Thursday Papers: If You Want Peace, here are the Conditions

Today's papers are full of news of the continuing conflict in the North. In English Heather Murdock has this curious offering from the Global Post in which she kills off 'Abd al-Malik al-Huthi. Hmmm.

On the other end of the spectrum Khaled Fattah gives us this in-depth piece on the roots of the Huthi conflict. As usual I don't necessarily agree with everything Khaled says - and al-Wadi'i died in 2001 - but his explanation of the far-reaching consequences of the US-led "War on terror" is a good antidote to my tendency to focus so exclusively on the local roots of the conflict. I would highly recommend this piece for anyone looking to make sense of the fighting.

In Arabic, Mareb Press has this article discussing a call from Shaykh Husayn Ahmad al-'Arwali of Abyan for a new mediation team headed by Ahmad Ali, the president's son, and Ali Nasir Muhammad, the former President of South Yemen. Anybody for odds on the likelihood of this happening? (Also I am having difficulty locating this tribe on my personal tribal map - yes, I have one - anyone with any more information?)

Al-Jazeera also has this report from Murad Hashim - its brave correspondent in Yemen who continues to file reports despite death threats and as he watches his colleagues get picked off by security goons - on the visit to parliament of Yemeni officials to explain the war in Sa'dah.

My favorite part is in the video when Rashad al-'Alimi says in reference to the Huthis: "You want peace? Ok, here are the conditions. But they refused." As if it was as simple as that, or as if the conditions were really a good faith effort at starting negotiations as opposed to providing the thinnest of diplomatic covers for the government's continuing operations in the north.

Meanwhile, the government claims that it has arrested three arms dealers in the north - no names provided - while the Huthis claim they have taken over Minabbih, which is about 90 kilometers northwest of the capital, Sa'dah. The district has traditionally been under the leadership of the Banu Minabbih clan of the Khawlan bin 'Amir tribe.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Why are so many objects in space shaped like discs?

It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?

Videos
  • Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
  • Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
  • Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.

This is the best (and simplest) world map of religions

Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.

(c) CLO / Carrie Osgood
Strange Maps
  • At a glance, this map shows both the size and distribution of world religions.
  • See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
  • There's one country in the Americas without a Christian majority – which?
Keep reading Show less
Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

Do human beings have a magnetic sense? Biologists know other animals do. They think it helps creatures including bees, turtles and birds navigate through the world.

Keep reading Show less