Monday, August 22, 2011

  • Report from Libya: Gaddafi Regime on Brink of Collapse as Rebels Storm Tripoli

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    After a lightning fast advance by opposition fighters who poured into Tripoli with surprising ease, much of the city appears to be under rebel control, although heavy fighting is underway in many areas. Al Jazeera reports that clashes are continuing in the capital, with the rebels facing off with tanks near Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s compound. Three of Gaddafi’s sons have reportedly been taken into rebel custody, and the presidential guard has surrendered. We go to Tripoli for an update from Robin Waudo, an International Red Cross spokesperson, who is part of a small team able to come to their office amid fighting and distribute medical aid for as many as 5,000 people who have reportedly been wounded. [includes rush transcript]

  • "Libya Has Reignited the Flame of Liberty in the Arab World": Juan Cole, Khaled Mattawa on Uprising

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    As rebels fight for control of the Libyan capital of Tripoli, President Obama and other world leaders have called on Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi to step down. On Sunday, the United States officially recognized the Transitional National Council as the legitimate governing authority in Libya. Meanwhile, the whereabouts of Gaddafi remain unknown, but three of his sons are in rebel custody. Libya’s rebel chief, Mahmoud Jibril, issued a statement to Libyans in the early hours of Monday asking fighters to treat Gaddafi loyalists with dignity and respect. We are joined in Cairo by Khaled Mattawa, an acclaimed Libyan poet and scholar who just returned from Libya. We also speak with Fred Abrahams, a special adviser for Human Rights Watch, who just returned from Libya last Thursday, and with Juan Cole, a professor of history at the University of Michigan who has been following developments in Libya closely on his blog, "Informed Comment" at JuanCole.com. "Libya has reignited the flame of liberty in the Arab world," says Juan Cole. [includes rush transcript]

  • West Memphis Three Freed from Jail 18 Years After Being Convicted amid "Wave of Satanic Hysteria"

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    A trio of men convicted of brutally murdering three young boys in Arkansas in 1993 were released from prison Friday. Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, Jr. — otherwise known as the West Memphis Three — entered a rare plea deal in which they maintained their innocence, but pleaded guilty to murder, with the state of Arkansas recognizing them as child-killers safe enough to be set free. The men were convicted of the killings after an investigation largely fueled by unsubstantiated rumors of a Satanic ritual. In 2007, new forensic tests of evidence at the crime scene turned up no genetic material belonging to any of the men. We speak to filmmaker Joe Berlinger, co-director of the documentary covering the case, "Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills." The film sparked an international movement to "Free the West Memphis Three." [includes rush transcript]