I warmly express my gratitude to President Macron for hosting us here together in Paris today, and thank him and Chancellor Merkel, Prime Minister Draghi, Prime Minister Dabaiba and the Secretary General of the UN Guterres, for organising this important conference at a crucial time. I would also like to thank Special Envoy Kubiš, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, Under-Secretary General DiCarlo, and the UN for their tireless work to facilitate a Libyan-led and owned process, which the UK supports unreservedly.
We are at a pivotal point in Libya’s political process. Libyans and the international community must now work together across the political, security and economic tracks to strengthen Libya’s sovereignty.
First, Libyans must coalesce around a framework for free, fair, and inclusive Presidential and Parliamentary elections on 24 December. These elections must allow for the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and youth. Only through elections can all Libyans express their will over the decisions that affect their lives. Libya’s institutions, including the House of Representatives, must immediately cooperate and compromise in order to agree a final and comprehensive set of electoral laws.
Actions that undermine the electoral process only risk a return to division, violence, and conflict. This will cause the Libyan people, who have already tolerated so much, further suffering. After a decade of conflict, Libyans deserve the right to vote for their executive and legislative representatives.
Libyan sovereignty now rests on Libya’s political class putting the interests of the people they represent first.
I thank the High National Election Commission for their work in preparation for voting, including the registration of 2.8 million Libyans on the electoral lists. But technical bodies cannot secure successful elections alone. All candidates participating in elections must act in good faith before, during and after elections, agree to put aside partisan differences, and accept the results. The international community will not hesitate to act against those who undermine this process.
Second, the 5+5 Joint Military Committee has made important progress on the security track. I welcome their comprehensive Action Plan for the withdrawal of foreign forces and mercenaries. However, the international community has not lived up to its side of the bargain in implementing international obligations. The 23 October Ceasefire Agreement, United Nations Security Council Resolution 2570, and the 5+5 JMC Action Plan are unequivocal: all foreign forces and mercenaries must be withdrawn without delay.
I therefore welcome the deployment of UN ceasefire monitors in support of the Libyan Ceasefire Monitoring Mission. The Mission must now work to monitor and verify the presence and withdrawal of those foreign forces and mercenaries. Only when free of foreign military interference will Libyans truly be able to claim sovereignty over their own country.
Finally, recent attacks by armed groups on the National Oil Corporation are clear attempts to control Libya’s natural resources at the expense of the Libyan people. I call on the Libyan authorities to safeguard the integrity, unity and independence of the National Oil Corporation. Libya’s political process must benefit all Libyans through the transparent management and equitable distribution of resources, and the delivery of public services.
The UK stands ready to work with Libya and international partners to build a peaceful, stable, prosperous and sovereign Libya.
Vivek Murthy Denies U.S. Back 'at Square One' Amid Omicron, Notes Holiday Travel OK
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said Sunday that the nation is not back at “square one” amid fears over the new Omicron coronavirus variant, and assured that Americans can still take steps to gather safely for upcoming holidays.
Speaking on CBS’ Face the Nation, Murthy addressed pandemic “fatigue” amid the discovery of the latest coronavirus variant in the U.S. this week.
“We’ve been at this for 22 months as a country and the prospect of another variant I know can be exhausting and frustrating to many people out there. And I get that. What I want to say though to everyone is that we are not back in March 2020. We are not at the beginning of this pandemic, back at square one,” Murthy said.
“What we do know is that if people use the tools that we have that you can actually gather with much, much less risk,” Murthy added. The surgeon general went on to say that those who are vaccinated and boosted, get tested before traveling, or gather in well-ventilated spaces and use masks when necessary will carry a low risk of spreading the virus.
“Your risk can be quite low and your holidays can be quite fulfilling. That’s what so many families experienced this past Thanksgiving,” he said.
Murthy’s statements come just days after the first known case of the Omicron variant was discovered in the U.S. on December 1. Since then, at least 16 states have reported cases of Omicron, which has been deemed a variant of concern by the World Health Organization (WHO) after it was initially detected in South Africa last month.
Researchers are still discovering information about the new variant, but early data has suggested that it is twice as transmissible as Delta—currently the dominant variant in the U.S.—and that it could be more effective at evading immunity due to its high level of mutations.
Vaccine makers are now working to adapt current inoculations to target the Omicron variant specifically but warned it could be months before they become widely available. However, experts believe current vaccines and boosters still provide a level of protection against the virus and have been urging those who have not yet received the jab to do so.
“It’s critical that people know we do have tools that we can use right now to protect ourselves against this variant and against the Delta variant, which is still the predominant variant in the United States. And those include getting vaccinated, getting boosted. Certainly, if you are eligible, that helps raise your level of protection, using masks in public indoor spaces, gathering in well-ventilated places when you do gather,” Murthy added on Sunday.
