In much the same way Hosni Mubarak (former president of Egypt) constantly and consistently made the argument that he was the only thing standing between Egypt and a radical Islamic takeover of the country, President Ali Abdullah Salih of Yemen is arguing that he is the only thing preventing Yemen from sliding into chaos.
Outsiders without much experience in Yemen, who look at the country, may wonder how anyone could believe him, after all Yemen has an on-again, off-again civil war in the north, a vibrant al-Qaeda franchise, and increasingly active secessionist movement in the south. Not to mention a horrible economy, a lack of jobs, and, well the list goes on and on and on. And on. (nothing like beating a dead horse.)
But of course (and I've been accused of taking a Malthusian tone towards Yemen) things could always be worse. And in Yemen, they could be a lot worse.
It is important to remember that is not just an argument - Salih or chaos - that the president is making to western powers, this is also something he is saying in Arabic and trying to convince tribal leaders and other dignitaries of the truth of his claim. We'll see if they're buying what he is selling.
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A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.
- Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
- The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
- Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
It's one factor that can help explain the religiosity gap.
- Sociologists have long observed a gap between the religiosity of men and women.
- A recent study used data from several national surveys to compare religiosity, risk-taking preferences and demographic information among more than 20,000 American adolescents.
- The results suggest that risk-taking preferences might partly explain the gender differences in religiosity.
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