Thursday, April 07, 2011

FP Morning Brief
Top story: Following Saudi Arabia's intervention in Bahrain last month, Bahrain's ruling family has cracked down on the nascent protest movement. Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa has instituted emergency laws that give the government's security forces the right to search houses without a warrant, dissolve political parties, and arrest those who participated in the protest movement.

After the government crushed the large-scale demonstrations and the protesters' encampment in Manama's Pearl Square, the opposition has had to adjust its strategy. The protest movement now relies on smaller demonstrations in Bahrain's outlying villages. Nevertheless, human rights activists have reported that 26 people have been killed, 300 have been imprisoned, and at least 35 people are missing in the three weeks since the crackdown began in earnest.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates met with Saudi King Abdullah on Wednesday, in an attempt to repair relations between the two countries that had frayed badly in recent days. Gates told reporters that he declined to raise the issue of Saudi Arabia's intervention in Bahrain with the king.

NATO airstrike hits rebels: A NATO airstrike in eastern Libya mistakenly targeted a group of Libyan rebels, killing 13.

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