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Geopolitics

For Libya's Tripoli, A Second Revolutionary Spring Is Just Beginning

As Libya marks the first anniversary of the Benghazi uprising, revelers in Tripoli find themselves in a state of limbo – happy to be free from Muammar Gaddafi, confused by the sudden changes and uncertain about how reconciliation will play out.

Richard Werly

TRIPOLI -- From his office overlooking the sea, Hamid can see three business buildings built on Muammar Gaddafi's orders as symbols of the country's modernity. The nearly empty skyscrapers taunt the rest of the capital and its lack of infrastructure, its paltry public transport and its ancient colonial-era sewage system. Off to the other side is the Mediterranean, which is somewhat hidden now by a belt of trash and haphazard constructions - evidence that for now, at least, no real state authority has risen to replace the defeated dictator.

The city, however, is safe. Despite all the electronic equipment in Hamid's office, the doors remain wide open and there are no guards. Some employees came in to work despite the extra holiday, which was scheduled to mark the anniversary of Benghazi's uprising on Feb. 17, 2011. "There's a lot we have to learn, and we have to learn it fast," says Hamid.

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Mariateresa Fichele

Fifteen years ago, Francesco kept busy by scamming people. He was a regular visitor to the beaches of Terracina, south of Rome, where he was caught several times selling counterfeit Ray-Ban sunglasses. Then came the drugs, which fed a serious substance-induced psychosis and eventually he tested positive for HIV.

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