Time to check in with the Middle East uprisings. Here are the latest reports from various fronts:
Bahrain. The capital of Bahrain, Manama, is in turmoil, according to reports from Al Jazeera and The Guardian. Clashes between police and protesters have left at least five dead and dozens more injured; it's believed that police are using tear gas, grenades, and live rounds on the crowds. Bahraini society has long experienced tension between its Sunnis, a politically powerful minority, and its Shiites, who comprise the majority but generally have less opportunities for advancement. Initially, demonstrations in Bahrain had focused on securing equal rights for Shiites, but in recent days the protesters have increased their demands, calling for the ouster of Bahrain's ruling family. It was also reported that Miguel Marquez, a correspondent for ABC News, was attacked while covering the protests. Marquez was assaulted with billy clubs and had a camera stolen; after he escaped, he reported that he'd been "beat rather badly by a gang of thugs." It's also been reported that the remainder of the GP2 race weekend in Bahrain has been canceled.
Libya. The New York Times reports one dead and 14 wounded in Libya, where supporters of Mu'ammar Qaddafi, the country's de facto ruler since 1969, apparently turned out in force this week to counter growing anti-government unrest. Demonstrations against Qaddafi have occurred in at least four cities, and there have been accounts of protesters setting fire to police stations and using gasoline bombs outside government offices. The group Human Rights Solidarity has reported that rooftop snipers are targeting demonstrators. In spite of all this, the Libyan state media has made almost no mention of the opposition protests, instead focusing almost entirely on the demonstrations in support of Qaddafi.
Yemen. Yemen is a particularly troubled nation, with 35 percent unemployment, 45 percent poverty, and a jigsaw configuration of various factions and conflicts within its borders. In Sanaa, the nation's capital, thousands of anti-government and pro-government demonstrators have collided on the streets, throwing rocks and chunks of concrete at each other and setting tires and Dumpsters on fire. President Ali Abdullah Saleh's promise to vacate the office in 2013 doesn't appear to have mollified opposition demonstrators; an Al Jazeera report describes the situation there as "spiralling out of control."