International news briefs

Libya’s new leaders declare liberation
Members of Libya’s interim government declared the official liberation of the country on Oct. 23, three days after the death of former leader Moammar Gadhafi, reported CBC News.

Hundreds attended a celebratory ceremony in the eastern city of Benghazi, with leaders urging “tolerance and reconciliation.”

U.S. President Barack Obama showed his support for the declaration in a statement.

“After four decades of brutal dictatorship and eight months of deadly conflict, the Libyan people can now celebrate their freedom and the beginning of a new era of promise.”

Gadhafi’s body had been on display in a commercial freezer at a shopping centre in Misrata until it was removed on Oct. 24 in anticiaption of a desert burial in a secret location, reported the Associated Press.

Pressure has been mounting for an investigation into Gadhafi’s death after images emerged showing that he was found alive, was beaten and taunted by his captors.

7.2-magnitude earthquake hits Turkey
A powerful 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit eastern Turkey on Oct.23, killing at least 138 people and collapsing numerous buildings, reported the Winnipeg Free Press.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged residents to stay away from damaged buildings and promised assistance to all survivors.

Approximately 1,275 rescue teams from 38 provinces were being sent to the region, and troops were assisting in search-and-rescue efforts.

Leaders around the world offered support and assistance.

“We stand shoulder to shoulder with our Turkish ally in this difficult time and are ready to assist,” said U.S. President Barack Obama, according to the Free Press.

The death toll of the earthquake is expected to rise as rescuers search through the rubble.

Heir to Saudi Arabia’s throne dies
The heir to Saudi Arabia’s throne, Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, died Oct. 22 reported CBC News.

Crown Prince Sultan, thought to be in his 80s, was reported to be undergoing treatment for cancer, but the official cause of death is unkown.

The death of the prince opens questions about who will follow in succession to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah.

The most likely candidate next in line to the throne is Prince Nayef, interior minister in charge of internal security forces and the king’s half-brother.

No debt deal in sight for Greece
A top bank lobbyist insists that banks and the eurozone are far from reaching a deal to cut Greece’s debt, despite claims that the eurozone finance ministers will ask banks to take greater losses on their Greek bonds, reported the Globe and Mail.

A report from Greece’s international debt inspectors suggested that the value of Greece’s bonds may need to be slashed by as much as 60 per cent in order for the country to be solvent enough to repay its debt.

In July, banks agreed to accept losses of about 21 per cent on their Greek bonds, but the eurozone leaders have since reopened the deal.

On Oct. 22, the ministers sent chief negotiator, Vittorio Grilli, to re-start discussions with banks and other private investors on a new deal for Greece.