Libyan PM Fayez Seraj says battle to eradicate IS militants will be carried out by Libyans; says unity government undecided on leadership of central bank, national oil company or sovereign wealth fund - Reuters
Editor's note: The migrant boat sinking that has killed 100 off the coast of Libya is separate from the sinking we reported earlier off the coast of the Greek island of Crete. In the latter incident we know of at least 4 confirmed deaths and approximately 300 rescued, but authorities believe 700 were on board and hundreds are missing so the death toll is expected to rise substantially. We'll keep you across updates on both incidents (corrected). - Luke
Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders responds to Hillary Clinton's foreign policy speech; says he agrees Donald Trump's 'ideas are incredibly reckless,' but criticizes Clinton's Iraq War vote, support of Libya regime change - @DomenicoNPR
Libya (Arabic: ليبيا Lībiyā; Tamazight: ⵍⵉⴱⵢⴰ Libia; Italian: Libia), officially the State of Libya (Arabic: دولة ليبيا Dāwlāt Lībiyā; Tamazight: ⴰⴷⴷⴰⴷ ⵏ ⵍⵉⴱⵢⴰ Addad n Libia; Italian: Stato della Libia), is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa, part of Tamazgha, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west. The three traditional parts of the country are Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica. With an area of almost 1.8 million square kilometres (700,000 sq mi), Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa, and is the 16th largest country in the world. Libya has the 10th-largest proven oil reserves of any country in the world.
The largest city and capital, Tripoli, is located in western Libya and contains over one million of Libya's six million people. The other large city is Benghazi, which is located in eastern Libya.
Libya has been inhabited by Berbers since the late Bronze Age. The Phoenicians established trading posts in western Libya, and Ancient Greek colonists established city-states in eastern Libya. Libya was variously ruled by Carthaginians, Persians, Egyptians and Greeks before becoming a part of the Roman Empire. Libya was an early center of Christianity. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the area of Libya was mostly occupied by the Vandals until the 7th century, when invasions brought Islam and Arab colonization. In the sixteenth century, the Spanish Empire and the Knights of St John occupied Tripoli, until Ottoman rule began in 1551. Libya was involved in the Barbary Wars of the 18th and 19th centuries. Ottoman rule continued until the Italian occupation of Libya resulted in the temporary Italian Libya colony from 1911 to 1943. During the Second World War Libya was an important area of warfare in the North African Campaign. The Italian population then went into decline. Libya became an independent kingdom in 1951.
In 1969, a military coup overthrew King Idris I, beginning a period of sweeping social reform. The most prominent coup conspirator, Muammar Gaddafi, was ultimately able to fully concentrate power in his own hands during the Libyan Cultural Revolution, remaining in power until the Libyan Civil War of 2011, in which the rebels were supported by NATO. Since then, Libya has experienced instability and political violence which has severely affected both commerce and oil production. The European Union is involved in an operation to disrupt human trafficking networks exploiting refugees fleeing from wars in Africa for Europe.
At least two political bodies claim to be the government of Libya. The Council of Deputies is internationally recognized as the legitimate government, but it does not hold territory in the capital, Tripoli, instead meeting in the Cyrenaica city of Tobruk. Meanwhile, the General National Congress (2014) purports to be the legal continuation of the General National Congress, elected in the Libyan General National Congress election, 2012 and was dissolved following the June 2014 elections but then reconvened by a minority of its members. The Supreme Court in the Libya Dawn and General National Congress-controlled Tripoli declared the Tobruk government unconstitutional in November 2014, but the internationally recognized government has rejected the ruling as made under threat of violence. Parts of Libya are outside of either government's control, with various Islamist, rebel, and tribal militias administering some cities and areas. The United Nations is sponsoring peace talks between the Tobruk and Tripoli-based factions. An agreement to form a unified interim government was signed on 17 December 2015. Under the terms of the agreement, a nine-member Presidency Council and a seventeen-member interim Government of National Accord would be formed, with a view to holding new elections within two years. The leaders of the new government, called the Government of National Accord (GNA), arrived in Tripoli on April 5, 2016. Since then the GNC, one of the two rival governments, has disbanded to support the new GNA.