Heavy fighting continues in Yemen; two more activists killed in Yemen; Japan underestimated impact of tsunami, say nuclear experts; Chinese government attempts to contain soaring consumer prices; Syrian Opposition rejects amnesty; 9/11 suspects charged at Guantanamo; Mladic arrives at the Hague; and more
Top of the Agenda: Violence Rages on in Yemen
Heavy fighting continued in the capital of Sanaa (NYT) this morning as regime forces under President Ali Abdullah Saleh clashed with the tribal family of Hamid al-Ahmar for control of strategic positions in the city, including the Interior Ministry and state-run media. Unconfirmed reports have put the death toll from the renewed violence at well above thirty people over the last two days. The country is facing increasing unrest in several areas after Saleh refused to step down for a third time, and analysts fear the continued bloodshed could drag Yemen into civil war. The U.S. State Department called for Saleh to leave office (BBC), urging the embattled president "to move Yemen forward."
Government security forces are also reported to have killed two more activists in the city of Taiz, adding to over fifty dead in recent days following attempts by the military to quell protests (al-Jazeera). The violence in Sanaa and Taiz comes after the deaths of at least thirty in government air raids in the southern city of Zinjibar, which is now reported to be under the control of fighters linked to al-Qaeda. Analysts claim Yemen is on the brink of financial collapse, with about a third of its 23 million people facing chronic hunger. Additional fears stem from Yemen's proximity to a vital shipping lane (Reuters) that carries about three million barrels of oil a day.
In this op-ed for the New York Times, Timur Kuran discusses the weak foundations of Arab democracy and the lack of participation of private civic organizations in the grassroots movement.
In Foreign Policy, Nathan Brown writes that Western leaders must stop ignoring the flaws of repressive Arab regimes that they deem indispensible and enact policies that reflect the needs of Arab societies, not Arab rulers.
In Foreign Affairs, Daniel Byman writes that al-Qaeda will have a tough time regrouping after this year's blows: The Arab revolutions discredited al Qaeda's violent jihadist message, then the raid on bin Laden's Abbottabad compound killed the messenger.
PACIFIC RIM: IAEA Says Japan Underestimated Tsunami
A preliminary report released by nuclear experts at the IAEA concluded that Japan did not properly protect its nuclear power plants from tsunami threats prior to the March 11 disaster that led to a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant (LATimes).
China: Manufacturing in China decreased to its slowest rate in ten months in May. Although the numbers suggest production is still growing, they align with several measures by Beijing aimed at cooling the economy and containing soaring consumer prices (AFP).