Army on rise in Libya’s east, spurring hopes of normal life

It is a war in which the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) has been slowly prevailing against a coalition of Islamists and former revolutionaries. When LNA air strikes have hit civilians, the army has accused its opponents of using human shields. But as the LNA’s profile has grown in the east, criticising or even questioning it has become risky. Bloggers and activists fear reprisals, and execution style killings have occurred in neighbourhoods taken by the army. But taking on a bigger role also carries a risk for Haftar and the army, said Mohamed Eljarh, an Atlantic Council analyst based in eastern Libya.

November 17, 2016 14:24 UTC

Saudi energy minister urges OPEC to cut oil output to 32.5 million bpd

RIYADH : Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Thursday that OPEC should cut oil output to 32.5 million barrels per day (bpd), the lower end of a previously agreed range, to balance the market. The details are meant to be finalised when OPEC ministers meet in Vienna on Nov. 30. Falih and other ministers have said previously that OPEC would reduce output to a range of 32.5-33.0 million bpd. He said talks were ongoing with Qatar’s Energy Minister Mohammed al-Sada, who had invited him to Qatar to continue discussions. A number of OPEC energy ministers are likely to meet informally in Doha on Friday to try to build consensus over decisions taken by the full group in September in Algiers.

November 17, 2016 13:11 UTC

In Libya 'there are no winners today'

Today, Libyan oil production is reaching only a fifth of its potential, according to the World Bank. The funds are set to be allocated towards oil production and exports, salaries and electricity, among other things. It was meant to bridge the political divide by replacing the two other rival governments operating in Libya. It can be seen clearly that the economic crisis has hit all west, south and east [of Libya]." The only recognition they have is outside Libya, when they meet with world leaders."

November 17, 2016 12:10 UTC

More Than 100 Feared Dead as Boat Capsizes off Libya

At least a hundred people are feared drowned in the Mediterranean Sea after a sailboat capsized off Libya, estimate rescue teams looking for survivors in the rough seas. Twenty three survivors were rescued by an oil tanker, which was the first to reach the stricken dinghy, according to German NGO Jugend Rettet. The survivors were transferred to the Aquarius, a boat operated by another charity group, SOS Mediterranean. The situation in war-torn Libya and other conflict-ridden African countries has led to a higher number of people seeking refuge. Though the numbers migrating from Turkey to Greece have dropped drastically since March after an agreement between the European Union and Turkey, crossings between Libya and Italy are still at near-record levels.

November 17, 2016 10:17 UTC

Bunkers and booby-traps as Islamic State makes a stand in Libya

Bunkers and booby-traps as Islamic State makes a stand in LibyaSheltering in tunnels, improvised bunkers and rooms fortified by sand-filled fridges, Islamic State is holding out in the Libyan city of Sirte, defending itself with snipers, booby-traps and car bombs against pro-government forces. The battle for Sirte, taken by Islamic State more than a year ago, may be over soon. In the early days of the battle, Misrata forces suffered heavy casualties from snipers. But the end of Daesh will be very soon," said Mohammad Ghasri, a spokesman for pro-government forces, using an Arabic name for Islamic State. On Thursday, five foreign captives - two Turks, two Indians and a Bangladeshi - were freed after fighting that killed 20 Islamic State militants.

November 17, 2016 09:04 UTC



The Unrepentant: Hillary, Libya, and History

First was her decisive role in the initial U.S. decision to lead a NATO air campaign in Libya. Under intense pressure from European and Arab governments to stop Qaddafi’s forces from stamping out the incipient rebellion, Obama administration officials were deeply divided. Qaddafi’s Libya was no democracy, but it was an occasional partner in the war on terror and its human rights record was steadily improving. There’s little reason to believe that Libya would have faced a humanitarian catastrophe if Qaddafi’s forces had pacified the revolt. But at the end of the day, those are the decisions that are made by the president.”History doesn’t cut the unrepentant any breaks.

November 17, 2016 05:05 UTC

Trump's tech adviser Peter Thiel backs utopian technology, less sure democracy

Peter Thiel stands on stage before the start of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio in July. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was an "outsider" who will take on the elites Peter Thiel says. Photo: APLike Trump, Thiel believes in creative disruption or destruction. In his endorsements of Trump, Thiel would have his audience believe that he views the social fabric through the prism of conventional democracy – and certainly nothing seriously revolutionary or neo-reactionary. If Trump can delegitimise and disempower the "others", he's on his way to achieving the Thiel objective of the smaller democracy.

November 16, 2016 20:17 UTC

Former Labour candidate fails in attempt to deny part in 1984 Libyan PM assassination plot

The articles had been published partly as a reaction to a defamation case filed against Fr. Charles Fenech on Bonnici Cachia's complaint. He was subsequently deported to Malta but was not imprisoned here.Bonnici Cachia had taken exception to the assassination plot allegation and filed for libel. Other judgements against the plaintiff exhibited by Caruana Galizia, included one evicting him from a San Gwann garage after the non-payment of water and electricity bills. That the security police arrested me on 23 October 1984, when I arrived at Cairo Airport...” begins one.

