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Foreign Affairs

British PM Sacks Minister Over Northern Ireland Power-sharing

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday sacked the minister, who helped end three years of political stalemate in Northern Ireland.

This, prompted criticism that Johnson was indifferent to the fate of the province.

Julian Smith, who was appointed as Northern Ireland Minister in July 2019, said that serving the people of Northern Ireland had been the biggest privilege.

Smith was central to restoring Northern Ireland’s devolved government, a key element of the 1998 Good Friday peace accord.

He won him praise at the time from all sides of the political divide.

Johnson is undertaking a wider reshuffle of his ministers on Thursday.

Colum Eastwood, the leader of the SDLP, one of the five parties that re-entered the regional assembly, said Smith’s approach had been central to breaking the logjam after his predecessors had tried and failed in successive talks.

“It defies belief that after the successful restoration of power sharing following a three-year collapse, Julian Smith’s reward is a cabinet office P45.

“It tells you all you need to know about Boris Johnson’s attitude to the North sacking the most successful Secretary of State in a decade shows Johnson’s dangerous indifference to us,’’ Eastwood said.

Northern Ireland First Minister, Arlene Foster of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP said on Twitter that while she may not have always agreed with Smith, his dedication to the role was incredible.

Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, who co-chaired the negotiations, replied to Smith on Twitter to tell him that he had been such an effective Secretary of State for Northern Ireland at a time of real challenge and risk.

“Without your leadership, I don’t believe Northern Ireland would have a government today.

“Thank you Julian Smith for your trust, friendship and courage,’’ Coveney said.

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South African Court Issues Arrest Warrant For ex-President Zuma

A South African court issued an arrest warrant for former President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday, after he skipped court on grounds of needing medical treatment, but the judge stayed the warrant until his corruption trial resumes on May 6.

Zuma’s lawyer presented the judge with a sick note from what he said was a military hospital, but the judge questioned whether the note was valid or even written by a doctor.

The former leader of Africa’s most industrialised country is on trial for on corruption charges over a 2 billion dollars arms deal with French defence firm Thales in the 1990s.

Zuma, president from 2009-2018, had previously applied for a permanent stay of prosecution on 18 charges of fraud, racketeering and money laundering relating to the deal, but the court in Pietermaritzburg threw out his appeal in November.

Zuma is accused of accepting 500,000 rand (34,000 dollars) annually from Thales in 1999, in exchange for protecting the company from an investigation into the deal.

He rejects the allegations as a politically motivated witch-hunt against him.

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BREAKING!!! UK Finally Leaves EU

Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed an “astonishing moment” as Britain formally left the European Union (EU) after 47 years on Friday, saying his government had “obeyed the people” who voted for Brexit in a 2016 referendum.

“For many people this is an astonishing moment of hope, a moment they thought would never come,” Johnson said in a recorded speech.

The speech was broadcast via his Facebook account one hour before Brexit became official at 11 pm (2300 GMT), or midnight in Brussels.

“And there are many of course who feel a sense of anxiety and loss,” Johnson added.

“And then of course there is a third group – perhaps the biggest – who had started to worry that the whole political wrangle would never come to an end.

“We have obeyed the people [who voted for Brexit in a 2016 referendum,” he said, adding: “We have taken back the tools of self-government.”

Johnson and the European Union’s top officials earlier pointed to new opportunities ahead after Brexit.

Thousands of eurosceptics gathered to celebrate Brexit Day in London and other cities, rivalled by smaller groups of pro-EU activists in some areas, but most British people were not expected to mark the date.

A light show and other events organized by Johnson’s Conservative government at Downing Street was outshone by a nearby “Brexit Celebration: Countdown to freedom” event fronted by veteran eurosceptic and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage in London’s Parliament Square.

In Brussels earlier, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and European Parliament President David Sassoli said Saturday would mark a “new dawn for Europe.

The bloc’s remaining 27 member sates will “continue to join forces and build a common future,” they wrote in an op-ed for several European newspapers.

Leaders across Europe expressed similar sentiments.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Brexit was a “deep cut for us all” but underlined that the remaining EU members would continue to do everything necessary to move forward.

Brexit is “a historic alarm signal that must sound in all our countries, that must be heard by all of Europe and make us reflect,” French President Emmanuel Macron said.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar expressed his thanks for the “enormous solidarity from our European partners.” His country, which shares a land border with Britain in Northern Ireland, is the EU state likely to be most affected by Brexit.

