By Feras Bosalum and Ayman al-Warfalli BENGHAZI/TRIPOLI (Reuters) - At least 36 people were killed in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi where Libyan Special Forces and Islamist militants clashed on Saturday night and Sunday morning, medical and security sources said. The government said more than 150 people have died, many of them civilian, in the capital Tripoli and Benghazi in two weeks of fighting as clashes forced U.S. and foreign diplomats to pull out of the country. In Tripoli, 23 people, all Egyptian workers, were killed when a rocket hit their home on Saturday during fighting between rival militias battling over the city's main airport, the Egyptian state news agency reported. Since the clashes erupted a fortnight ago, 94 people have died in the capital, and more than 400 have been injured as militias exchanged rocket and artillery fire across southern Tripoli, the health ministry said. Another 55 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Benghazi since the clashes have intensified over the last week between regular forces and Islamist militants who are entrenched in the city. "Most of the victims we have noticed are civilians as the fighters have their own hospitals on the battlefield," a Benghazi medical source told Reuters. Fuel storage tanks that supply Tripoli were hit on Sunday by rockets igniting a huge fire near the international airport, the National oil corporation (NOC) said. "It is a tank of 6 million liters of gasoline and it is close to others containing gas and diesel," NOC spokesman Mohamed al-Alharari said. "The firefighters are trying to counter the fire but if they cannot, a big disaster will happen" he added. DEEP CONCERNS In the last two weeks, Libya has descended into its deadliest violence since the 2011 war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi, with the central government unable to impose order. The United States, the United Nations and Turkey have pulled their diplomats out of the North African country. The United States evacuated its embassy on Saturday, driving diplomats across the border into Tunisia under heavy military protection because of Tripoli clashes near the embassy compound. A British embassy convoy was hit by gunfire during an attempted hijacking outside the capital Tripoli on the way to the Tunisian border, but no-one was injured in the incident, an embassy official said on Sunday. "It was an attempted hijack as the convoy was on its way to the Tunisian border," the official said. "No one was injured but vehicles were damaged." On Sunday, shelling continued in Tripoli around the international airport that is controlled by militias from the western city of Zintan. More Islamist-leaning rival brigades are trying to force them from the airport, which Zintanis have controlled since the fall of Tripoli. But clashes were far heavier in Benghazi overnight, where regular army and air force units have joined with a renegade ex-army general who has launched a self-declared campaign to oust Islamist militants from the city. A source from the Special forces fighting Islamist militants in Benghazi told Reuters clashes involved warplanes hitting militant positions belonging to Ansar al Sharia and another group in the city. Libya's Western allies worry the OPEC country is becoming polarized between the two main factions of competing militia brigades and their political allies, whose battle is shaping the country's transition. Special envoys for Libya from the Arab League, the United States and European countries expressed their concerns about the situation in Libya, saying it had reached a "critical stage" and called for an immediate ceasefire. "The UN should play a leading role in reaching a ceasefire in conjunction with the Libyan government and other internal partners, with the full support of the international envoys," a statement issued after a meeting in Brussels said. A new Libyan parliament was elected in June and Western governments hope warring parties may be able to reach a political agreement when the lawmakers meet in August for the first session. But three years after Gaddafi's demise, Libya's transition to democracy has been delayed by political infighting and militia violence. Armed groups have also targeted the oil industry to pressure the state. (Additional reporting by Ahmed Elumami in Benghazi; Writing by Aziz El Yaakoubi; Editing by Patrick Markey, Angus MacSwan and David Evans)
- The Independent
CPAC: Gaetz says media ‘biased’ over Ted Cruz’s Cancun trip and should have focused on ‘caravans’ of migrants instead
Outspoken GOP congressman complains ‘the left and the media’ were less concerned about ‘caravans going through Mexico’ than Texas senator visiting
- The Independent
Republican gathering began in 1974 and sees American conservatives debate social worries but has struggled with position on 'alt-right' in recent years
- Reuters Videos
New Zealand's endangered Maui dolphins swim just below the surface of a small stretch of ocean off the west coast of the North Island.They're being followed overhead by drones tracking their each and every movement, as part of a new government-backed project aimed at protecting the beloved sea creatures.The Maui Drone Project uses artificial intelligence to find and track down the elusive Maui dolphins.New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Friday she has high hopes for the new program."Really it's about making sure that where we have those protections, we've put them in the places that Maui dolphins really need them. You know, we have drawn basically geographical areas where we have restricted certain types of fishing, but this will help us understand where they are, their movements, where the extra protections are required."The project is a one-year collaboration between the Ministry for Primary Industries, non-profit organisation MAUI63 and WWF-New Zealand, with the support of local fisheries.Officials say the drone technology can collect detailed data on the habitats, population, distribution and behaviour of the dolphins, along with many other marine species such as seabirds and whales.The drone will also ensure dolphins remain undisturbed as they fly out of the water at an altitude of up to nearly 400 feet (120 meters).Current estimates suggest that only 63 dolphins age one year and older remain.
