Tomorrow's Papers Today
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.
After a long day of reading about the Yemeni civil war - the one in 1994 not in 1962 - I treated myself to a quick scan of the pan-Arab daily papers, which I usually save for a morning treat with my coffee. But I couldn't resist today. There isn't much, particularly since al-Hayat continues to give my computer fits. But Arafat Madabish has this piece in al-Sharq al-Awsat on the kidnappings.
mouth. (The Minister of Information for those just joining us.) But the one thing that struck me was his There isn't much here that we didn't discuss this morning - arrests of 40 plus and so on - although government accusations against the Huthis seem particularly weak in al-Lawzi's dismissal of al-Qaeda as the perpetrators because they haven't put out a statement. I've heard this same refrain from a number of Yemenis both inside and outside of the government in recent days.
I would caution them all to have a little patience. Al-Qaeda rarely puts out statements on the schedule favored by editors and analysts. (Remember the attack on the US Embassy back in September? Most news outlets were running with, what I believed to be a false, claim from Islamic Jihad. That was pre-Waq al-waq days, but here is a link to a post I wrote for Jihadica.)
Whatever this was and is - and we still don't know much - it is far from over. What is certain is that it is a new development in Yemen, and as such it should not be expected to fit earlier patterns of behavior, particularly from al-Qaeda. For quite a while I argued that al-Qaeda in Yemen had developed a pattern of linking its rhetoric to its attacks. That is, it often followed statements or journals with an attack. This held for a while, but the group eventually changed tactics as the government started issuing warnings and taking precautions in the wake of al-Qaeda statements and new issues of Sada al-Malahim.
One of AQAP's strengths, and what makes it so different from its precursors in Yemen, is its ability to adapt and change its tactics. So in this case, I still believe, that just because we haven't seen a statement from AQAP doesn't mean it wasn't involved. This isn't to say that the organization definitely was involved (although whether it was or not, the attack fits the group's narrative) simply that it is still much too early to be ruling out potential perpetrators.
How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.
While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.
A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.
We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.
Using advanced laser technology, scientists at NASA will track global changes in ice with greater accuracy.
Leaving from Vandenberg Air Force base in California this coming Saturday, at 8:46 a.m. ET, the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 — or, the "ICESat-2" — is perched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, and when it assumes its orbit, it will study ice layers at Earth's poles, using its only payload, the Advance Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS).
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