map of yemen

Saudi Arabia Ends Yemen Bombing Campaign. A Political Solution Near?

Riyadh is stressing that military operations may resume, but for now, the campaign of airstrikes is over. “Saudi government statement said “the objectives of ‘Operation Decisive Storm’ have been achieved,” asserting that a Houthi takeover of Yemen had been prevented. But the statement also said Saudi Arabia reserved the right to “counter any military moves by the Houthis or their allies, and deal with any threat against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia or its neighbors.” (NYT )

In the meantime, rumors are abounding that a political deal has been struck…”Details are still sketchy, but in general it sounds like Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Houthis have reached some sort of deal whereby the Houthis will surrender their territorial gains in exchange for political reform/power sharing. This should be excellent news for everybody in Yemen except maybe Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which has been thriving in the chaos created by the civil war, and ISIS, which also took advantage of the chaos by operating (or sponsoring operations) in Yemen for the first time.”  (ATTIW )

And the most censored country in the world is…Eritrea! That’s according to a new report by the Committee to Protect Journalists which ranked ten countries where the press is most restricted. North Korea comes in a close second. “In Eritrea, President Isaias Afewerki has succeeded in his campaign to crush independent journalism, creating a media climate so oppressive that even reporters for state-run news outlets live in constant fear of arrest. The threat of imprisonment has led many journalists to choose exile rather than risk arrest. Eritrea is Africa’s worst jailer of journalists, with at least 23 behind bars-none of whom has been tried in court or even charged with a crime.” (CPJ

Stat of the Day:  After a steady decline in maritime hijackings in southeast Asia, incidents of attacks by pirates on the seas rose 10 percent in the first quarter of this year. (VOA

It’s keeps Getting Worse: The United Nations refugee agency estimated Tuesday that as many as 850 migrants had gone to their deaths in a boat capsizing earlier this week off the coast of Libya. (WaPo


A car bomb killed at least four people and injured several others at a restaurant in Somalia’s capital. (Al Jazeera

South Africa’s defense minister says the government will deploy military personnel to prevent further violence after a wave of xenophobic attacks. (VOA

The doublespeak reassurances of the Zulu king haven’t eased xenophobic tensions in South Africa. (QZ

Tens of thousands of children in Senegal are being exploited by Quranic teachers who force them to beg in the streets, according to Human Rights Watch. (NYT

An inside look at the Mali’s human-trafficking underworld in the city of Gao. (BBC


A Cairo court has sentenced former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and 12 other defendants to 20 years in prison. (Al Jazeera

How the fall of Qaddafi gave rise to Europe’s migrant crisis. (CSM )

Thousands of Iraqis fleeing IS are being prevented from entering Baghdad and other cities because local officials fear IS sleeper cells could be among them. (IRIN

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State, has reportedly been injured in a US-led airstrike. (CSM


Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday swore in 16 new members of his Cabinet, raising hopes of improvement in governance and security. (VOA

Air pollution data shows that more than 90 percent of 360 Chinese cities failed to meet national air quality standards in the first three months of this year. (NYT

At least 17 prisoners were executed in Pakistan on Tuesday in an apparent effort to show visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping that the country is serious about improving public safety. (WaPo

The Americas

The Amazon rail line has provoked protests, blockades and court actions involving low-income communities and sparked a new rural radicalism in Brazil. (WaPo

Chile lives under the constant threat of spillage from tailings ponds, which became even more marked in late March after heavy rains fell in the desert region of Atacama. (IPS

…and the rest

The United Nations is fighting a losing battle against a rash of political and humanitarian crises in 10 of the world’s critical “hot spots.” (IPS


Yemen is fast becoming a humanitarian disaster on par with Syria and South Sudan. (UN Dispatch

To get people to build toilets, turn to subsidies (Humanosphere

The Middle East’s chaotic future (WaPo

From Slavery to Self Reliance: A Story of Dalit Women in South India (IPS

Sexual Violence in South Sudan-A Tactic of War (UNFP

What Good Is ‘Raising Awareness?’ (Atlantic

Eradicating Polio Requires Protecting Vaccinators (Global Health Council

Is a Data Revolution under way, and if so, who will benefit? (FP2P