The Hill Talk’s Glance at the Globe

Rival Libyan commander seizes three port cities:   Reports confirming Libyan National Army (LNA) units had captured port cities Al-Brega, Ras Lanuf, and Al-Sidra were received sullenly over the weekend as it was revealed the military commander in the area is General Khalifa Haftar.

Although Haftar is devoted to eradicating ISIS and is a member of the LNA, he refuses to align with the UN-backed Government of National Accord, which is recognized by the U.S.

Loyal to the Tobruk-based Libyan House of Representatives which contests the legitimacy of Tripoli’s UN-backed government, Haftar’s conquest of the three port cities threatens the re-establishment of Libya’s petroleum-based economy.

Mass rallies for Catalonia independence in Spain:  Frustrated at pro-independence legislators in parliament divided over a succession plan, crowds estimated in the hundreds of thousands gathered in Barcelona, Salt, Berga, Lleida and Tarragona Spain, on Sunday to demand the Catalonian parliament accelerate a break from Madrid.

It is speculated over 340,000 turned out to rally Catalonia’s regional parliament to move for independence.

South Korea responds to North Korea:  Countering five successive ballistic missile tests in less than five days, the South Korean government has warned North Korea it has the means in place to reduce the North “to ashes” should Pyongyang launch a nuclear attack on the South.

An anonymous South Korean military source told South Korean Yonhap news agency Pyongyang would be “completely destroyed by ballistic missiles and high-explosive shells” if the North shows signs it intends to use nuclear devices against the South.

“In other words, the North’s capital city will be reduced to ashes and removed from the map,” the source added.

Opposition candidate wins election in Belarus:  In a rare occurrence, an opposition candidate has won a seat in the House of Representatives in the National Assembly of Belarus.

The Belarus Electoral Commission has certified the election of  Anna Kanopatskaya of the United Civil Party in Sunday’s election for one of 110 seats up for election.

Long assailed by the West for virtually nonexistent fair elections and refusing to institute democratic reforms, Western observers say Kanopatskaya’s election signals Belarus’ president, Alexander Lukashenko, has relaxed his grip on opposition candidates for legislative office.

North Korea scoffs at further sanctions:  Responding to President Obama’s threat of further sanctions over repeated ballistic-missile tests, North Korea accused the U.S. president of blackmail and labeled Mr. Obama “foolish.”

In a statement read by North Korea’s foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, Pyongyang blamed the West, particularly the U.S., for inspiring its nuclear program.

The foreign ministry later demanded the West recognize North Korea as a nuclear state.


[RT] [Telegraph] [Reuters]