LIBYA

Rebels Recapture Central Misrata From Gaddafi Forces

More good news from Libya: Rebels claimed on Friday that—thanks in part to NATO airstrikes—they have recaptured the center of Misrata, where much of the fighting with Gaddafi's forces has taken place. Gaddafi had besieged the city for weeks, creating a humanitarian crisis for the thousands of people flooding Misrata's port hoping to escape the country. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Thursday that the U.S. would be sending armed Predator drones to assist with the coalition airstrikes. With the help of the drones, Libyan rebels said they might be able to push Gaddafi's forces out of the city completely. Meanwhile Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) made an unannounced visit to the rebel stronghold city of Benghazi, further east from Misrata, where he boosted morale and called the rebels his heroes. Though coalition air strikes have degraded Gaddafi's ground forces by 30 to 40 percent, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, still said that the conflict was "certainly moving toward a stalemate."