Libyan justice minister resigns as pressure builds on Gaddafi

The most senior resignation yet highlights internal tensions within the government.

Events in Libya remain uncertain; there were reports this morning that Colonel Gaddafi had left Tripoli for his home town of Sirt or his desert base of Sabha, but we've heard little since.

One concrete development is the resignation of the justice minister, Mustafa Mohamed Abud al-Jeleil, who stepped down over the "excessive use of violence against government protesters". One naturally takes issue with the use of the word "excessive" (would a reduced level of violence be acceptable?) but his resignation is a sign that parts of the Libyan establishment have turned firmly against Gaddafi.

Al-Jeleil is the most senior official to resign so far. He joins the country's ambassadors to the Arab League, India and China.

Gaddafi's fate is likely to depend on the position of the armed forces. Will they refuse to obey orders, or even cross lines and join the demonstrators? It's too early to say, but resignations such as al-Jeleil's add to the pressure for "restraint". It is the army that will determine whether this is Libya's 1956 or its 1989.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Quiz: Can you identify fake news?

The furore around "fake" news shows no sign of abating. Can you spot what's real and what's not?

Hillary Clinton has spoken out today to warn about the fake news epidemic sweeping the world. Clinton went as far as to say that "lives are at risk" from fake news, the day after Pope Francis compared reading fake news to eating poop. (Side note: with real news like that, who needs the fake stuff?)

The sweeping distrust in fake news has caused some confusion, however, as many are unsure about how to actually tell the reals and the fakes apart. Short from seeing whether the logo will scratch off and asking the man from the market where he got it from, how can you really identify fake news? Take our test to see whether you have all the answers.

 

 

In all seriousness, many claim that identifying fake news is a simple matter of checking the source and disbelieving anything "too good to be true". Unfortunately, however, fake news outlets post real stories too, and real news outlets often slip up and publish the fakes. Use fact-checking websites like Snopes to really get to the bottom of a story, and always do a quick Google before you share anything. 

Amelia Tait is a technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman.