Saturday, February 19, 2011

Middle East Update

by Bill McBride on 2/19/2011 11:00:00 PM

Earlier: Schedule for Week of February 20th

A few links ...

• From Bloomberg: Bahrain Vows to Ease Tension; Mideast Unrest Spreads

Bahrain’s authorities backed down from a standoff with protesters in a bid to ease tensions as government forces in Yemen, Libya and Djibouti shot at demonstrators ... In Yemen, gunfire broke out in the capital yesterday, leaving one man dead, shot in the neck by government supporters, as the unrest entered the ninth day.
• From the LA Times: Bahrain protesters back at Pearl Square despite violence
The thousands who paraded in Pearl Square on Saturday night believed they had journeyed too far to stop their uprising now. Just as the Egyptians in Tahrir Square mourned their dead and vowed their passing would produce major social change, the Bahrainis now found resolve in their grief.
• From the NY Times: Cycle of Suppression Rises in Libya and Elsewhere
Libyan security forces moved against protesters Saturday in Benghazi, the country’s second-largest city and the epicenter of the most serious challenge to four decades of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s rule, opposition leaders and residents said. The death toll rose to at least 104 people, most of them in Benghazi ...
• From the NY Times: Oil Flows, but High Prices Jangle Nerves
The turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East has helped drive oil prices up to more than $102 a barrel for an important benchmark crude, Brent, although so far there have been no significant disruptions in production or supply ... While Egypt and Tunisia have little oil, Libya is one of Africa’s largest holders of crude oil reserves, Algeria and Iran are major suppliers and Bahrain and Yemen both border Saudi Arabia on the peninsula that produces most of the world’s oil.