Sirte local sources said officer Mahdi Al-Siwi - one of Al-Bunyan Al-Marsoos operations room's leaders -was released two days after his abduction. They also agreed to activate the contracts and agreement in other fields like small and medium projects. --------------------------------------Media sources said that Assaray Bank Chairman and manager were freed Sunday, hours after being kidnapped by gunmen. --------------------------------------The mayor of Sabratha Hussein Al-Thawadi warned of IS militants' movement in the city in a letter he sent to security authorities. --------------------------------------The mayor of Sirte, Mukhtar Al-Maadani, discussed Sunday with the manager of Sirte commercial port Mohammed Al-Siwi the resumption of work at the port.
June 19, 2017 14:37 UTC
The Petroleum Facilities Guard, which is charged with protecting Libya’s oil infrastructure, has devolved into local fiefs. Between 2013 and last September, these blockaded nearly all of Libya’s main oil ports and tried to leverage that chokehold into ransom money and political power. The camp based in the east — a loose affiliation of federalists, the last elected parliament and the Libyan National Army — controls almost all the oil ports. Another useful measure would be to amend the Libyan Political Agreement, the United Nations-sponsored deal from 2015. Ring-fencing Libya’s oil sector from local and international rivalries would have an enormous impact on the country’s prospects, both economic and political.
June 19, 2017 11:48 UTC
ROME: Italy on Monday arrested a 29-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker for supplying news and materials in support of Islamic State and who said those who do not believe in Islam “should have their throats cut”, police said. A southern Italian court ordered the man’s arrest for conspiracy to commit international terrorism and inciting others to break the law, they said in a statement. The man sought to convince other asylum seekers living in a state-funded shelter in the southern city of Crotone to “perpetrate acts of violence with terrorist objectives”, thepolice said. Police gave no further details and said they would elaborate on the case later in the day. Almost 200,000 asylum seekers are living in Italian shelters as they wait to hear whether they qualify for international protection.
June 19, 2017 08:37 UTC
A man has died and eight people have been injured after a van ploughed into pedestrians near a north London mosqueA van ploughed into worshippers leaving a London mosque on Monday, killing at least one person and injuring eight other people in what Britain's largest Muslim organisation said was a deliberate act of Islamophobia.The van mounted the pavement and struck a group of people just after midnight as they were leaving Finsbury Park Mosque in Seven Sisters Road, one of the biggest in the country, the Muslim Council of Britain said. The attack comes during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when people attend prayers at night.The 48-year-old driver of the van was detained by members of the public and then arrested by police. He would undergo a mental health assessment in due course, police said.British Prime Minister Theresa May said police had confirmed it was being treated as a potential terrorist attack and said she would chair an emergency response meeting later on Monday. "All my thoughts are with the victims, their families and the emergency services on the scene," she said.Police said one man was pronounced dead at the scene.The London Ambulance Service said it had taken eight people to hospital, while two were treated at the scene.The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said extra police had been deployed to reassure communities, especially those observing Ramadan, describing the attack as "an assault on all our shared values of tolerance, freedom and respect".The leader of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, said he was "totally shocked".The incident comes just over two weeks after three Islamist militants drove into pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbed people at nearby restaurants and bars, killing eight.The Muslim Council said Monday's attack was the most violent manifestation of Islamophobia in Britain in recent months and called for extra security at places of worship. "It appears that a white man in a van intentionally ploughed into a group of worshippers who were already tending to someone who had been taken ill," the council said in a statement.
June 19, 2017 05:03 UTC
Both scenarios—that Libya could increase production to 1 million bpd, or Libya’s unrest could cause a drop in production—are possible. NOC said last month that it has a plan for three development phases to lift Libya’s oil production. The first stage plans for increasing output to 1.32 million bpd by the end of this year, at a cost of US$550 million. “Hence, we reiterate our view that Libyan output will continue to fluctuate and any output increase remains at risk for reversal,” Croft said. Currently, Libya is on track to pump 1 million bpd by end-July—830,000 bpd output as of this week plus the 160,000 bpd unblocked from the interim deal with Wintershall, according to NOC.
June 18, 2017 21:00 UTC
Sudanese government has renewed its call for putting an end to the support and safe haven provided to the Sudanese rebel groups by eastern military man Khalifa Haftar. The Sudanese Media Minister and spokesman of the government, Ahmed Bilal Othman, told the Sudanese Center for Press Services that the support of Haftar and his eastern Libyan forces for the Sudanese rebel groups from Darfur is a reward for rebels that allows them to work more on destabilizing the region. "Haftar is involving Sudanese Darfur rebel groups and mercenaries in conflicts in southern Libya and thus is continuing the same policy that was used by Moamar Gaddafi." Such a support from Haftar to Sudanese rebel groups could destabilize Sudan as well as Libya, the Media Minister indicated. The minister added that Sudan can definitely defend its borders and can fight any enemies trying to destabilize the country.
