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'I'm HERE in Tripoli': Gaddafi's claim as he emerges to defy protesters while capital burns at the hands of his troops

  • Gaddafi had been reported to be heading for Venezuela
  • Fighter jets strafe civilians leaving 'many, many dead'
  • Libyan pilots fly to Malta after being ordered to bomb civilians
  • Around 450 dead after 'massacre' in Tripoli
  • Hillary Clinton calls for 'unacceptable bloodshed to end'
Colonel Gaddafi appeared on Libyan TV to insist he was still in country tonight as his bloody 41-year grip on power appeared to be nearing its end.

Tripoli is ablaze, there is anarchy on the streets and troops still loyal to the beleaguered dictator are reported to be shooting, bombing and strafing civilian demonstrators.

The navy is said to be shelling the city alongside indiscriminate bombing runs by fighter jets as Gaddafi ordered a vicious assault against his own people.

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'I'm staying': Colonel Gaddafi was interviewed sitting in the front seat of van. He insisted he was still in Tripoli

Bad Guys

Huffington's Plunder

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© Associated Press/Mark Lennihan
I was in New York City on Thursday night at the Brecht Forum to discuss with the photographer Eugene Richards his powerful new book War Is Personal when I was approached for an interview by a blogger for The Huffington Post. I had just finished speaking with another blogger who had recently graduated from UC Berkeley.

These encounters, which are frequent at public events, break my heart. I see myself in the older bloggers, many of whom worked for newspapers until they took buyouts or were laid off, as well as in the aspiring reporters. These men and women love the trade. They want to make a difference. They have the integrity not to sell themselves to public relations firms or corporate-funded propaganda outlets. And they keep at it, the way true artists, musicians or actors do, although there are dimmer and dimmer hopes of compensation. They are victims of a dying culture, one that no longer values the talents that would keep it healthy and humane. The corporate state remunerates corporate management and public relations. It lavishes money on the celebrities who provide the fodder for our national mini-dramas. But those who deal with the bedrock virtues of truth, justice and beauty, who seek not to entertain but to transform, are discarded. They must struggle on their own.

Attention

'Callous-unemotional' children often grow up to lie, fight, and bully, study finds

Article removed at request of author:
Unless you subscribe to the Washington Post's syndication service, you have stolen my article and are infringing on the copyright of The Washington Post. Remove the article from your website immediately or you will be hearing from our lawyers.

[Link]

Brian Vastag
Science Reporter
The Washington Post
vastagb@washpost.com
202-334-5684 (office)
202-236-0979 (cell)

Attention

Russia wants tourism halted at ski resort after attack

Russia's envoy to its volatile North Caucasus region called Monday for tourism to be halted at the country's most popular ski resort, where three Moscow tourists were gunned down by suspected Islamist rebels.

Security has been heightened since the Friday night shoot-out and a spate of other attacks including blowing up a cable-car and killing a policeman and an official in Kabardino-Balkaria in the mainly Muslim North Caucasus, where Moscow is failing to quell an Islamist insurgency.

"We must stop receiving tourists," state-run Itar-TASS cited Alexander Khloponin as telling officials in the town of Tyrnyauz on the main road leading to Mount Elbrus, Europe's highest peak, which was open for holiday-makers Monday.

Magnify

Gaddafi will fight a popular revolt to "the last man standing,"

Gaddafi out
© Unknown

Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi will fight a popular revolt to "the last man standing," one of his sons said on Monday as people in the capital joined protests for the first time after days of violent unrest in the eastern city of Benghazi.

Anti-government protesters rallied in Tripoli's streets, tribal leaders spoke out against Gaddafi, and army units defected to the opposition as oil exporter Libya endured one of the bloodiest revolts to convulse the Arab world.

Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi appeared on national television in an attempt to both threaten and calm people, saying the army would enforce security at any price.

"Our spirits are high and the leader Muammar Gaddafi is leading the battle in Tripoli, and we are behind him as is the Libyan army," he said.

Radar

'This Is What Democracy Looks Like' in Wisconsin: Union Busting

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© public domain
1912 Textile Strike, Lawrence, Massachusetts
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker finished a bad week with a misstep that emphasized his inability to generate support for his attempt to strip the state's public employees of collective bargaining rights.

First, the governor's radical proposal went to such extremes in its anti-labor bias that it sparked a protest movement so large, so steady and so determined in its demands that it is now commonly compared with the protests that have rocked Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries.

