2. PHOTO: REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustaf

    September 14th marks day four of anti-U.S. protests sweeping across the Arab world. The escalating violence, stoked by an online movie trailer mocking Islam’s Prophet Mohammad, has left four dead in Libya, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. More deaths have been reported in Yemen. Indonesian and Afghani officials are working to keep a lid on protests in their countries by blocking the YouTube video fueling demonstrators’ anger.

    How far will the protests go, and where will they lead?

    (Source: theweek.com)


  3. newsflick:

    Snipers shoot protesters in Yemen

    Clashes between protesters and pro-regime forces in Yemen’s capital turned deadly today when government snipers started picking off protesters in the crowd.

    Monday’s killings take to nearly 50 the number of people killed by government forces and snipers since Sunday night. It is the bloodiest assault in months on demonstrators calling for the president’s ouster.

    Victims included a child and at least three soldiers who defected to join the protesters. They said three other protesters were wounded Monday by sniper fire near Sanaa University. (source)

    (Source: newsflick)


  4. The wave of popular uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East has already swept Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Tunisia’s Zine el Abidine Ben Ali from power. Now, everyone from Western leaders to Arab protesters to nervous autocrats across the Muslim world are wondering: Who’s next? Some possibilities:

    • BAHRAIN: King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa
      Protesters held an Egypt-style “day of rage” on Monday, and the “deep grievances” of the country’s poorer Shia Muslim minority make Bahrain “the most susceptible” of the Gulf states to popular revolt, says regional analyst Theodore Karasik, as quoted by Bloomberg Businessweek. King Hamad, part of the Sunni elite, tried to “bribe” each family in the country with thousands of dollars, but that may not be enough to pacify the protesters, says Ditz in Antiwar.com. Bahrain is “the biggest wild-card” in the region.
    • IRAN: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
      Mubarak’s fall has reinvigorated the passions that fueled the 2009 “Green Revolution,” which went largely underground after harsh government crackdowns. Thousands defied government warnings Monday and took to the streets in Tehran and other big cities, ostensibly in solidarity with Egyptians, but also shouting “death to the dictator.” The chance a full-scale uprising is “moderate,” says Mahanta in Mother Jones, but the odds of another crackdown are “tragically high.”
    • PALESTINE: President Mahmoud Abbas
      The day after Mubarak fell, Abbas and the ruling Fatah party scheduled long-overdue national elections for September, and on Monday the entire cabinet resigned. This shows that Abbas is “freaking out,” says Khaled Abu Toameh in The Jersusalm Post. “In the eyes of many Palestinians, Abbas is not much different from Hosni Mubarak,” and these acts of “desperation” are an attempt to keep Egypt’s “anti-government wave” from washing him out of power.

    Also, Algeria and Yemen. Read more here.


  5. Bowing to pressure from hordes of protestors in Cairo on Tuesday, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak agreed not to run in his country’s fall elections. Although Mubarak’s concession failed to quell unrest in the country, he’s not the only Middle Eastern leader grasping for ways to placate the revolutionary masses congregating in cities across the region. Here, a quick guide to how the embattled dictators are reacting:

    • The King of Jordan installs a new leader
      King Abdullah of Jordan dismissed Prime Minister Samir Rifai on Tuesday as protests in the oil-rich desert nation threatened to spiral out of control. Jordanians are angry about rising food prices and the country’s high levels of inflation and unemployment. But some doubt that the king’s new choice for prime minister, an ex-army general considered to be a member of the establishment, will satisfy protesters hungering for real change. “This has created a shock which will backfire more than help the current situation,” a Jordanian analyst told the BBC.
    • Syria offers political reform
      Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad is “nervous,” says Kenneth Bandler at Fox News. The 44-year-old dictator, who assumed power from his father in 2000, is offering unprecedented political reforms to the Syrian people, including municipal elections, “more power to non-governmental organizations,” and “a new media law.” Still, mass protests are planned for this weekend, and “Syria is looking more and more like a prime candidate to be the next Arab government to confront its own restless population.”
    • Libya and Algeria ban soccer games
      Fearful that organized soccer fans played a key role in orchestrating protests in Tunisia and Egypt, authorities in Libya and Algeria have scratched a number of games over the next weeks. Algeria’s game against Tunisia, scheduled for February 5, has been cancelled. Libya has suspended all soccer games indefinitely. “The cancellations are intended to prevent the pitch from becoming a platform for protests,” says James M. Dorsey at Bleacher Report.

    More here on how Saudi Arabia is pledging improvements, Sudan is stamping out dissent, and the Yemeni president is backing down.


  6. Yemen’s bomb plot

    Is al Qaeda behind the attempted bombing aboard a U.S.-bound plane, and are more to come?

    "I believe the threat is certainly ongoing."  -John Brennan Deputy National Security Adviser

    Yikes. More to come today about the details of the plot.