“Today is a very sad day. People in the north did not consent to Brexit,” Mary Lou McDonald, leader of Irish republican party Sinn Fein, said as she joined a border protest.

“This is not something that people on the island of Ireland want, bar a small minority,” McDonald said.

After Brexit, little will change in practice during an 11-month transitional phase, as the two sides seek to negotiate a future relationship spanning trade, security and political cooperation.

Officials in Brussels warn that the timeline is extremely ambitious, but Johnson has ruled out an extension.

Fifty-two per cent of voters across the United Kingdom chose Brexit in 2016, but there were majorities for remaining in the EU in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon, who leads the devolved regional government, insisted on Friday that Scotland is being withdrawn from the EU against its will. She demanded a referendum on independence.

Opinion polls suggest that 53 per cent of people across the United Kingdom now support the country remaining in the EU, said John Curtice, a political scientist at the University of Strathclyde.

Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, was among the many Conservatives who welcomed Brexit Day.

“After more than three years, we can finally say that we have delivered on the result of the 2016 referendum and have kept faith with the British people,” tweeted May, who resigned after lawmakers had rejected her Brexit deal three times.

Opposition Labour lawmaker David Lammy said Brexit was a “national tragedy.”

“I oppose it today for the same reasons I have always opposed it,” Lammy wrote. “Brexit is a con. A trick. A swindle. A fraud.”

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BREAKING!!! UK Finally Leaves EU

Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed an “astonishing moment” as Britain formally left the European Union (EU) after 47 years on Friday, saying his government had “obeyed the people” who voted for Brexit in a 2016 referendum.

“For many people this is an astonishing moment of hope, a moment they thought would never come,” Johnson said in a recorded speech.

The speech was broadcast via his Facebook account one hour before Brexit became official at 11 pm (2300 GMT), or midnight in Brussels.

“And there are many of course who feel a sense of anxiety and loss,” Johnson added.

“And then of course there is a third group – perhaps the biggest – who had started to worry that the whole political wrangle would never come to an end.

“We have obeyed the people [who voted for Brexit in a 2016 referendum,” he said, adding: “We have taken back the tools of self-government.”

Johnson and the European Union’s top officials earlier pointed to new opportunities ahead after Brexit.

Thousands of eurosceptics gathered to celebrate Brexit Day in London and other cities, rivalled by smaller groups of pro-EU activists in some areas, but most British people were not expected to mark the date.

A light show and other events organized by Johnson’s Conservative government at Downing Street was outshone by a nearby “Brexit Celebration: Countdown to freedom” event fronted by veteran eurosceptic and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage in London’s Parliament Square.

In Brussels earlier, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and European Parliament President David Sassoli said Saturday would mark a “new dawn for Europe.

The bloc’s remaining 27 member sates will “continue to join forces and build a common future,” they wrote in an op-ed for several European newspapers.

Leaders across Europe expressed similar sentiments.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Brexit was a “deep cut for us all” but underlined that the remaining EU members would continue to do everything necessary to move forward.

Brexit is “a historic alarm signal that must sound in all our countries, that must be heard by all of Europe and make us reflect,” French President Emmanuel Macron said.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar expressed his thanks for the “enormous solidarity from our European partners.” His country, which shares a land border with Britain in Northern Ireland, is the EU state likely to be most affected by Brexit.

“Today is a very sad day. People in the north did not consent to Brexit,” Mary Lou McDonald, leader of Irish republican party Sinn Fein, said as she joined a border protest.

“This is not something that people on the island of Ireland want, bar a small minority,” McDonald said.

After Brexit, little will change in practice during an 11-month transitional phase, as the two sides seek to negotiate a future relationship spanning trade, security and political cooperation.

Officials in Brussels warn that the timeline is extremely ambitious, but Johnson has ruled out an extension.

Fifty-two per cent of voters across the United Kingdom chose Brexit in 2016, but there were majorities for remaining in the EU in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon, who leads the devolved regional government, insisted on Friday that Scotland is being withdrawn from the EU against its will. She demanded a referendum on independence.

Opinion polls suggest that 53 per cent of people across the United Kingdom now support the country remaining in the EU, said John Curtice, a political scientist at the University of Strathclyde.

Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, was among the many Conservatives who welcomed Brexit Day.

“After more than three years, we can finally say that we have delivered on the result of the 2016 referendum and have kept faith with the British people,” tweeted May, who resigned after lawmakers had rejected her Brexit deal three times.

