Gadhafi continues to talk

February 24, 2011 1:52:01 PM PST
So I'm trying to wrap my head around the notion of Al Qaeda drugging the Libyans who are rising up against the government.

That's the thinking from Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi, who in another rambling message on state TV today suggested that his opponents in the street have been fed hallucinogens by Osama bin Laden or one of his minions.

He said that the young people in the street are not driven by a burning passion for democracy, but rather are "fueled by milk and Nescafe spiked with hallucinogenic drugs. Once they drink these pills, they ? go out on the streets and start committing criminal acts. The requests are not theirs; the requests come from bin Laden."

That this democracy and anti-authoritarian movement is led by moderate Muslims must gall peeps like Gadhafi and Mubarak of Egypt. That they don't need outside agitators like Al Qaeda must rile Gadhafi, who is desperately trying to hang on to power in a way that Mubarak wasn't able to.

Gadhafi also has something that Mubarak didn't: Lots of oil. And great quality. And the impact of Libya on the price of oil is substantial. Witness the rise in the price of oil. And witness how the price dropped on the apparently untrue rumor that Gadhafi had been killed. When that happened, the market rallied.

Meanwhile, Americans trying to get out of Libya will give it another go tomorrow, as they wait on a ferry out of Tripoli, hoping to make it to Malta. This as it appears Benghazi, the nation's second-largest city, has fallen to the opposition. A huge development.

We'll have the latest from Libya, tonight at 11.

And we'll also look at gas prices, which at one station in Manhattan have now hit $4.37 per gallon for premium, $4.13 for regular in Manhattan. For every penny increase at the pump, Americans spent an extra $4 million a day in added gas costs. That's $1.46 billion a year money that economists would rather see spent at the mall than at the corner gas station. One other note according to oil analyst Peter Beutel, son of our legendary anchor Bill Beutel, when gas hits $4 a gallon, it's a kind of glass ceiling, the point where consumers actually change their driving habits.

We'll see.

Also at 11, we know that training the military is difficult. And it also can be deadly.There have been 14 training deaths in the Coast Guard since 2007. Tonight, the story of one of them. A young man from New York, in an anti-terrorism training drill in Chesapeake Bay ? where a team hooks ladders onto the side of a vessel, trying to recapture it after it was taken over by terrorists.

One guard member, 23-year-old Shaun Lin, had 60 pounds strapped to his back when he accidently slipped on the ladder and fell into the water. He was wearing a floatation device, but it didn't inflate. Now his family, angry and heart broken, is asking touch questions about how and why their son died. Our investigative reporter Jim Hoffer has our exclusive story.

And our entertainment reporter Sandy Kenyon is in Hollywood tonight for a preview of the Academy Awards. Tonight Sandy takes a closer look at the hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg with a rainy AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports, from spring training camp in Florida.

I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.


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