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News in Brief: Troops Continue to Fire on Protesters in Yemen as Internet Blackout Begins in Syria, and More ...

Friday, 03 June 2011 08:18 By Yana Kunichoff, Truthout | News in Brief
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Troops Continue to Fire on Protesters in Yemen as Internet Blackout Begins in Syria

Four months into mass protests and political deadlock, Yemeni government troops have continued to fire on protesters and young protesters in the south of the country have taken up arms against the government for the first time, reported The New York Times. Yemen, the poorest Arab country, has also had its domestic oil supplies and electricity networks cut off by tribes that oppose the continuing rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. 
 
Meanwhile, Twitter reports of an Internet blackout in Syria Friday have continued to raise alarm about the crackdown on protesters by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, reported Global Voices. 

New GOP Map Targets Ron Paul 

A new GOP map proposed Thursday in Texas would see the demographics of Ron Paul's Texas district shifted; Democratic operatives believe this is a change intended to target the Tea Party godfather and 2012 Republican presidential hopeful. His new district would pick up 300,000 additional voters, with a drop in Caucasian voters and an increase in African-American and Hispanic constituents. Jeff Crosby, a Democratic operative, said this increase in voters is likely to keep Paul from coming back to the Texas legislature after his presidential run, reported the Texas Tribune. 

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HIV Infections Dropped 25 Percent

Infections of the HIV virus have dropped 10 percent in the last decade, according to the United Nations AIDS agency, but the gains have been unevenly distributed. Advances in treatment have resulted in fewer deaths from full-blown AIDS, but the gains have fallen sharply along economic lines - those who can afford the treatment in rich countries often don't die from AIDS. Worldwide, Sub-Saharan Africa and South/Southeast Asia saw a decline in infections, while rates in North Africa and Eastern Europe increased. Meanwhile, both sex workers and gay men continue to be infected, with a rise of 6 percent in infections for both groups; HIV among sex workers is at 50 percent, and 36 among gay men, reported The Associated Press. 
 

Greece Pushed to Rapidly Sell State Assets 

A year after Greece has averted disaster with a $146 billion lifeline from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, it has not raised a single cent from its plan to sell off public property and state companies. If Greece doesn't start raising money soon, its financers are threatening to pull back a $15 billion loan installment, reported the Global Post. This could lead to the state freezing its payment of pensions and salaries, and has led to a panic in Athens to sell off assets from stakes in phone companies to government-owned luxury resorts and shipping ports. 
 

Gmail Hackers Targeted White House

China-based hackers who broke into Google Inc.'s Gmail accounts were targeting people who worked at the White House, reports The Wall Street Journal, in the hope that the senior administration officials were using their personal accounts for government business. The "phishing" attack didn't find any official information, the Obama administration said, and they will not raise the matter officially with the Chinese government until more information is known. 

Yana Kunichoff

Yana Kunichoff is an assistant editor at Truthout.

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