Opposition Labour lawmaker David Lammy said Brexit was a “national tragedy.”

“I oppose it today for the same reasons I have always opposed it,” Lammy wrote. “Brexit is a con. A trick. A swindle. A fraud.”

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BREAKING!!! UK Finally Leaves EU

Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed an “astonishing moment” as Britain formally left the European Union (EU) after 47 years on Friday, saying his government had “obeyed the people” who voted for Brexit in a 2016 referendum.

“For many people this is an astonishing moment of hope, a moment they thought would never come,” Johnson said in a recorded speech.

The speech was broadcast via his Facebook account one hour before Brexit became official at 11 pm (2300 GMT), or midnight in Brussels.

“And there are many of course who feel a sense of anxiety and loss,” Johnson added.

“And then of course there is a third group – perhaps the biggest – who had started to worry that the whole political wrangle would never come to an end.

“We have obeyed the people [who voted for Brexit in a 2016 referendum,” he said, adding: “We have taken back the tools of self-government.”

Johnson and the European Union’s top officials earlier pointed to new opportunities ahead after Brexit.

Thousands of eurosceptics gathered to celebrate Brexit Day in London and other cities, rivalled by smaller groups of pro-EU activists in some areas, but most British people were not expected to mark the date.

A light show and other events organized by Johnson’s Conservative government at Downing Street was outshone by a nearby “Brexit Celebration: Countdown to freedom” event fronted by veteran eurosceptic and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage in London’s Parliament Square.

In Brussels earlier, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and European Parliament President David Sassoli said Saturday would mark a “new dawn for Europe.

The bloc’s remaining 27 member sates will “continue to join forces and build a common future,” they wrote in an op-ed for several European newspapers.

Leaders across Europe expressed similar sentiments.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Brexit was a “deep cut for us all” but underlined that the remaining EU members would continue to do everything necessary to move forward.

Brexit is “a historic alarm signal that must sound in all our countries, that must be heard by all of Europe and make us reflect,” French President Emmanuel Macron said.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar expressed his thanks for the “enormous solidarity from our European partners.” His country, which shares a land border with Britain in Northern Ireland, is the EU state likely to be most affected by Brexit.

“Today is a very sad day. People in the north did not consent to Brexit,” Mary Lou McDonald, leader of Irish republican party Sinn Fein, said as she joined a border protest.

“This is not something that people on the island of Ireland want, bar a small minority,” McDonald said.

After Brexit, little will change in practice during an 11-month transitional phase, as the two sides seek to negotiate a future relationship spanning trade, security and political cooperation.

Officials in Brussels warn that the timeline is extremely ambitious, but Johnson has ruled out an extension.

Fifty-two per cent of voters across the United Kingdom chose Brexit in 2016, but there were majorities for remaining in the EU in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon, who leads the devolved regional government, insisted on Friday that Scotland is being withdrawn from the EU against its will. She demanded a referendum on independence.

Opinion polls suggest that 53 per cent of people across the United Kingdom now support the country remaining in the EU, said John Curtice, a political scientist at the University of Strathclyde.

Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, was among the many Conservatives who welcomed Brexit Day.

“After more than three years, we can finally say that we have delivered on the result of the 2016 referendum and have kept faith with the British people,” tweeted May, who resigned after lawmakers had rejected her Brexit deal three times.

Opposition Labour lawmaker David Lammy said Brexit was a “national tragedy.”

“I oppose it today for the same reasons I have always opposed it,” Lammy wrote. “Brexit is a con. A trick. A swindle. A fraud.”

read more

BREAKING!!! UK Finally Leaves EU

Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed an “astonishing moment” as Britain formally left the European Union (EU) after 47 years on Friday, saying his government had “obeyed the people” who voted for Brexit in a 2016 referendum.

“For many people this is an astonishing moment of hope, a moment they thought would never come,” Johnson said in a recorded speech.

The speech was broadcast via his Facebook account one hour before Brexit became official at 11 pm (2300 GMT), or midnight in Brussels.

“And there are many of course who feel a sense of anxiety and loss,” Johnson added.

“And then of course there is a third group – perhaps the biggest – who had started to worry that the whole political wrangle would never come to an end.

“We have obeyed the people [who voted for Brexit in a 2016 referendum,” he said, adding: “We have taken back the tools of self-government.”

Johnson and the European Union’s top officials earlier pointed to new opportunities ahead after Brexit.

