Libyan forces has set conditions for lifting blockade on oil production.
Forces loyal to a Libyan commander said they will only allow the reopening of oil fields and terminals once a mechanism has been set up to fairly distribute revenue across the country, which is split between rival, warring factions.
Powerful tribes in eastern Libya loyal to Khalifa Hifter closed export terminals and choked off major pipelines at the start of the year.
The move was aimed at pressuring their rivals in the U.N.-supported government in the capital, Tripoli, in the country's west.
In a statement late Saturday, Ahmed al-Mosmari, a spokesman for Hifter's forces, called for oil revenues to flow into a bank account in a foreign country with a “clear mechanism” to distribute funds fairly among Libya’s regions.
He did not name a country to host the account.
He also demanded international guarantees that oil revenues would not to be used to fund “terrorists and mercenaries.”
He was apparently referring to the mercenaries, mostly Syrians, that Turkey brought in recent months to fight on the side of the Tripoli government, which is backed by an array of local militias as well as Turkey, Qatar and Italy.
Hifter's forces are also backed by a patchwork of armed groups as well as foreign patrons, including the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Russia and France.
Al-Mosmari also called for an audit to Libya’s central bank in Tripoli to review the spending in the past years.
Oil, the lifeline of Libya’s economy, has long been at the center of the civil war, as rival authorities jostle for control of Africa’s largest reserves.
The closures have deprived authorities of over $6.5 billion.
Hifter’s supporters say the Libyan Central Bank, which is based in the capital and collects oil revenue, only uses it for the benefit of the Tripoli government.
Last month, the tribes offered to end the closure as part of a political settlement. They mandated Hifter’s forces to negotiate the opening of the oil facilities.
The state-run National Oil Corporation said Friday it has resumed crude exports, shipping 730,000 barrels to Italy. Al-Mosmari said the shipment, which was contracted before the closures, was allowed in order to ease the strain on storage facilities.
In recent weeks, “regional countries” have been quietly negotiating with the Tripoli-based government over the distribution of oil revenues in talks supervised by the U.N. and the U.S., according to the state-run oil company.
India has reported the highest single- day spike in the number of fresh Covid-19 cases on Sunday with the detection of 28,637 new cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number to 849,553.
India's federal health ministry reported 551 new deaths from COVID-19 during the past 24 hours across the country, taking the number of deaths to 22,674.
This is said to be the highest single day spike in the number of fresh cases in the country so far.
So far 534,621 people have been discharged from hospitals after showing improvement, according to the ministry.
"The number of active cases in the country right now is 292,258, according to the ministry.
The country has entered "Unlock 2.0" phase, though restrictions remain in full force inside the COVID-19 containment zones.
Last week the country's civil aviation watchdog -- the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) announced that commercial international flights to and from India shall remain suspended until July 31.
On Thursday, the government of Uttar Pradesh, the country's biggest state in terms of population, decided to impose a weekend lockdown from Friday night till Monday morning, to cut the chain of transmissions of COVID-19.
The Friendly Fisherman on Cape Cod usually gets busy with foreign students clearing tables and helping prepare orders of clam strips or fish and chips at this time of the year.
The scenario has been changed due to the coronavirus pandemic and the announcement of new visa policy by the Trump Administration.
Janet Demetri, owner of the Friendly Fisherman, has decided not to employ 20 or so workers this summer.
She has decided to work with nine employees for her restaurant and market — forcing her to shutter the business twice a week.
Demetri said “It’s really disturbing because we are really busy. We can’t keep up once the doors are open.”
Meanwhile, the Trump administration announced last month that it was extending a ban on green cards and adding many temporary visas to the freeze, including J-1 cultural exchange visas and H-2B visas.
Businesses from forestry to fisheries to hospitality depend on these visas, though there are exceptions for the food processing sector.
The move was billed as a chance to free up 525,000 jobs to Americans hard hit by the economic downturn, though the administration provided no evidence to support that.
Supporters of immigration reform have hailed the move and insisted it should be easy to find Americans to bus tables and sell souvenirs at popular tourist destinations.
Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, said “The work that people on H-2B visas do or on J-1 summer work travel is not something that is alien to Americans.”
“Those jobs are already mostly done by Americans whether its landscaping, making beds or scooping ice cream. The employers are just going to have to up their game in recruitment because there’re 20 million people who are unemployed whom they could be drawing from.”
Hardest hit by the ban are beach communities and mountain getaways up and down the East Coast from parts of New Hampshire to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Businesses said they want to hire Americans but are in regions with tiny labor pools that are no match for the millions of tourists visiting each summer.
Companies also face the challenge of convincing unemployed workers, many who are still collecting federal benefits, to take a job in the hospitality industry amid a pandemic.
Mark Carchidi, whose company Antioch Associates USA II Inc. processes paperwork for H-2B visas on the East Coast, said businesses he works with were counting on an additional 30,000 visas this year beyond the 66,000 already allowed under the program.
More than 108,000 J-1 summer work travel visas were issued last year, according to the State Department, but only 1,787 so far this year.
The ban has left seasonal businesses scrambling to fill openings just as economies are restarting while many are forced to scale back hours and amenities or close completely.
Patrick Patrick, who has relied upon 10 to 15 J-1 visa holders to work at his army navy surplus store in Provincetown, Massachusetts, got none this year. He reduced the store’s hours and isn’t offering dressing rooms or customer services.
A 17-year-old surfer died after he was attacked by a shark here on Saturday.
It was the second fatal attack in a week and at least the fifth in Australia this year.
Police said the teenager was surfing at Wooli Beach, near Grafton, about 600 kilometers (370 miles) north of Sydney in New South Wales state just before 2:30 p.m. when he was attacked.
The shark attack left him with severe injuries to his legs.
Several surfers came to the aid of the boy and helped him to shore for medical attention. Despite CPR efforts to revive him, he died at the scene.
Last Saturday, a 20-year-old scuba diver who was spear fishing died after being attacked by a shark off the coast of Australia’s Queensland state. The man was attacked near Indian Head on the eastern side of Fraser Island.
The attack happened not far from where 23-year-old Queensland wildlife ranger Zachary Robba was fatally mauled by a great white shark in April.
A 57-year-old diver was killed off Western Australia state in January, and a 60-year-old surfer was killed off Kingscliff in New South Wales state in June.
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on Friday adopted a new regulation that will allow European vaccines and treatments for Covid-19 to be developed more quickly, said the European Parliament (EP).
The regulation that allows temporary derogation from certain rules for clinical trials was approved by 505 votes in favor, 67 against and 109 abstentions, following an urgent debate last week, said an EP press release.
The European Commission last month proposed a vaccine strategy that requests a temporary and strictly COVID-19-related derogation from certain rules for clinical trials of vaccines or treatments that contain or consist of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
As national requirements to assess the environmental risks of clinical trials on medicinal products that contain or consist of GMOs vary considerably across member states, a derogation from these rules is needed to avoid significant delay in developing life-saving vaccines and treatments, said the release.