Monday Papers: or all three insurgencies

In today's version of the daily papers - late, as usual- I attempt to comment on all three of Yemen's security crises.

Al-Qaeda

First, up is the al-Qaeda threat and the finances of AQAP. I commented yesterday on the cell phone video featuring AQAP's deputy commander and former Guantanamo detainee Said Ali al-Shihri, and I believe that this helps to shed a bit of light on what is known about the group's financial recruiting attempts.

I should point out that I don't think that this shows that the group is hurting for cash, anyone who watches the videos should understand this. It seems as though these cell videos are recorded and kept on a phone and then that phone is sent with an individual or group into Saudi Arabia where they are shown to potential donors. This helps AQAP avoid detection that would come through using cell phones to place calls or e-mail. Instead, the group uses the cell phone as a hand held camera that is then hand delivered to multiple recipients. This style matches what I was told in Yemen about AQAP members using cell phone videos to help with recruitment among the tribes, which I mentioned in my latest article for the CTC Sentinel.

Another aspect of the cell phone videos, although I think this applies more to propaganda than it does to soliciting aid is taking a video to a mall in Saudi where everyone has their Blue Tooth on and sending it out that way. But, again, I don't think this is the case with video's like al-Shihri's.

Huthis

Al-Sharq al-Awsat is reporting on the deaths of three commanders from Yemen's list of 55.

Strangely, the last name, Husayn Da'an, does not show up on the list of 55 that I possess. (It is not beyond the realm of possibility that there are multiple lists.)

One of my new favorite blogs - The Boursa Exchange - weighs in with part two of their translation of the interview with 'Abd al-Malik al-Huthi. Their new found interest in Yemen - even if only temporarily has earned them a coveted spot on Waq al-waq's blogroll. Congratulations.

South

Well, we hadn't heard about any problems in the south for a while and so it seems someone figured now was as good a time as any to join the party. Who exactly, depends on the source. Some - the government - claims that al-Fadhli's followers stole a car and some - al-Fadhli - claim that the government attempted to arrest a member of al-Fadhli's family.

Marib Press and News Yemen weigh in.


Never the Twain Shall Meet

Finally, it seems that what Waq al-waq brought to the English-speaking world's notice yesterday has captured the attention and, dare I say, imagination of a few journalists. Nothing like the death of a former Guantanamo Bay detainee to send folks scrambling. Let me just add a few words of caution - first, no one seems to know what is going on besides the fact that these bodies were found near the old city of Sa'dah (found does not mean killed there and two Saudis is not a comprehensive list). So I would be wary of following the reporting that they were killed fighting with the Huthis against the government. As we used to say back home - that dog don't hunt.

But rest assured in my massive amount of free time I am checking out the rumors and separating fact from fiction.

Befriend your ideological opposite. It’s fun.

Step inside the unlikely friendship of a former ACLU president and an ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice.

Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia were unlikely friends. They debated each other at events all over the world, and because of that developed a deep and rewarding friendship – despite their immense differences.
  • Scalia, a famous conservative, was invited to circles that were not his "home territory", such as the ACLU, to debate his views. Here, Strossen expresses her gratitude and respect for his commitment to the exchange of ideas.
  • "It's really sad that people seem to think that if you disagree with somebody on some issues you can't be mutually respectful, you can't enjoy each other's company, you can't learn from each other and grow in yourself," says Strossen.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Keep reading Show less

3 ways to find a meaningful job, or find purpose in the job you already have

Learn how to redesign your job for maximum reward.

Videos
  • Broaching the question "What is my purpose?" is daunting – it's a grandiose idea, but research can make it a little more approachable if work is where you find your meaning. It turns out you can redesign your job to have maximum purpose.
  • There are 3 ways people find meaning at work, what Aaron Hurst calls the three elevations of impact. About a third of the population finds meaning at an individual level, from seeing the direct impact of their work on other people. Another third of people find their purpose at an organizational level. And the last third of people find meaning at a social level.
  • "What's interesting about these three elevations of impact is they enable us to find meaning in any job if we approach it the right way. And it shows how accessible purpose can be when we take responsibility for it in our work," says Hurst.
Keep reading Show less

Physicist advances a radical theory of gravity

Erik Verlinde has been compared to Einstein for completely rethinking the nature of gravity.

Photo by Willeke Duijvekam
Surprising Science
  • The Dutch physicist Erik Verlinde's hypothesis describes gravity as an "emergent" force not fundamental.
  • The scientist thinks his ideas describe the universe better than existing models, without resorting to "dark matter".
  • While some question his previous papers, Verlinde is reworking his ideas as a full-fledged theory.
Keep reading Show less

UPS has been discreetly using self-driving trucks to deliver cargo

TuSimple, an autonomous trucking company, has also engaged in test programs with the United States Postal Service and Amazon.


PAUL RATJE / Contributor
Technology & Innovation
  • This week, UPS announced that it's working with autonomous trucking startup TuSimple on a pilot project to deliver cargo in Arizona using self-driving trucks.
  • UPS has also acquired a minority stake in TuSimple.
  • TuSimple hopes its trucks will be fully autonomous — without a human driver — by late 2020, though regulatory questions remain.
Keep reading Show less