Thousands of eurosceptics gathered to celebrate Brexit Day in London and other cities, rivalled by smaller groups of pro-EU activists in some areas, but most British people were not expected to mark the date.

A light show and other events organized by Johnson’s Conservative government at Downing Street was outshone by a nearby “Brexit Celebration: Countdown to freedom” event fronted by veteran eurosceptic and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage in London’s Parliament Square.

In Brussels earlier, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and European Parliament President David Sassoli said Saturday would mark a “new dawn for Europe.

The bloc’s remaining 27 member sates will “continue to join forces and build a common future,” they wrote in an op-ed for several European newspapers.

Leaders across Europe expressed similar sentiments.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Brexit was a “deep cut for us all” but underlined that the remaining EU members would continue to do everything necessary to move forward.

Brexit is “a historic alarm signal that must sound in all our countries, that must be heard by all of Europe and make us reflect,” French President Emmanuel Macron said.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar expressed his thanks for the “enormous solidarity from our European partners.” His country, which shares a land border with Britain in Northern Ireland, is the EU state likely to be most affected by Brexit.

“Today is a very sad day. People in the north did not consent to Brexit,” Mary Lou McDonald, leader of Irish republican party Sinn Fein, said as she joined a border protest.

“This is not something that people on the island of Ireland want, bar a small minority,” McDonald said.

After Brexit, little will change in practice during an 11-month transitional phase, as the two sides seek to negotiate a future relationship spanning trade, security and political cooperation.

Officials in Brussels warn that the timeline is extremely ambitious, but Johnson has ruled out an extension.

Fifty-two per cent of voters across the United Kingdom chose Brexit in 2016, but there were majorities for remaining in the EU in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon, who leads the devolved regional government, insisted on Friday that Scotland is being withdrawn from the EU against its will. She demanded a referendum on independence.

Opinion polls suggest that 53 per cent of people across the United Kingdom now support the country remaining in the EU, said John Curtice, a political scientist at the University of Strathclyde.

Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, was among the many Conservatives who welcomed Brexit Day.

“After more than three years, we can finally say that we have delivered on the result of the 2016 referendum and have kept faith with the British people,” tweeted May, who resigned after lawmakers had rejected her Brexit deal three times.

Opposition Labour lawmaker David Lammy said Brexit was a “national tragedy.”

“I oppose it today for the same reasons I have always opposed it,” Lammy wrote. “Brexit is a con. A trick. A swindle. A fraud.”

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JUST IN: Russia Prime Minister Medvedev Resigns

Prime Minister of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, submitted his resignation to President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, Tass news agency reported.

Russian news agencies said Putin thanked Medvedev for his service but noted that the prime minister’s Cabinet failed to fulfill all the objectives set for it.

Reports say Putin plans to name Medvedev as deputy of the presidential Security Council.

Medvedev, a longtime close associate of Putin’s, has served as Russia’s prime minister since 2012. He spent four years before that as president in 2008-2012.

Putin asked the members of Medvedev’s Cabinet to keep working until a new Cabinet is formed.

Medvedev’s resignation followed Putin’s annual state of the nation address earlier Wednesday.

During his speech, the Russian leader proposed amending the constitution to increase the powers of prime ministers and Cabinet members.

The proposed move is seen as part of Putin’s efforts to carve out a new position of power for himself to stay at the helm after his current term as president ends in 2024.

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Years After Overthrowing Him, Libyans Regret Removing Gaddafi

Libyans are severely suffering since the removal of the former leader, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi by an allied force led by Britain under David Cameron, and the United States of America under Barack Obama.

Five years after the invasion that dethroned him, life in Libya has become that of pain, anguish, and regrets. The majority of the populace says that life is better under the late leader. Currently, the people are living under anarchy and ISIS threat with normalcy far from being restored.

Today, the once-prosperous African county is crippled by power black-out, inflation and lack of payment of Salary by west backed Government.

Many people who took up arms against the Former leader after the propaganda war waged against the dictator. Most of them are now wishing that the clock can be unwound back. The current state of Libya makes it impossible for citizens to come out at night because of insecurity which is caused by many arms groups created by power vacuum left after the removal and execution of Muammar Gaddafi. 

One of those who fought against him confessed and said,“I joined the revolution in the first days and fought against Gaddafi,” former revolutionary fighter Mohammed, 31, said from the southern city of Murzuq.

Libyans today confirmed to the politicians’ as UK House of Common condemned former UK Prime Minister David Cameron and his Labour party. They accused him of an obsession for regime change in Libya. Today Libyans are battling to survive as findings show.”

