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April 22, 2011

1. Syrian regime executes what is being called the "Good Friday Massacre," as it reportedly kills over 50 citizens protesting despite dictator Bashar al-Assad's 'concessions.' The week was already a bloody one for Syrians demanding regime change.

2. Libyan rebels see some success in Misurata and credit NATO air support - primarily the addition of unmanned drone support. That air support overall, according to Admiral Mullen, has degraded Qaddafi's state forces by 30-40%. This is just enough, however, for a stalemate and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs testified as much before Congress. UK's Prime Minister Howard, meanwhile, assured that NATO is not creeping toward a ground war.

3. As the tension between the US and Pakistan - at least publicly - seems to reach new crescendos weekly, a new drone attack on the Taliban in the tribal areas of Pakistan has reportedly killed 25. This while Admiral Mullen visits Islamabad to defuse tensions between the US and Pakistani military leadership.

4. In Indonesia, a large bomb was discovered planted underground outside a church in what was to have been a massive Good Friday attack to kill scores of worshiping Christians. The bomb was defused and removed without injury.

AFGHANISTAN
Gates: Increasing Violence in Afghanistan Expected in Weeks Ahead - ABC
Gates foresees turning point in Afghanistan war - AP
U.S. Ramps Up Airdrops to Forces in Afghanistan - Wall Street Journal

AL-QAEDA
Saudi charged as mastermind of 2000 bombing on USS Cole - Seattle Times
Al Qaeda #2 Ayman al-Zawahiri's Brother-in-Law "Martyred in Afghanistan" - ABC
Al-Qaeda, tribesmen 'kill 13 Yemen soldiers' - AFP

INDONESIA
Good Friday Plot: Big bomb found near Indonesia church; 19 arrested - AP
Indonesia arrests six over 'book bombs' - Daily Star
As Elsewhere: Low-key Easter preparations for Pakistan's fearful Christians - Reuters

IRAN
Ahmadinejad grooms chief-of-staff to take over as Iran's president - Guardian (UK)
In Tehran, "serious concern our standing in OPEC damaged" by Iraqi Oil - TIME
Gulf Arabs oppose cut in Iran ties: Kuwait FM - AFP
In DC, Three indicted in Iran computer export scheme - Washington Times

LIBYA
Libyan rebels reclaim Misurata city center, credit NATO airstrikes - Washington Post
Libyan rebels welcome U.S. drones; McCain visits Benghazi - Washington Post
UK's Cameron: NATO not creeping toward ground war - AP
Adm. Mullen: Qaddafi Ground Forces Degraded 30-40%, "certainly moving toward a stalemate." - Tripoli Post
US Begins Armed Drone Missions Over Libya - Sky News (UK)
Libya FM: If NATO Bombing Stops, Elections in 6 Months with Qaddafi Role Negotiable - Washington Post

MEXICO
Authorities Find Another Mass Grave In Mexico Near US Border - Business Insider
Alleged Zeta Cartel Lawyer Arrested in Cancun - FOX News

PAKISTAN
Drone Strikes Militants in Northwest Pakistan - New York Times
Admiral Mullen Visit Aimed at Repairing Ties With Islamabad - VOA

SOMALIA
South Somalia Clashes Over Control of Towns Leave 24 Dead - Rantburg
Somalia's al-Shabaab Threatens Attacks in Kenya Over Easter - Bloomberg
S. Korean container ship presumed hijacked in Somali waters: official - Yonhap (South Korea)

SYRIA
UPDATE: 'Good Friday Massacre' in Syria as Assad's Regime Kills 50+ Protesters - Telegraph (UK)
The Massacre In Latikya - Pajamas Media
Witness Video: The Massacre In Latikya: Shooting peaceful demonstrators - YouTube
Syrian security forces open fire on demonstrators in multiple cities - Washington Post
At Least 11 Killed in Syrian Protests - Sydney Morning Herald

YEMEN
Yemen President Saleh 'offered departure with immunity' - AFP
UAE Foreign Minister: NATO's Libya Ops Successful, To Announce Yemen Plan - WSJ
Gulf states pledge action on Yemen - Gulf News

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