Presumably there is more news than me finally being able to transfer al-Wahayshi's latest speech on to my i-pod so that I can listen to his creaking voice as I manuever around campus.
The news services are following what we have been reporting for a couple of days now, and saying that parliamentary elections will be delayed two years, which had no problem getting through parliament. Reuters' report is here and AFP is here.
In al-Sharq al-Awsat it is good to see Husayn al-Jarabani and Arafat Madabish working together.
Mareb Press and al-Hayat have stories about Salih's trip to Moscow and the negotiating over slashing a 1.2 billion dollar debt that Yemen owes Russia possibly in exchange for Russia getting a piece of an estimated $ 4 billion military modernization program. Here is an AFP story on the subject.
Included in the potential deal for Yemen would be a number of Mig 29s. Over the past few years Yemen has had a serious problem with these planes crashing. Khlalid al-Hammadi of al-Quds al-Arabi wrote an incredibly good investigative report on this for which he was later roughed up.
Last summer a Yemeni delegation to Russia failed to gain some much needed military hardware, which some have speculated led to the surprise cease-fire between President Salih and 'Abd al-Malik al-Huthi on July 17. (I wrote a report on this as well as Salih's maneuvering against Al- Muhsin al-Ahmar, portions of which I later presented at a conference. I can't find the report on-line so I can't really link to it.) Since then the government has been careful to distance itself from the conflict and maintain it on low-heat. But now that the elections have been postponed and it looks like Yemen is going to be getting some new military toys this could mean bad things for the conflict, particularly with the recent surge of fighting in al-Jawf.
It is foolish, of course, to predict the exact timing of renewed fighting, but certainly outside events are aligning to make renewed fighting more of a possibility than it has been since July.
In other news, News Yemen is also reporting that three individuals were arrested in San'a on Monday in a surprise raid on a house in the district. We'll see if we can get some names.
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In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.
- Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
- The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
- Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
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.
For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.
- In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
- This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
- Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
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