Saudi diplomats evacuated from Yemen

March 28th, 2015 No comments

Saudi Arabia evacuates its diplomats from Yemen as a Saudi-led coalition carries out a third night of air strikes.
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"The Breathtaking Beauty of Yemen"

March 28th, 2015 No comments

In a 40-year career of dealing with the Middle East from Morocco to the Gulf, one of my few regrets is that I have never had the privilege of setting foot in Yemen.

But as that country with so rich  a history descends into war, here’s a wonderful slideshow;“The Breathtaking Beauty of Yemen.” Do yourself a favor and look it over.


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Comment on How GOP threats against Iran have Guaranteed end of European Sanctions by super390

March 28th, 2015 No comments

Americans are taught by their schools to despise mercantilism as a violation of free enterprise.

However, mercantilism seems to have a successful track record – if you can play the current global hegemon for a sucker. Japan and Germany were screwed after 1929, when the Depression caused a trade war that let the status quo empires survive by exploiting their colonies and left others lusting for empires of their own. Yet ironically Japan and Germany could be said to have won World War 2 by assaulting those empires and putting the US on top, since the US replaced that failed system with free trade, but then actually bent it over to favor postwar Japan’s rebuilding due to the Cold War. This created a blueprint for South Korea and Taiwan; proclaim your anticommunism, collect US aid, and use its clout to gain access to world markets while dumping goods on US markets and destroying its industries.

China’s new mercantilism, therefore, is far more aggressive than its old one. But it’s working. Maybe this is always how it worked; the US played free trade Victorian Britain for a sucker and exploited the Royal Navy’s protection of global trade routes. I’m wondering now if American states and cities ran these same games against each other, who would win?

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Comment on What’s Religion Got to do with it? German Co-Pilot as Terrorist by super390

March 28th, 2015 No comments

“Norwegian Anders Breivik was a white supremacist terrorist.”

Not in the American media he isn’t. He’s already forgotten here, because he doesn’t fit the narrative. We have a duty to make points about the sinister intentions behind this double standard.

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Fresh air strikes hit Yemen rebels

March 28th, 2015 No comments

Warplanes from a Saudi-led coalition bomb Yemen for a third night, targeting Shia Houthi rebels as they advance in and around the port of Aden.
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Sudan and the Saudi Coalition: Cooling to Iran, Warming to KSA

March 28th, 2015 No comments

Some are expressing surprise that Sudan is contributing aircraft and even ground troops  to the Saudi-led coalition bombing the Houthis in Yemen. Sudan has relatively few good friends in the region, and in the past has been one of the rare Sunni Arab countries to maintain friendly relations with Iran. (Oman, which is partly Ibadi, also does, but is not actively participating in the coalition.)

 Sudanese President Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court, though Egypt has welcomed him on visits in the past and this week he visited King Salman in Saudi Arabia. Gulf press reports have said that Sudan has deployed either two or three aircraft to the coalition, and there are also reports that it has offered ground troops.

Interpreting this as “Sudan changes sides,” as some are doing, is probably an exaggeration of reality. As a Red Sea country whose main oil exports pass through the pipeline terminal at Port Sudan, Sudan, like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, obviously has concerns about the stability in Yemen. But its participation is a bit surprising: Egypt and Saudi Arabia are extremely close in the Sisi era, and all the GCC states except Qatar and Oman are also predictable (and Qatar is on board with the coalition. Pakistan has close military ties with the Saudis, and Jordan and Morocco are also frequent allies of their fellow conservative monarchies in the GCC.

But Sudan, despite its obvious concerns as a Red Sea littoral state, is not the most obvious volunteer. But the country’s economy is a mess and Bashir is internationally ostracized. It may seem cynical to suggest that the sudden enthusiasm for Saudi Arabia is financially motivated, but Sudan is the least obvious member of the coalition.
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Ellen Pao Loses Silicon Valley Bias Case Against Kleiner Perkins – New York Times

March 28th, 2015 No comments

New York Times
Ellen Pao Loses Silicon Valley Bias Case Against Kleiner Perkins
New York Times
SAN FRANCISCO — One of Silicon Valley's most prominent venture capital firms prevailed Friday over a former partner in a closely watched suit alleging gender discrimination — even after a hiccup over one claim delayed the verdict. The plaintiff, Ellen Pao, …
Ellen Pao loses sex bias case against KleinerUSA TODAY
Ellen Pao Loses Gender Discrimination Suit Against Kleiner PerkinsHuffington Post
Ellen Pao trial: Jury rules for Kleiner Perkins — mostlySan Jose Mercury News
Wall Street Journal -ABC News -Los Angeles Times
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Italian court acquits Knox and Sollecito of Kercher murder – BBC News

March 27th, 2015 No comments

BBC News
Italian court acquits Knox and Sollecito of Kercher murder
BBC News
Italy's top appeals court has overturned the convictions of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of UK student Meredith Kercher. The decision is the final ruling in the long-running case. The pair were found guilty in 2009, then freed in 2011 after …
Amanda Knox murder conviction overturned by Italy high courtWashington Post
Amanda Knox murder conviction overturned by Italian courtNew York Daily News
Amanda Knox Case: Italian Court Overturns Murder ConvictionNBCNews.com
CNN -ABC News -Reuters UK
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Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz declared ‘unfit to work,’ officials say – CNN

March 27th, 2015 No comments

Channel 4 News
Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz declared 'unfit to work,' officials say
CNN
(CNN) Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz was hiding an illness from his employers and had been declared "unfit to work" by a doctor, according to German authorities investigating what could have prompted the seemingly competent and stable pilot to …
The Latest: Church service in Duesseldorf for crash familiesWashington Post
Andreas Lubitz planned spectacular gesture that would go down in history Telegraph.co.uk
Germanwings plane crash: Pilot who crashed Airbus A320 into French Alps was Sydney Morning Herald
CTV News -Xinhua -Bloomberg
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Saudi ground troops would face Yemen ‘quagmire': experts

March 27th, 2015 No comments

A Yemeni man wearing military fatigues sits on debris at the site of a Saudi air strike against Huthi rebels near Sanaa Airport on March 26, 2015Saudi-led airstrikes alone are unlikely to crush Iranian-backed Yemeni rebels but a ground incursion would risk a bloody "quagmire" and escalating tensions with Tehran, experts say. Saudi Arabia pledged to do "whatever it takes" to defend its ally President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi after launching aerial raids against the Huthi Shiite fighters and their allies. "History shows that airstrikes without corresponding ground forces do not produce a decisive victory," said Frederic Wehrey of the US-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "If Saudi Arabia relies only on airstrikes and civilian casualties start mounting they will lose support very, very quickly," said Sultan Barakat, research director at the Doha-based Brookings Institution.

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