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Geopolitics

Libya After Gaddafi: End Of A 40-Year Saga, Start Of A Shaky Future

Analysis: A violent military demise was fitting for Gaddafi who ruled that way for four decades. But the war to oust him has decimated the nation, and divisions among Gaddafi opponents create uncertainty both for Libya's new leaders and Western p

Can Libya move on from its bloody past? (Abode of Chaos)
Can Libya move on from its bloody past? (Abode of Chaos)

Politically, Muammar Gaddafi had been dead for a long time. He had virtually no friends left in Liyba, or among world leaders. Even at the height of his powers, he was an embarrassment to other Arab nations. His followers in Libya, whether sincere or opportunistic, distanced themselves from him as it became clear over the past few months that, thanks to military support from NATO, the rebels were sure to topple him.

But until the end, fantasy played a bigger role for Gaddafi than reality. He hadn't been seen in public since National Transitional Council (NTC) fighters and tribal warriors from the western part of the country captured Libya's capital, Tripoli, on August 23. Despite that, he continued to broadcast messages from the underground that forces loyal to him – who, towards the end, were centered mostly in his hometown of Sirte – would soon be vanquishing the traitors.

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Society

End Of Roe v. Wade: Will It Spark Anti-Abortion Momentum Around The World?

Pro-life activists celebrated the end of the U.S. right to abortion, hoping it will trigger a new debate on a topic that in some places had largely been settled: in favor a woman’s right to choose. But it could also boomerang.

Thousands of people demonstrate against abortion in Madrid

Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou and Shaun Lavelle

The Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling establishing a constitutional right to abortion put the United States at the forefront of abortion rights in the world.

Other countries would follow suit in the succeeding years, with France legalizing abortion in 1975, Italy in 1978, and Ireland finally joining most of the rest of Europe with a landslide 2018 referendum victory for women’s right to choose. Elsewhere, parts of Asia and Africa have made incremental steps toward legalizing abortion, while a growing number of Latin American countries have joined what has now been a decades-long worldwide shift toward more access to abortion rights.

But now, 49 years later, with last Friday’s landmark overturning of Roe v. Wade, will the U.S. once again prove to be ahead of the curve? Will American cultural and political influence carry across borders on the abortion issue, reversing the momentum of recent years?

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