The actor says his childhood insecurities were “exacerbated” by years of public mockery, and he doesn’t want kids to endure the same fate.
- USA TODAY
'We're done with that lifestyle': Jessica Watkins, Ohio woman charged in Capitol riot, renounces Oath Keepers
Jessica Watkins, 38, says she has disbanded her local armed group and is canceling her Oath Keeper membership after her arrest.
- The Telegraph
Lady Gaga is poised to hand over a $500,000 reward to a mystery woman who returned her beloved French bulldogs kidnapped in a violent street robbery near her home in Hollywood. Koji and Gustav, thought to be worth up to $10,000 dollars each, were given in at a downtown LAPD Police Station by an unnamed woman late on Friday night. Authorities believe the woman who handed the dogs in was "uninvolved and unassociated" with the attack - but she is still eligible for the "unconditional" $500,000 and is said to be in contact with Gaga’s representatives. “If you bought or found them unknowingly, the reward is the same,” Gaga had said in a post confirming the hefty sum before the dogs were handed back on Friday. The violent abduction on Wednesday saw the singer’s dog-walker and close friend Ryan Fischer shot in the chest. Gaga's third dog named Miss Asia escaped the attack and was later found by police. The singer, whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, has kept silent since the dogs were handed into police. But her reward offer has raised eyebrows.
- Business Insider
Trump supporters and right-wing reporters wouldn't stop heckling CNN's Jim Acosta during second day of CPAC
A crowd of Trump supporters and right-wing reporters were filmed following Jim Acosta around CPAC while chanting "CNN sucks!"
- USA TODAY
Nearly two dozen Republicans attending CPAC in Florida have designated a proxy to vote on their behalf, citing the "ongoing public health emergency."
- USA TODAY
GOP congresswoman's husband, whose truck had Three Percenters decal, says he never heard of armed group before
Illinois state Rep. Chris Miller said he was given the sticker featuring the armed group's logo by a friend "who said that it represented patriotism."
- Business Insider
Decades ago, 9 Russian hikers mysteriously fled their tent and froze to death. A new study sheds light on the cold case.
In 1959, nine hikers fled their tent in Russia's snowy Dyatlov Pass and froze. A new study suggests a slab avalanche crushed their tent in the night.
- The Guardian
Artist Tommy Zegan reveals figure was constructed in country the former president has assailed and demonized Sculptor Tommy Zegan polishes his statue of Donald Trump at CPAC. Photograph: John Raoux/AP A golden statue of Donald Trump that has caused a stir at the annual US gathering of conservatives was made in Mexico – a country the former president frequently demonized. The statue is larger than life, with a golden head and Trump’s trademark suit jacket with white shirt and red tie. Video and pictures of the tribute being wheeled through the halls of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, went viral on Friday. The conference is seen as a vital gathering of the Republican right, and this year has become a symbol of Trump’s continued grip on the party, despite being cast out of office after two impeachments, seemingly endless parades of scandals and a botched response to the coronavirus pandemic that has cost half a million lives in the US. Now the artist behind the huge statue of Trump – Tommy Zegan – has revealed that the object was made in Mexico; a country that has been the target of much Trump racist abuse over his political career, and somewhere he has literally sought to build a wall against. “It was made in Mexico,” Zegan told Politico’s Playbook newsletter. Zegan, who lives in Mexico on a permanent resident visa, described the transport of the monument to CPAC in full to Playbook. Politico reported: “Zegan spent over six months crafting the 200lb fiberglass statue with the help of three men in Rosarito. He transported it to Tampa, Florida, where it was painted in chrome, then hauled it from there to CPAC.”
- Business Insider
Go back to the place you got your first shot if you lose your paper card, and make sure to take a photo of the vaccine card after your first dose.
