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April 24, 2011

1. Yemen's President Saleh has signed a negotiated deal that has him stepping down within 30 days. But top Yemen expert Jane Novak points to this as a ruse and little more than a window of time for Saleh to transfer wealth out and nothing & no one to transfer power to. As bad as Yemen is, outlook is bleaker. No mid-term upsides.

2. In Syria, protest remains a deadly endeavor with regime security forces firing on mourners at protester funerals and into crowds from rooftops in one coastal town. Bashar Assad ended the 50-year state of emergency measures as a feigned gesture, but the killing continues.

3. While US and Iraqi political leaders ponder an extension of US force deployments there beyond stated deadlines, protests against it get heavy media attention. Muqtada al-Sadr, a "guest" of Iran's regime for many months, naturally lead protests in Baghdad. All of this while the violence ratchets higher as the withdrawal date nears.

4. Libya's foreign minister is reportedly making his way to Ethiopia to meet with other leaders on a negotiated settlement for Qaddafi. With the NATO adventure looking less palatable by the day, the American administration has vested political interest in driving a negotiated settlement home and ending military commitment.

CAMBODIA
Thai-Cambodian border fighting over Hindu holy site enters 3rd day - Washington Times

IRAN
Iran, Iraq sign agreement to swap prisoners, possibly repatriate Iranian opposition group - AP
Iran's Ahmadinejad in new showdown with [other] conservatives - AFP
More: Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei Asserts Power Over President - New York Times

IRAQ
Terrorists bomb Catholic church in Baghdad after Easter services - BBC
2 Fort Hood soldiers killed by IED in Iraqi action - AP
Insurgents step up assassinations in Iraq - AFP
Adm. Mullen: Iraq must decide in "weeks" on U.S. troops extension - Reuters
Iraqi cleric [& Iran's stooge] Muqtada al-Sadr's followers demand U.S. troops leave - Reuters
Iranian Grand Ayatollah Haeri Issues Fatwa Against Extended US Mission in Iraq - Fars News (Iran)

ISRAEL
One Israeli killed, 4 wounded from PA police gunfire in West Bank - Jerusalem post
Probe: Israelis shot in West Bank tried to break through Palestinian roadblock - Ha'aretz
Hamas planning to kidnap more Israeli soldiers - Jerusalem Post
Cpl. Shalit Capture: Anatomy of An Attack: The Palestinian Tunnel Raid - ThreatsWatch 2006

LIBYA
Libya's foreign minister heads to Ethiopia to talk peace - Ha'aretz (Israel)

PAKISTAN
Al-Qaeda To Target UK-Bound Flights With Liquid Explosive - Rantburg
NATO supplies resume as drone strike protesters lift blockade on routes - Daily Times (Pakistan)

SYRIA
Syrian security detains activists in raids; Soldiers, police open fire from rooftops - Washington Times
Regime rounds up opponents after killing more protesters - Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
Syria protests: Security forces shoot at mourners during protester funerals - BBC
On-Point OpEd: NY Post: Syrians struggle on; Assad still set on slaughter - New York Post
Yes We Do: U.S. Seeks to Raise Heat on Syria - Wall Street Journal
No We Don't: US Denies Trying to Undermine Syrian Government - VOA

YEMEN
President Saleh agrees to step down in 30 days; Fails to end protests - Washington Times
Jane Nails It: Saleh devises nifty stall tactic, world swallows - Jane Novak

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