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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.

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.

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“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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A third of Afghans estimated to have contracted virus: health ministry

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Nearly a third of Afghanistan's population -- or 10 million people -- has been infected with the coronavirus, according to health ministry estimates published Wednesday.

The figure comes from a survey based on antibody tests on around 9,500 people across the country, with technical support from the World Health Organization, health minister Ahmad Jawad Osmani said at a press briefing.

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"I fired the shot," Stephan Ernst, 46, told the court of the killing in a statement read out by his defense.

Federal prosecutors have said Ernst was motivated by "racism and xenophobia" when he allegedly shot Luebcke in the head on June 1, 2019.

Luebcke's killing is believed to be Germany's first far-right political assassination since World War II.

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The United States will continue supporting Venezuela’s National Assembly President Juan Guaidó as the country’s rightful leader, despite Nicolás Maduro’s efforts to orchestrate a “fraudulent” election, a top U.S. diplomat said during a Senate hearing on Tuesday.“Juan Guaidó occupies the office of the interim president because it was vacant as a result of the May 2018 corrupt and fraudulent presidential elections,” said Special Envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams during a hearing in the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee.“It cannot be that Maduro can improve his situation, legally or practical... (more…)

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