- Business Insider
Ted Cruz engages in an online spat over Biden's HHS secretary nominee who sued the Trump administration more than 100 times
Cruz and Princeton historian Kevin M. Kruse had a back-and-forth over the qualifications of Xavier Becerra, Biden's nominee to lead the department.
- National Review
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) on Friday urged the New York State legislature to open an investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Governor Andrew Cuomo brought by his former staffer, Lindsey Boylan. The progressive congresswoman told reporters that survivors “deserve to be heard” and noted that the “process for hearing this allegation falls squarely in the state legislature.” Meanwhile, New York attorney general Letitia James is reportedly reviewing a letter from state Republicans who have also called for an investigation into the allegations against the governor, according to Fox News. Lindsey Boylan, the former deputy secretary for economic development and special adviser to Cuomo, on Wednesday published an essay detailing alleged sexual harassment she endured while working for the governor, including unwanted kissing and touching. She wrote in the essay that Cuomo, with the help of top female aides, “created a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected.” She also detailed an increasingly uncomfortable relationship she developed with the governor, in which he sought her out and set up one-on-one meetings with her. Boylan recounted a flight she shared with the governor from an event in October 2017 in which Cuomo allegedly said, “Let’s play strip poker.” On another occasion, Boylan says the pair met one-on-one for a briefing when Cuomo allegedly kissed her. “We were in his New York City office on Third Avenue,” she writes. “As I got up to leave and walk toward an open door, he stepped in front of me and kissed me on the lips. I was in shock, but I kept walking.” Boylan later resigned on September 26, 2018.
- The State
“Her daddy got to heaven just before she did.”
- The Daily Beast
Twitter/Lady GagaLady Gaga’s two French bulldogs, stolen off the streets of Los Angeles Wednesday night, were found tied to a pole in an alley by a passerby who took them to a police station on Friday night, according to TMZ.The unidentified woman reportedly turned the animals in to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Olympic Community Police Station around 6 p.m., Capt. Jonathan Tippett told a local NBC outlet. Tippett said that the woman was “uninvolved and unassociated” with the dog thieves. No arrests have been made in the case. The canines were unharmed, and the singer’s representatives confirmed they were the right animals. Lady Gaga, who is currently in Rome, had offered a $500,000 reward for the canines’ return, “no questions.”TMZ reported Lady Gaga wept “tears of joy” upon receiving the news and sources told the outlet Gaga would “gladly” pay the $500,000 reward to the woman.Lady Gaga’s father, Joe Germanotta, told The Daily Beast on Saturday morning that the family is “extremely happy” with the news. “The phone rang last night, everybody was relieved and there were a lot of happy tears,” he said. Germanotta also thanked the LAPD, and the doctors and nurses who treated dog walker Ryan Fischer, who was shot once in the chest during the robbery. “That’s the most important thing, that Ryan is going to be okay,” he added. “Now, it’s about finding these guys.” Why Lady Gaga’s Dognapping Has Stumped Pet DetectivesMultiple assailants stole the animals from Lady Gaga’s dog walker as he took them for a walk Wednesday evening in Hollywood. They pulled up beside Fischer in a white Nissan Altima with four doors, surrounded him, and shot him in the chest before making off with two of the dogs, Koji and Gustav. A third, Asia, escaped and later made it back to Fischer. Fischer is in treatment and is expected to recover. The LAPD released a description of the two suspects in a Thursday night statement.The suspect who shot Fischer was described as a Black male, aged 20-25, with blond dreadlocks and wearing a black hoodie. He was armed with a semi-automatic handgun. The second man was described as a Black male, aged 20-25, wearing dark clothing.My beloved dogs Koji and Gustav were taken in Hollywood two nights ago. My heart is sick and I am praying my family will be whole again with an act of kindness. I will pay $500,000 for their safe return. Email KojiandGustav@gmail.com to contact us. pic.twitter.com/3NY9u7Mw2K— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) February 26, 2021 Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Martin hosted The Russ Martin Show on 97.1 The Eagle.
- Business Insider
Kelly Pichardo, 30, and Leeza Rodriguez, 29, were charged with disorderly conduct and Pichardo also faced an additional assault charge.
Jill Biden said on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" that she and President Biden have a dinner date ritual before he goes back to work and she grades papers.
A plastic surgeon attended his virtual traffic trial while performing surgery on a patient in California
Dr. Scott Green from Sacramento, California, was wearing scrubs and appeared to be in an operating room during the Zoom court appearance.