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UN: Libya on verge of civil war, threatening ‘permanent division’

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The damage done to Libya will already take “years to mend” but unless fighting around the capital Tripoli stops, the country risks “descending into a civil war which could lead to the permanent division of the country”.

That was the blunt assessment of UN Special Representative to Libya, Ghassan Salamé,  who also heads the UNSMIL Support Mission, briefing the Security Council on Tuesday, following weeks of intensifying conflict in and around the outskirts of Tripoli, instigated by the self-styled Libyan National Army forces of General Khalif Haftar who also leads a parallel administration based in the eastern city of Benghazi.

Mr. Salamé said grimly, that he had spent two years hoping to avoid having to deliver such a bleak in-person briefing to the Council, noting there were already 460 dead – 29 civilians – since the offensive began in early April. More than 2,400 have been injured, and 75,000 forced from their homes, the majority civilians, with half of the displaced women and children.

Violence began on the eve of an UN-backed National Conference planned to bring more than 150 representatives together from across the country, which had to be postponed. “There was great public excitement about what the conference could yield” said the top UN official, “in terms of a way forward to end Libya’s eight-year long period of transition” which threw him “into the deepest level of sadness for the opportunity lost”.

Tripoli violence could spark ‘long and bloody war’ across region

“I am no Cassandra” he added, referencing the mythical Greek figure who uttered prophesies which nobody believed, “but the violence on the outskirts of Tripoli is just the start of a long and bloody war…imperilling the security of Libya’s immediate neighbours and the wider Mediterranean”.

Mr. Salamé noted that in southern Libya, terrorist group Daesh, or ISIL, was flying its distinctive black flags, and reportedly had been responsible for four attacks, killing a total of 17, with more than 10 wounded, and eight others kidnapped, since Libya’s militias turned their guns on each other this year, not the common extremist threat.

“There are numerous reports of extremists, persons under international sanctions, and individuals wanted by the International Criminal Court appearing on the battlefield on all sides. All parties must publicly disassociate themselves from such elements without delay and refer to the ICC those for whom arrest warrants have been issued”, he said.

He bemoaned the flow of weapons back into the country noting “many countries” were providing arms to all sides. “Without a robust enforcement mechanism, the arms embargo into Libya will be come a cynical joke. Some nations are fuelling this bloody conflict; the United Nations should put an end to it”, he added.

Turning to the humanitarian needs he said health facilities were struggling to cope, with 11 ambulances “directly hit” by airstrikes, rockets and shelling. “I am appalled by the apparent disregard for the due protection of personnel engaging in vital medical tasks”, he noted, expressing deep concern for the rise in abductions, disappearances and arbitrary arrests in the past 6 weeks. He called on the Council’s “unequivocal support” in applying International Humanitarian Law.

UN remains ‘alongside the Libyan people’

Mr. Salamé said despite scaling-down non-essential UN staff in Tripoli and Benghazi, “we remain in Libya alongside the Libyan people to deliver as best we can”, with over 42,000 receiving aid so far. He said through local democratic elections held since 30 March, the people were showing their stoical resolve too, saying it was “vital to keep the pilot light of democracy alive”, and appealed for Council support to “the municipal election process.”

“There is no military solution” he reiterated, “and it is high time for those who have harboured this illusion to open their eyes and adjust themselves to this reality. Libya’s mosaic of communities cannot be governed without alliances and relationships stretching across the whole country”. He said Libyans would need to adjust in light of the attempts to take Tripoli by force since 4 April.

“A better future is still possible, but we all must be seized with the fierce urgency of now, while the front lines remain on the outskirts of Tripoli, and before the battle moves, God forbid, to the capital’s more densely populated neighbourhoods. This will require concerted and immediate action by the international community”.

He concluded with a call for the Council to act immediately, in support of politics over any military solution. “Full civil war in Libya is not inevitable. It may occur by the will of some parties, and by the inaction of others. I hear Libyans resigning themselves to a conflict of many months or even many years. My duty, and

that of this family of nations, is to tell them: ‘No. You need to stop the fighting and stop it now, for the sake of your loved ones, for the sake of your country, and for the sake of international peace and security.’”

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Finance

F.B.I. Official’s Indictment Shows oligarch infiltrated the highest echelons of the government

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The search for kompromat on his opponent in a conflict with shareholders was highly regarded by Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska.

That is the conclusion that can be drawn from studying the F.B.I indictment against Charles McGonigal, who, according to the indictment, headed the counterintelligence unit at the bureau’s New York field office. McGonigal, 54, is a former high-ranking F.B.I. official, who was involved in counterintelligence work and investigations against Russian oligarchs.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York accused him of circumventing sanctions and conspiracy to launder funds. Mr. Deripaska is mentioned in almost every paragraph of the 21-page document. The indictment, signed by prosecutor Damian Williams, says efforts to remove Deripaska from the U.S. sanctions list were made by McGonigal in 2019. The payment is $25,000 a month through a shell firm.