Ordinary people now face daily electricity cuts of up to nine hours, a serious cash crisis, which prevents them from accessing their salaries, sky-high prices for essential goods and shortages of medical supplies. Unlike what is obtainable during the Gaddafi era.Currently, there is widespread corruption prompted the black-market rate for foreign corruption which has triple against the increasingly worthless Libyan dinar.

Another Libyan businessman named Nuri, 34, who hails from Tripoli added, “It’s not so much about being pro-Gaddafi because he was a crazy leader who was actually quite embarrassing internationally.

“It’s just that people’s lives are so difficult now compared to under Gaddafi. It has become so bad that some Libyans, who were among the richest in the Arab World are considering fleeing to Europe on migrant boats with the aim of starting a new life in Europe”.

Another young Libyan, a Medical student Salem who is 26, from Tripoli, said, “We thought things would be better after the revolution, but they just keep getting worse and worse.

“Far more people have been killed since 2011 than during the revolution or under 42 years of Gaddafi’s rule combined. We never had these problems under Gaddafi.

“There was always money and electricity and, although people did not have large salaries, everything was cheap, so life was simple.

“Some of my friends have even taken the boat to Europe with the migrants because they feel there is no future for them here. “I would like to escape this mess and study abroad but I have been waiting a year for a new passport and, even when I do get one, it will be hard to get a visa because all the embassies left in 2014.

“So now I feel like a prisoner in my own country. And I have started to hate my own country,” he concluded.

According to an ex-pat British housewife, who moved to Libya with her Libyan husband 20 years ago, says it is no longer safe to go out at night.

Another, Sara, 50, a mother-of-one said, “I used to walk home alone at midnight with no fear.“But now I don’t like to go outside alone after dark. I don’t feel safe.”

As well as a lack of security, the very fabric of Libyan society has broken down with provinces, towns, and tribes retreating into themselves.

Tebu Mohammed said, “Libya died with Gaddafi. We are not a nation anymore. We have become just warring groups of tribes, towns and cities.

“Before there was just one Gaddafi but now we have six million little Gaddafis.”

Successive post-revolutionary governments, parliaments, and leaders have all failed to provide ordinary Libyans with basic security, let alone address their daily struggles.

“We have had seven governments since 2011 and what have they achieved?” asked Mahmoud.

“The only thing we can see is new dustbins because one of the early governments installed these new large bins across Tripoli. We still point to them and laugh, saying it’s the only achievement of the revolution.”

With two rival governments, a democratically-elected one now operating beyond its mandate in eastern Libya, and the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, some say Libya is already on the verge of partition.

“The country is already divided. We have two governments, two parliaments, two Central banks, and two National Oil Companies,” said former Libyan diplomat Abdusalem, 48.

“The so-called revolution was lies, all lies. We Libyans did not even know what the word revolution meant. We had been sheltered under Gaddafi for 42 years.

“It was not Libya’s revolution, it was NATO’s revolution because they wanted to get rid of Gaddafi.

Riots have broken out at banks as people are forced to queue for hours in the stifling heat at banks to withdraw a restricted amount of money. Bank security guards shot and killed three people in a bank queue in May this year.

The price of basic goods, including imports, have gone through the roof as shipping company insurers have classified Libya as a war zone.And food subsidies have been cut.

Fadiel, from Ras Lanuf, said, “(Under the Gaddafi regime) You could buy 20 loaves with one dinar but now you can only buy five, and they are smaller. Cooking oil was subsidised under Gaddafi and cost 1,75 dinar per 1 liter but because of shortages, some businessmen buy it from warehouses and resell it for 5 Libyan dinar. Bread and oil are the most basic commodities.”

“Hospitals are running out of basic medicines, for epilepsy and diabetes, and people are now buying them from private pharmacies at double their previous prices. And we are struggling to get our children vaccinated because of shortages, particularly in rural areas”, he added.

As their dreams of a prosperous post-Gaddafi Libya lay in the dust, most people say now they only want peace.

One said, “I cannot see how there will be peace in this country for another 10 years, but peace and stability is all that ordinary Libyans want.”

Years on from Britain’s ‘ill-conceived’ military intervention to dispose of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, ordinary people in Libya say life was better under the European labeled despot than the anarchy and threat of ISIS in the country today. Crippled by power black-outs, a five-fold increase in the cost of food, salaries unpaid for months and the threat of terror, citizens who took up arms against Gaddafi now say their quality of life was better under the feared dictator.

