Share CNN News Share Share 20 Views no discussions Tweet News Libya: Ex-official kidnapped; interior minister said he resigned by: – February 23, 2011 Sharing is caring! (CNN) — Hours after Libya’s former interior minister said he resigned to support anti-government protesters, the Libyan government said he had been kidnapped.Abdul Fattah Younis al Abidi told CNN Wednesday that he resigned Monday after hearing that 300 unarmed civilians had been killed in Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city. He accused Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi of planning to attack civilians on a wide scale.But the same day, Libyan state media reported that “gangs” in Benghazi had kidnapped him. Witnesses have reported that Benghazi has essentially been taken over by the opposition. Witnesses also told CNN they saw Younis on Sunday and Monday in Benghazi, where he was siding with the protesters.CNN could not immediately confirm reports for areas beyond Benghazi. The Libyan government maintains tight control on communications and has not responded to repeated requests from CNN for access to the country. CNN has interviewed numerous witnesses by phone. Libyan state television added that Libyan forces have warned those responsible for the kidnapping that they “will be chased in their hiding places.”Earlier Wednesday, al Abidi said he had quit the government and is supporting the protesters, who he predicted will achieve victory in “days or hours.”“Gadhafi told me he was planning on using airplanes against the people in Benghazi, and I told him that he will have thousands of people killed if he does that,” al Abidi said in an Arabic-language telephone interview Wednesday.He called Gadhafi “a stubborn man” who will not give up. “He will either commit suicide or he will get killed,” said al Abidi, who said he has known him since 1964.Al Abidi called on Libyan security forces “to join the people in the intifada.” Already, he said, “many members” of the security forces had defected, including those in the capital, Tripoli.Since the recent protests in Libya started February 15, a growing number of Libyan officials have reportedly resigned.Libya’s ambassador to Bangladesh, A.H. Elimam, resigned to side with pro-democracy protesters, said BSS, the official news agency of Bangladesh, citing a Foreign Ministry official Tuesday.Justice Minister Mustafa Abdul Jalil also resigned, saying he was protesting the “bloody situation” and “use of excessive force” against unarmed protesters, according to the Libyan newspaper Quryna.CNN’s Waffa Munayyer contributed to this report.
The losses have begun to pile up, but nonetheless, USC has been competitive with some of the best teams in the country.Each of the Trojans’ eight losses have come against perennially strong college baseball programs, including weekend sweeps by No. 6 Cal State Fullerton and No. 18 Rice.Time for change · Junior first baseman Ricky Oropesa, pictured here during Sunday’s home 2-1 loss to Cal State Fullerton, will move from his traditional position to the outfield for Tuesday’s contest at UC Santa Barbara. – Carlo Acenas | Daily Trojan Only one loss was by more than four runs and USC (3-8) has lost four games by a single run.But barely losing to nationally ranked teams isn’t good enough for the Trojans and interim coach Frank Cruz.“When you play or coach at USC, you plan on playing the best competition,” Cruz said. “But you don’t come to USC just to compete, you come to win.”Against Fullerton, the Trojans struggled offensively, managing only eight hits in the series.When the team heads to UC Santa Barbara (5-4) to take on the Gauchos at 2 p.m. today, Cruz plans to inject more offense into the lineup.Preseason All-American first baseman Ricky Oropesa will move to the outfield, where the Trojans have been offensively challenged, outside of Alex Sherrod (.275, 2 HR, 7 RBI), through the first 11 games.Outfielders sophomore Alex Glenn, senior Matt Hart and freshman Omar Cotto Lozada, who have combined for 21 starts, are each hitting below .200 creating a void in the lineup.“It’s wide open right now,” Cruz said about the left field and centerfield positions. “We’re hoping someone steps in and can take over.”With Oropesa in the outfield, junior Matt Foat will play first base with sophomore Adam Landecker manning the hot corner at third base.Another change from USC’s first two weekday games will be on the mound.Cruz said he is leaning toward starting Brandon Garcia (0-1, 12.00 ERA in three innings pitched) over junior Ben Mount (0-0, 1.08 ERA in eight and one-third innings pitched), who has started both of the Trojans’ Tuesday games this season.Garcia, who has the third highest batting average (.280) among regular starters, will also serve as the team’s designated hitter, allowing him to stay in the lineup even after a relief pitcher takes his place on the mound.Garcia, Mount and the rest of the pitching staff will be tasked with shutting down a UC Santa Barbara offense batting .295 and averaging six runs per game.Leading the Gauchos is the outfield duo of seniors Ben Edelstein and Mark Haddow.Edelstein bats leadoff and led the team with a .344 batting average last season. This season, he is batting .343 as he sets the table for the middle of the lineup, including Haddow batting cleanup. Haddow has a team best .375 average and .462 on base percentage. He also is second on the team in home runs and RBIs.UC Santa Barbara will likely send right-hander Nick Loredo to the mound. Loredo leads the Gauchos’ starting pitchers with a 3.09 ERA. He has a 1-0 record and has struck out 14 batters in 11 and two-thirds innings pitched.The Trojans’ hitters will have to make adjustments each time through the lineup as the Gauchos are expected to throw a number of relief pitchers today.“I know the players have turned a lot around in terms of their work ethic and whole approach to the game,” Cruz said. “Now it’s about winning games.”Cruz doesn’t want his team to just compete. He wants them to have fun.“Any time you’re not winning games, it’s not fun,” Cruz said. “Winning is a lot of fun.”