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ARABICA - A Daily Shot Of What the Arab World is Saying/Hearing/Sharing

GADDAFEED Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi delivered a virulent, often rambling television address, directly threatening violence against his people and declaring himself "the eternal leader of the revolution."

A R A B I C A ارابيكا

By Kristen Gillespie

GADDAFEED Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi delivered a virulent, often rambling television address, directly threatening violence against his people and declaring himself "the eternal leader of the revolution." Shouting often, repeatedly wiping his mouth with a red handkerchief and pausing for water, Gaddafi declared that he would die a "martyr" rather than being forced out of the country.

Al Jazeera, which regularly broadcasts Osama bin Laden's statements in full, for unknown reasons cut the feed about halfway through the speech, during which Gaddafi alternately blamed the Arab media, foreign entities, and drugged youth for fomenting unrest and tarnishing the image of Libya. The protesters have until Wednesday to clear the streets, Gaddafi said, after which time he vowed the execution of the "enemies of Libya."

LOCAL REAX

*@samihtoukan: "Gaddafi: He who kills an innocent person kills all humanity!"

*from Zantan, in west Libya, this sign reads: "Let the repressive Gaddafi fall. As long as he is in power, we are prepared to die." It is signed by "the people of Zantan."

*3alarasi.com has a cartoon of what it calls "free Libya." The word "Libya" is spelled out in white writing, as the hands on either end break the chain.

*One of the Arab world's most influential clerics, Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradwi, called on Libyan soldiers to put a bullet in the leader if given the chance. "Any officer or soldier who can kill Gaddafi…if any one of them can fire a bullet and free the great people of Libya from the evil of that dangerous man should do it." Qaradawi is an Egyptian cleric based in Doha who hosts Al Jazeera's "Sharia law and life" program.

ET AL, UP CLOSE

*Egypt: @waelabbas: "The number of people in Tahrir Square is growing."

*Bahrain: An estimated 30,000 people gathered in Bahrain's capital in response to the opposition's call for protests. Demonstrators chanted, "No Shiite or Sunni – only Bahraini" and "down with the regime," reports CNN Arabic. The protest follows a major concession by Bahrain's King Hamad on Monday to release an unspecified number of political prisoners.

*Yemen: Protests continued for the 12th straight day, spreading to the eastern part of the country. Thousands of demonstrators have a single demand: the resignation of 32-year-incumbent Ali Abdullah Saleh. Reuters Arabic reported on an unnamed woman covered in black from head to toe who climbed up to the platform at the protest in the capital of Sanaa and told the crowd of mostly men: "I am a woman from the eastern province of Marib. And we hold more than anyone to our traditions. But I call on you to let your women join the protests." The crowd responded by chanting, "We want the regime to fall," the rallying cry heard these days across the Arab world.

Feb. 22, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Missiles And Euphoria: The Folly Of War On Full Display In Kharkiv

As Ukraine's counter-offensive gathers steam, the city of Kharkiv is targeted by Putin's forces. Here's a view from up close, during heavy shelling that has sparked power and water outrages, even as the liberation of territory sets off scenes of joy and elation.

Russian shelling destroyed a residential building in Kharkiv in early September 2022.

Ivanna Skyba-Yakubova

KHARKIV — For several years, a woman has been sitting on the corner of my street selling flowers almost every day. On Sep. 9, our neighborhood was shelled for the first time – and have no doubt that an hour and a half after the missile hit our street, she was sitting right there in her usual place. People were cleaning up broken glass and cutting tree branches 50 meters from her. Some came to buy flowers.

In some way, this is all you need to know about life right now in Kharkiv.

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We are hostages of geography: the time it takes for the missile to reach Kharkiv from Belgorod, Russia, as air defense officers tell us, is 43 seconds. None of our existing defense systems are able to prevent their arrival in our neighborhood.

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