Saturday Papers

It is another rainy Saturday and Nebraska has yet to kick-off, so I suppose we have time to at least temporarily resurrect our morning papers section of the blog.

By all accounts this weekend is shaping up to be some of the fiercest fighting to-date in Sa'dah. This News Yemen piece appears to confirm what I've been told.

My basic rule of thumb when it comes to demonstrations in Yemen is to cut the number of alleged protesters in half, but even applying that gives us some huge numbers when it comes to the October 14 protests in Radfan. Al-Jazeera is reporting that the Ministry of the Interior is banning demonstrations, which is not surprising but the 500,000 protesters are. My rule of thumb would suggest 250,000, which is much closer to the local estimates of 200,000 I heard.

The protests haven't gotten much news coverage because everyone if focused on the north, but this should remind us yet again that none of Yemen's crises take time off and this includes the al-Qaeda threat.

This brings us to this story from 'Ukaz on the recent shootout in Jazan in which two al-Qaeda suspects were killed. Still no information on their identities but 'Ukaz is suggesting that two were wearing suicide belts - more like vests - that they would detonate instead of being captured. This is, I think, not a good sign. (There isn't a great deal of breaking news in the story.)

Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Scientists just voted to change the definition of a kilogram

The definition of a kilogram will now be fixed to Planck's constant, a fundamental part of quantum physics.

Greg L via Wikipedia
Surprising Science
  • The new definition of a kilogram is based on a physical constant in quantum physics.
  • Unlike the current definition of a kilogram, this measurement will never change.
  • Scientists also voted to update the definitions of several other measurements in physics.
Keep reading Show less