Yemeni Vice President rejects offer to negotiate and keep Saleh from returning; Reports: Saleh has 40% burns and collapsed lung; Greece austerity measures questioned as it seeks second bailout; Opposition denies killing 120 security personnel in Syrian town; Thousands flee Chinese floods; and more
Top of the Agenda: Yemeni Opposition Dialogue Dismissed
The Yemeni government, under the current stewardship of Vice President Abdu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, rejected offers of negotiation from a coalition of opposition groups, claiming that no dialogue regarding political transition can occur until President Ali Abdullah Saleh (al-Jazeera) returns from medical treatment in Saudi Arabia. Officials from the Yemeni regime have said Saleh will return in a matter of days, however medical sources claim it will be at least two weeks. US officials said Saleh suffered burns over 40 percent of his body and a collapsed lung (CNN) in the attack on his compound last Friday. Supporters of Sadeq Al-Ahmar, head of the opposition Hashid tribe, are suspected in the attack.
US officials have called for a peaceful but "immediate" transition of power in Sanaa, and, along with Saudi and British allies, are pressing diplomacy that would keep Saleh from returning to Yemen (Reuters). Despite a fragile Saudi-brokered truce in the capital, violence continued in the southern city of Zinjibar, where regime troops are trying to recapture the town from al-Qaeda militants. Clashes also continued in the southern town of Taiz, a focal point of the month-long protests, where gunmen and Yemeni soldiers have traded fire in recent days. Analysts suggest that if Saleh is forced out, the political violence that has approached outright civil war (WashPost) may unravel further.
In this article for the National Review Online, Daniel Pipes discusses a post-Saleh Yemen, its deteriorating internal politics, and the threat it poses to the region and the world.
Yemen could be edging toward civil war, particularly if the military gets involved in both sides of the conflict, says Yemen expert Gregory Johnsen, but the United States has limited ability to influence the outcome in a country that has been an ally in fighting terrorism.
In this article for ForeignPolicy.com, Lauren Golding writes on her "surreal" encounter with Saleh in December 2010.
This article for the Economist discusses the recent political events in Yemen and the possibility of Saleh's return.
PACIFIC RIM: Japan Doubles Radiation Estimate
Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency more than doubled its estimate of radiation that escaped from the Fukushima nuclear plant (JapanTimes) after the March tsunami. More than eighty thousand local residents have been evacuated from their homes since the crisis.
China: Fatal floods hit the southern part of China (BBC), killing at least fourteen and forcing thousands to flee their homes.