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In Libya, Clinton pledges support, more aid BY JOBY WARRICK

Washington Post Service


Gilad Shalit is flanked by his father Noam Schalit, right, and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he arrives at an air base in southern Israel. Below, released Palestinian prisoners are greeted by their children in Ramallah. BY ETHAN BRONNER AND STEPHEN FARRELL

New York Times Service

JERUSALEM — In an elaborate prisoner exchange that could roil Middle East politics, an Israeli soldier held for more than five years by the militant Palestinian group Hamas was swapped on Tuesday for hundreds of Palestinians who have spent many years in Israeli jails, all them freed to jubilant welcomes tinged with bitterness and grief. Buses transporting the Palestinian prisoners — the first group


Mixed reactions on both side of the border as Israel and Palestine swap prisoners of what will eventually number more than 1,000 — made their way into Egypt, which helped broker the exchange, and from there to the West Bank and Gaza Strip where relatives and celebrations awaited.

given a medical check up and declared in good health. Looking pale and thin, he changed into a military uniform and was flown by helicopter to an Israeli military air base where he was reunited with his family and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Today we are all united in joy and in pain,” Netanyahu said shortly after in a televised address from the base, Tel Nof, south of Tel Aviv. The question of whether the exchange would lead to more

The soldier, Sgt. First Class Gilad Shalit, 25, was taken from Gaza, where he had been held since Palestinian militants abducted him in a cross-border raid in 2006, into Egypt and from there to Israel, where he was • TURN TO SWAP, 2A

TRIPOLI, Libya — In a historic visit punctuated by celebratory gunfire and cries of “God is great,” U.S. Secretary of State Clinton toured the Libyan capital Tuesday to pledge continued U.S. support for a transitional government still struggling to consolidate control over the warravaged country. Clinton, the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Libya since the ouster of autocratic leader Moammar Gadhafi in August, offered Libyan leaders practical and financial help on a wide range of fronts, from rebuilding the economy to caring for the country’s war-wounded to rounding up thousands of anti-aircraft missiles that have gone missing amid the chaos of recent fighting. But she also warned of lingering dangers, including the risk of prolonged resistance by Gadhafi loyalists as well as the possibility that democracy could be usurped before it has time to take root. “We are still at the point where liberation has not yet been claimed because of ongoing conflict,” Clinton told reporters at a joint news conference with Mahmoud Jibril, the prime minister of Libya’s interim national council. “There has to be a resolution before many of these programs can be put into action.” As she spoke, there were fresh reminders of the challenges facing the interim government as it seeks to bring normalcy and order to the battered country after decades of dictatorship. In the Gadhafi stronghold city of Sirte, pro-Gadhafi forces repelled new assaults by revolutionary militias seeking to eliminate one of the last remaining holdouts of the former government. In Tripoli, control over parts of the city remained divided among rival militia groups, some of whom have resisted the idea of disarming and returning to civilian life. Clinton said that the U.S. and Libyan governments remain focused • TURN TO LIBYA, 2A


Bureaucracy in Greece defies efforts to cut it BY SUZANNE DALEY

New York Times Service

eral critical austerity measures are coming up for votes in Parliament, including one that would cut 30,000 public sector jobs. Some experts believe that Greece could reap significant savings by reducing its bureaucracy, which employs one out of five workers in the country and by some estimates could be trimmed by as much as a third without materially affecting services. But though salaries have been cut, the government has yet to lay off anyone. The main reason is also one of the very reasons that Greece got into trouble in the first place: The government is in many ways an army of patronage appointments built up over decades. When election time rolls around, state workers become campaign workers, and their reach is enormous. There are so many of them that almost every family has one. This puts the Socialist prime minister, George A. Papandreou,

ATHENS — Stories of eyepopping waste and abuse of power among Greece’s bureaucrats are legion, including officials who hire their wives, and managers who submit $38,000 bills for office curtains. The workforce in Greece’s Parliament is so bloated, according to a local press investigation, that some employees do not even bother to come to work because there are not enough places for all of them to sit. But as Europe looks for any sign of hope that Greece is on the road to reform, there are growing concerns about its ability — and willingness — to trim its payroll, a crucial element in bringing expenses under control enough to win continued international financing. This week the government’s resolve will be tested once again. Greece’s two major umbrella unions have called for a rare 48-hour general strike, and sev- • TURN TO GREECE, 2A


Animated film roils Tunisia before elections BY DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

New York Times Service

TUNIS, Tunisia — In the final week of the first election campaign of the Arab Spring, political discourse in Tunisia has been all but consumed by contention over the television broadcast of an animated film, Persepolis, which touched off accusations of heresy and censorship. In a campaign that people here

often describe in terms of a choice between East and West, the debate has come closer than any poll to identifying the political center, underscoring why so many expect a victory for Tunisia’s mainstream Islamist party, Ennahda. The episode began when a relatively small group of ultraconservative Islamists attacked the television station that had broadcast the 2007 film, about a Muslim girl

growing up in post-revolutionary Iran, because of a scene in which she rails at God. He is depicted as she imagines him, violating an Islamic injunction against personifying him. But it soon became clear that ultraconservatives were hardly the only ones offended. The broadcast has touched a nerve among a far • TURN TO TUNISIA, 2A

A scene from ‘Persepolis’. MCT




INDEX THE AMERICAS ...........4A U.S. NEWS.....................5A OPINION........................7A COMICS & PUZZLES ...6B

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THE MIAMI HERALD 19 de Octubre  

The Miami Herald 19 de Octubre

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