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U.N. to Vote on Libya Airstrikes; U.S. Readies Forces - by ADAM ENTOUS, JOE LAURIA, YAROSLAV TROFIMOV and SAM DAGHER

The United Nations Security Council was set to vote at 6 p.m. on a resolution that would authorize airstrikes on Libya, several diplomats said, as Col. Moammar Gadhafi's air force bombed the opposition's capital of Benghazi in a push to end the month-long revolt against his rule.

The U.S. joined Britain and France Thursday in pushing for the vote. "We need to act quickly," said Chinese Ambassador Li Baodong, the current Security Council president. Mr. Li didn't indicate how China would vote. Beijing has been considered a possible obstacle to passage of a resolution.

French Ambassador Gerard Araud said there would no unanimity. "There will be some suprises and more than one abstention," he said. Diplomats speculated that as many as five nations could abstain, including China, Russia, Germany, India and South Africa.

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