New Yemen Protests Leave 16 Dead

More violence out of Yemen as President Ali Abdullah Saleh clings to power in the face of continued protests and waning U.S. support. Opening fire from rooftops on a crowd of protesters in Taiz, Yemeni security forces shot dead at least 16 people and wounded 30 others. Further protests erupted around the country in solidarity with the Taiz demonstrators. In Hudaida, protesters tried to march on a presidential palace but were blocked by security forces, who opened fire with tear gas and bullets, injuring at least 400 people, according to Al Jazeera’s correspondent there. In this week’s New Yorker, Dexter Filkins speaks to Yemeni and U.S. officials who see Saleh’s presidency as untenable, but who worry that without him the country would descend into anarchy and become a stronghold for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. “OK, fine, Saleh goes. Then what do you do? There is no institutional capacity—in the bureaucracy, in the military, or in any other institutions in this society—to really step in and pick up the pieces and manage a transition,” a diplomat tells Filkins. “The wheels are going to come off.”