting Al Qaeda.
3. Israel launched airstrikes in Gaza today in response to a wave or rocket and mortar fire from Hamas militants over the past few days. The attacks signal an escalation of violence after a fatal bus bomb in Jerusalem killed one person and left 20 wounded Wednesday. Though neither Israel or Palestine wants a major fight, there are concerns tensions could spiral out of control.
4. Opposition to President Ali Abdullah Saleh is breaking down traditional tribal affiliations in Yemen, the NYT reports. As the balance of power shifts and security breaks down, U.S. and Saudi officials are increasingly concerned about the fate of counter-terrorism operations against Al Qaeda and its affiliates in Yemen.
5. Portugal’s government rejected new austerity measures Wednesday, sparking the prime minister’s resignation and the next phase of the European sovereign debt crisis. The failure to pass the plan threatens to push borrowing to unaffordable levels and force Portugal to seek a financial bailout from the European Union and the IMF.
6. Mexico’s powerful drug cartels are expanding their reach into Central America in response to increased pressure from the Mexican military. The issue took centre stage during President Obama’s trip to the region this week, with the president promising to commit $200 million to as part of a new effort to combat the drug trade.
7. New rules will allow investigators to hold domestic terror suspects longer and without reading their Miranda rights, the WSJ reports. The revisions are some of the Obama administration’s most significant changes to the laws governing terrorism investigations in the U.S., and could ignite a new battle over national security policy.
8. State budget crises have metastasized into a city budget crises, the NYT reports. States around the country are planning to slash municipal aid, a move that is certain to lead to more public service cuts, layoffs and local tax hikes.
9. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has launched a 15-city fundraising drive in an effort to establish himself as the frontrunner for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. The WSJ reports that Romney is asking potential donors to raise between $25 and $50,000 within 90 days.
10. The crowded field of potential 2012 GOP presidential candidates has been a boon for state Republican parties, according to Politico. The headline speakers are a cash cow for the state organisations and have also helped rally the party base in advance of next year’s election.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.