The 'Youth Bulge' and Protests in the Middle East, North Africa
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Throughout the Middle East and North Africa, countries with young populations and high unemployment are seeing massive unrest. What does it mean when young men can't even afford to get married? We hear about the demand for immediate change and the potential consequences of frustrated expectations. Also, Gadhafi vows fight to the death as revolt moves to Tripoli. On Reporter's Notebook, after Congress, conservative Republicans have a second line of defense against President Obama: State Governors.
Banner image: Residents of the poverty-stricken rural Tunisia region of Sidi Bouzid and Kasserine lay on matresses in front of the Government palace in Tunis on January 25, 2011. Photo: Fethi Belaid/AFP/Getty Images
Gadhafi Vows Fight to the Death as Revolt Moves to Tripoli ()
In a televised speech from the ramparts of the Red Castle overlooking Green Square in Tripoli, Colonel Moammar Gadhafi told a crowd of supporters to "defend the nation and defend the oil" and promised a "fight to the death" for control of Libya. Liz Sly is in Cairo for the Washington Post.
Rebellion by the Young and the Unemployed ()
Again and again, Moammar Gadhafi has blamed the violence in Libya on young people. His claim that they're taking "hallucinogens" supplied by Osama bin Laden may not be credible, but there's no doubt that Libya's youth are in the forefront of protest against his corrupt, tyrannical rule. A high proportion of young people and widespread unemployment have set the stage for a perfect storm in the Middle East and North Africa. The Internet and Al Jazeera have opened the young to the rest of the world and stoked their eagerness and courage to demand major change. But if they succeed, what happens next? Will the newly empowered inherit stagnant economies that still deny opportunity and frustrate ambition? What's being done to prevent crushed expectations by encouraging entrepreneurship, creating jobs and training a 21st Century workforce?
- Mansour El-Kikhia: Professor of Political Science, University of Texas-San Antonio
- Jack Goldstone: Professor of Public Policy, George Mason University
- Awais Sufi: Vice President for Work Programs, International Youth Foundation
- Raghda El Ebrashi: Founder, Alashanek ya Balady Association for Sustainable Development
- Diane Singerman: Associate Professor of Government, American University
Republicans and Democrats Poles Apart ()
In Madison, Senate Democrats are still out of the state, but Assembly Republicans broke a filibuster this morning and passed the Wisconsin Governor's anti-collective-bargaining bill to a chorus of outrage. But Scott Walker isn't the only Republican Governor taking positions similar to those of Congressional Republicans, another sign of the increasing polarization of American politics. That's according to Ron Brownstein, political director for the National Journal Group and author of The Second Civil War: How Extreme Partisanship has Paralyzed Washington and Polarized America.
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