Strauss-Kahn case dismissed

Dominique Strauss-Kahn was freed of sexual assault charges yesterday after the New York courts found the accusations against him not credible. After the shocking arrest three months ago when Nafissatou Diallo accused Strauss-Kahn, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, of assaulting her, the prosecutor deemed the accuser not credible due to previous false rape claims.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. Image: International Monetary Fund.

The New York Times quoted Strauss-Kahn saying the case has been “a nightmare for me and my family”. Taiwan News also quoted Strauss-Kahn who said, “I want to thank all the friends in France and in the United States who have believed in my innocence, and to the thousands of people who sent us their support personally and in writing. I am most deeply grateful to my wife and family who have gone through this ordeal with me.”

On May 14, Diallo claimed that Strauss-Kahn forced her to interact in sexual activity in his hotel suite. DNA on Diallo’s clothes confirmed an interaction but whether the encounter was forced or not was unsure. In July, she falsely told reporters she was assaulted in her homeland which erased her credibility.

Diallo and her legal team made a last attempt in the criminal case, filing a motion on Monday asking that Mr. Vance‚Äôs office be disqualified but early Tuesday morning Justice Obus denied the motion. The encounter between Diallo and Strauss-Kahn was deemed to be consensual leading to Strauss-Kahn’s freedom.

Strauss-Kahn is undergoing accusation in another sexual case in France. His lawyers have said this is also a false account.


Libya blocks access to Internet

The Libyan government has cut off Internet access in the country. The General Posts and Telecommunications Company, Libya’s main provider of Internet access, has ceased to function. It was shut down following citizen protests against the country’s leader, Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, who has been in power since 1969.

The government of Egypt took a similar measure last month, when it cut off Internet trying to quell public protests against the regime. Despite the government’s efforts, Egyptians who took to the streets for two weeks were able to oust the nation’s president, Hosni Mubarak, after 30 years in office.

Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, also known as Colonel Gaddafi, has been the leader of Libya since 1969. In the picture, al-Gaddafi in Dimashq, Syria. Image: James Gordon.

Limited access to the Internet makes it difficult to get information from the country. Libya is a country with a smaller population than Egypt, and has fewer service providers, which has apparently made the task of disconnecting everything a little easier.

In Egypt, the military refused to attack people protesting. The situation is different in Libya, where the armed forces attacked hundreds of demonstrators in the square of the city of Benghazi, causing many deaths.

The increasing violence in Libya has prompted the 27 European Union ministers to issue a statement protesting Libyan governmental violence toward protesters, saying it “condemns the ongoing repression against demonstrators in Libya and deplores the violence and death of civilians.” Two Libyan pilots have defected to Malta and asked for asylum, saying that they were ordered to fire on protesters, according to Maltese officials.

The violence has spread to Tripoli. Witnesses have reported that a “massacre” occurred today in suburbs of the Libyan capital with the indiscriminate shooting of women and children. According to Human Rights Watch, hundreds have died over the last four days.

The escalating violence is causing turbulence in the world energy markets. The International Monetary Fund says that energy exports accounts for approximately 95% of Libya’s export earning.

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