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 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.)
- Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
- The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- 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.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.