International

France Recognizes Libya's Rebels; BBC Team Roughed Up By Gadhafi's Men

A few of this morning's developments related to the crisis in Libya:

— "Members of the rebel Libyan National Council are 'valid interlocutors', Britain's Foreign Office said on Thursday after France recognized the [rebel] council as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people. 'The U.K. recognizes states, not governments. The interim national council are valid interlocutors, with whom we wish to work closely,' a spokesman for the Foreign Office told Reuters."

— "The European Union is hitting the regime of Moammar Gadhafi with more financial sanctions." (The Associated Press)

— "Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi's security forces detained and beat up a BBC news team who were trying to reach the strife-torn western city of Zawiya. Members of the three-man team were beaten with fists, knees and rifles, hooded and subjected to mock executions by Libyan troops and secret police." (BBC News)

— "The Libyan leader Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi has 'tens of billions' in cash secretly hidden away in Tripoli, allowing him to prolong his fight against rebel forces despite an international freeze on many of the Libyan government's assets, according to American and other intelligence officials." (The New York Times)

— "Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has deliberately kept his army weak in recent years, but he has bolstered elite forces that are personally loyal to him, Italian analysts say." (NPR's Sylvian Poggioli on Morning Edition.)

Update at 9:45 a.m. ET: The Guardian says one of its reporters, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, has been missing for several days. He was last in touch with the the Guardian on Sunday, when he was near the town of Zawiya — just west of Tripoli. The Guardian says he was traveling with Brazilian journalist Andrei Netto, who is also missing. Netto's editor at Estado has told Reporters Without Borders that the men have been imprisoned by Gadhafi's forces, Reuters says.

(Editor's note: NPR follows AP style on the spelling of Gadhafi's name. Other organizations use different spellings.)

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