Colonel Muammar Qaddafi addressed the Libyan public in a rambling, defiant speech today. In it he vowed not to step down and said he’d die a martyr. Colonel Qaddafi also blamed the protesters’ actions on hallucinogenic drugs and threatened them with severe punishment.
Political activity has been sweeping the Middle East and North Africa. For decades the region has been mostly under autocratic rule. Now long-standing dynasties, from Qaddafi in Libya to Khalifa in Bahrain may fall.
Hundreds of Algerian police broke up an anti-government rally in the capital Saturday, arresting at least one opposition member. Another opposition lawmaker was reportedly hospitalized. Turnout was much lower than expected.