Mr. Deripaska, the aluminum magnate, has been on the radar of U.S. authorities for years and is still under sanctions. The Treasury Department said he had ties to organized crime.

Rebecca Davis O’Brien covers law enforcement and courts in New York wrote: For years, Mr. Deripaska, 55, has employed a small army of lobbyists, lawyers, consultants and fixers to protect his business and personal interests and smooth his access to Western countries.

For 2021, the New York federal prosecutor’s office indicted a number of these individuals for helping to circumvent sanctions.

The name of the person against whom the former F.B.I. agent, obviously not without the help of his colleagues, was supposed to collect sensitive information is not disclosed. In the document, he appears under the code name Oligarch-2. However, behind this wording, it could be guessed Vladimir Potanin, who is an opponent of Mr. Deripaska in the long-running shareholder dispute at Norilsk Nickel.

Mr. Deripaska tried to find dirty evidence on his competitor, possibly lobbying also for the inclusion of his competitor’s companies on sanctions lists in order to weaken his position in the corporation, which they both own roughly equal shares of.

It is not clear from the indictment how Mr. McGonigal got onto Mr. Deripaska’s radar.

According to the indictment against Mr. McGonigal, while he was still working for the bureau in 2018, Sergey Shestakov – a former Soviet and Russian diplomat and translator who was also charged in the case – introduced Mr. McGonigal by email to an employee of Mr. Deripaska. That person was identified in the charges as Agent-1 and described as a former Soviet and Russian Federation diplomat.

In 2017, the Associated Press published an article alleging that Mr. Deripaska paid $10 million to American lobbyist Paul Manafort in 2007-2009 to promote his interests in the United States. Almost at the same time, NBC cover a story about a $60 million loan that Deripaska’s structures allegedly gave to Manafort-affiliated companies.

Mr. Deripaska got rich, in the 1990s, when there was a struggle for control of the largest subsoil resources of the Soviet Union and gained a reputation as a ruthless man with a bad reputation.

He also built relationships with politicians and other key figures in countries in the West, especially in Britain, Europe, and the United States, including hosting parties at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

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FOCUS magazine: This is how war becomes U.S. business

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Photo: U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Beaux Hebert (Courtesy Image)

Former President Calvin Coolidge’s sentence has been applicable for centuries: “After all, the main business of the American people is business.”

The United States supports Ukraine like no other country in the world. But this help is not entirely disinterested. Because even Joe Biden has nothing to give away, notes Gabor Steingart, one of the most famous German journalists in his article at FOCUS magazine.

The President of the United States is betting on “armament on credit.” Germany, on the other hand, can only hope that the war will soon end not far from its front door. Since the beginning of the war, the United States has provided more than $50 billion in military, financial and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Much more than in any other country.

In May 2022, the Senate passed a law allowing the US government to quickly and without bureaucratic delays provide military equipment to Ukraine – the Lend-Lease Act for the Defense of Democracy in Ukraine of 2022. Approximately US$23 billion in military support has not been wasted. It states that “any defense loan or lease to the Government of Ukraine is subject to return, reimbursement and repayment.”

Arms on credit, which is what it is, was invented during World War II when Winston Churchill found he could not defend Britain alone. The government has now remembered the procedure for selling weapons against bills. The fact is that the United States is strict in these matters. Britain delayed its Lend-Lease contributions until 2006, when the World War was already 61 years old.

An analysis by Foreign Policy magazine found that the United States nearly doubled the number of approved arms sales to NATO allies in 2022 compared to 2021, from $15.5 billion to $28 billion. This is how war becomes business.

Economic sanctions—trade restrictions, asset freezes, payment system bans, or oil export bans—have isolated Russia. This will irrevocably disrupt the old German-Russian trade for a very long time. American energy companies offer themselves as helpers in an emergency.

LNG imports from America doubled in 2022. U.S. oil is also suddenly in demand, with about 500 U.S. oil tankers heading to Europe since February 2022, according to data provider ‘OilX’, and helped push U.S. crude oil exports to a record high last year. Between December 2021 and December 2022, US exports increased by 52 percent.

In the medium term, the concentration of uncertainty in Europe will also benefit the US capital market, which is perceived by investors as a safe haven. The outflow of capital from Europe in the first months of the war was significant.

BASF reported a loss of billions of dollars, which was mainly caused by the write-down of the Russian business, which has since ceased.

