Libya’s United Nations-backed prime minister has told Sky News that there could be an influx of more than 800,000 migrants from his country into Europe if the instability in his country continues.
Fayez al Sarraj, the prime minister of Libya is a very polite man, a trained architect who entered politics in his 50s but he is a man with a tough message and he’s not mincing his words right now.
We’re sitting in a meeting room inside the prime minister’s office in the capital – about seven miles (12km) away from the battlefronts raging on the edge of the city.
Fighters loyal to him are trying to stop an advancing self-styled army commanded by a warlord who was a General under the country’s former dictator, Colonel Gaddafi.
It is his first interview since Khalifa Heftar declared he was going to clear the capital of “terrorists” less than a fortnight ago.
The two men were meant to be sitting down talking peace right now in negotiations facilitated by the United Nations. Instead there’s frantic fighting on the perimeter of the city and thousands of civilians have fled their homes to escape the battling.
The prime minister runs the government in Tripoli, the authority in the west of Libya, which is recognised by the United Nations – while General Heftar has set up a rival administration in the east from his base in Benghazi. The idea of peace negotiations now seems very far off the mark.
“We still want peace,” Prime Minister Fayyaz al Serraj told us, “but if we are forced to fight, we are up for the fight. Talking about sitting around a negotiating table before the retreat of these aggressive forces, I think is not appropriate.
“The international community must pressurise these forces and call it by its name and pressurise them to go back to where they came from.”
He chooses his words carefully.
The International Criminal Court has been gathering evidence of possible war crimes being committed on the capital by General Heftar’s men.
There has been attacks on schools, homes and offices – hit by rockets and bombs apparently dropped by the Heftar forces. The General has declared he’s clearing the capital of “terrorists”.
The prime minister claims this is a thinly-disguised military grab of power.
“Has Tripoli all of a sudden become a terrorist city?” he asks.
The UN secretary general was in the capital meeting him only about 12 days ago. “And are all its residents now terrorists? Are Abu Salim residents who were bombed yesterday now terrorists? Or those living in Ain Zara, or Sawani? Are all of these terrorists? Or are these crimes against humanity? Isn’t it time now to call it as it is?”
He wants the fighters who’re carrying out the attacks to be tried for crimes against humanity and for Khalifer Heftar to be held accountable.
Putting more pressure on the international community, the leader warned about a European migrant crisis.
Around 800,000 migrants have used the country’s instability to try and make their way to Europe, and now the prime minister warns the international community that they could make their way to Europe.
“But what’s going to happen with this security breakdown is that 800,000 illegal migrants on Libyan ground will have to leave Libya and will cross the sea towards Europe,” he said.
“Amongst these 800,000 there are terrorists and criminals. This will be disastrous”
He also won’t rule out getting military help from outside.
I ask him what he wants the international community to do.
He replies: “We speak about a political intervention. But when we see civilians targeted in their houses, hospital and schools – our electricity being cut because of destruction to our infrastructure – I think all means are possible for us to get the help of one of the parties to stop this assault.”
I press him three times on whether he means military help.
And three times he replies: “We hope it doesn’t reach that level, but the protection of civilians is a top priority.”
Civilians we’ve spoken to have spoken angrily about how they believe the West let Libya down after their intervention during the Arab Spring revolt which led to the toppling of their former leader, Colonel Muamar Gaddafi.
The country’s been in turmoil ever since.
“Yes, this is true. This is what happened in 2011,” the Libyan prime minister says. “The world has abandoned Libya and left it to suffer on its own and a lot of things have become complicated. And I fear that’s what’s happening will happen again and the world will abandon Libya again and it will go into another dark tunnel.
“Some are trying to portray this conflict as one between east and west; trying to recruit the tribal loyalty of some to this conflict but this is not true.
“Whats happening now is a conflict between who wants a civilian democratic state with an army which is under the control of a political authority – and who wants a military rule and a totalitarian ruling.”
Game Of Thrones fans aren’t happy with this Daenerys Targaryen waxwork | Ents & Arts News
She is Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons, a queen who could soon claim the Iron Throne.
