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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

THE LATEST SUMMARY OF REVOLUTIONS IN THE ARAB WORLD

Three months ago THE ECONOMIST summarized the potential unrest in the Arab world:

To bring you up to date:

1.  Yeman:  when Ali Abdullah Saleh (left) pulled out of a peace deal to abdicate yesterday, the people went bonkers.  Katy Perry, yes, that Katy Perry, has a message for Saleh.  With this kind of pressure, surely, he only has days left.

2.  Libya:  a stalemate.  NATO forces are still bombing targets, hoping to kill Colonel Gaddafi, but amazingly enough, nothing much is happening today.  I give him a few months.  Bring in the Navy SEALS.  On that basis, maybe weeks.

3.  Egypt:  President Hosni Mubarak, of course, resigned on 11February2011 (has it been that long?), and the peace process is jerking along.  All seems to be reasonably well, but the elections could occur as late as next year.

4.  Syria:  a few deaths (approaching 1000) every so often, but President Bashar al-Assad (right) is on the verge, but, who knows.

5.  Iraq:  the last U.S. combat troops left nine months ago, but two more Americans were killed today.  A few car bombs here and there, but there has been progress on self-government, I hope.

6.  Oman:  a few riots in March, but not much to report today, which can only be good.  Sultan Al-Said to the left.

7. Mauritania:  a self immolation, and you can click on Mauritania Day of Rejection.

8.  Saudi Arabia:  yes, a few riots even here in March, but now quiet, except of Manal al-Sharif (right), the Rosa Parks of the country.

9.  Algeria:  a 19 year old state of emergency was lifted earlier this year and, almost expectedly, a few small riots followed.  France must be anxious.

10.  Jordan:  a riot in April, another self immolation, but King Abdullah II, after dismissing his Prime Minister and cabinet, seems to have quieted the masses.

11. Tunisia:  even after a reasonably humanitarian effort, President Ben Ali was ousted on 14January2011, and elections will occur in October.

12.  Morocco:  a riot earlier this year, but not much since then.

13.  Bahrain:  a series of protests, the country was close to falling, but Saudi help came, and King Hammad Khalifa is still in office.  There have been protests here and there around the world.

I could also add Lebanon, Sudan, and a few more, but the above should suffice for now.  The peak of activity was three months ago, so, perhaps, the current regimes are surviving.

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The Dow Jones Industrials fell 25 to 12,356, with world markets mixed.  Gold rose $7/toz to $1524, while NYMWX crude is at $97/ barrel and the Brent Spot at $112/barrel.

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Songda is now a typhoon at 105 MPH, and over the next 36 hours will zoom past 131 MPH to become a Category 4 storm.  No landfall yet, as Typhoon Songda hopefully will only skirt the Philippines on the way to the East Coast of Taiwan.  BUT WATCH OUT OKINAWA!!!

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More flowers from my roof:


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