Gaddafi heaps praise on ailing Mubarak
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi heaped praise on toppled Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, describing him as "poor and modest" and saying he deserved honour rather than humiliation.
"I know Hosni Mubarak, a poor and modest man" who loves his people, Gaddafi said in an audio message broadcast on state television Saturday to mark the anniversary of the 1952 coup in Egypt led by Gamal Abdel Nasser against the monarchy.
This "revolution," Gaddafi said, had inspired him to lead a coup in Libya that toppled Western-backed King Idriss on September 1, 1969.
"Instead of being humiliated, Hosni Mubarak should be honoured," Gaddafi said.
Mubarak, 83, whose three-decade rule ended with a popular revolt in February, is expected to go on trial on August 3 with his two sons on murder and corruption charges.
He is under arrest in a hospital in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, undergoing treatment for a heart condition.
Gaddafi, who is clinging to power despite a massive revolt against his autocratic rule and months of NATO air strikes against his regime, urged Egyptians to follow Libya's political model, theoretically direct democracy and the power of the masses.
He added that the conflict sweeping his country was not a battle against his regime but a "colonial plot."
He also denied accusations by international rights groups of a brutal suppression of dissent and that his regime had killed thousands of protesters.
"They lie to you and say, 'Libya kills its people with bullets, that is why we have come to protect civilians'," Gaddafi said, referring to the NATO air campaign which was mandated by the United Nations with the aim of protecting civilians in Libya.
"Only eight people have been killed and an inquiry is under way to determine who killed them. There are no protests and no gunfire. Show us where the thousands of people (reportedly killed) are buried," Gaddafi said.
A long-delayed conference on how to restore the faltering health of global oceans kicked off in Lisbon on Monday, with the head of the UN saying the world's seas are in crisis. "Today we face what I would call an ocean emergency," UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told thousands of policymakers, experts and advocates at the opening plenary, describing how seas have been hammered by climate change and pollution. Humanity depends on healthy oceans.
A tornado ripped through a southwestern Dutch city on Monday, killing at least one person and injuring seven others in the first fatal twister to hit the country for three decades. The whirlwind left a trail of destruction through the seaside city of Zierikzee, blowing the roofs off homes and toppling trees onto cars, an AFP journalist at the scene said.
The Group of Seven nations on Monday vowed to stand with Ukraine “for as long as it takes”, promising to tighten the squeeze on Russia's finances with new sanctions that include a proposal to cap the price of Russian oil. The G7 countries said they had also pledged or were ready to grant up to $29.5 billion for Ukraine. “It's useless to hope for decency and humanity from Russia,” Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on Telegram.
India Prime Minister Narendra Modi held his first in-person bilateral meeting with his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau in over four years in Germany on Monday. A tweet from India's prime minister's office noted the two leaders “took stock of India-Canada friendship and discussed ways to further strengthen it across various sectors”. This was the first time they held such discussions sitting across from each other since Trudeau visited India in February 2018.
In a move that may have an impact on the terms of the growing Russia-India energy partnership - India has enhanced import of Russian energy since the war in Ukraine began as energy prices spiral - the G7 countries are considering imposing “price caps” on Russia's oil to dilute revenue inflows to Moscow. The West has alleged that these inflows are helping Russian President Vladimir Putin finance the war in Ukraine.