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.
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.
Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.
- To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
- Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
- There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.
Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco!
Swiss researchers identify new dangers of modern cocaine.
- Cocaine cut with anti-worming adulterant levamisole may cause brain damage.
- Levamisole can thin out the prefrontal cortex and affect cognitive skills.
- Government health programs should encourage testing of cocaine for purity.
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