Many who fought against Gaddafi are today regretting.

“I joined the revolution when it started and fought against Gaddafi,” former revolutionary fighter Mohammed, 31, said from the southern city of Murzuq.

Another Libyan said “Before 2011, I hated Gaddafi more than anyone. But now, life is much, much harder, and I have become his biggest fan.”

Taxi driver Mahmoud added, “Before Libya was much better.”

41 years old Oil worker Haroun, said, “Getting rid of Gaddafi was clearly a mistake because we weren’t ready for democracy and we needed support from the international community, which just wasn’t there.”

A Libyan activist Fadiel added, “It should be better than Gaddafi’s time now but, because of the chaos and everyone fighting each other, it’s just a mess.” 

They claim his execution has led to a power vacuum that has created ‘six million little Gaddafis’ and they no longer feel safe to leave their homes after dark.

Amidst the chaos and lack of security, 8000 African migrants a day cross the border into Libya and live along its coastline waiting to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.

Their comments echo the findings of influential British politicians who have condemned former Prime Minister David Cameron’s ‘chaotic’ 2011 intervention in Libya.

In a devastating verdict, the House of Commons foreign affairs committee this week savaged former prime minister David Cameron’s judgment in rushing to war – and said the intervention was based on ‘erroneous assumptions’.

An international coalition led by Britain and France launched strikes against Gaddafi’s forces in March 2011 after the regime threatened to attack the rebel-held city of Benghazi.

Cameron claimed the intervention was necessary to prevent a massacre of civilians, but the new report says that, despite appalling human rights abuses over 40 years, Gaddafi had no record of large-scale attacks on Libyan civilians.

However, the cross-party committee accused the Conservative of ignoring military chiefs and a lack of reliable intelligence to pursue an ‘opportunistic policy of regime change’ in Libya.

It says Cameron gave little thought to how Libya would fare following the removal of Gaddafi, setting the scene for the country’s descent into chaos.

Libyans today confirmed to the politicians’ findings as they have described their daily battles to survive. Ordinary people now face daily electricity cuts of up to nine hours, a serious cash crisis, which prevents them from accessing their salaries, sky-high prices for essential goods and shortages of medical supplies.

Widespread corruption has also prompted the black-market rate for foreign currency to triple against the increasingly worthless Libyan dinar. 

As the dreams of Libyans for a prosperous post-Gaddafi Libya become an illusion, most people say now they only want peace. To ordinary Libyan peace is their most desired commodity at this point. As one of them confessed, “I cannot see how there will be peace in this country for another 10 years, but peace and stability is all that ordinary Libyans want.” 

In an interview with Italy’s La Stampa newspaper, Martin Kobler, the UN special envoy to Libya called for greater international intervention to restore security in Libya.

The United Nations special envoy to Libya warned that there are some 235,000 migrants on the country’s shore’s preparing to make the dangerous Mediterranean Sea crossing to Italy. “We have on our lists 235,000 migrants who are just waiting for a good opportunity to depart for Italy, and they will do it.”

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Venezuela Gets Two Parliamentary Speakers

Venezuela’s National Assembly approved two separate speakers in two separate votes on Sunday, after opposition lawmakers held their own vote when they were locked out of the parliament session.

The chaotic day left it unclear, who would lead the National Assembly, with an official but disputed vote picking Luis Parra, who is backed by embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

The opposition lawmakers re-electing self-declared interim president, Juan Guaido, as the leader of the body.

Parra won with the votes of the Socialist Party of President Nicolas Maduro and defectors from the opposition coalition and reportedly received 84 votes.

But this came after security forces prevented opposition leader Juan Guaido and several dozen, other opposition lawmakers, from entering the building to have their say, according to local media reports.

Guaido’s supporters claimed the correct protocol was not observed, with Guaido himself telling VPI TV “there was no nominal vote’’, in comments outside the government building.

Independent media were also shut out from the session.

Opposition lawmakers reconvened at the offices of a local newspaper and voted a second time.

By that count, Guaido received 100 votes and the opposition declared him the winner.

The National Assembly has 165 seats.

U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, congratulated Guaido on his victory in a tweet.

“Arrests, bribes and blocking access to its building were unable to derail #Venezuela’s National Assembly,’’ Pompeo wrote.

Until December, Parra was a member of the opposition party Primero Justicia, which is part of the Guaido coalition.

