Paying $200 for a government-sponsored taxi ride to the Tunisian border sounded like a bad deal. But Tunisian laborer Amr Soltan had no idea just how bad until he and his friends were driven instead to a prison, locked up for five days, robbed of their cellphones by police and beaten by guards.
“It’s a miracle that I am alive,” he said after arriving in his own country as one of the thousands who have been brutalized by Libyan security forces during the uprising against Moammar Kadafi‘s 41-year rule. “They accused us of being traitors because our people revolted against dictators.”
Unlike Arab leaders facing challenges in Morocco, Bahrain, Jordan, Algeria and Yemen, Kadafi and son Seif Islam have responded to their enemies not with substantive concessions and appeals to calm but with blood-curdling rhetoric.
Headlines from recent Cornell University web pages.:
Persistent Evidence of a Jovian Mass Solar Companion in the Oort Cloud
We present an updated dynamical and statistical analysis of outer Oort cloud cometary evidence suggesting the sun has a wide-binary Jovian mass companion. The results support a conjecture that there exists a companion of mass ~ 1-4 M_Jup orbiting in the innermost region of the outer Oort cloud. Our most restrictive prediction is that the orientation angles of the orbit normal in galactic coordinates are centered on the galactic longitude of the ascending node Omega = 319 degree and the galactic inclination i = 103 degree (or the opposite direction) with an uncertainty in the normal direction subtending ~ 2% of the sky. A Bayesian statistical analysis suggests that the probability of the companion hypothesis is comparable to or greater than the probability of the null hypothesis of a statistical fluke. Read more…
Bahrain, which saw deadly protest this month, is eager to control the price of food according to Wikileaks
According to the Wikileak revelations, Bahrain increased government subsidies in an effort to off-set rising prices for lower-income families in 2008 and has promised more generous subsidies recently. Even so, this hasn’t stopped political turmoil as the tiny Gulf state has been rocked by explosive protests this month that left seven dead and hundreds injured when troops opened fire on protesters.
Bahrain, which has a population of just over 1 million, has struggled with rising Read more…
Although Obama might not view what is happening in the Middle East as all that important- he is going to basketball games and concerts and instead directing attempts to riot in WI- I think it is very important because the Middle East region sits on a very important resource- oil. So for fun, I put together a graph this morning to demonstrate the amount of oil production that is affected by the crisis in the Middle East. The graph shows oil production by country based on the most recent data I found in the CIA World Factbook, and shows each nation currently in crisis or about to be in crisis, and then the gray area represents all other nations not currently affected.
Any change in oil production likely will cause the price of gasoline to go up, and as you can see, a large percentage of the world’s oil comes out of this affected region, although if Saudi Arabia stays stable, then the percentages is considerably less although still significant. In my amateur opinion, gas prices are going to rise, the economy will dip again, and Obama will react to this all by supporting our enemies and lowering our oil output. Here is the graph:
Photo by: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Following Russia’s announcement that it will transfer missiles to Syria, Defense Ministry fears weapons could fall into “wrong hands.”
The Defense Ministry issued a statement Saturday regarding publications that Russia intends to complete a deal to transfer cruise missiles to Syria. “This deal was signed two years ago and has been in the process of implementation for some time, despite Israel’s appeals to Russia regarding the matter.”
Security officials warned that the Russian cruise missiles “are potentially dangerous weapons and they may come fall into the hands of Hezbollah, just as other weapons systems came from Syria.”
North Korea said it will fire at the “source” of balloons containing leaflets and video clips saved on flash-memory devices and DVDs, along with books and one U.S. dollar bills. The leaflets were a psychological plot to “shake up our socialism and break the trust of our military and people,” state-run KCNA said today.
South Korea’s military has dropped leaflets on North Korea that contain information on pro-democracy revolts in the Middle East with the intention of provoking a movement against Kim Jong Il’s regime, a South Korean Read more…