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Libya: Point of no return

Muammar Gaddafi
© Reuters
Muammar Gaddafi in 1999.

Despotic regimes are falling like dominoes across the Middle East. But Libya's Muammar Gaddafi won't give up without a fight.

Now people are dying we've got nothing else to live for,'' wrote a student blogger in Libya. ''It's like a pressure cooker. People are boiling up inside. I'm not even afraid any more. Once I wouldn't have spoken at all by phone. Now I don't care.''

It is a sentiment that encapsulates so much of the extraordinary events sweeping the Middle East. As the revolt in Libya widens, and more Libyans summon up the courage to confront their ''Great Leader'', Muammar Gaddafi has launched by far the most uncompromising response of all the Arab leaders in the region to anti-government protests.

In neighbouring Egypt and Tunisia the military proved extremely reluctant to open fire on their own citizens, a factor that made a significant contribution to the subsequent removal of the countries' leaders.

Heart - Black

Gaddafi kills soldiers unwilling to shoot Libyan protesters, soldiers tied up and burned to death

More than 230 people have been killed in clashes in Libya as anti-government protesters rallied in Tripoli's streets, and tribal leaders spoke out against Gaddafi. Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi reportedly ordered the murder of his own soldiers, who were tied up & set on fire for refusing to kill their own people. Warning: The following video contains graphic images. Viewer discretion is advised.

Soldiers tied up and burned to death for not firing on protesters


'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.


'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

© 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.


'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.


Brian Vastag
Science Reporter
The Washington Post
202-334-5684 (office)
202-236-0979 (cell)


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.


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.


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

© 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."


Libya fighter jets attack protesters in Tripoli

© 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.


China tries to stamp out 'Jasmine Revolution'

© 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.