Wednesday Papers:

Al-Sharq al-Awsat leads the way today with this article about the trial of the 16 members of al-Qaeda currently on trial in San'a. The article, following the government's designation, labels them all as members of one cell, but they are actually individuals who have been arrested in various parts of the country over the previous year and as such are actually parts of different cells. Also, I believe Husayn al-Jarabani makes a mistake in writing that Hamza al-Qu'ayti was killed along with five of his comrades in the August raid in Tarim, there were actually five killed in total, including al-Qu'ayti. But look for a verdict (possibly) in July.

There is also this article by Mohammed al-Qadhi, who consistently has some of the best reporting on Yemen in English, on the problems of the south. There isn't really much new here, but it is a good overview of the continuing problems.

But 'Abd al-Rahman al-Jifiri has this quote in the piece:

"What is happening now is more serious than what happened in 1994 due to the increasingly mobilised hatred between southern and northern people."

Finally there is this story from NPR's Dina Temple-Raston on 'Abd al-Hakim Muhammad, who shot two soldiers in Little Rock last week. Muhammad is supposed to have studied at Dammaj under Yahya al-Hajuri, in what is yet another black-eye for the Salafi institute in the north. I also find it hard to believe that he was arrested for having an expired visa or even carrying a Somali passport - as one simply doesn't get arrested in Yemen for either of these things, at most a small fine would take care of the problem. In all likelihood, he was carrying a number of other things that haven't come out in the media, which would explain why he was arrested initially in Yemen.

This case, I think, also brings out a real dilemma for law enforcement in attempting to prevent crimes before they happen. It appears the FBI was well aware of this individual but he was not guilty of committing a crime until he acted.

Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
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How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
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Scientists just voted to change the definition of a kilogram

The definition of a kilogram will now be fixed to Planck's constant, a fundamental part of quantum physics.

Greg L via Wikipedia
Surprising Science
  • The new definition of a kilogram is based on a physical constant in quantum physics.
  • Unlike the current definition of a kilogram, this measurement will never change.
  • Scientists also voted to update the definitions of several other measurements in physics.
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