AirTalk for February 15, 2011

Egypt’s domino effect in the region

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Gamal Noman/AFP/Getty Images

An injured Yemeni pro-government demonstrator is helped away as pro-regime supporters on February 15, 2011, waded into an anti-government protest in the capital Sanaa with stones and batons, sparking violent clashes that were ended by police wielding electric tasers, witnesses said.

Inspired by Tunisia’s overthrow of its longtime president and Egypt’s historic ouster of President Mubarak, a tide of revolt is now sweeping the Middle East. Pro-democracy protesters are rallying for reforms in Iran, Bahrain, Yemen and beyond. “The world is changing,” President Obama said this morning in a message directed at autocratic rulers across the region. On Monday, Bahraini youths held a “Day of Rage,” demanding the release of political prisoners and other reforms. In Iran, opposition protesters and security forces clashed, leaving one person dead and dozens injured. President Obama blasted Iranian authorities for shooting and beating protesters trying to express themselves peacefully and called on governments throughout the Middle East to avoid violent crackdowns. Is more peaceful change coming to the region? Or will authorities in conservative nations tighten their grip?

Guests:

Michael Slackman, reporter for the New York Times currently in Bahrain

Borzou Daragahi, Middle East correspondent and Beirut bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times


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