And If Yemen Is Lost?

Editorial: Even before reaching the brink of civil war, Yemen was plagued by a long list of woes, from dire poverty to Islamist terrorists. If Yemen’s neighbors don’t step in to help, the country could slip into a Somalia-like state of chaos that can dest

A recent evening in Sanaa, Yemen's capital city (Sallam)
A recent evening in Sanaa, Yemen's capital city (Sallam)

If you haven't yet, it is time to start worrying about Yemen. The country once referred to as Arabia Felix in contrast to Arabia Deserta to the north is a sum of unhappy handicaps rarely seen in the world – even before it began to inch toward civil war these past few months.

A demographic time bomb, Yemen has seen its population double every 15 years – the country numbers about 25 million inhabitants today – without having the means necessary to properly provide for the people.

One of the world's poorest countries, Yemen is also a huge political conundrum. The hope surrounding the birth of Yemen in 1990 – when North Yemen merged with Marxist South Yemen, an exotic variant of Arab socialism – has long since evaporated.

The South has standing complaints that unification has turned out feeling more like an "occupation" by the North. But the North hasn't been spared either of serious difficulties. Since 2004, provinces along the border with Saudi Arabia have been plagued by a ruthless war led by the army against Islamist rebels.

For a long time, President Ali Abdallah Saleh, in power in the North since 1978, has managed to give the impression that no one but him was capable of solving these problems. He has also pronounced himself as the only obstacle to prevent terrorism, even as Saudi and Yemeni fighters affiliated with Al Qaeda gained control over significant swathes of the country.

But Saleh shares responsibility for each of these crises. He has, for example, played a part in pitting former "Afghan" jihad fighters against former Southern socialists; and he has been busy manipulating tribal networks by buying their allegiance, tactics that have never built a country.

The Yemeni president is thus personally responsible for some of his country's failures. Saleh is currently being treated in a Saudi Arabian hospital for injuries he suffered during a rocket attack on June 2 in Yemen's capital, Sanaa. The best thing for his country is that he finally accepts to step down from power.

He should do this, even if it is obvious that none of Saleh's most virulent enemies is better qualified than him to steer the country in the right direction. The members of the Al-Ahmar clan, which has taken up arms against the president, have been associated for much too long with the unhealthy syncretism between politics and business, part of Saleh's erroneous idea of meeting his people's expectations.

This is not to say that all hope is lost. Yemen is one of the few countries in the region where a certain form of political pluralism has been able to survive, and where its youth and civil society have clearly shown a desire to break away from the murky arrangements of the past.

It is this new desire that the rest of the world should strive to encourage. The region's rich oil monarchies should accept Yemen into their club, the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf. No one has anything to gain from the possibility that Yemen slips into chaos and becomes the next Somalia.

Read the original article in French

photo - Sallam

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Spencer Tunick Nude Installation in Israel

Anne-Sophie Goninet, Jane Herbelin and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Salam!*

Welcome to Monday, where the UK pays homage to slain MP David Amess, Myanmar frees thousands of prisoners, and Facebook gets ready to build its "metaverse." Please fasten your seatbelts: Worldcrunch also takes stock of the long-lasting effects — good and bad — the pandemic has had on the air travel industry.

[*Azeri - Azerbaijan]


Myanmar to free political prisoners: Myanmar's junta chief Min Aung Hlaing has announced the release of 5,636 prisoners who had been jailed for protesting the coup that ousted the civilian government in February 2021.

• Powerful Haiti gang behind the kidnapping of U.S. missionaries: The notorious 400 Mawozo gang is believed to be behind the kidnapping in Haiti of a group of Christian missionaries, including 16 U.S. citizens and one Canadian. The brazen kidnapping on Saturday comes as crime is spiking since the killing of President Jovenel Moise in July.

• UK to pay tribute to David Amess: British lawmakers will pay homage in parliament to colleague David Amess, who was stabbed to death Friday in what was described by the police as a "terrorist incident." Officers arrested a 25-year-old suspect whose father, Harbi Ali Kullane, worked as a media adviser to a former prime minister of Somalia.

• COVID update: Russia has registered more than 34,000 cases of new infections in the past 24 hours, a new record since the start of the pandemic. Meanwhile, police in the northeast Italian city of Trieste used water cannons to clear striking dockworkers protesting Italy's new requirements that all employees be vaccinated.

• At least 26 killed in floods in India: Torrential rain has triggered floods and landslides in India's southern coastal state of Kerala, killing at least 26 people.

