Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette
Libyan “madman” Muammar Gaddafi again took to the public airways via a telephone statement that the rebellion is being run by Al-Qaeda and that the young protesters were being drugged by Osama bin Laden. Tripoli is paralyzed and, according to foreign reports, food and fuel are in short supply contradicting Libyan official reports that everything is “normal”. Phone and internet service is intermittent.
Mustafa Abdel Galil, who resigned three days ago as justice minister, speaking to Al Jazeera, said that Gaddafi had chemical weapons and would not hesitate to use them. The United Nation’s Human Rights Council will meet in Geneva to decide to send a team to investigate violations of international human rights law in Libya.
In the east, the cities of Benghazi and Tobruk are now under the control of a civilian council of lawyers and doctors with the aid of military officers who turned on Gaddafi. Ferries have docked in Benghazi to aid in the evacuation of foreign residents and tourists. The eastern border with Egypt has been opened and tent hospitals and aid stations have been set up to care for the wounded and sick. Doctor Without Borders is sending a team from France to help the Egyptians.
Even as Gaddafi digs in, much of the country is out of his control and the military is deserting him. His assets in foreign banks have been frozen. Ahmed Gadhaf al-Dam, one of Gaddafi’s top security official and a cousin, defected and left the country on Wednesday evening, stating differences over “grave violations to human rights and human and international laws”. It would seem that it just a matter of time before Gaddafi is gone. The cost to be rid if him will be high.
Oil prices climbed to their highest level in 30 months in London today as Libya’s uprising reduced shipments and sparked fears of unrest spreading across the Middle East.
Brent crude hit 119 US dollars a barrel for the first time since August 2008, while benchmark crude for April delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange was up nearly four dollars at 101.67 US dollars.
Countries around the world step up efforts to evacuate citizens, but some warn an exodus of refugees could spark crisis.
Nations around the world are evacuating thousands of people from the violent unrest in Libya, amid fears in some countries that the situation will lead to an exodus of illegal immigrants.
On Thursday, European nationals and thousands of Chinese people landed on the Greek island of Crete, after boarding chartered ferries from Libya, while scores of Britons were evacuated via military plane to the Mediterranean island of Malta.
Aisha Gaddafi, the daughter of the Libyan leader, appears on state TV to deny reports that she tried to flee to Malta.
Aisha Gaddafi, the daughter of Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, has appeared on state television, denying a report she tried to flee to Malta.
There had been reports on Wednesday that a Libyan plane carrying Gaddafi’s daughter had been turned back from Malta after it was denied permission to land.
Scrapping the draconian law to placate growing discontent had been a major demand made by the opposition parties.
Algeria’s cabinet has adopted an order to lift a 19-year-old state of emergency in a concession designed to avoid the tide of uprisings sweeping the Arab world, but protesters said the measure did not go far enough.
A draft law approved by the cabinet would repeal the emergency law as soon as it is published in the government’s official journal, the official Algerie Presse Service reported on Wednesday.
Three stalwarts of the deposed Egyptian president are greeted by angry crowd at courthouse
Three former stalwarts of Hosni Mubarak’s regime have appeared in a Cairo court to face charges ranging from abuse of state power to squandering public wealth.
The trio – former housing minister Ahmed Maghrapi, former tourism minister Zuheir Garana and Ahmed Ezz, steel tycoon and one-time secretary general of Hosni Mubarak’s NDP party – arrived in police cars clanging with the sound of pelted stones and got out at the courthouse to a chorus of deafening insults.
President Saleh instructs security forces to protect demonstrators after at least 15 protesters have been killed.
Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen’s president, has issued a directive ordering his security forces to protect demonstrators trying to end his 32-year rule, after at least 15 people have been killed in the country’s recent unrest.
The statement, relayed by the Yemeni press attaché in Washington on Thursday, said Saleh had “demanded security services to offer full protection for the demonstrators”.
“Late this evening [Wednesday] … Saleh instructed all security services to thwart all clashes and prevent direct confrontation between pro- and anti-government protesters,” it said.
“Furthermore, the government calls on protesters to remain vigilant and take all precautionary steps to prevent the infiltrations of individuals seeking to carry out violent actions.
“The government … will continue to protect the rights of its citizens to assemble peacefully and their right to freedom of expression,” the statement said.
Thousands of protesters were camping out for a fifth day in an impromptu tent city outside Sanaa University. Members of the university’s professors’ union also turned out to support the demonstrators, who have one demand: that Saleh step down.
Protests turn deadly as the president’s supporters open fire on anti-government demonstrators in the capital, Sanaa.