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Study: Coup possible in Morocco, Saudi Arabia too

February 4, 2011 Comments off

Tomer Velmer

The first signs for the governmental instability in Egypt were detected as early as two years ago, according to a new study conducted by political scientists from Hebrew University.

The study, which will be published soon by the Journal of Conflict Resolution, was conducted by Prof. Tamir Sheafer and Dr. Shaul Shenhav. The researchers measured the “democratic gap” in about 90 democratic and non-democratic countries.

“The democratic gap is the difference between the democratic aspirations of a country’s citizens and the level of democracy given to them by the state’s institutions,” explains Prof. Sheafer.

According to the study’s findings, political stability will be in danger only in the case of a “negative democratic gap”. In other words, when the citizens’ expectations for democracy are unfulfilled, there is a higher chance that the citizens will Read more…

Tens of thousands turn out for rival rallies in Yemen

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By Borzou Daragahi and Noah Browning, Los Angeles Times

Yemeni protesters shout slogans during their "day of rage" rally against President Ali Abdullah Saleh. (Gamal Noman, AFP/Getty Images / February 3, 2011)

Large competing rallies for and against the longtime leader of Yemen unfolded Thursday without incident in one of the Arab world’s poorest, most volatile and violent nations.

The Arabian Peninsula nation’s opposition, inspired by the revolt in Tunisia and the ongoing uprising against President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, had called for a “day of rage” against the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has held his title since 1978 and has been accused of corruption and mismanagement. Saleh and his supporters sought to upstage the protesters by holding a simultaneous counter-demonstration across town.

The two rallies drew tens of thousands of people and, unlike in Egypt or Tunisia, unfolded largely peacefully with no major arrests or clashes, according to a Yemeni official. The day’s relative calm suggested that the political passions unleashed by the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia will play out in different countries in different ways

In the North African nation of Read more…

Arizona to secede (without OFFICIALLY doing so)

February 4, 2011 Comments off

E.J. Montini

Members of the state Legislature, including Arizona’s de facto governor, Senate President Russell Pearce, have introduced a bill that essentially would have Arizona secede from the union without having to do so officially.

Really.

It’s called SB1433, (See it here.) It creates a 12-member committee within the legislature that could “vote by simple majority to nullify in its entirety a specific federal law or regulation that is outside the scope of the powers delegated by the people to the federal government…”

Committee members themselves would decide this, then pass along their recommendation to the full Legislature. If, in turn, a majority of state lawmakers go along with the committee then, according to the bill, “this state and its citizens shall not recognize or be obligated to live under the statute, mandate or executive order.”

The nullification committee also would be permitted to Read more…

Mexico supplies electricity to wintry Texas

February 4, 2011 Comments off

MEXICO CITY (AFP) – Mexico’s state electricity company on Wednesday started supplying electricity to the US state of Texas, where demand shot up amid unusually cold temperatures and caused power outages.

Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission “was determined to support Texas with electrical energy faced with the problems the state is suffering due to climatological conditions,” a statement said.

An energy transfer of 280 megawatts began at midday (1800 GMT) via the north Mexican border cities of Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa and Piedras Negras, it added.

Texas Governor Rick Perry said in a statement that power and emergency management experts were working with utility providers to ensure power was restored as quickly as possible.

“Until that happens, I urge businesses and residents to conserve electricity to minimize the impact of this event,” Perry added.

An epic winter storm Wednesday buried more than a third of the United States in drifting snow, sleet and ice that brought air and road travel to a halt.

Snowstorms also paralyzed air transport, blocked operations in factories and caused schools to shut in the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas.

Ciudad Juarez mayor Hector Murgia said the temperatures of around minus 13 degrees centigrade (8.6 Fahrenheit) were the lowest recorded in almost 50 years.

Egypt’s economy draws parallels to US economy

February 4, 2011 Comments off