BBC News with Gaenor Howells
The Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has addressed supporters massed in a central square in the capital Tripoli. State television showed him speaking from the old city walls and denouncing foreign interference. He urged the crowd to arm themselves and defend the nation and its oil against anti-government protesters who've taken control of large parts of the country. At one point, Colonel Gaddafi said he didn't intend to resign.
"If I were a president, I would have resigned, I would have thrown my resignation in your face, but I have no position, no post, I have nowhere to resign from. I have my gun, I have my rifle to fight for Libya."
Our correspondent Ian Pannell is on Libya's border with Tunisia, where he's been following the rapidly unfolding developments.
It's been another violent day in many parts of Libya. While the east remains in the hands of the anti-Gaddafi opposition, the capital and parts of the west are being fought over. A mass day of protests had been called, and shortly after midday prayers, protesters came out onto the streets of Tripoli. But the elite brigades commanded by Gaddafi's sons appeared to have been ready. It's difficult to get a full picture as to what is still going on, but according to different eyewitness reports, the military opened fire on the demonstrators as they have in the past. There are unconfirmed reports that there have been a number of deaths and injuries in the clashes. The government is thought to have something in the region of 7,000 to 8,000 troops at its disposal, and they've already showed that they are willing to use them against the protesters in what is starting to look like a fight to the death.
Hundreds of sub-Saharan Africans have been fleeing across Libya's southern border to escape the violence. The International Organisation for Migration says they are being given shelter and food in Niger, but many are ill or injured after being targeted by Libyans fearful of the African mercenaries reputedly recruited by Colonel Gaddafi to maintain his grip on the country. The organisation said it believed many other sub-Saharan Africans were unable to get out.
An emergency session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva has recommended suspending Libya from the body. The council also authorised an international investigation into the violence in the country with a view to prosecuting those responsible. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told the council the priority should be the safety of the civilian population.
"I am hoping that the Human Rights Council will take action on the immediate concern which is the safety of Libyans, who face risks to their lives, who face bloodshed. So all possible international action that can be done should be taken for the protection of civilians."
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.
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Big street protests have been taking place across the Arab world. In Iraq, where demonstrations focused on corruption and economic problems, at least 11 people were killed in clashes between security forces and protesters. In Tunisia, tens of thousands of people rallied to demand the resignation of the transitional government, set up to replace President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
The United Nations has warned that Ivory Coast is on the brink of a new civil war as the post-election violence triggered by a power struggle between rival presidential contenders spreads from Abidjan to other areas. In an address to the UN Security Council, Mr Ban said he was gravely concerned about civilian fatalities.
"I'm very concerned that Cote d'Ivoire is on the brink of sliding back into civil war. Time is slipping away. If the African Union High-Level Panel does not move decisively to find a solution, all of their work could be overtaken by events."
In the west of Ivory Coast, former rebels who've sided with Alassane Ouattara, widely recognised as the winner of the presidential election in November, captured a town from government troops still loyal to the incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo.
Reports from France say the Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie will resign in the next few days as criticism over her handling of events in Tunisia continues. Unnamed ministers are quoted as saying she'd be replaced by the Defence Minister Alain Juppe. It recently emerged that she accepted flights on a jet owned by a businessman close to the ousted Tunisian president.
来自法国的报道称，外交部长米歇尔·阿利奥-玛丽(Michele Alliot-Marie)未来几天将辞职，因为她对突尼斯事件的处理方式仍然受到人们的批评。记者引用一位未透露姓名的部长的话称，她将被国防部长阿兰·朱佩(Alain Juppe)取代。最近有消息爆料称，米歇尔·阿利奥-玛丽接受了与被推翻的突尼斯总统关系密切的一名商人的直升飞机旅行。
The French fashion house Dior has suspended its star designer John Galliano after he was arrested at a Paris bar and accused of making anti-Semitic and racist remarks to a nearby couple. Mr Galliano has strongly denied any wrongdoing. His suspension comes just days before the launch of Paris Fashion Week.
BBC World Service News