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Economy

How To Make Gaddafi Disappear From Libyan Currency

DIE WELT (Germany)

Worldcrunch

TRIPOLI - Libya’s former dictator Muammar Gaddafi has been dead since Oct. 2011, but Libyans are still faced with his image daily on their one, 20 and 50 dinar notes.

However on Feb. 17 – the second anniversary of the start of the revolution – the Libyan National Bank put new notes into circulation, reports Die Welt.

Instead of Gaddafi’s image on the one dinar note there is a now revolutionary scene, while the 50 dinar note features a Benghazi lighthouse instead of the former despot. Benghazi, in eastern Libya, is Libya’s second largest city and was a hotbed of the uprising.

The image showing Gaddafi with African leaders on the 20 dinar note has been replaced by a building important to the country’s cultural heritage: the Atiq mosque in Awjila, the oldest mosque in North Africa.

Other Libyan bills were changed only slightly. The 10 dinar note still features Omar al-Mukhtar, who fought against the Italian colonialists and was executed by the Italians in 1931. He was and is considered a national hero – by Gaddafi, even though he was from Benghazi – and particularly by the revolutionaries who named a brigade after him.

The old Libyan bank notes are to be gradually pulled from circulation.

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Ideas

Calmez-Vous, Americans: It's Quite OK To Call Us "The French"

A widely mocked tweet by the Associated Press tells its reporters to avoid dehumanizing labels such as "the poor" or "the French". But one French writer replies that the real dehumanizing threat is when open conversation becomes impossible.

Parisians sitting on a café terrasse.

Parisians sitting on a café terrasse.

Dirk Broddin on Flickr
Gaspard Koenig

-Essay-

PARIS — The largest U.S. news agency, the Associated Press (AP) tweeted a series of recommendations aimed at journalists: “We recommend avoiding general and often dehumanizing 'the' labels such as the poor, the mentally ill, the French, the disabled, the college-educated. Instead use, wording such as people with mental illnesses.”

The inclusion of “The French” in this list of groups likely to be offended has evoked well-deserved sarcasm. It finally gives me the opportunity to be part of a minority and to confirm at my own expense, while staying true to John Stuart Mill's conception of free speech: that offense is not a crime.

Offense should prompt quips, denial, mockery, and sometimes indifference. It engages conflict in the place where a civilized society accepts and cultivates it: in language.

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