Wednesday, May 25, 2011

News Summary for Today

According to The New York Times, NATO is dramatically stepping up airstrikes against Libya. "In the heaviest attack yet on the capital since the start of the two-month-old NATO bombing campaign, alliance aircraft struck at least 15 targets in central Tripoli early Tuesday, with most of the airstrikes concentrated on an area around Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s command compound." The BBC World Service reports that the attacks inspired pro-Qaddafi street protests in Tripoli and according to Libyan state television 19 civilians were killed and 150 were wounded, as reported by Al Jazeera.

While in Egypt, former President Hosni Mubarak is finally set to face trial for the violence against protestors as well as charges of corruption. According to The Independent, 846 Egyptians were killed during a revolution that is often described as peaceful in the Western media, such as this story by National Public Radio. Of course the demonstrations were peaceful but we must not forget that they were met with government brutality, as is happening elsewhere in the region. Egyptians are planning mass demonstrations on Friday, which they are calling "Egypt's second revolution," to express their frustrations with the lack of change since Mubarak stepped down.

And last weekend Yemen's autocratic President Saleh continued to defy negotiations for him to step down. Loyalists to the beleaguered president surrounded the building where diplomats were working on an agreement on Sunday, ultimately trapping the US ambassador and others inside the United Arab Emirates embassy in Sanaa. Since then violence has again broken out across the capital. According to the Associated Press, "Fighters from Yemen's largest tribe clashed with government forces in the heart of Sanaa yesterday." The New York Times reports that around two dozen people have died in recent days and is describing parts of the capital as a war zone.

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