YEMEN: TAKING STOCK, COUNTING DEAD
Protests in Yemen have been ongoing for more than eight months, with the epicenter of the uprising at a square near the University of Sanaa. Protesters have been camped out, and despite periodic attempts by security forces to forcefully break them up by opening live fire on the crowds, the mostly young demonstrators have remained resolute.
It appears that what is left of the central government is fed up after a tribal insurrection in the north, an Al-Qaeda insurrection in the south and a nationwide revolt against the leadership of 32-year incumbent President Ali Abdullah Saleh. While most foreign journalists have been expelled from Yemen, the Arabic media puts the death toll at 46 people in Sanaa over the past 24 hours. Three of those killed were soldiers who had defected from the army and joined the opposition.
Yemen is part of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, a European Union-style bloc, which has offered a proposal aimed at convincing Saleh to leave power. The GCC Initiative includes full immunity for Saleh and his family from prosecution, a far more generous offer than the Arab world's other deposed leaders were given. A UN envoy and the Secretary General of the GCC, Abdullatif al-Zayani, both arrived in Sanaa on Monday. The official Yemeni news agency did not address the 46 dead, but stated that "the visit aims for al-Zayani to get acquainted with the latest developments in local arena."
EGYPT: STRIKING TEACHERS, FIGHTING KIDS
Egypt's al-Wafd newspaper published a report called "Fights and assaults, chaos in schools" chronicling the third day of the teachers' strike in Egypt. Education Minister Ahmed Moussa met with teachers' representatives, but told them the national budget could not accommodate the salary raise and other demands of the teachers. The strike will continue, teachers responded, until the government meets their demands. As teachers sat in the courtyards of schools and refused to enter the buildings, the paper reports on fights between the students inside due to a lack of supervision.
ARAB ONLINE: CHIT-CHATTING, NOT JOB HUNTING
A new study by one of the Arab world's largest job-finding sites, Bayt.com, finds that the vast majority of Internet users in the region are going online only to chat with friends, "rather than looking for a job, learning or shopping." A total of 67 percent of those surveyed said they use the internet for socializing, and use the internet for three hours or more per day.