So far, cases of the Omicron variant have been found in California, Minnesota, Colorado, Hawaii, Nebraska, Maryland, Missouri, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Utah, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Washington, Wisconsin and Louisiana.
Omicron patients in the U.S. have ranged in age and vaccination status, but have so far displayed mild to moderate symptoms. As of Saturday, there were no hospitalizations among those infected with the variant.
Lagos Panel Awards N36m To Police Officers Injured During EndSARS Protests
The Lagos Judicial panel on police brutality and other related matters has awarded the sum of N36.2 million to serving operatives who were bodily harmed during the EndSARS protests.
One of the police officers had his daughter raped during the EndSARS demonstration, a “Consolidated Report on General Police Brutality” by the panel revealed.
The document was made available on the Lagos State government’s website and the Attorney General of the state, Moyosore Onigbanjo, on Sunday urged the general public to download and go through it.
The much talked about Lekki Toll Gate report was also officially uploaded on the website.
In the consolidated document which was stamped with the seal of the Lagos Ministry of Justice, the panel stated that on January 8, 2021,it recieved reports of how police barracks, Area Commands, Divisional Headquarters and Police Posts were burnt and vandalized during the period.
A total of 65 police officers had to petition the panel demanding for compensation while detailing how they were affected by the EndSARS protests.
The panel only found 11 petitions from the police worthy to be heard.
A female officer, ACP Folashade Tiamiyu, had told the panel that she suffered greivous injury while serving in Orile Iganmu area of the state during the demonstration.
ASP Illiyasu Muhammed had also testified that unknown persons who allegedly engaged in the ENDSARS protest raped his 21 years old daughter, Summaya.
In all, the panel reported that it awarded compensation to 8 out of the 11 petitioners after establishing that the remaining three were not entitled for compensation from the panel.
“However, due to the exhaustion of the N400,000,000 set aside by the State Government as Victim’s Compensation Fund, the panel was unable to award the said compensation to the deserving petitions. The panel consequently recommends that the State Government approve and release the amounts awarded to the respective petitioners, ” the panel stated.
China Moves To Extend Global Dominance In Mining, Processing Key Resources
China is starting a rare earth metal company — a move that will extend its dominance in the global mining and processing of key resources.
According to an exclusive report from The Wall Street Journal, the Chinese Communist Party has approved the creation of “China Rare Earth Group” — which could launch by the end of the year:
The new entity would be created by merging rare-earths assets from some state firms, including China Minmetals Corp., Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. and Ganzhou Rare Earth Group Co. The combined group is designed to further strengthen Beijing’s pricing power and avoid infighting among Chinese firms, and to use that clout to undercut Western efforts to dominate critical technologies…
Estimates of China’s dominance of the rare-earth industry vary. Some analysts say China mines more than 70% of the world’s rare earths and is responsible for 90% of the complex process of turning them into magnets, analysts say. A White House report has estimated that China controls 55% of the world’s rare-earth mining and 85% of the refining process.
The new conglomerate will be located in the resource-rich Jiangxi province in southern China — poising the nation to enhance its capabilities in smartphone, automobile, and defense production.
Indeed, the People’s Liberation Army is making rapid advances — indicated by the recent firing of a sophisticated, nuclear-capable hypersonic missile that circumnavigated the globe before hitting a target in China.
“They’re expanding rapidly — in space, in cyber and then in the traditional domains of land, sea and air,” explained Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley. “And they have gone from a peasant-based infantry army that was very, very large in 1979 to a very capable military that covers all the domains and has global ambitions. … As we go forward — over the next 10, 20, 25 years — there’s no question in my mind that the biggest geostrategic challenge to the United States is gonna be China. They’ve developed a military that’s really significant.”
Other reports suggest that none other than the Biden family has benefited from China’s rise to power. New York Post columnist Miranda Devine allowed The Daily Wire’s Ben Johnson to examine her forthcoming book, Laptop from Hell, which details revelations about Joe and Hunter Biden’s murky business deals across the planet.
“Hunter Biden arranged multiple business deals with close allies of Chinese President Xi Jinping, squeezing $6 million out of the relationship before things went sour,” writes Johnson.
Hunter reportedly opened a business partnership with the China Energy Fund Committee — a key mechanism of the Chinese Communist Party’s Belt and Road Initiative, which spreads Chinese economic influence among developing countries. Devine’s book says that Hunter and his partners used their connection to Joe Biden to “open doors for CEFC around the world, in Kazakhstan, Georgia, Oman, Ukraine, Romania, and beyond.”
“In other words, Hunter and his family benefit financially when China looks like it’s going to eat our lunch,” Johnson notes.
The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.
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