The Europeans, and Germany in particular, have a primary strategic interest in ending the conflict as soon as possible, or at least freezing it, and in no case in the direction of the Western European metropolises.

The stronger and more intense the war rages in Europe, the more pessimistic are investment conditions both in the real economy and in the capital markets in London, Paris and Frankfurt.

Conclusion: Trading partner Russia is de facto exchanged for trading partner America. Thus, the Americans are also strengthening their negotiating position for negotiations on future free trade agreements and a strategy for China.

If there were a planning headquarters in the Ministry of Defense, then it would write down the following paradox for the minister in the summary: Russia is at war with Ukraine – and America is winning.

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Finance

7 ways to earn cryptocurrency without risks

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Today we will talk about earning opportunities with the help of cryptocurrencies and technologies related to them.

AirDrops

The first and very effective way to earn cryptocurrency without risks and large investments are AirDrop.

Usually, this is a marketing strategy through which the authors of this or that cryptocurrency can thank their users with real money (cryptocurrency). For authors, AirDrop is an opportunity to distribute new key tokens to existing users who will be interested in a new free coin in their portfolio. Also, this is a way to advertise and interest the crypto community in the new project.

A very famous AirDrop case that happened quite recently is the Uniswap Airdrop. There they gave each user of this decentralized exchange 400 UNI (approximately $16,000 at the peak of the token price). Pretty good, huh?

Where to find new AirDrops?

Very interesting AirDrops can be found on CoinMarketCap and the site dedicated to AirDrops — AirDrop.io.

If you are looking for an even easier way to earn crypto – visit BTC 360 ai app       

Staking

Another very effective, but costly, way of earning new cryptocurrencies is staking.

It is a process in which the user locks his cryptocurrency in his wallet to maintain the activity of the blockchain on the PoS (Proof of Stake) algorithm. In other words, this is just a type of mining, but the difference from the everyday PoW algorithm, where money is given for the computing power of the system, is that here the money practically does not depend on the computing power of the system, but depends on the number of tokens you have.

The largest currencies that use this algorithm are Solana, Etherium (2.0), Cardano, which on average bring the user 5% annually. This is not a very large amount, but if you take into account that the cryptocurrency itself does not stand still, then instead of keeping the cryptocurrency in your wallet idle, why not make this cryptocurrency “work for you” and bring in additional money?

You can see all the up-to-date information on the rewards you will receive for staking various tokens here.

Proof of Work

The third way of making money is traditional mining, or PoW (Proof of Work). This is a more complicated way to earn on cryptocurrencies than the second way because here you have to physically go (or order online) and buy the necessary things for mining.

What are these things?

It depends on what you are going to mine. In the case of Ethereum (1.0), these are video cards (which are practically nowhere to be found anyway), in the case of Bitcoin, these are ASICs. You also have to keep in mind whether mining will be profitable for you with your electricity prices, and what to do with the heat and noise these machines generate. Although this is a more complicated method than PoS, it usually brings much more money to its user.

You can calculate your earnings on this site.

Providing Liquidity

Another, slightly riskier, but more profitable than regular staking is liquidity supply.

Your goal is to supply two coins (50% of the value of one and 50% of the value of the other) and earn increased percentages compared to normal staking. But there are several “buts”, for example, you lose some coins if these coins are quite volatile.

It will take a long time to describe in more detail, but I advise you to read about it here using the example of SushiSwap.

You can supply liquidity on Binance, Uniswap, or other decentralized platforms.

Faucets

The next method is quite easy, but it’s usually not very profitable. These are faucets.

This name is not adapted to our language, but the essence of it is that it is a process where users give rewards for taking a survey or reading an article. This helps the developer to spread their cryptocurrency and the user to earn from it. The American crypto-wallet Coinbase, which gave and still gives rewards for the fact that the user read the article and answered questions from it, very popularized this type of earnings. Quite recently you could get about $80 out of it, which is pretty good.

Centralized Investments

Centralized investment is a way to earn on crypto that cannot be staked (as in the 2nd point). It works very similar to how you put dollars/hryvnias as a deposit, but instead of fiat you can put Bitcoin or, for example, Monero. You can make these investments on Binance or BTI.LIVE.

Work in Crypto

The seventh and final point is simply to become a developer in the field of cryptocurrencies. You don’t need to have a “big idea” of cryptocurrency that will revolutionize the industry, but it is enough to get a job with a company that already exists on the market. But you will need knowledge of Smart Contract programming languages (Solidity, for example). Knowledge of English will not hurt either. And if you don’t know any programming languages yet, you can try to get a job, for example, in the Binance support team, and start developing yourself there. Lots of opportunities, but we need your motivation!

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