Tri-partite EU mission in Libya
A tri-partite delegation formed by Maltese Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo, his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio and EU Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi, is in Tripoli for talks on Libya’s economic recovery. Ansa says it will have talks with Libyan Prime Minister Dabaiba, Foreign Minister Mangoush and Interior Minister Mazen. They aim to start a path to define EU support, with Italy as the leader, for Libya’s socio-economic recovery, with an important focus on migration issues. Dabaiba is scheduled to visit Rome next Monday.
UN to investigate Israeli-Hamas conflict
The New York Times reports the UN Human Rights Council has voted to ivestigate this month’s conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinian militant group, Hamas. It will look at whether crimes were committed not just in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, but also in Israel.
Syria’s Assad wins a fourth term
The Associated Press announces Syrian President Assad was re-elected in a landslide 95.1 per cent of votes cast, ushering in a fourth seven-year term. The West and his opposition described the election as “illegitimate” and a “sham”. Assad’s win was not in doubt, in an election where officials said 18 million were eligible to vote. Areas controlled by rebels or Kurdish-led troops, displaced persons and refugees did not vote.
Russia blocks flights for avoiding Belarus
Russia is blocking European airline flights that avoid Belarus airspace in a diplomatic battle over the arrest of Roman Protasevich. Le Figaro says Air France and Austrian Airlines have been denied entry to Russia because they planned to avoid passing through Belarus airspace to reach Moscow. Several airlines are currently avoiding Belarusian airspace in protest after a Ryanair flight was forced to divert and land in Minsk. Meanwhile, the G7 group has also demanded Minsk release the Belarusian journalist and his companion and the EU’s foreign policy chief threatened hard-hitting economic sanctions.
World praise for ballerina Carla Fracci
World media report the global praise showered on Italian cultural star and former La Scala prima ballerina Carla Fracci on the announcement of her death. Her husband, 91-year-old Beppe Menegatti, told La Republica he had received condolances from all over the world. She died at her home in Milan, aged 84. Reports say she was fighting cancer. La Scala recalled the “fairytale rise” of the daughter of a tram driver who, through “talent, obstinance and work became the most famous ballerina in the world, has inspired generations of young people, and not just in the world of dance”.
Nike breaks with Neymar after sexual abuse allegations
The Wall Street Journal reports Nike has broken its partnership with Neymar because the Brazilian Paris Saint Germain football star refused to cooperate in an internal investigation after an employee accused him of sexually assaulting her in 2016. There were still eight years left for the expiry of the agreement. Neymar denied any wrong-doing and said he would strongly defend himself from “this baseless attack”. His spokesperson reiterated that the breakup between Nike and Neymar occurred only for commercial reasons.