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Newspaper review: Events in Libya remain the focus

Papers

A cartoon in The Times sums up the papers' general view about what is happening in Libya.

A row of dominos is collapsing on top of Colonel Gaddafi, who holds, in one hand, a machine gun and, in the other, an umbrella.

Most offer their opinion on the dictator's latest televised speech - at once comic and disturbing, they say.

The Guardian thought he seemed "angry, ranting and often incoherent". The Sun says he was "wild eyed."

'Lonely old man'

The Daily Telegraph compares him to "a lonely old man ranting on a street corner".

But none misses the sense of menace. The Financial Times describes the colonel as defiant - and "threatening".

"Damn those who try to stir unrest" is one phrase the Independent picks out.

The Guardian believes Colonel Gaddafi has "set the stage" for a "final showdown".

The Telegraph says he warned "of swift, violent retribution".

One reason the papers dwell on his threats is that reliable information about what is happening in Libya is so hard to come by.

The Times says it has seen "horrifying video footage", taken in a hospital in Benghazi, which shows dead men whose legs have been "blown away".

The paper says the injuries were caused by heavy artillery, not "batons, rubber bullets or any conventional method of dealing with protests".

The Independent quotes at least one witness from the streets of Tripoli who says he saw militiamen, not all of them Libyans, "firing at any living thing".

'Oil crisis looming'

Though the Libyans themselves are the immediate victims of the violence, there are widespread fears that, in due course, we may all feel the impact.

The FT says there is a clear risk the political revolt in the Middle East may turn into an oil crisis.

The Independent reports that oil prices are soaring on the markets.

The Daily Express tells its readers that, as a consequence, they could soon be paying £1.42 a litre for petrol.

The Guardian considers the possibility that rising prices could undermine the global economic recovery.

The anguish of people caught up in the sudden devastation wrought by the earthquake in New Zealand is powerfully described in many papers.

The Daily Mirror says a mother was found in the rubble, curled around the child she died protecting.

The Times tells of another woman - trapped in a collapsed building - who rang her children to say goodbye.

The Daily Mail says that, before the disaster, Christchurch was a "picture postcard" city "more English than England".

The Independent says being on the Pacific ring of fire is what gives New Zealand "its astonishing natural beauty" - mountains and geysers.

It goes on to say "geological beauty can be a double-edged sword".

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