Chatter: US embassy protests spread to Yemen




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Need to know:
Anti-American protests have spread to Yemen, where crowds today stormed the grounds of the US embassy in Sanaa. Protesters had to be driven back with tear gas, water cannon and live gun fire; shots were also reported at the US mission in Cairo, Egypt, on what's now the third day of clashes there.

The violence has already cost the life of America's ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three of his colleagues. It was supposedly sparked by excerpts from an amateurish, US-made movie that denigrates Islam's Prophet Mohammad.

But as the mystery deepens over who made the offending clips, and whether the movie they supposedly preview even exists, it's getting harder and harder to tell what – and who – is behind this week's shocking events. Were they planned in advance? Should the video be banned regardless? And how will the attacks feed into the US election campaign? Find GlobalPost's full coverage here.

Want to know:
Xi Jinping's alive!
At least, alive enough to offer his condolences for someone definitely less alive than he is.

After almost two weeks of unexplained absence, China's vice president and presumed leader-to-be finally reappeared this morning, though only in name. State media cited him, along with several other high-ranking officials, as expressing his sympathies to the family of a recently deceased general. 

Where in the world Xi is, and what has caused him to miss a number of top-level meetings with foreign dignitaries, remains a mystery.

Dull but important:
Our favorite number today is 5.1 million, because that's how many more children are surviving each year than two decades ago. According to new figures from Unicef and the World Bank, the global rate of mortality in children under five almost halved between 1990 and 2011: from 12 million deaths annually then to 6.9 million now.

Unicef says we have better nutrition, greater access to vaccines and treatments, improved post-natal care and the use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets to thank.

But the agency warns there's still plenty more to do: last year around 19,000 children were still dying each day, many from largely preventable diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria.

Just because:
You've seen the pictures, now hear the story. Last week, GlobalPost published a series of stills from footage filmed by correspondent Tracey Shelton in Aleppo, Syria's embattled second city. The images capture the moment that three of Shelton's interviewees, all rebel fighters, were killed by tank fire. 

Today, Shelton tells the story of the men she saw die: Issa, Ahmed and Qasim, fathers and brothers, students, teachers and laborers.

"Some moments, they seem like any group of friends anywhere," Shelton says. "But here, all that can change in an instant." Her video is the proof.

Strange but true:
On the scale of drunken exploits, this one's pretty high: last weekend, a North Korean man floated to a South Korean island on some kind of wooden board. He was found wearing only his underwear, and is said to have been somewhat, ahem, "tired and emotional" at the time.

The almighty hangover to which the young man presumably awoke may have been softened by the prospect of a new life: South Korea typically allows the North Koreans who wash up on its shores to stay, though they are free to return to the North if they choose. Odds are that this particular gentleman will not – not sober, anyhow.