AFP Locates a New Word
Gregory Johnsen, a former Fulbright Fellow in Yemen, is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. Johnsen has written for a variety of publications on Yemen including, among others, Foreign Policy, The American Interest, The Independent, The Boston Globe, and The National. He is the co-founder of Waq al-Waq: Islam and Insurgency in Yemen Blog. In 2009, he was a member of the USAID's conflict assessment team for Yemen.
It is late on a Friday and things are getting a bit wild, as the AFP attempts to put a new spin on an old cliche, writing: "The authorities in Yemen, the ancestral home of Al-Qaeda supremo Osama bin Laden, ..." (My emphasis)
The article is about today's assassination of 'Abd al-Aziz Muhammad Bu 'Abbas, a security official in Mukalla. The AFP's description of two gunmen on a motorcycle conflicts with this report of three gunmen in a car from al-Tagheer.
Also of note is this post by Clint Watts over at Selected Wisdom. Clint makes the point I have been thinking about, but not blogging about, for the past few days. (Read his post.) Namely that the return of al-Fayfi to Saudi Arabia seems to have unearthed some intelligence nuggets related to two Saudis, Turki Saad Muhammad Qulays al-Shahrani and Ahmad 'Abd al-'Aziz Jasir al-Jasir. Yemen is offering 10,000 YR for information leading to their arrest, although to the best of my knowledge bounties and financial incentives have rarely worked in Yemen.
It would be interesting to know if cash rewards were the Yemeni government's idea or the result of outside influences. Also, while Yemen may be fronting the cash, I highly doubt that these two individuals are planning something in Yemen. For my money, these Saudis are looking farther afield. Maybe al-Fayfi's arrest is enough to spoil the pot.
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Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.
For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.
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