27-Jun-11 World View — Burn-Scarred Yemen President To Make TV Appearance


This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.

Burn-scarred Yemen president to make TV appearance

Anti-government protesters demanding resignation of Saleh (AP)
Anti-government protesters demanding resignation of Saleh (AP)

Yemen officials are saying that badly scarred president Ali Abdullah Saleh will make a televised appearance this week, as he negotiates his return from the Saudi Arabian hospital where he’s been confined since he was injured in a bomb attack while he was praying in a mosque in his palace complex in Sanaa. According to an official statement, “The president will appear within the next 48 hours despite our fear that the burns on his features and on different parts of his body will be an obstacle, given that his appearance will not be as the media expects it.” Telegraph

Anti-government protests have continued on a daily basis since Saleh’s hospitalization. On Sunday, tens of thousands of Yemenis rallied in the Sanaa and other cities to demand that Saleh step down, and that his family leave the country. It’ll be interesting to see how they react to Saleh’s planned television appearance. In the meantime, fighting continues between Yemen’s army and al-Qaeda linked militants in southern Yemen. VOA

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood continues to splinter

Several factions of the Muslim Brotherhood have broken off to form new parties to rival the Brotherhood’s main Freedom and Justice Party. The latest is al-Riyada, Arabic for The Pioneers, a “reformist” party opposed to the Brotherhood’s hard lines on viewing Islamic Sharia law as the basis of society. A youth movement within the Brotherhood plans to formalize its own independent political party, according to a youth leader. AP and UPI

Israel’s Navy prepares for confrontation with ‘Freedom Flotilla II’

Israel’s Navy is making plans to block Freedom Flotilla II from breaching Israel’s blockade of Gaza, with the expectation in doing so that there won’t be a repeat of the violence that led to the deaths of nine activists, mostly Turkish. Turkey will not participate this year, but vessels from the U.S., France, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Canada are participating. Participants will be arrested, and sent back to their country of origin, and a 10-year travel ban to Israel will be applied to them. Jerusalem Post

The Foreign Press Association is accusing Israel of trying to intimidate Gaza flotilla journalists, with the threat of the 10-year travel ban. It says that the threat raises serious questions about Israel’s commitment to freedom of the press, and, “Journalists covering a legitimate news event should be allowed to do their jobs without threats and intimidation. We urge the government to reverse its decision immediately.” Guardian

An official UN Secretary-General’s report on last year’s flotilla to Gaza concludes that Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza is in keeping with international law, and therefore its actions to stop the flotilla were also legal, although they used disproportionate force that led to the deaths of nine Turkish citizens. The report is due to be released within two weeks. The draft report, which has been seen by Israel and Turkey, criticizes the Turkish government and highlights the relationship between it and IHH, the activist group that organized the flotilla. Turkey is asking Israel to agree to “tone down” the criticisms of Turkey in the report, in return for ending the crisis in relations between the two countries. Haaretz

Embassies in Syria and Lebanon prepare for evacuation

American and European embassies in Syria and Lebanon are making preparations for quick evacuations, in case Syria’s government falls, and is replaced by a new government that’s hostile to the West, or that reacts as the Iranian’s did after the Shah fell in 1979. Daily Star (Lebanon)

Nasrallah accuses the CIA of infiltrating Hizbollah

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said that the militant Islamic group has uncovered three spies within its ranks, two of whom were recruited by the CIA. The U.S. embassy in Beirut dismissed the report as “empty accusations.” CNN

Greece: Officials say austerity vote may fail

Greece’s deputy prime minister Theodor Pangalos says that the vote to pass specific required austerity measures may fail. These austerity measures are required by the EU and IMF (unless they cave in) for Greece to receive the next tranche of last year’s bailout. Without this money, Greece will default on July 15, when it can no longer make its debt payments. This is the first of several consecutive major crisis weeks for Greece and the EU. BBC

Talk of a Greek default in the near future is becoming widespread. Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan is seeking to distance Ireland from Greece, for fear that a default in Greece would contaminate Ireland. Wall Street Journal (Access)

Hearings begin on 1970s ‘Killing Fields’ Cambodian genocide

The Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, was responsible for the deaths of millions of Cambodians in 1975-79. A UN-backed tribunal in Cambodia is holding its first hearing in the trial of four former top Khmer Rouge leaders. The charges include genocide and crimes against humanity. BBC


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