NPR News

Goodbye, Gadhafi: A Dream Made Into Reality

Oct 20, 2011

Sarah Burshan is a student at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Thursday, Oct. 20 is a day I will never forget.

My brother woke me up at 5 a.m. He kept repeating, "They got him, they caught Gadhafi!" I was so dazed, I didn't believe it. A world without Moammar Gadhafi? It seemed too good to be true.

Moammar Gadhafi proved true to his word that he would remain in Libya and "die as a martyr," though his final hours were an ignominious end for a man who long ruled from a fortress-like compound in the heart of Tripoli.

His last moments were reportedly spent holed up in a culvert under a road in his hometown of Sirte as loyalist forces waged a losing battle to keep control of the city.

Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice held a special place for Col. Moammar Gadhafi. We know that because he once referred to her her as "my darling black African woman," and said, "I love her very much."

We also know that because after he was toppled, his compound was ransacked and among the things found was a scrapbook packed with photos of Rice.

This past summer, two assassinations paralyzed the southern Afghan city of Kandahar with fears of a power vacuum.

In the first incident, President Hamid Karzai's half-brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, considered the unofficial kingpin of the south, was gunned down in July by a close associate. Two weeks later, a Taliban assassin killed the city's mayor, Ghulam Hamidi, with a bomb concealed in his turban.

Gadhafi ruled Libya for more than four decades with an iron fist. Gadhafi was a complex, often brutal leader with a grand vision of himself — one he displayed up until the final moments of his leadership.

With NBC's Grimm, the ABC series Once Upon A Time makes two new fairy tale-based shows premiering on network television within a week. That, plus a movie release schedule peppered with fairy tale remakes, raises a question: What's put them in the zeitgeist?

Commuters on Northern California's I-80, which connects the Bay Area to Sacramento, saw something unexpected early this morning. Two rigs collided and about 5,000 chickens spilled onto the highway near Vacaville.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

More than 13,000 years ago, hairy elephant-like creatures with giant tusks roamed North America. These mastodons were hunted by some of the earliest people to live here, and scientists recently learned a bit more about those mysterious cultures by taking a new look at an old mastodon bone.

Mitt Romney's current run for the White House has not included a big presence in the first state that will actually vote: Iowa, which holds its caucuses on Jan. 3.

He failed to meet expectations at the Iowa caucuses in 2008. So for 2012, his campaign has focused instead on New Hampshire as the key to a series of primary victories that, they believe, will result in the former Massachusetts governor winning the GOP nomination.

Moammar Gadhafi was killed in the crossfire of a battle between his supporters and fighters loyal to the opposition that topped the dictator's regime, Libya's interim prime minister told NPR this afternoon.

"Nobody can tell if the [fatal] shot was from the rebel fighters or from his own security guard," Interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril told All Things Considered host Robert Siegel.

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