The group warring against the Yemeni state is now the state

Friday, February 13, 2015

  • Anti-U.S. groups are battling for control over Yemen
  • New sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby
  • Nigeria is close to eradicating polio

Here are the top stories

Political unrest in Yemen: Al-Qaeda captured a Yemeni military base and killed six soldiers on Thursday, in the terror group’s latest move to take advantage of unrest in the country. Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world, “is collapsing before our eyes,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. The U.S., along with the UK, Saudi Arabia, France, Italy and Germany, closed their embassies in Yemen due to security concerns and the lack of a formal and functioning government.


Houthi insurgents — not al-Qaeda — recently toppled the Yemeni government, which had supported American drone strikes against al-Qaeda in the country. The Houthis are anti-American members of a Shiite sect. “The same group that has waged six brutal wars against the Yemeni state over the past decade is now the state,” writes BuzzFeed News foreign correspondent Gregory Johnsen.

Houthi Shiite Yemenis hold their weapons during a rally to show support for their comrades in Sanaa.

Houthi Shiite Yemenis hold their weapons during a rally to show support for their comrades in Sanaa. Hani Mohammed / Associated Press

Al-Qaeda, made up of radical Sunnis, is also looking to spread its influence. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as the branch in Yemen is known, is considered the most dangerous to Western interests and is “an obvious beneficiary from the political chaos,” writes Johnsen.

P.S. Houthis and al-Qaeda are both anti-American groups. But the Houthis are also strong enemies of al-Qaeda and have not interfered with American drone strikes and counterterrorism efforts against the group.

We’re keeping an eye on

The back and forth on same-sex marriage in Alabama: A federal judge ordered officials from Mobile County to stop denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Mobile County was the only one of the four largest counties in Alabama that didn't begin issuing licenses after the federal court’s initial orders went into effect on Monday morning, Feb. 9.

Image via BuzzFeed News legal editor Chris Geidner on Twitter

More Bill Cosby sexual assault allegations: Two women, former models Lise-Lotte Lublin and Linda Brown, stepped forward saying Bill Cosby drugged them while they were in their early twenties. Brown’s allegation is notable because it happened in Canada, where there is no time constraint for filing charges, as there is in the U.S. Here are all the women who have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault.

You may have missed

Chelsea Manning: The U.S. Army is granting hormone therapy to Chelsea Manning, who is serving a 35-year sentence for leaking U.S. secrets. The decision is a first for the Army, reports USA Today. Manning publicly identified herself as female in August 2013.

RIP David Carr: New York Times media columnist and critic David Carr died in the Times newsroom in New York City late Thursday. Carr was known for his sharp commentary on media and gained even more prominence after being featured in the documentary Page One: Inside The New York Times.

The World Press Photo of the Year goes to Danish photographer Mads Nissen for his photo of a gay couple, embracing in an intimate moment in Russia, a country that’s increasingly hostile to LGBT minorities. As one of the judges wrote, “it is an historic time for the image.”

Nigeria is close to being polio-free: Only three countries in the world — Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan — haven’t stopped the transmission of polio and now Nigeria is on the verge of eradicating the disease after six-months without a case.

Life is short but Facebook is forever: Facebook is now letting you decide who will run your page after you die.

Happy Friday

We do not endorse this. Meet the Romeos spending up to $25,000 on Valentine’s flowers. “I wanted 1,114 roses,” says one gentleman. “A rose for every day we knew each other.”

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