Mud-Hut Construction Industry Faces Sudden Slump

  • Chinese officials have put a lid on protests in the Xinjiang capital, Urumqi, and now they're just waiting to see see if the Muslim Uighurs get restless on their prayer day (Friday). [AP]
  • The unofficial surge in Afghanistan is proving to be, as George Bush might have once plaintively yelped from his podium, "hard work." [Christian Science Monitor]
  • Ah yes speaking of the state quashing of dissent, Iranian authorities are telling folks not to even THINK about rallying or protesting today, or else. It's the tenth anniversary of another time that people staged major demonstrations and got beaten and sent to jail. [New York Times]
  • Two and a half years ago the US detained five Iranian diplomats in Kurdistan, and we've finally turned these people over to the Iraqis, who will turn them over to Iran. [Los Angeles Times]
  • Least fun conference ever: the NIH's swine flu summit. [CNN]
  • Not even tiny West African villages have escaped the ravages of the housing market collapse. [Wall Street Journal]

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