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Sep 19, 2011

Relishing liberty, Libyans protest at new rulers

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Clasping placards and standing in a neat line, a dozen men and women staged a protest against Libya’s new rulers on Monday in what they said could be Tripoli’s first public demonstration critical of the authorities who toppled Muammar Gaddafi.

In the kind of a move that would have could have earned them arrest or a beating in the Gaddafi era, the demonstrators assembled outside the city’s Corinthia hotel to demand the interim authorities, called the National Transitional Council (NTC), do more to help wounded Libyans currently being treated in Tunisian hospitals.

Sep 19, 2011

Libya’s fractious new rulers enjoy honeymoon

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Obstinate resistance by Muammar Gaddafi’s last strongholds is an embarrassment for Libya’s new rulers, and bickering that delayed the formation of a new interim government suggests potentially damaging internal political rifts are widening.

But for now Libya’s new political leaders have an indulgent audience, at least in Tripoli, the capital city that fell from Gaddafi’s grasp less than a month ago.

Sep 19, 2011

Analysis: Libya’s fractious new rulers enjoy honeymoon

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Obstinate resistance by Muammar Gaddafi’s last strongholds is an embarrassment for Libya’s new rulers, and bickering that delayed the formation of a new interim government suggests potentially damaging internal political rifts are widening.

But for now Libya’s new political leaders have an indulgent audience, at least in Tripoli, the capital city that fell from Gaddafi’s grasp less than a month ago.

Sep 18, 2011

Libya Islamist takes inclusive stance

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Tripoli’s military commander, an Islamist whose rise to prominence is being watched closely by the West, said on Sunday he wanted to build a democratic “civil state” in Libya in remarks that laid out an inclusive political vision after 42 years of despotism under Muammar Gaddafi.

In a Reuters interview, Abdel Hakim Belhadj added that he expected Gaddafi’s complete defeat very soon, and that Tripoli was stabilizing gradually in a process that would lead eventually to the return to the streets of a police service open to revolutionary fighters who sought to participate in it.

Sep 15, 2011

Book Talk: Historian unearths human story of Britain’s spies

LONDON (Reuters) – Writing authoritatively about a spy service is hard for an outsider but Britain’s is a particularly tough case.

Fact must be sifted from a big body of popular fiction, much by novelists with an intelligence background including James Bond author Ian Fleming and the current Hollywood version of John le Carre’s “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” starring Gary Oldman as spymaster George Smiley.

Sep 14, 2011

Senior U.S. diplomat holds talks in Tripoli

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Libya’s new interim leader met the most senior U.S. official to visit Tripoli since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, though details of Wednesday’s talks were not immediately available.

Reuters journalists saw Jeffrey Feltman, a key figure in U.S. Middle East policy, meet Mustafa Abdel Jalil at a public building in the capital. It was not clear when Feltman, who is Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs at the State Department, had arrived in Libya.

Sep 13, 2011

Tripoli’s new normal — bickering politicians

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Less than a month after Muammar Gaddafi’s fall, Tripoli is bustling. Shoppers throng markets. Banks are open. Electricity and water are back, most of the time. Out in the desert, some oil flows.

With parts of the giant OPEC member country still at war, the rapid spread of a semblance of normality is startling.

Sep 13, 2011

Police, missile defense top Tripoli security priorities

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – The main security challenge for Tripoli is integrating the fighters who toppled Muammar Gaddafi into the police force to build the revolution’s “legitimacy,” an official of the interim administration said on Tuesday.

Outlining priorities, Osama Abu Ras, a member of the Supreme Security Committee for Tripoli, told Reuters that Gaddafi’s forces remained capable of firing missiles and the capital may be a potential target for such attacks.

Sep 12, 2011

Libya’s interim leader makes landmark Tripoli speech

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Libya’s interim government chief, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, made his first speech to a crowd of about 10,000 in the capital Tripoli on Monday — a sign of growing confidence from the former rebels.

Abdel Jalil arrived in Tripoli on Saturday for the first time since his allies chased Muammar Gaddafi out of the city, a move that political analysts saw as key to his credibility.

Sep 12, 2011

At bay, captured Libyan spy chief defiant

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Defiant and angry, captured Libyan spy chief Bouzaid Dorda denied any wrongdoing when he was presented to Reuters reporters on Sunday by the former insurgents who tracked him down in the capital Tripoli the previous day.

The latest high-profile insider of Muammar Gaddafi’s rule to be arrested, Bouzaid Dorda proved unapologetic about his role as head of the External Security Organisation (ESO) and suggested he was not ready to criticise the ousted autocrat just to please Libya’s new rulers.