Sarkozy, Cameron Visit Libya; UBS Trader Responsible for $2 Billion Loss
French president Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron visited Tripoli on Thursday to meet with leaders of the National Transitional Council. Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the group’s senior leader, praised their “brave positions” in the early days of the conflict and for pushing NATO to impose a no-fly zone to aid in the rebels in their fight against Moammar Gadhafi.
Both men were greeted by cheering crowds in Tripoli. According to the BBC, “The two leaders are hugely popular in Libya, where common graffiti slogans include: ‘Merci Sarkozy!’ and ‘Thank you Britain!’”
Despite effectively taking the capital, Tripoli, and much of the country, the rebels still face Gadhafi supporters in his bastion of Bani Walid. Cameron urged loyalists to surrender before an impending military offensive, saying “[I]t is over, give up” and that Gadhafi had no effective leadership power. Gadhafi’s whereabouts remain unknown.
Libyan rebel soldiers stand guard at the last outpost before Bani Walid from the northern road towards Misrata. Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images.
UBS Trader Held Over $2 Billion Rogue Trading Loss
A UBS employee was arrested by London police in connection with a $2 billion loss from rogue trading at the Swiss bank, a loss expected to cause a significant third-quarter dent in profits. Kweku Adoboli, 31, is suspected of “fraud by abuse of position” in connection with the case.
Despite early trading losses from the news, with shares dropping 8 percent, UBS says it is working to recover from the loss. Bloomberg News reports:
UBS management aims to “get to the bottom of the matter as quickly as possible, and will spare no effort to establish exactly what has happened,” the bank’s group executive board, led by Chief Executive Officer Oswald Gruebel, said in a memo to employees today. “While the news is distressing, it will not change the fundamental strength of our firm.”
The latest news comes as a blow to the bank’s already strained reputation. UBS received a $60 billion bailout from the Swiss government in 2008.
Suicide Bombing at Funeral Kills at Least 20 in Northwest Pakistan
A suicide bomber targeted mourners at the funeral of an anti-Taliban militia fighter in the Lower Dir region of Pakistan, near the border with Afghanistan, killing at least 20 people and wounding 35 more. The bomber blew himself up while in line for the funeral procession.
Bakhat Khan, who was a member of a local anti-Taliban militia, died of natural causes. An estimated 200 people were in attendance at his funeral. Anti-Taliban militias in northwest are frequently targeted with retaliatory attacks.
Marine to Receive Medal of Honor at the White House
Retired Sgt. Dakota Meyer will be the first Marine — and third living recipient — to be recognized with the Medal of Honor in a ceremony Thursday at the White House.
Meyer will receive the medal for his actions in Afghanistan, where his team came under attack in Kunar province in 2009 while helping to train Afghan Army troops. Four Marines, eight Afghan troops and an interpreter were killed in the six-hour gun battle.
A Marine report described the incident: “Without hesitation, Meyer and [Staff Sgt. Juan] Rodriguez-Chavez evacuated wounded, provided essential aid and recovered bodies of the joint operation unit taking them back to the casualty collection point (CCP), then ventured back into the kill-zone four more times, still in search of the forward element.” In doing so, the reports states, Meyer helped save 13 Marines and 23 Afghan soldiers and killed eight Taliban fighters.
On Wednesday, President Obama and Meyer sat down for a beer outside the White House.