• Following Tunisian unrest, Salam Fayyad invited reporters over to reassure international donors the Palestinian street that the PA economy is doing just fine, thank you very much:
The message he wanted to send to 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip was that economic conditions were good in spite of reports on the rise in consumer prices and relatively high unemployment and poverty figures.
Foreign donations account for a whopping 60 percent of the PA’s GNP; Fayyad and his fans have some ‘splaining to do.
• The Society of Professional Journalists did the right thing and abolished the lifetime achievement award named after Helen Thomas.
• It was wrong for the Prime Minister’s security detail to ask an Al-Jazeera reporter to remove her bra at a press event, and I’m glad Netanyahu’s office apologized. But if you’re still wondering, What the heck were those guards thinking? Harriet Sherwood sheds more light than I wanted to know:
Apparently the under-wiring messes up their metal detectors.
• A slick video — sponsored by the Pakistani army — about Pakistan’s war against Islamic insurgents is due to air in Pakistan. A few soldiers will even become celebrities. Can you imagine the world’s sneering reaction if the Israeli army sponsored a similar project?
• Russian scientists working in Bushehr fear a “Chernobyl-like” problem as Iran rushes to launch the site. Should I sleep better?