World News Brief, Friday February 18

Three killed in Bahrain protests as military ordered to "take every measure"; Influential Yemen clerics urge coalition government and free elections; Why there's no turning back in the Middle East; Clinton rebuffed after urging internet freedom in China; Pakistan immunity case delayed; and more

Top of the Agenda: Bahrain Cracks Down on Protests

Three people were killed and hundreds more were injured by Bahraini security forces (BBC) in an overnight crackdown on anti-regime activists in the capital of Manama. Inspired by the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, thousands of overwhelmingly Shiite protesters took to Bahrain's streets demanding more say in the Sunni-ruled Arab kingdom (Haaretz). The government banned protests and instructed the army to "take every measure necessary to preserve security." The violence followed three days of pro-democracy demonstrations calling for widespread reform within the country's ruling minority. According to the Guardian, riot police raided the central point of protests, known as the Pearl Roundabout, at around 3 a.m., firing teargas and birdshot, and cutting through the tents of demonstrators. Armed vehicles scattered through the city in an effort to seize critical access points and institute a lockdown. Bahrain is a significant ally of the United States and is home to the Fifth Fleet of the US Navy (al-Jazeera).


The ouster of autocrats in Tunisia and Egypt has awakened a hunger for change in the Arab world, says CFR's Thomas W. Lippmann, but it's unlikely to result in a widespread fall of regimes.

In this article for Time, Fareed Zakaria discusses "why there's no turning back in the Middle East" and the region's youth bulge as a central factor in the uprisings.


In "Promoting Democracy: The Whys and Hows for the United States and the International Community," Mark Lagon examines the uneven history of promoting democracy in US foreign policy and offers lessons for how the United States can best advance democracy today.


PACIFIC RIM: US Pushes Web Freedom in China

In her second major speech on Internet freedom, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for the international community to adopt common standards for Internet use (BBC). Meanwhile, China cautioned the United States not to intrude in other countries' affairs.

Japan: Due to engine concerns, Honda Motors (Bloomberg) announced it will recall nearly seven hundred thousand cars worldwide.



- Yemen Clerics Call for Coalition Government
- Pakistan Delays Case of US Suspect


This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on