Leftnews.org | News and Views from the Left

by Editors — last modified 2017-12-11T18:41:35-05:00
Contributors: Faiz Ahmed, JBB, Graham H. Cox, R. Dubois, JA Cox
The best of the political left-wing from around the web.

Killing of Ali Abdullah Saleh changes dynamics of Yemen's civil war | The Guardian

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Dec 05, 2017 10:43 AM
"Without Saleh, the Houthis are strengthened – at least in the short term. “There’s a possibility that [Saleh’s] apparatus will be radically weakened, if not marginalised in the coming period; this leaves the Houthis as the key power in northern Yemen,” said Adam Baron, visiting fellow at European Council on Foreign Relations. ... The war in Yemen has hit a stalemate, and it is hard to say which side is winning."

Yemen rebels tighten grip on Sanaa after Saleh's death | BBC

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Dec 05, 2017 10:41 AM
"More than more than 8,670 people have been killed and 49,960 injured since the Saudi-led coalition intervened in the conflict between the Houthis and forces loyal to President Hadi in March 2015, according to the UN. The conflict and a blockade by the coalition have also left 20.7 million people in need of humanitarian aid, created the world's largest food security emergency, and led to a cholera outbreak that is thought to have killed 2,211 people since April."

Did American Missile Defense Fail in Saudi Arabia? | The New York Times

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Dec 05, 2017 10:35 AM
"The findings show that the Iranian-backed Houthis, once a ragtag group of rebels, have grown powerful enough to strike major targets in Saudi Arabia, possibly shifting the balance of their years-long war. And they underscore longstanding doubts about missile defense technology, a centerpiece of American and allied national defense strategies, particularly against Iran and North Korea."

Theresa May travels to Saudi Arabia powerless to rein in impulsive ally | The Guardian

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Nov 29, 2017 04:09 PM
"Parts of the foreign office are privately anxious about the conduct of Saudi’s impulsive foreign policy. The UK remains committed for instance to the Iran nuclear deal, and would wish the Saudis did less to urge Donald Trump to tear it up. Saudi and UAE’s largely fruitless blockade of Qatar has left ministers scratching their heads and frustrated that their plans for a post-Brexit trade deal with the Gulf Co-operation Council lie fallow."

Spies more free to use cellphone surveillance tech without warrant, under court ruling | CBC

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Nov 29, 2017 01:10 PM
"The devices are perhaps better known as IMSI Catchers or Stingrays, and pretend to be legitimate cellphone towers in order to collect information. Privacy advocates have long criticized the technology for how it indiscriminately gathers data, not merely on the subject of an investigation, but on all of the cellular devices in its operating radius. ... But after mounting questions from federal court judges, who only learned the devices were being used by CSIS last year, a recent top-secret warrant application was used to weigh in on the lawfulness of the technique's use. CSIS said previously it sometimes applies for warrants to use such devices and sometimes, for reasons that remain unclear, it has not."
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