• Facebook to hire 10,000 in EU to develop "metaverse": The U.S. social media giant plans to hire 10,000 workers in the European Union over the next five years to build a "metaverse," a virtual reality version of the internet that the company touts as the future.

Punishing parents for children's bad behavior: After limiting gaming hours for minors, China is now considering legislation to reprimand parents if their children exhibit "very bad behavior" or commit crimes.


Colombian daily El Espectador dedicates its front page to Alex Saab, "owner of the secrets" of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. The Colombian businessman, wanted by U.S. authorities for allegedly laundering money on behalf of Venezuela's government, has been extradited from Cape Verde to the U.S. where he is scheduled to appear in court today.



China's economy registered its slowest pace in a year as the country faces a looming energy crisis with power shortages and increasing pressure on its property sector. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the period between July-September rose 4.9%, the weakest numbers since the third quarter of 2020 and significantly lower than forecasts. The world's second-largest economy faces a debt crisis linked to the China Evergrande Group debt crisis, while energy shortfalls have dropped factory output to its weakest since early 2020, when heavy COVID-19 curbs were in place.


7 ways the pandemic may change the airline industry for good

Will flying be greener? More comfortable? Less frequent? As the world eyes a post-COVID reality, we look at ways the airline industry has been changing through a pandemic that has devastated air travel.

⛽ Cleaner aviation fuel: With air travel responsible for roughly 12% of all CO2 emissions from transport, and stricter international regulation on the horizon, the industry is increasingly seeking sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based fuel. In Germany, state broadcaster Deutsche Welle reports that the world's first factory producing CO2-neutral kerosene recently started operations in the town of Wertle, in Lower Saxony. The plant, for which Lufthansa is set to become the pilot customer, will produce CO2-neutral kerosene through a circular production cycle incorporating sustainable and green energy sources and raw materials

.🛃 Smoother check-in: The pandemic has also accelerated the shift towards contactless traveling, with more airports harnessing the power of biometrics — such as facial recognition or fever screening — to reduce touchpoints and human contact. Similar technology can also be used to more efficiently scan physical objects, such as explosive detection. Ultimately, passengers will be able to "check-in" and go through a security screening anywhere at the airports, removing queues and bottlenecks.

✈️ The billion-dollar question: Will we fly less? At the end of the day, even with all these (mostly positive) changes that we've seen take shape over the past 18 months, the industry faces major uncertainty about whether air travel will ever return to the pre-COVID levels. Not only are people wary about being in crowded and closed airplanes, but the worth of long-distance business travel, in particular, is being questioned as many have seen that meetings can function remotely, via Zoom and other online apps.

➡️


"The crimes committed that night are unforgivable for the Republic."

— Emmanuel Macron became the first French president to commemorate the killing of as many as 200 Algerian independence protesters by Parisian police in 1961. For 40 years, French officials ignored the massacre, which took place a year before Algeria gained its independence from France after an eight-year war. In 2012, French President François Hollande acknowledged the killings for the first time on a visit to Algeria, and Macron took it further by attending Sunday's commemoration at the site where the events happened in the French capital. Still, many had hoped the French President would go further and take responsibility for a "state massacre," for a crime many historians consider the most violent repression of a peaceful demonstration in post-War Europe.


​Low trust, high risk: The global rise of violence targeting politicians

The deadly stabbing of British Parliament Member David Amess confirms an ongoing study on trust and governance in democracies around the world: It's bad. In The Conversation, James Weinberg — the study's author and a lecturer in Political Behavior at the University of Sheffield — writes:

⏪ The assassination of Amess, who was stabbed to death in his constituency on Friday, is a tragic moment for democracy. What makes it even more devastating is that such a catastrophic failure is not without precedent or predictability. Labour MP Jo Cox was shot at her constituency surgery in 2016. Before her, another Labour MP, Stephen Timms, survived a stabbing in 2010. And Andrew Pennington, a Gloucestershire county councilor, died in a frenzied attack in 2001 while trying to protect local Liberal Democrat MP Nigel Jones.

☝️ Beyond these critical junctures in the public debate about politicians' safety, elected representatives must live with an increasingly insidious level of popular cynicism that threatens violence on an almost daily basis.

🇬🇧🇳🇿🇿🇦 Not only are these experiences of abuse or threats of physical violence felt across both sides of the political aisle in the UK — they also appear to be growing more common in other democratic contexts where the climate of politics has been presumed to be both calmer and more volatile, from New Zealand to South Africa.

Read the full piece from The Conversation, now on

✍️ Newsletter by Anne-Sophie Goninet, Jane Herbelin and Bertrand Hauger

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