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.
While I've been busy thinking and blogging about drones these past few weeks, things on the ground have continued to evolve even if there hasn't been a great deal of movement.
Last week I gave two up-dates on the situation in Yemen the first to Robert Siegel of NPR's All Things Considered, you can listen here.
For the second I talked to Justin Elliott of Salon, who transcribed the interview here.
Also I highly recommend Robert Worth's excellent piece in the NY Times Magazine from this past Sunday. Yemen is a difficult place to get right, balancing competing narratives and different versions of events. Most journalists give one angle a go, but Worth covers several in this fascinating piece that, for my money, gets Yemen right.
Nearly a week ago, a British man was killed in Aden when his car exploded as he turned the ignition. No one has yet to claim responsibility.
On Sunday a suicide bomber, who has been identified as a Saudi (no confirmation from AQAP as of yet) drove his pick-up into a convoy of soldiers preparing to depart for Zanjubar, where militants have been fighting portions of what is left of Yemen's military.
And today, Nasir al-Wihayshi, the head of AQAP released a short 10 minute audio-tape, pledging allegiance to Ayman al-Zawahiri. Essentially confirming that AQAP's accepts him succeeding Osama bin Laden.
(I have only listened to the tape once, and have yet to read through the transcript, so there will be more commentary to come as well as notes from what looks to be a fascinating (Ar.) interview al-Masdar did with an officer in the 25th Mechanized, which is the military unit fighting in Zanjubar.)
Scientists have developed new ways of understanding how the biological forces of death drive important life processes.
- Researchers have found new ways on how decomposing plants and animals contribute to the life cycle.
- After a freak mass herd death of 300 reindeer, scientists were able to study a wide range of the decomposition processes.
- Promoting the necrobiome research will open up new areas of inquiry and even commerce.
What do we see from watching birds move across the country?
- A total of eight billion birds migrate across the U.S. in the fall.
- The birds who migrate to the tropics fair better than the birds who winter in the U.S.
- Conservationists can arguably use these numbers to encourage the development of better habitats in the U.S., especially if temperatures begin to vary in the south.
Explore how alcohol affects your brain, from the first sip at the bar to life-long drinking habits.
- Alcohol is the world's most popular drug and has been a part of human culture for at least 9,000 years.
- Alcohol's effects on the brain range from temporarily limiting mental activity to sustained brain damage, depending on levels consumed and frequency of use.
- Understanding how alcohol affects your brain can help you determine what drinking habits are best for you.
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