Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Short List - June 9, 2011

  • The U.S. is stepping up covert (well, not anymore) airstrikes(NYT) in Yemen as the country is increasingly adrift and fractured.  Even prior to the killing of Osama bin Laden, many analysts believed Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, based in Yemen, was a much larger threat to U.S. security.

  • Syrians have been outraged by a video, recently obtained but not independent verified by Al-Jazeera, that shows the tortured body of a 15-year old boy believe to have been brutalized by the government after demonstrations several weeks ago.  As the unrest continues, almost 1,000 Syrians have fled as refugees to Turkey.

  • The Libya Contact Group, the group charged with creating order in a post-Qaddafi Libya, met for the third time in Abu Dhabi yesterday.

  • Militants struck back in Pakistan, attacking a security checkpoint in the northwestern part of the country.  Eight Pakistani soldiers were killed, along with ten militants.

  • In Saudi Arabia $130 billion buys you peace(NYT), but not much progress.
  • The case against an ex-NSA manager just got weaker as the government will withhold documents for fear of revealing covert technology.  Thomas Drake is accused of retaining classified documents while also communicating with a reporter at The Baltimore Sun.  He has been charged under the 1917 Espionage Act, but has not been charged with spying.

  • A new report from The Brookings Institution, based on recent census data, indicates the immigrant workforce in the United States is comprised of more high-skill then low-skill workers.  The report and the census data did not consider immigration status.

  • The FCC will release a report today indicating a crisis in journalism at the state and local level.  With newspaper circulation on the decline, the FCC is concerned there are not good watchdogs at lower levels of governance.

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