News in Brief: Obama Says No Let-Up in Libya Until Qaddafi Is Gone, and More

Obama Says No Let-Up in Libya Until Qaddafi Is Gone

Along with English Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Obama committed Friday to pursuing military action in Libya until Qaddafi has been removed, reported The Guardian UK. Just days after agreeing to intervention in Libya, the US had handed control to NATO and withdrawn fighter plans, but the letter penned by the three heads of state signals a reversal of Obama's earlier caution. Writing in the Washington Post, the UK Times and Le Figaro, the leaders said the world would have committed an “unconscionable betrayal” against the rebels they are aiding if Qaddafi is left in place.

Georgia Passes Arizona-Style Immigration Law

An SB1070-look-alike bill has been passed in Georgia, giving police the power to check the immigration status of “criminal suspects,” and requiring many business to check the status of new hires. Immigration advocates have threatened a state boycott if the bill is signed into law, and the powerful agricultural industry has made a case for immigrant labor, warning that federal guest-worker programs won't provide enough labor alone to meet the needs of Georgia's farmers, reported The Los Angeles Times. The fate of the estimated 480,000 undocumented immigrants in the state now heads to the desk of Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, who campaigned on the plan to pass an Arizona-style law in Georgia.
Walker Admits No Fiscal Benefit to Anti-Union Provision
On a visit to the House Oversight Committee on Capitol Hill, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker admitted his controversial provision to curb collective bargaining rights had no fiscal benefits, reported DemocracyNow!. Under questioning from Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) asking “how much money this provision saves for your state budget,” Walker eventually replied: “It doesn't save any.”
US Groups Played Secret Roles in Mideast Uprising
A few American government-financed organizations were working to undermine authoritarian regimes in the Arab world, The New York Times revealed. Though the funding for these programs was miniscule compared with efforts led by the Pentagon, American officials are wondering how much the democracy-building campaigns played in fomenting the Arab Spring. The International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House are among the groups which were involved in training and financing groups such as the April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and individual activists, according to WikiLeaks cables.

UK to Ban Export of US Execution Drugs

Britain, which opposes the death penalty, said Friday that it would ban the export of three drugs used in lethal injections to the US, and called on other EU countries to set a similar ban. The export controls on pancuronium bromide, potassium chloride and sodium pentobarbital come a year after a London-based human rights group sued the British government to keep it from exporting a sedative commonly used in US lethal injections, which was in short supply across the pond, reported Reuters.