Three Arab autocrats who ruled their countries for decades have been ousted from power this year, and others are in danger of being overthrown. Yet no king or emir has suffered such a fate.
Protests have taken place in countries ruled by monarchs, including Bahrain, which had widespread demonstrations last spring. And after protests in Morocco and Jordan, the kings offered up limited political changes that have, at least for now, staved off any real threat to their rule.
In the new Libya, uncertainty is the one certainty.
Contradictions and conspiracies proliferate faster than street demonstrations now that the iron fist of dictator Moammar Gadhafi's regime has been lifted.
Among those searching for answers are relatives of prisoners locked away by various revolutionary military councils. Some of the prisoners are former Gadhafi loyalists with blood on their hands. But family members say others were seized for motives of revenge.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
Credit MOHAMMED HOSSAM / MOHAMMED HOSSAM/AFP/Getty Images
Human Rights Watch today accused the Syrian government of committing crimes against humanity during its crackdown on the restive central region of Homs. The rights group called on the Arab League, scheduled to meet in Cairo tomorrow, to suspend Syria's membership in the organization.
"The systematic nature of abuses against civilians in Homs by Syrian government forces, including torture and unlawful killings, indicate that crimes against humanity have been committed," Human Rights Watch said in their 63-page report released today.
Here's today's stunning figure: The video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 sold about 6.5 million copies the first day it went on sale. According to Activision Blizzard, which released the numbers today, that adds up to more than $400 million in sales in North America and the U.K.
Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary will not be at Saturday's game against Nebraska. During a press conference, Rod Erickson, the school's interim president, announced that McQueary had been placed under administrative leave.
As we had reported, the school said yesterday McQueary would not be at the game because it had received "multiple threats" against him.
The home of The Beatles is being remodeled — drastically.
EMI, until now one of the four remaining major labels, is being broken up and sold off by the megabank Citigroup. After an auction that took almost nine months, French media company Vivendi, which owns Universal Music Group, will buy EMI's recorded music division and Sony Corp. will pick up the publishing arm.