Middle East Democracy versus the 'Club of Kings'
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Saudi Arabia and the US have different views about the so-called "Arab Spring." While the US encourages democracy, the Saudis are helping Sunni autocrats stay in power. Is a 50-year-old alliance on shaky ground? Is each adapting in its own way to changes neither one can control? Also, the World Health Organization on cell phones and cancer, and Germany -- Europe's industrial powerhouse --wants to abandon nuclear power.
Banner image: A Yemeni soldier who joined sides with anti-regime protesters hold a rifle bearing the slogan "leave" during a demonstration calling for the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa on May 27, 2011. Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images
WHO Says Cell Phones May Cause Cancer ()
Recent studies have shown that the biggest danger from cell phones is more automobile accidents. But the International Agency for Research on Cancer said today there could be a health issue. The Agency is an arm of the World Health Organization, which might now issue new guidelines on cell phone use. Maggie Reardon is a senior writer with CNET News.
- Maggie Reardon: CNET News
Saudi Arabia and the 'Club of Kings' ()
Over the weekend, Egypt opened the Rafah crossing on Gaza's southern border, a sign that the current military regime may be more responsive to its people than the Mubarak government was. The United States is playing it down, but it's another sign of changing priorities in the Middle East. Last week's G8 Summit promised $20- to $40 billion to help Egypt and Tunisia turn the "Arab Spring" into peaceful democracy. At the same time, US ally Saudi Arabia is doing its best to keep autocratic regimes in place in Bahrain, Yemen, Oman, and even Morocco and Jordan. Does the US agree that the "Arab Spring" has reached its limit or are US and Saudi interests diverging after decades of trading oil for protection? Are the Saudis more worried about Iran or an "Arab Spring" in their own country? What about Israel and the world's oil supply?
Germany Pulls the Plug on Nuclear Power ()
Last year, the center-right coalition of Chancellor Angela Merkel pushed an unpopular plan to extend the life of nuclear power. Now, Merkel wants Germany to abandon nuclear power in the next 11 years. Her plan comes after Japan's nuclear crisis at Fukushima and after a regional election, which became a referendum on energy policy. But it's a policy that may be easier to propose than to accomplish. Gerrit Wiesmann is Berlin correspondent for the Financial Times.
- Gerrit Wiesmann: Financial Times
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