Mideast Scrambles as Protests Spread

Some use carrots, other sticks to respond to growing unrest
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2011 4:21 AM CST
People hold an Algerian flag as they demonstrate outside the Algerian consulate in Montrea, calling for president Abdelaziz Bouteflika to step down.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Graham Hughes)

(Newser) – Mubarak has stepped down in Egypt, but other states around the Middle East and North Africa are scrambling to keep the lid on their simmering populations, trying combinations of reforms and crackdowns, reports the Los Angeles Times. Algeria responded to protests Saturday with thousands of police officers, and Iran has banned all gatherings. But Bahrain, where a Sunni family governs a country with a Shiite majority, has chosen carrots rather than sticks, as the government says it will give 1,000 dinars (about $2,660) to all families, to boost their economic futures.

Yemen protests appear to be building today, and more demonstrations are scheduled today in Bahrain and Iran—and in Libya, Algeria again, Morocco, Cameroon and Kuwait in coming days. "It turns out that threats used by the political authorities in the Arab countries, threatening their people with the consequences of democracy, collapsed very quickly," said an analyst in Jordan.

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