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Posted at 9:29 AM ET, 02/23/2011

Libya protests, the Real Mayor Emanuel, and Christchurch earthquake

By Melissa Bell
new zealand quake
Murray and Kelly James look at their destroyed house in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Wednesday. Tuesday's magnitude-6.3 temblor collapsed buildings and caused other extensive damage. Seventy-five people have died and 300 are missing. (Mark Baker/AP)

International news: Libya violence

Foreign citizens have been fleeing Libya as violence continues in the capital of Tripoli. Hundreds of Libyans already have been killed in the conflict. The Post's Sudarsan Raghavan writes:

Facing a violent popular revolt backed by high-level defections, Moammar Gaddafi cast an ominous tone in his 70-minute address on Tuesday, referring to China's forceful response to the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests to suggest that his regime, too, would use as much force as necessary to stay in power.
"I will not leave the country," Gaddafi declared in the rambling televised speech, delivered from the remains of a presidential palace destroyed in a 1986 U.S. air raid. "I will die as a martyr at the end." He showed no remorse for attacks launched by his loyalists against his citizens, vowing instead to "cleanse Libya house by house."

International news: Lavish spending in Gaddafi family

From $1 million concerts by Mariah Carey to private militias, cables released by WikiLeaks reveal a Gaddafi clan torn by in-fighting and overspending. Scott Shane of the New York Times writes:

As the Qaddafi clan conducts a bloody struggle to hold onto power in Libya, cables obtained by WikiLeaks offer a vivid account of the lavish spending, rampant nepotism and bitter rivalries that have defined what a 2006 cable called "Qadhafi Incorporated," using the State Department's preference from the multiple spellings for Libya's troubled first family.

National news: Chicago's new mayor

Rahm Emanuel, former White House chief of staff, will soon be Mayor Emanuel in Chicago, thanks in part to a court challenge that claimed he did not have residency in Illinois. The Post's Karen Tumulty writes:

Emanuel won that challenge, which went all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court -- and in doing so with discipline and equanimity, he overcame some of the skepticism that had arisen from his reputation for arrogance. The episode also helped establish Emanuel's bona fides as a Chicagoan, despite the many years he spent as the ultimate Washington insider.
"They made a terrible mistake challenging his residency," said David Axelrod, a longtime Chicago political consultant who recently left the Obama White House, where he served as chief strategist. "Rahm isn't often a sympathetic figure, and they made him a sympathetic figure."

By Melissa Bell  | February 23, 2011; 9:29 AM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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