Libya's first election in 60 years began today amid joy and purple fingers. But militia violence, an absence of strong institutions, and a tussle between Federalism and a strong central government, loom large.
The ability of transitional leaders to rein in the scores of militias that helped oust Muammar Qaddafi will signal how capable they are of governing the new Libya.
Libya rebels are amassing to the east and west of Sirte, and have given Qaddafi forces in the strategic city until Saturday to surrender.
After taking the oil towns of Brega and Ras Lanuf, Libyan rebels are trying to persuade Sirte residents to lay down their arms. The city, Qaddafi's hometown, is one of the regime's last holdouts.
How the rebels address immediate challenges – including regional and tribal divisions, as well as a thirst among some for revenge – will signal their ability to govern fairly in a new Libya.
Rebel leaders based in the east are heading to Tripoli to strengthen their claim as the legitimate government of Libya. But their credibility has been shaken by inaccurate statements about rebel achievements.
The two photojournalists Hetherington and Hondros, both men at the top of their craft, were among 10 people killed in the western Libyan city of Misurata yesterday.
While most experts say Qaddafi is grossly exaggerating the influence of Al Qaeda, new questions are being raised about its true scope as Washington debates arming the opposition.
Reports from Libya are a constant flurry of cities gained and lost by Muammar Qaddafi's forces and rebel troops, and it's hard to keep track if you don't know where these cities are or why they matter. Here's an quick explanation, with cities listed west to east.