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New Nations and New Mergers

My good friend Jerri Merritt, (Hunter also shushed the room when she appeared on the TV screen), a year ago, wrote about the instability of Yemen. I’ve pointed to her blog so many times, but now is a great time to read as she tracks the situation in Cairo and domino effect. A year ago she wrote

"Yemen will become a failed state without aid. Between the rebel tribes in the north, the secessionists in the south and al-Qaida, the Government is out-matched. Add to that its dwindling oil reserves, critical lack of water and horrendous prison system that just breeds more terrorists, and it’s a certainty Yemen can’t fix its problems on its own."

Jerri was right about Yemen, and now Cairo. Last week she wrote: It sounds like a series of domino effects is in play: Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan and now Yemen. What’s next? Sudan?

South Sudan becomes a the world’s newest country in July of this year. One of the questions is if As south Sudan prepares for full independence after last month’s referendum that saw almost 99 percent of the mostly African Christian south vote to break from historical domination by the Arab-Muslim north, work is going on to preserve its past. But how will the two sides get along now? One hope is that the focus can now move to preserving the South’s heritage (along with redrawing the oil-rich boarder) via preserving old documents. AFP news reporting the historic document-preserving mission that has been underway since 2007:

That sense of nation-building will be crucial to ensure a peaceful future of the south, warns Jok Madut Jok, a southern Sudanese academic.

"The euphoria of independence will be accompanied by challenges of building a new nation, a project that will have to go beyond the usual temptation in new states to focus on material, infrastructural development, and delivery of basic social services.

"As a new state, south Sudan also needs to become a nation," added Jok, a history professor at Loyola Marymount University in California.

— By Peter Martell (AFP)

BBC News just aired an interview with the state governor, Paul Malong Awan how he would deal with the fact that the border with neighboring Southern Kordofan state had not been officially demarcated and something along the lines of When the cattle herders cross into the new state, will they be carrying Kalashnikovs. Awan said it won’t be a problem. hmm. let’s hope he’s right… 



And here’s a shout out to Arianna Huffington and congrats to her and AOL… Don’t like corporate mergers? They make me nervous too. But Arianna notes in her post that

Far from changing our editorial approach, our culture, or our mission, this moment will be for HuffPost like stepping off a fast-moving train and onto a supersonic jet. We’re still traveling toward the same destination, with the same people at the wheel, and with the same goals, but we’re now going to get there much, much faster.

Arianna Huffington — blog post

In her interview last night with CNN’s new Piers Morgan , she said she would replay the interview a year from now to see if the business model of free content/paid andvertising with editorial principles also untouched would be successful despite Rupert Murdoch’s view that it’s impossible. With Arianna at the wheel, anything is possible. Morgan made the astute that AOL just became a lot sexier, and Arianna just became a lot wealthier.  We wish them the best.

Gotta Run. Will click back to Amy Goodman when I get home to check on people in Cairo…

your friend,

Anita Thompson

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