Then, the man that badges worn by marchers describe as "The Mubarak of the Middle West" really blew it. Saturday was supposed to be the day when the governor pushed back against the movement that has challenged his radical power grab. The governor's Tea Party allies attempted to grab the spotlight with a rally at the state Capital. Unfortunately, the much-hyped event, which national Tea Party groups had poured money and organizing energy into generating, drew an anemic crowd of several thousand. Even by the optimistic estimates of the Tea Partisans themselves, the pro-Walker turnout was one-tenth the size of the crowd that came to oppose the governor's so-called "budget repair bill."

Vader

Libya fighter jets attack protesters in Tripoli

Image
© Darrin Zammit Lupi / Reuters
A Libyan airforce pilot walks next to his Mirage F1 fighter jet after landing Monday at Malta International Airport outside Valletta. Two Libyan fighter jets and two civilian helicopters landed unexpectedly in Malta. The fighter pilots said they wre seeking asylum

Tripoli - Libyan military aircraft fired live ammunition at crowds of anti-government protesters in Tripoli, Al-Jazeera television reported Monday.

"What we are witnessing today is unimaginable," said Adel Mohamed Saleh, an activist in the capital whose accounts could not be independently confirmed. "Warplanes and helicopters are indiscriminately bombing one area after another. There are many, many dead.

"Our people are dying. It is the policy of scorched earth," he said.

Vader

China tries to stamp out 'Jasmine Revolution'

china,protest,jasmine
© AP
Chinese police officers stand guard near a McDonald's restaurant which was a planned protest site for 'Jasmine Revolution' in Beijing, China, Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011. Jittery Chinese authorities staged a concerted show of force Sunday to squelch a mysterious online call for a 'Jasmine Revolution' apparently modeled after pro-democracy demonstrations sweeping the Middle East.

Beijing - Jittery Chinese authorities wary of any domestic dissent staged a show of force Sunday to squelch a mysterious online call for a "Jasmine Revolution," with only a handful of people joining protests apparently modeled on the pro-democracy demonstrations sweeping the Middle East.

Authorities detained activists, increased the number of police on the streets, disconnected some cell phone text messaging services and censored Internet postings about the call to stage protests in Beijing, Shanghai and 11 other major cities.

Police took at least three people away in Beijing, one of whom tried to place white jasmine flowers on a planter while hundreds of people milled about the protest gathering spot, outside a McDonald's on the capital's busiest shopping street. In Shanghai, police led away three people near the planned protest spot after they scuffled in an apparent bid to grab the attention of passers-by.

Vader

Unrest and the Libyan Military

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Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has ordered the Libyan air force to fire on military installations in Libya, according to what the BBC has characterized as a reliable source. Al Jazeera has suggested that air force fighters have opened fire on crowds of protesters.


Though the latter would be particularly draconian, the more important question is whether these signs reflect a split within the regime and Gadhafi using military force to crush opposition to his regime emerging from the military or other security forces. Similar reports of the Libyan navy firing on targets onshore also are emerging, as well as reports that Gadhafi has given execution orders to soldiers who have refused to fire on Libyan protesters.

The application of conventional weaponry is noteworthy and will warrant scrutiny - particularly in terms of the targets of the attacks and the rationale behind them. The use of these weapons is more appropriate for other armed entities rather than unarmed protesters. Libyan troops are good at instilling fear, but not good at stabilizing a situation, so the military may not be able to get in on the ground due to lost capability.

Newspaper

Helen Thomas: Jews Didn't Have to Leave Europe Following Holocaust

Helen Thomas
© AP
Former White House correspondent Helen Thomas
In CNN interview, veteran reporter refuses to call comments urging Jews to leave Israel and return to Europe insensitive, says Israel's treatment of the Palestinians is the real insensitivity.

The Jews did not have to leave Germany and Poland following the Holocaust since they were not being persecuted anymore, former White House correspondent Helen Thomas said in an interview on Thursday, adding that the Jews had no right to take other people's land.

Thomas, 90, stepped down from her job as a columnist for Hearst News Service in June of last year after a rabbi and independent filmmaker videotaped her outside the White House calling on Israelis to get "out of Palestine."

She gave up her front row seat in the White House press room, where she had aimed often pointed questions at 10 presidents, going back to Eisenhower.

Speaking of the controversial comments in an interview with CNN's Joy Behar on Thursday, Thomas said she did not regret her comments, saying that the Jews did not have to go anywhere after the Holocaust.