So it is only fitting she should have a waxwork in her honour – but perhaps makers could have made it a bit more… well, a bit more Daenerys-like.
Dublin’s National Wax Museum’s new addition pays homage to the Game Of Thrones character, played by Emilia Clarke, but has been widely mocked online.
“Wow, Winter’s really taken its toll,” said one commenter on the venue’s Instagram post, referencing one of the series’ most famous lines: “Winter is coming.”
“How do you f*** this up with all the technology there is,” said another user.
“Oh my god WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO HER,” said another post.
Many have said the figure looks more like Legolas from Lord Of The Rings, who was played by actor Orlando Bloom, or Lucius Malfoy, played by Jason Isaacs in the Harry Potter films.
They might have a point…
Daenerys is not the only famous face to be immortalised in less-than-flattering wax or stone.
Statues of Michael Jackson, Lucille Ball and Diego Maradona have also been ridiculed in recent years.
Clarke herself has yet to comment on her own figure, but let’s hope Daenerys sees the funny side.
Should she decide to unleash those dragons, it wouldn’t last long.
Emiliano Sala’s father dies three months after footballer’s fatal plane crash | World News
The father of Emiliano Sala has died three months after the Premier League footballer was killed in a plane crash.
Horacio Sala, 58, suffered a fatal heart attack in Argentina, the mayor of his hometown Progreso said.
“2019 has been very hard on us,” Julio Muller told local media.
“I think Horacio couldn’t get over what happened to Emi.
“Every news he heard about the investigation was really tough for him.”
A plane carrying Emiliano Sala crashed on 21 January, just two days after he had completed a £15m move from French club Nantes to Cardiff City.
The Argentinian striker was travelling to the Welsh capital in a private plane with pilot David Ibbotson when it went down in the English Channel near Alderney.
Horacio Sala described his anguish after the wreckage was discovered, telling Argentinian television: “I cannot believe it. This is a dream. A bad dream. I am desperate.”
The footballer’s body was recovered on 7 February after a privately-funded search was launched, while Mr Ibbotson remains missing.
It has also emerged that one of Emiliano Sala’s best friends died last week in a car crash.
Sebastian Rabellino was a footballer for San Martin de Progeso, the club where Sala started his career as a youth player.
Following Sala’s death, Cardiff City and Nantes are locked in a legal battle over his £15m transfer fee after the Premier League club refused to pay the first £5m instalment.
It is understood Cardiff argue that Sala’s contract had been rejected by the Premier League because it contravened signing-on fee rules and was therefore “null and void”, Sky Sports News reported.
The club also claim that further contract clauses – proposed by Nantes – had not been met.
Meanwhile, Cardiff City has denied claims it failed to offer Emiliano Sala suitable travel arrangements before his ill-fated flight to the UK.
Uber seeks market value of over $90bn in share sale | Business News
Uber is seeking a market value just above $90bn in its planned flotation, according to documents filed with regulators.
The ride hailing firm said it planned to offer 180 million shares in its Initial Public Offering (IPO) at a price of between $44-per share to $50-per share.
There would be an additional 27 million shares sold by current equity holders, Uber said.
It had been widely reported in US media that Uber had reduced its top valuation from a more lofty $120bn following a lacklustre stock market debut for its largest rival in North America, Lyft.
While Lyft’s shares climbed when trading first began last month, Lyft’s market value has plummeted since – down by 22% ahead of Friday’s opening.
In the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Uber revealed the path to profitability would likely be a rocky road for investors.
It reported a net loss of $1bn for the first quarter of the year on revenues of roughly $3bn.
It said its shares would trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker name UBER.
Uber also said PayPal had agreed to purchase $500m of stock in a private placement as the pair embark on a venture to create a digital wallet for customers.
The filing kicks off a 10-day roadshow for potential investors to ask questions of senior management.
They are likely to face questions on subjects ranging from profitability to the treatment of drivers following controversy over its treatment of so-called gig economy workers and safety provisions.
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