November 16, 2016 13:41 UTC

[WATCH] Smuggling networks being industrialised, MOAS says

Smuggling networks are becoming more industrialised in order to keep up with the demand, resulting in people being set in larger numbers and in lower quality rubber boats, MOAS has saidThe shift of asylum-seekers crossing to Europe from “more manageable trickles” to “large waves” this year signals that the smuggling networks appear to be industrialising, search-and-rescue charity MOAS said in a statement.MOAS said that has seen its humanitarian efforts overwhelmed this year, attributing it to the changing approach of smuggling networks. “Whereas in past years, crossings were organised in more manageable trickles, perhaps a few a day, this year our crews have seen departures organised in large waves,” it said. However, it noted that the true death toll is much higher than the recorded figure. There is an urgent need to manage the phenomenon rather than try to hide behind razor wire. For this to occur European leaders must stand up and be counted.”

November 16, 2016 10:59 UTC

100 feared dead in the Mediterranean after migrant boat capsize

Around 100 people were missing, feared drowned, in the Mediterranean on Tuesday after a migrant dinghy capsized off Libya, according to rescue teams frantically searching for survivors in darkness and rough seas. German NGO Jugend Rettet, whose boat was at the scene, said 23 survivors had been rescued by an oil tanker which was first to reach the stricken boat. “The crews are searching for survivors in the water and recovering dead bodies,” it added in a tweet. The survivors and four recovered corpses were transferred from the tanker to the Acquarius, a boat operated by another charity group, SOS Mediterranee. “Nobody should have to endure such conditions,” said Mathias Menge, coordinator of the SOS Mediterranee rescue team.

November 16, 2016 08:29 UTC

100 feared dead off Libya’s coast after migrant boat capsizes in Mediterranean

Rome,Nov16: Around 100 people were missing, feared drowned, in the Mediterranean on Wednesday after a migrant dinghy capsized off Libya, according to rescue teams frantically searching for survivors in darkness and rough seas. German NGO Jugend Rettet, whose boat was at the scene, said 23 survivors had been rescued by an oil tanker which was first to reach the stricken boat. “The crews are searching for survivors in the water and recovering dead bodies,” it added in a tweet. The survivors and four recovered corpses were transferred from the tanker to the Acquarius, a boat operated by another charity group, SOS Mediterranean. One young boy who was plucked unconscious from the water yesterday was said to be in a stable condition on the Italian island of Lampedusa after being helicoptered off the rescue boat.

November 16, 2016 07:00 UTC

Oil prices jump 3 percent on hopes of OPEC output cut

North Sea Brent crude oil was up $1.30 a barrel at $45.73 after hitting a three-month low on Monday. North Sea Brent crude oil was up $1.30 a barrel at $45.73 by 1350 GMT after hitting a three-month low of $43.57 on Monday. It reached a three-month low of $42.20 on Monday. But rising Libyan oil production could cap gains. Libya’s oil production has almost doubled to around 600,000 barrels per day in recent weeks.

November 15, 2016 15:52 UTC

Sarkozy targeted anew by Gadhafi presidential funding claims

Sarkozy and his former chief of staff have denied wrongdoing in the case, which involves funding for his winning 2007 presidential campaign. Investigators are examining claims that Gadhafi's regime secretly gave Sarkozy 50 million euros overall for the 2007 campaign. Such a sum would be more than double the legal campaign funding limit at the time of 21 million euros. Soon after becoming the French president, Sarkozy invited the Libyan leader to France for a state visit and welcomed him with high honours . Prosecutors want him and 13 others sent to trial for another campaign financing case involving his failed 2012 presidential bid.

November 15, 2016 15:03 UTC

Just the beginning: Follow reporter's trek with refugees off Libyan coast

THE COLORADOANReporter Jason Pohl will be stationed on the Minden in the Mediterranean Sea, assisting Libyan refugees fleeing their country. (Photo: Jason Pohl,Coloradoan)MALTA — To say the past week has been a whirlwind might be the understatement of the year, at least in my world. Jim Houck and Estaban Guzman have been involved with Global DIRT for about three years, repeatedly working in the typhoon-ravaged Philippines. Their focus shifted this year when they flew to Malta and joined a team aboard a ship staged off the Libyan coast waiting for word of refugee-filled rafts in distress. As I regularly do after interviews, I encouraged Houck at the end of our October meeting to stay in contact.

November 14, 2016 17:25 UTC

Tunisia seizes three arms caches near Libya border

Tunisian forces captured three large arms caches near the border with Libya over the weekend, including Kalashnikov rifles, rockets and landmines, the interior ministry said. The caches in the border city of Ben Guerdane will stoke Tunisia’s concerns about the threat of Islamist militants crossing over Libya, where pro-government forces are close to ending Islamic State’s hold on Sirte city. AdvertisementMany of the militants in Libya are originally from Tunisia, and the country’s young democracy since its 2011 uprising has been seen as a target for the hardline Islamist group. Tunisia has increased security measures on the border with Libya to avoid the infiltration of hundreds of Islamic state fighters who may have fled from Sirte. Two arms caches were discovered on Saturday and the third was found on Sunday, the ministry said.

November 14, 2016 12:50 UTC



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