He was expelled from his party after opposition representatives accused him of trying to win the votes of other lawmakers for Maduro in exchange for money.

Guaido was elected president of the National Assembly at the beginning of last year because his opposition Voluntad Popular party had the rotating chairmanship of the parliament.

On Jan. 23 last year, he declared himself interim president and openly challenged President Maduro.

Many countries, including the U.S. and EU states, subsequently recognise Guaido as a legitimate interim president.

However, despite international support and massive demonstrations in Venezuela, he did not succeed in ousting Maduro from office.

This is in large part because Maduro still has the support of the powerful military.

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Venezuela Gets Two Parliamentary Speakers

Venezuela’s National Assembly approved two separate speakers in two separate votes on Sunday, after opposition lawmakers held their own vote when they were locked out of the parliament session.

The chaotic day left it unclear, who would lead the National Assembly, with an official but disputed vote picking Luis Parra, who is backed by embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

The opposition lawmakers re-electing self-declared interim president, Juan Guaido, as the leader of the body.

Parra won with the votes of the Socialist Party of President Nicolas Maduro and defectors from the opposition coalition and reportedly received 84 votes.

But this came after security forces prevented opposition leader Juan Guaido and several dozen, other opposition lawmakers, from entering the building to have their say, according to local media reports.

Guaido’s supporters claimed the correct protocol was not observed, with Guaido himself telling VPI TV “there was no nominal vote’’, in comments outside the government building.

Independent media were also shut out from the session.

Opposition lawmakers reconvened at the offices of a local newspaper and voted a second time.

By that count, Guaido received 100 votes and the opposition declared him the winner.

The National Assembly has 165 seats.

U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, congratulated Guaido on his victory in a tweet.

“Arrests, bribes and blocking access to its building were unable to derail #Venezuela’s National Assembly,’’ Pompeo wrote.

Until December, Parra was a member of the opposition party Primero Justicia, which is part of the Guaido coalition.

He was expelled from his party after opposition representatives accused him of trying to win the votes of other lawmakers for Maduro in exchange for money.

Guaido was elected president of the National Assembly at the beginning of last year because his opposition Voluntad Popular party had the rotating chairmanship of the parliament.

On Jan. 23 last year, he declared himself interim president and openly challenged President Maduro.

Many countries, including the U.S. and EU states, subsequently recognise Guaido as a legitimate interim president.

However, despite international support and massive demonstrations in Venezuela, he did not succeed in ousting Maduro from office.

This is in large part because Maduro still has the support of the powerful military.

read more

Venezuela Gets Two Parliamentary Speakers

Venezuela’s National Assembly approved two separate speakers in two separate votes on Sunday, after opposition lawmakers held their own vote when they were locked out of the parliament session.

The chaotic day left it unclear, who would lead the National Assembly, with an official but disputed vote picking Luis Parra, who is backed by embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

The opposition lawmakers re-electing self-declared interim president, Juan Guaido, as the leader of the body.

Parra won with the votes of the Socialist Party of President Nicolas Maduro and defectors from the opposition coalition and reportedly received 84 votes.

But this came after security forces prevented opposition leader Juan Guaido and several dozen, other opposition lawmakers, from entering the building to have their say, according to local media reports.

Guaido’s supporters claimed the correct protocol was not observed, with Guaido himself telling VPI TV “there was no nominal vote’’, in comments outside the government building.

Independent media were also shut out from the session.

Opposition lawmakers reconvened at the offices of a local newspaper and voted a second time.

By that count, Guaido received 100 votes and the opposition declared him the winner.

The National Assembly has 165 seats.

U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, congratulated Guaido on his victory in a tweet.

“Arrests, bribes and blocking access to its building were unable to derail #Venezuela’s National Assembly,’’ Pompeo wrote.

Until December, Parra was a member of the opposition party Primero Justicia, which is part of the Guaido coalition.

He was expelled from his party after opposition representatives accused him of trying to win the votes of other lawmakers for Maduro in exchange for money.

Guaido was elected president of the National Assembly at the beginning of last year because his opposition Voluntad Popular party had the rotating chairmanship of the parliament.

On Jan. 23 last year, he declared himself interim president and openly challenged President Maduro.

Many countries, including the U.S. and EU states, subsequently recognise Guaido as a legitimate interim president.

However, despite international support and massive demonstrations in Venezuela, he did not succeed in ousting Maduro from office.

