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US orders personnel out of Libya

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WASHINGTON – The United States on Monday ordered all non-essential staff to leave Libya and warned US nationals to avoid travel to the north African country as anti-government protests raged.

“The Department of State has ordered all embassy family members and non-emergency personnel to depart Libya,” a statement said. “US citizens outside of Libya are urged to defer all travel to Libya.

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Protesters Monday overran several Libyan cities while regime stalwarts began defecting as the pillars of Kadhafi’s hardline rule were targeted in the capital Tripoli amid reports he had fled the country.

Cities including Benghazi in the east had fallen to demonstrators opposing Kadhafi’s 41-year-old regime after military units deserted their posts, said the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights (IFHR).

With hundreds of protesters reportedly killed, the US State Department’s travel advice urged Americans not to visit while there was a continued threat of violence and suggested those already there hunker down.

“US citizens in Libya should minimize overall travel in-country, exercise extreme caution when traveling, and limit all travel after dark. US citizens not departing Libya should make preparations to shelter in place,” it said.

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Americans should avoid areas where demonstrations are likely to occur and should not be tempted to participate in protests, even if they appeared peaceful, the bulletin said.

“Spontaneous demonstrations, violence, and looting are possible throughout the next several days,” it said.

“Demonstrations have degenerated on several occasions into violent clashes between security forces and protesters, resulting in injuries and deaths.”

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Alexander von Humboldt was the first person to understand climate change — more than 200 years ago

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Alexander von Humboldt was born on September 14, 1769. In his day, he was a globetrotting, convention-defying hero— one of the first recorded individuals to raise environmental concerns. To make him hip for a new generation, all it takes is a rediscovery of Humboldt by the young climate strikers across the globe. Their numbers are growing, their task is huge, and they are now urging adults to join them. Why let parents fiddle when the house burns? On May 22, grown-ups at the Columbia Journalism Review, The Nation, and The Guardian listened and launched Covering Climate Now, a project to encourage more coverage of climate change in the media. Bill Moyers, the keynote speaker, pointed out that from 2017 to 2018, major network coverage of climate issues fell 45 percent to a total of a mere 142 minutes. And on May 23, with her knack of being spot-on, 16-year-old climate activist and rising star Greta Thunberg promptly wrote of taking on the climate change challenge: “It’s humanity’s job.”

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Science now supports the deadly serious warnings the Victorians gave about sleep

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“Sleeplessness is one of the torments of our age and generation.” You might presume that this is a quote from a contemporary commentator, and no wonder: the World Health Organisation has diagnosed a global epidemic of sleeplessness, and it is difficult to escape accounts, both popular and scientific, of the dangers to health of our 24/7 lifestyle in the modern digital age. But it was actually the neurologist Sir William Broadbent who wrote these words, in 1900.

So our concerns are evidently far from new. The Victorian era experienced not only the extraordinary upheavals of the industrial revolution, but also the arrival of gas and then electric lighting, turning night into day. The creation of an international telegraph network similarly revolutionised systems of communication, establishing global connectivity and, for groups such as businessmen, financiers and politicians, a flow of telegrams at all hours.

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US and El Salvador sign agreement on asylum to curb migration

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The United States and El Salvador reached an agreement Friday aimed at curbing illegal migration, opening the door for the US to potentially send refugees back to the violent Central American country.

The deal was announced at a joint press conference in Washington by Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan and Salvadoran Foreign Minister Alexandra Hill.

The agreement -- which will only go into effect after both countries have implemented new border security and asylum processes -- is the latest step by Donald Trump's administration to curb immigration to the US by leaning on neighbors to take in migrants.

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