The Fog of War

Most of you should remember Muhammad al-'Awfi's - the former Guantanamo detainee and one time military commander of AQAP - confessions back in March of this year when he alleged that al-Qaeda and the Huthis had an alliance to strike at the Yemeni government. The confessions, as I mentioned at the time, were rather poorly staged, but the substance if not the form have continued. The Yemeni government has even extended its own domestic axis of evil to included the Southern Movement.

Now things are starting to come full circle, as the Huthis are allegeding that the Yemeni government is using al-Qaeda fighters against their own fighters in and around Sa'dah. This comes just as the Yemeni government is claiming that it has arrested five Iranians on a boat with weapons that were destined for the Huthis.

So if one believes the Yemeni government then the Huthis are allied with: al-Qaeda, Iran, Hezbullah, Shi'a in Bahrain and throughout the Middle East who are supporting their co-coreligionists in Yemen as well as Iraqi Shi'a in the Iraqi government.

If one believes the Huthis then the Yemeni government is allied with: al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia, former Iraqi officers loyal to Saddam Hussein (who are allegedly flying bombing raids) and the US.

(Various other smaller actors have allegedly played a role on both sides - but the ones above are the main ones.)

NYTimes exposé reveals how Facebook handled scandals

Delay, deny and deflect were the strategies Facebook has used to navigate scandals it's faced in recent years, according to the New York Times.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The exhaustive report is based on interviews with more than 50 people with ties to the company.
  • It outlines how senior executives misled the public and lawmakers in regards to what it had discovered about privacy breaches and Russian interference in U.S. politics.
  • On Thursday, Facebook cut ties with one of the companies, Definers Public Relations, listed in the report.
Keep reading Show less

Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

(VL.ru)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
Keep reading Show less

Unraveling the mystery behind dogs' floppy ears

Dogs' floppy ears may be part of why they and other domesticated animals love humans so much.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Nearly all domestic animals share several key traits in addition to friendliness to humans, traits such as floppy ears, a spotted coat, a shorter snout, and so on.
  • Researchers have been puzzled as to why these traits keep showing up in disparate species, even when they aren't being bred for those qualities. This is known as "domestication syndrome."
  • Now, researchers are pointing to a group of a cells called neural crest cells as the key to understanding domestication syndrome.
Keep reading Show less