This is in large part because Maduro still has the support of the powerful military.

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Venezuela Gets Two Parliamentary Speakers

Venezuela’s National Assembly approved two separate speakers in two separate votes on Sunday, after opposition lawmakers held their own vote when they were locked out of the parliament session.

The chaotic day left it unclear, who would lead the National Assembly, with an official but disputed vote picking Luis Parra, who is backed by embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

The opposition lawmakers re-electing self-declared interim president, Juan Guaido, as the leader of the body.

Parra won with the votes of the Socialist Party of President Nicolas Maduro and defectors from the opposition coalition and reportedly received 84 votes.

But this came after security forces prevented opposition leader Juan Guaido and several dozen, other opposition lawmakers, from entering the building to have their say, according to local media reports.

Guaido’s supporters claimed the correct protocol was not observed, with Guaido himself telling VPI TV “there was no nominal vote’’, in comments outside the government building.

Independent media were also shut out from the session.

Opposition lawmakers reconvened at the offices of a local newspaper and voted a second time.

By that count, Guaido received 100 votes and the opposition declared him the winner.

The National Assembly has 165 seats.

U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, congratulated Guaido on his victory in a tweet.

“Arrests, bribes and blocking access to its building were unable to derail #Venezuela’s National Assembly,’’ Pompeo wrote.

Until December, Parra was a member of the opposition party Primero Justicia, which is part of the Guaido coalition.

He was expelled from his party after opposition representatives accused him of trying to win the votes of other lawmakers for Maduro in exchange for money.

Guaido was elected president of the National Assembly at the beginning of last year because his opposition Voluntad Popular party had the rotating chairmanship of the parliament.

On Jan. 23 last year, he declared himself interim president and openly challenged President Maduro.

Many countries, including the U.S. and EU states, subsequently recognise Guaido as a legitimate interim president.

However, despite international support and massive demonstrations in Venezuela, he did not succeed in ousting Maduro from office.

This is in large part because Maduro still has the support of the powerful military.

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JUST IN: Iraqi Asks Foreign Troops To Leave After U.S. Strike

Iraq’s parliament has approved a resolution to oblige the government to end the presence of foreign troops linked to a U.S.-led alliance fighting Islamic State.

In an emergency session, the parliament issued a resolution obliging the government to rescind its previous request for help from the anti-Islamic State coalition after the defeat of the extremist militia.

The parliament also called for the government to prevent any foreign troops from using Iraqi airspace for any reason.

The move comes after a U.S. airstrike on Friday near Baghdad airport killed a senior Iranian general and Iraqi Shiite militia leader along with several Iran-allied militiamen.

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White House Confirms Putin Called Trump To Thank U.S. For Intelligence

The White House on Monday confirmed Russian President Vladimir Putin, called U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday, to thank him for information that helped foil a potential holiday terrorist attack on Russia.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley, said Putin thanked Trump for information the U.S. provided.

“Trump and Putin committed to continuing their counter-terrorism cooperation during the call,” Gidley said.

He said Putin and Trump also discussed the state of relations between the US and Russia and future efforts to support effective arms control,’’ Gidley said.

Russian state media reported on Sunday that authorities prevented an attack in the city of St Petersburg, following a tip-off from the U.S.

The Interfax news agency quoted the domestic secret service FSB, as saying that two Russian citizens had been arrested on Friday in connection with the incident.

It reported that they had planned to carry out a terrorist attack on crowded locations during New Year celebrations.

“The investigators seized evidence which confirmed the plans for an attack,’’ it added.

The FSB said that U.S. intelligence had provided the tip-off.

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Impeachment Fallout: New Play About Nancy Pelosi To Debut In Chicago

A new commercial play about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is readying a world premiere in Chicago, just as its subject is at the center of the news and playing a central role in the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

Titled “The Adult in the Room,” the timely show will star the Broadway actress Orlagh Cassidy as the California Democrat.

Opening night is scheduled for January 26 at the rented Richard Christiansen Theatre.

Directed by Heather Arnson and Conor Bagley, the project is produced by the Broadway and TV producers Jim Kierstead, Linda Karn and William Frenandez.

Based on the show’s advance materials, a sympathetic portrait appears to be in the offing.

Whether Pelosi has given her blessing to the project, which will explore her early life, rise to power and what the producers call “the convulsive political climate that currently permeates the U.S.,” was not immediately clear.

Kierstead said Pelosi had received the script, but, presumably, has been busy with other things.

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