Airport in Libya’s capital reopens after closure due to clashes

A plane flies over Mitiga airport in this file photo.(Reuters)
Updated 20 January 2018
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Airport in Libya’s capital reopens after closure due to clashes

TRIPOLI: The only functioning airport in the Libyan capital reopened on Saturday after a five-day closure caused by deadly clashes that left passenger jets damaged.
Mitiga airport, located just east of Tripoli city center, appeared to be operating normally, with both departures and arrivals areas busy with passengers.
“All domestic and international flights have ...resumed,” said an airport official who asked not to be named for security reasons. “No technical problems have been reported and security is under control.”
Fighting on Monday pitted the Special Deterrence Force (SDF), which is aligned with the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), and an armed group based in the nearby Tajoura district.
At least 20 people were killed and 60 wounded. The four Libyan airlines operating out of Mitiga have been rushing to repair or replace aircraft that were hit by gunfire or artillery while parked there during the battle.
Flights to evacuate or repatriate foreign migrants from Tripoli, which are mainly operated by UN agencies, were suspended because of Mitiga’s closure.
Tripoli has frequently been shaken by clashes between armed groups since Libya slid into chaos and violence following the overthrow of Mummar Qaddafi in 2011. Under the GNA, several large groups have expanded their power and the situation remains fragile.
Tripoli’s main international airport was badly damaged by fighting in 2014 and is still out of service.


Former Dubai and Qatar teacher admits child sex offenses

Updated 53 min 11 sec ago
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Former Dubai and Qatar teacher admits child sex offenses

  • American, William Brinson Ball, 39, pleaded guilty to attempting to solicit sex with a minor and possession of child pornography
  • On his arrest on Feb. 15, he was found to have items for the child, as well as condoms and lubricant

DUBAI: A former Dubai and Qatar teacher has admitted child sex offenses at a US court in Florida.
American, William Brinson Ball, 39, pleaded guilty to attempting to solicit sex with a minor and possession of child pornography at a hearing at the US District Court in Tampa on Thursday, May 17.
Ball, who taught music at the Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai and previously at the Qatar Academy in Doha, paid $5,000 to fly to the US in February, where he planned to meet a seven-year-old.
On his arrest on Feb. 15, he was found to have items for the child, as well as condoms and lubricant, an earlier court hearing was told.
Ball, originally from Mississippi, had used the Internet and a mobile phone to lure his victim, prosecutors told the court at an earlier hearing.
When Arab News spoke to his Dubai employer in February, a spokesman for the school said the expat teacher had been recruited through a “reputable [recruitment] agency” and “stringent background checks” had been carried out.
Both schools also told Arab News at the time that there was no reason to believe Ball had committed similar offenses while in their employment in the Gulf.
Ball will return to court on Aug. 3, 2018 for sentencing.