Monday, September 26, 2011

Arab Spring Sweep: Saudi women; Syrian hacking; Yemeni Back; Libya Strife

It has been a few days since we checked in on the pro-democracy freedom movement in the Middle East, so here is an update of the most recent losses and gains and other news in the Arab Spring:

The lead story is Saudia Arabia's claim that it will extend voting rights to women in local elections in 2015:

News of womens' voting rights came as quite a surprise and believe it was King Abdullah playing preemptive CYA, ABC News blogs.

Some say voting rights for women will not really happen, CNN reports.

The Wall Street Journal says it is great that women will be able to vote, but ponders when they will be able to drive. Women drivers continue to be prosecuted.

Clean and open elections are not part of the anti-democracy government's plan in Bahrain, home of the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, the Associated Press reports.

Things are getting nasty again in Yemen:

President Ali Abdullah Saleh's return to Yemen, after recovering from burns and other wounds in an assassination attempt on his life three months ago, has re-invigorated his political opponents, enemy tribes and pro-democracy freedom fighters, Reuters reports.

Tribesmen killed one of Saleh's top generals in a bold attack on a government army base, Voice of America reports.

The United States and Gulf Cooperation Council were blindsided by the return of Saleh, whom they had hoped would just retire in Saudi Arabia, The New York Times Reports.

It is as bad as ever in Syria:

Bashir al-Assad's tanks blockade northwestern city Al-Rastan as crackdown continues elsewhere, CNN reports.

Assad's loyalist followers flexed some mischievous brainpower and hacked into as website at Harvard University, the BBC reports.

It might have been payback for anti-Assad hackers who attacked government websites, according to The Washington Times.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeaks to China to join the anti-Assad movement, Agence France Presse reports.

Turkey and the re-emegence of the Ottomans across the Middle East, remains a key to the fall of Assad, The New York Times reports

The mainstream media has become bored with the Libyan revolution, but it is far from over:

Residents are fleeing the hometown of Moammar Gadhafi amid food and medicine shortages. Meanwhile, the provisional government declares an end to court that was used by the former dictator to prosecute his enemies, the AP reports.

Like Sirte, the revolutionary army presses on in Bani Walid, the BBC reports.
For the latest Afghanistan and Iraq news, please read longtime colleagues Stephanie Gaskell and Rich Sisk at The War Report.

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