- - Sunday, February 27, 2011

UKRAINE

Ukrainian nurse ditches Gadhafi

KIEV | Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi on Sunday lost another close confidante — the Ukrainian nurse thought to have a romantic relationship with the leader.

Halyna Kolotnytska, 38, joined senior government officials, diplomats and pilots who have deserted Col. Gadhafi after he brutally suppressed anti-government protests.

Miss Kolotnytska arrived in Kiev in the early hours of Sunday on a plane that evacuated 122 Ukrainians and 68 foreign nationals from the violence-torn North African country, according to Channel 5 footage.

A U.S. diplomatic cable released late last year claimed the eccentric 68-year-old leader is deeply attached to Miss Kolotnytska, one of four Ukrainian nurses that take care of him. The cable published by WikiLeaks described her as a “voluptuous blonde” who always travels with Col. Gadhafi as only she “knows his routine.” It even suggested the two may be romantically involved.

FRANCE

Foreign minister quits over vacation scandal

PARIS | France’s foreign minister sent her resignation to President Nicolas Sarkozy on Sunday, saying she could no longer let “political and media attacks” against her discredit France’s foreign policy.

Michele Alliot-Marie had only been in the post since November, but she became the center of raging controversy for her December vacation in Tunisia as popular protests there led to the ouster of the former French colony’s longtime strongman, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Mr. Sarkozy was preparing a prime-time address to the nation Sunday night as speculation swirled that a new Cabinet shake-up was in the offing with the foreign minister expected to be removed.

ITALY

Rome sees collapse of Gadhafi regime

ROME | The end of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi rule is “inevitable,” Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said Sunday.

“We have reached, I believe, a point of no return,” Mr. Frattini told Sky Italia television. Asked whether Col. Gaddafi should leave power, he said: “It is inevitable for this to happen.

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