-- Reuters writes that "a Libyan air force plane crashed near the eastern city of Benghazi after its crew bailed out because they refused to carry out orders to bomb the city, Libya's Quryna newspaper cited a military source as saying."
"Oil prices rose to fresh two-year highs — around $96 a barrel — Wednesday amid concerns that a violent power struggle in Libya could disrupt supplies, with experts warning the next weeks and months would prove highly volatile," The Associated Press writes.
It adds that "if the chaos spreads to other bigger energy producers in the region, such as Iran or Saudi Arabia, price fluctuations could became as sharp as those in the 1970s, when an OPEC embargo caused gasoline shortages in the U.S., analysts warned."
New Zealand declared a national civil defense emergency for the first time in its history Wednesday as rescue workers raced to locate survivors from the earthquake that shattered the country's second-largest city.
More than 100 aftershocks have shaken Chistchurch on New Zealand's South Island since the magnitude 6.3 temblor, adding to the difficulty of search and rescue operations. Officials have abandoned efforts at one building where about 100 people were thought to have been trapped, saying it's unlikely any survivors remain.