May 22 2011

Six In The Morning

US ‘would repeat Bin Laden raid

President Obama has indicated he would order a similar operation to that which killed Osama Bin Laden if another militant leader was found in Pakistan.

He said the US was mindful of Pakistani sovereignty but said the US could not allow “active plans to come to fruition without us taking some action”.

The killing of Bin Laden by US forces in a Pakistani garrison town on 2 May strained ties between the two allies.

President Barack Obama was speaking to the BBC ahead of a European visit.

Asked what he would do if one of al-Qaeda’s top leaders, or the Taliban leader Mullah Omar, was tracked down to a location in Pakistan or another sovereign territory, he said the US would take unilateral action if required.

Black students say they feel left out by ‘white cliques’ at universities

Bias against foreign-sounding names can cost marks, warns NUS, which wants coursework to be submitted anonymously

Jeevan Vasagar Education editor

The Observer, Sunday 22 May 2011  

University coursework should be marked anonymously to deal with concerns that potential bias against a “foreign-sounding name” can cost students marks, a report by the National Union of Students recommends.

The report also urges universities to minimise “eurocentric bias” when drawing up curriculums. “This is critical, not only to demonstrate to black students that their learning reflects their own experience, but to promote understanding among their white peers,” it states.

The man who saw the future: How the sci-fi writer Geoffrey Hoyle predicted 2011’s technologies in 1972

Webcams, microwaves, touchscreens, Ocado, jumpsuits… When Geoffrey Hoyle was asked in 1972 to imagine what the world might be like in 2011, little could he have known quite how many advances he would correctly predict

By Simmy Richman Sunday, 22 May 2011

What will the world look like in the not-too-distant future? It’s a fun game to play sitting around the pub/dinner-party table, but unless you grew up in the house of the astronomer and science-fiction writer Sir Fred Hoyle (who, incidentally, coined the term “big bang”, even though he rejected the theory), where lunches with the physicist Richard Feynman were not uncommon, chances are your beautiful “vision” will evaporate with the inexorable passing of time.

So it is a brave man who commits such ideas to paper.

A Look at the Root Causes of the Arab Revolution

Rising Literacy and a Shrinking Birth Rate

SPIEGEL: Monsieur Todd, in the middle of the Cold War, in the days of Leonid Brezhnev, you predicted the collapse of the Soviet system. In 2002, you described the economic and imperial erosion of the United States, a global superpower. And, four years ago, you and your colleague Youssef Courbage predicted the unavoidable revolution in the Arab world. Are you clairvoyant?

Todd: The academic as fortune-teller — a tempting idea. But Courbage and I merely analyzed the reasons for a possible — or let’s say likely — revolution in the Arab world, an inexorable change, which could also have unfolded as a gradual evolution. Our work was like that of geologists who compile the signs of an imminent earthquake or volcanic eruption. But when exactly the eruption takes place, and its form and severity — these things cannot be predicted in an exact way.

North Sudan army takes control of border town Abyei

The northern Sudanese Army says it has taken control of Abyei, a contested area on the border with South Sudan.


Sudanese state television, based in Khartoum, said northern troops had “repelled enemy forces” in Abyei town. UN officials confirmed the development.

The move follows three days of clashes between northern and southern forces in the area.

The dispute over the oil-rich region is seen as a possible trigger for a new north-south civil war.

South Sudan is due to become independent in July, but Abyei is still claimed by both sides.

Opposition signs Yemen transition deal

President Saleh, still to sign GCC-brokered deal intended to end country’s months-long crisis, warns of al-Qaeda threat.  


Yemen’s opposition has signed a deal brokered by the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) to end the country’s political crisis by easing Ali Abdullah Saleh, the president, out of power after months of unrest.

The deal, signed by the opposition in the capital, Sanaa, on Saturday, commits Saleh to leaving office within 30 days in return for immunity from prosecution.

It was signed in the presence of US and European Union ambassadors, said a foreign ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorised to speak to the press.

Saleh, who has backed out of the deal twice, is expected to sign on Sunday and has already called for early elections.

The GCC brings together six states including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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