Posted Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, at 5:23 PM
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SPREADING UNREST: Violent anti-American protests continued to sweep across parts of the Muslim world today, with angry protesters targeting a growing number of Western embassies, as well as one very unlucky KFC. Demonstrations that began in Egypt on Tuesday have now spread to Libya, Yemen, Tunisia, Sudan, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Kuwait, among other locations. We've got a handy interactive timeline to help you keep all the action straight.
SCENES FROM THE GROUND: The Associated Press: "Police in Cairo and the Yemeni capital Sanaa dug in to prevent protesters from reaching U.S. embassies, firing tear gas and clashing with the young demonstrators. But elsewhere, authorities gave the anger freer rein: In Sudan, the attack on the U.S. Embassy came after a call from a cleric on state radio, and protesters drove unhampered for miles in a convoy of buses to the embassy." Check out our Slate photo gallery here.
ONE-SENTENCE ANALYSIS: NYT: "The widening unrest has challenged the Obama administration’s policy in the tinderbox region, where the Arab Spring uprisings have removed many of the pro-American strongmen who once kept public displays of Islamic passion in check."
WHERE THE PROTESTS AREN'T HAPPENING: The Atlantic's Max Fisher (soon to be a foreign-affairs blogger at WaPo): One thing to note is "how sparse the protests have been in the three countries with the largest Muslim populations in the world: Indonesia, Pakistan, and India. Those three have Muslim populations way above 150 million each, compared to six million in Libya and 10 million in Tunisia, and yet have seen no violence and far fewer protests. ... And, of course, there are the vast areas of the Muslim world that do not appear to be protesting at all. Those include most of sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, as well as Turkey, Russia, China, and the U.S., all of which have significant Muslim populations."
AFTERNOON WEB LEADS: NYT: "Embassies of U.S. and Allies Under Siege in Muslim World"; WSJ: "U.S. Embassies Hit Across Mideast, Africa"; BBC: "Anti-Islam film protests escalate"; Al Jazeera English: "Embassies under attack over anti-Islam video"
MINI-EXPLAINER: The film believed to have sparked the protests was reportedly made by a Coptic Christian. If you've been wondering exactly what a Coptic Christian is, we've got you covered.
PAYING TRIBUTE: "Their sacrifice will never be forgotten,” President Obama said today at the Andrews Air Force Base, where he honored Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty, who all lost their lives during Tuesday's attack on the Benghazi consulate. "We will bring to justice those who took them from us. We will stand fast against the violence on our diplomatic missions."
A CALL FOR REASON: "The people of Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Tunisia did not trade the tyranny of a dictator for the tyranny of a mob," Hillary Clinton said from Andrews. "Reasonable people and responsible leaders in these countries need to do everything they can to restore security and hold accountable those behind these violent acts."
UNIVERSITY BOMB SCARES: AP: "Tens of thousands of people streamed off university campuses in Texas and North Dakota on Friday after telephoned bomb threats prompted officials to warn students and faculty to get away as quickly as possible. Both campuses eventually were deemed safe and reopened by early afternoon, as authorities worked to determine whether the threats were related."
DONE DEAL? Chicago Tribune: "Chicago Public Schools and the teachers union have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract and classes could resume for 350,000 students on Monday, according to school and union officials. The union’s House of Delegates will review the proposal at a meeting this afternoon and is likely to vote to end the five-day-old teachers strike on Sunday after final details have been worked out, officials say."
TWITTER CAVES: The company agreed today to hand over roughly three months' worth of tweets to a judge in the criminal trial of an Occupy Wall Street protester. Slate's Will Oremus explains why the site did it.
SLATE QUICK HITS:
—Moneybox: The War On Smoking Is Working
—Browbeat: The Poet Laureate’s Inaugural Reading
A FEW LONGER PIECES TO TAKE WITH YOU INTO THE WEEKEND:
—Nathaniel Hawthorne, Party Hack: Why did the famous novelist agree to write a campaign biography for an infamously bad president?
—How To Buy a Daughter: Choosing the sex of your baby has become a multimillion-dollar industry.
—We’re Winning the War on Poverty: New research shows that poverty is falling if you measure it correctly—and government programs deserve most of the credit.
Have a safe and happy weekend. See you back here on Monday. Until then, tell your friends to subscribe here or simply forward the newsletter on and let them make up their own minds.