Libya

• An oil smuggling network created to evade UN sanctions on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq is being exploited by the Islamist group Isis.

• In Libya hardline Islamists are pushing their agenda amid the chaos they created.

• Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs lifts the veil on its relationship with the Gaddafi-era Libyan sovereign wealth fund.

• The New York Review of Books rounds up the latest books on Iraq: The outlaw state.

• China is risking a ‘balance sheet recession’ as the impact of its stimulus measures wane.

Linda Tirado on why globalisation and technology are to blame when the poor are accused of failing to make long term plans. Read more

The Gaza strip was not the only place where civilians were suffering and dying last week. There were (and are) several other lethal conflicts underway. Take the fighting in eastern Ukraine. The current edition of The Economist reports that: “Ukraine’s offensive already seems to have featured pretty indiscriminate use of artillery. By July 26th 1,129 people had been killed in eastern Ukraine, 799 of them civilians, the UN has reported … shells have already begun falling in the centre of Donetsk: the potential for things to go lethally wrong is great.”

Civilians are also dying in large numbers in Iraq. Just yesterday over 50 people were killed in car bombs in Baghdad, while 60 were killed in an Iraqi government air-strike aimed at a Sharia court, set up by Isis in Mosul. Read more

♦ Borzou Daragahi ventured into Libya’s badlands: a combination of guns, trafficking and inter-ethnic conflict.
♦ The winner of the Bodley Head/FT Essay Prize is an account of being a British Muslim soldier.
♦ John Plender argues that the real driver of income inequality over the past decade or so has been top pay and this is unlikely to change.
♦ Juan Carlos, the King of Spain, is fighting for his legacy.
♦ The National Review looks at the deep poverty among masses of white working class people in the US heartlands.
♦ Gamal Essam El-Din at Ahram Online has put together a comprehensive nuts and bolts guide to Egypt’s constitutional referendumRead more

♦ Spain may be emerging from the recession with a more competitive economy, but critics claim that confidence in the rebound is premature and potentially dangerous.
♦ A leaked video shows Egyptian Army officers debating how to influence the media before the military takeover.
♦ Patrick Cockburn writes about how media coverage of conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria doesn’t always reflect the whole reality of each war.
♦ Justice officials in Hong Kong admitted to knowing that one of Berlusconi’s allies tried to interfere with evidence in a money laundering case, where Berlusconi’s son is one of the defendents, according to the South China Morning Post.
♦ The stance of some Republican House members on the US government shutdown is generating anger among senior Republican officials, who think the small bloc of conservatives is undermining the party and helping President Obama. Read more

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Ready and waiting – the venue for tonight's second presidential debate. (Reuters)

Welcome to the US election round-up on the morning of the second presidential debate, with polls showing the closest race for the White House since the Bush/Gore election in 2000 that was finally decided in the Supreme Court.

The RCP rolling average of polls is constantly changing – hardly a surprise when 10 national surveys of voting intention are published every day – but after showing a tie late on Monday night, Tuesday dawned with Mitt Romney holding a 0.1 per cent lead over President Barack Obama. Read more

Here are the stories that were stoking our fire this morning:

Here’s today’s menu for you:

By Ruona Agbroko

Articles you might want to take a look at today:

Since the eruption of Syria’s uprising six months ago, one thing has been clear, for the protestors and the world alike: there would be no international military intervention to get rid of Bashar al-Assad.

Syrians are far too nationalistic to accept anything resembling outside military involvement, the argument went, and the Libya mission was too messy, too fraught with risk, to be attempted again. Read more

Libya’s opposition move into Tripoli and say they will leave no stone unturned to find Muammer Gaddafi, arrest him and put him on trial. Look at our slideshow with some of the most striking images from Libya over the past 24 hours.

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It was six months ago to this day that Muammer Gaddafi delivered his defiant rant against a popular rebellion, vowing to hunt down his opponents in every corner, inch by inch and, famously, “zenga (alleyway) by zenga.”

So hysterical was his outburst that it inspired a “zenga zenga” auto-tune that became all the rage in the liberated east of Libya, even though it was produced by an Israeli artist.

In the end, however, it was the fractious, rag-tag army of revolutionaries he had promised to pursue who swept, from zenga to zenga, into the leader’s stronghold of Tripoli, in a lightening journey that is drawing the curtain on his 42 year rule. Read more

Middle Eastern autocrats are having a field day with the UK riots, taking pleasure at the mayhem in a western capital and interpreting it the way that suits their propaganda.

One hardline newspaper in Tehran blamed the violence on rising student tuition fees; another put the responsibility on the US and its economic policies. In Libya, the Gaddafi regime, once a friend of Britain but now a sworn enemy, also took aim at London. A presenter on state television on Wednesday hailed the rioting youth whom he said were demonstrating against a “fascist” government. Read more

People follow the trial of Hosni Mubarak

People follow the trial of Hosni Mubarak in Cairo. Getty Images.

Who needs Ramadan soap operas when you can watch live, second by second, an Arab ruler on trial?

Until the moment Hosni Mubarak was wheeled into the iron cage this morning on a hospital bed , there were widespread doubts that he would appear in court to face charges of killing protestors during the 18 day revolution that ended his 30-year rule. Some said the trial of the deposed autocrat would be postponed, others speculated Mubarak would prefer to die than be dragged to court. Read more

One of the unusual aspects of the Bahrain uprising in February and March this year was the fact that it did not dominate the broadcasts of Qatar’s al Jazeera  (the Arabic language channel) and Saudi Arabia’s al-Arabiya.

In the name of Gulf solidarity – and given the dispatch of Saudi and other Gulf troops to bolster the ruling al-Khalifa family – highlighting a youth awakening among Bahrain’s Shia against the Sunni monarchy was out of the question. Read more

As events unfold in Libya and across the wider region, the FT is running live coverage on Gideon Rachman’s blog. This post will update automatically. Read more

As events unfold in Libya, the FT will be running live coverage on Gideon Rachman’s blog. This post will update every few minutes, although it may take longer on mobile devices. Read more

A tank being struck by a missileAs events unfold in Libya, the FT will be running live coverage on Gideon Rachman’s blog. Read more