June 18, 2017 19:18 UTC
Cristiano Ronaldo could not inspire Portugal to victory on their Confederations Cup debut as they drew 2-2 with Mexico on Sunday thanks to Hector Moreno's late goal. Portugal were slow to find their feet, taking 20 minutes to get Ronaldo involved with a free-kick struck into the wall, the Madrid man then cannoning a fine left-footed effort off the crossbar when the ball broke his way again following a half-cleared cross.With Mexico still scrambling at the back, another delivery from the right was flicked into the bottom-left corner by Nani, but the referee - assisted by the VAR - disallowed the goal for offside.Santos' side improved from there, though, and when Carlos Salcedo allowed Ronaldo in on goal on the left, the forward quickly adjusted to an uncharacteristic stumble to slip a pass into the box for Quaresma, who coolly rounded Guillermo Ochoa to prod into the net.Hernandez nodded straight at Rui Patricio with his first real chance at the other end, but Mexico's record goalscorer soon made amends and crashed a header into the bottom-right corner from Carlos Vela's cushioned centre after Guerreiro had failed to clear the preceding cross.Quaresma had missed an opportunity to double his tally moments earlier and there was then time for Hernandez to squander a second opening of his own before the break as he blazed over.A frantic end to the first half gave way to a dull second as both sides were found wanting with their final ball, with Ronaldo - isolated after Nani's withdrawal - unable to influence the game.But the Portugal captain created another shooting opportunity for Quaresma with 10 minutes remaining and, although Ochoa saved comfortably, they continued to pile late pressure on Mexico.Ochoa saved well from Andre Silva, but he could do little as Cedric ran onto Gelson Martins' square cross from the right to fortuitously divert the ball into the far corner.Martins wasted an opportunity to make the game safe as he fired narrowly wide on the spin and, just as Portugal thought they had clinched the points, Moreno flicked a corner in off the far post to leave the European champions frustrated.
June 18, 2017 17:15 UTC
Over 1,300 people rescued by Spanish and Italian ships during rescue operations on SaturdayHundreds of people, some of them drifting in rubber dinghies off the coast of Libya, were rescued by Spanish and Italian ships on Saturday, adding to a lengthening list of rescue operations in recent days.A Spanish navy ship was dispatched to help two boats struggling to stay afloat near Libya on Saturday afternoon, and at sundown it found three other rubber dinghies transporting people in the area, Spain's Defence Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.It said that a total of 526 people, including eight pregnant women and nine children, were picked up in that rescue, aided by a ship belonging to a non-governmental organization.Meanwhile, Italy's coastguard said that a total of around 800 people were rescued from rubber boats in six operations in the Mediterranean on Saturday.Libya's coastguard had already intercepted 906 people on board damaged wooden and rubber boats on Friday, and earlier in the week humanitarian rescue ships picked up more than 1,000 off Libya's shores.The sea crossing between Libya and Italy has been attempted by an increasing number of people trying to reach Europe this year.Arrivals of migrants to Italy are up almost 18% on the same period last year at more than 65,000, Italy's Interior Ministry said earlier this week.
June 18, 2017 17:03 UTC
Alfred Grixti urges Archbishop to condemn PN MEPs Roberta Metsola and David Casa as 'the traitors that they are'The chief executive of the Social Welfare Foundation Services has denounced PN MEPS Roberta Metsola and David Casa as “traitors” for having criticised Joseph Muscat at the European Parliament.In a Facebook post, Alfred Grixti – a former PL official and Haz-Zebbug mayor – stood up for former GWU secretary general Tony Zarb after his criticism against the PN MEPs was decried as hate speech by Archbishop Charles Scicluna.“With all due respect, Mons. Archbishop…if you want to be credible and coherent, then you must first call out those bad losers who are trying to harm our country at the European Parliament as the traitors that they are, before condemning our friend Tony Zarb.”Grixti also urged Scicluna to condemn whole-heartedly “those people who spew poison and hated against everyone who isn’t a Nationalist through supposed investigative writing online”.“Until you start doing this, then you have no religious, spiritual or moral authority to condemn anyone because what you are currently doing clearly shows that you are part of the coalition of confusion that can only see wrong in the Labour Party and its supporters. Now we are starting to understand the reasons behind the conspiracy to oust your predecessor [Paul Cremona].”Tony Zarb recently drew criticism from the Nationalist Party after he denounced Metsola and Casa as “traitors of Malta” and said that they should receive a “traitors’ welcome” when they touch down in their home country.He was commenting after the two MEPs pledged to continue flagging government corruption at the European Parliament during a debate last week on the rule of law in Malta. Metsola responded by accusing Zarb of using antiquated hate speech, while Casa said that the former GWU boss is defending corruption.Requested by the Times of Malta to comment on Zarb’s invective, Archbishop Scicluna said that character assassination and attempts at intimidation have no place in a democracy.“Hate speech, wherever it comes from, is unbecoming of grownups debating issues of national importance. Democracy will never be served by attempts at character assassination and intimidation of the other.”
June 18, 2017 15:00 UTC
The National Commission for Human Rights in Libya (NCHRL) expressed anger on Saturday about the call of the European Parliament's President, Antonio Tajani, for setting up refugee camps in Libya. In a statement, the NCHRL condemned Tajani's statements that he made to Italian newspaper, Il Giornale, voicing dismay at the EU attempts to settle immigrants in Libya and prioritize Europe's interests to those of Libya's national security. "EU policies are intended to violate humanitarian values, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the international humanitarian law as well as the international refugee law." adding that such policies will badly influence the current efforts and duties done by the EU countries to fight illegal immigration. It added that the EU must assume its responsibility toward the suffering of the immigrants as per the international laws not leave all the burden to Libya by installing such refugee camps.
June 18, 2017 14:03 UTC
Sources said Al-Bouri and Al-Obaidi were abducted by gunmen after attending a celebration at Corinthia Hotel last night. The bank’s employees went on strike on Sunday, demanding the immediate release of the two officials. Hamza disclosed during a press conference on Wednesday losses estimated at $ 15 billion between debt, looting and vandalism. No one has claimed responsibility for the disappearance of Tabib or declared where he is being held as of yet. ------------------------------------------The head of the National Oil Corporation, Mustafa Sannallah, expects Libya's oil production to rise to 1 million bpd by the end of next July after the resumption of oil production in a number of fields nationwide if production continues at its current pace without interruption.
June 18, 2017 13:52 UTC
Fake news website had claimed that Saudi Arabia was severing ties with Malta because of its support for Qatar. Foreign affairs minister Carmelo Abela has issued a statement to deny a report on a fake news website , that falsely claimed that Saudi Arabia has ended all ties with Malta for sympathizing with Qatar in the ongoing Gulf crisis.The report surfaced on Fox-News24.com, a fake news website that has recently also falsely reported the deaths of Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari, Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and ex-My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero.It had also once falsely reported that the United States was removing Malta from the countries eligible for its Visa Waiver Program.Apart from the fake Malta story, it had also published two identical articles claiming that Saudi Arabia has ended ties with Kuwait and Yemen because of their support for Qatar.Despite the clear illegitimacy of the website, Malta’s new foreign affairs ministry decided to issue a statement to banish any doubts.“The ministry categorically denies that Saudi Arabia has severed ties with Malta; in fact, these ties remain as strong as ever,” the ministry said. “It also strenuously denies that Minister Carmelo Abela has made the remarks reported b y fox-news24.com, or any remarks whatsoever on the situation concerning Saudi Arabia and Qatar."
June 18, 2017 12:00 UTC
AD deputy chairperson Carmel Cacopardo says that PN-PD coalition had repelled disgruntled PL voters and sent most of them back to LabourAlternattiva Demokratika’s deputy chairperson Carmel Cacopardo has ripped into the pre-electoral coalition between the PN and the Partit Demokratiku, lambasting it as a “failed experiment” that will hinder any future coalition-building attempts”.Writing in the Malta Independent, Cacopardo said that the PN-PD coalition – which saw PD candidates run on the PN ticket – was based solely on pragmatism and convenience rather than on principles and an agreed shared vision.“The National Front was a pragmatic exercise to the extent that an analysis of the actual votes cast clearly shows tat the PD link with the PN resulted in no votes being added to the PN by the PD,” he said. “The PN/PD alliance failed in its major arithmetical objective as it is clear that it failed to attract a significant number of disgruntled voters.“Actually, it rather repelled them with its continuous negative messages and sent most of them back to Labour. Unfortunately, this failed attempt will dissuade any other attempt at alliance-building in the immediate future, as no political party enjoys being taken for a ride, as was Simon Busuttil’s party.”Although AD lost around half of the votes it had obtained in the 2013 election, Cacopardo argued that his party was correct in rejecting the PN’s invitation to join the National Front.“Listening to ‘independent’ journalists and self-centred intellectuals advocating the Busuttil/Farrugia National Front was a very sad experience, as these were the same people who should have taken the PN itself to task for its internal contradictions on issues of good governance,” he said. “By endorsing the PN-led National Front, they ended up endorsing the PN’s misdemeanors when they should have been at the forefront of those insisting that the PN clean up its act before claiming any right to wear the suit of shining armour.”
June 18, 2017 11:03 UTC
Newly-elected Labour MP Robert Abela had rejected the Prime Minister's offer for a parliamentary secretary role, Illum reportsNewly-elected Labour MP Robert Abela had rejected an offer from Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to become a parliamentary secretary, newspaper Illum has reported.Abela, the son of President Emeritus George Abela, was appointed as Muscat’s personal legal consultant - an unpaid role - when the Prime Minister announced his new Cabinet two weeks ago.However, Illum reported today that he had originally been offered the position of an unspecified parliamentary secretary but had turned it down for reasons unknown.Contacted by the newspaper, Abela refused to confirm or deny the report, arguing that “my conversations with the Prime Minister will remain between us”.His role as legal consultant is similar to that previously held by George Abela during the short-lived Alfred Sant administration of 1996-1998 and, like his father, will get to attend Cabinet meetings.Robert Abela was elected to Parliament from the sixth district, obtaining 3,403 votes at the first count in what was his first ever election.
June 18, 2017 09:52 UTC