The Obama administration says it hasn't yet made up its mind whether to arm Libyan rebels, in large part because there are still too many questions about who the rebels are and whether they have links to al-Qaida. The CIA has deployed covert teams to the country to try to find out more.
The protests in Yemen have counterterrorism officials in this country particularly worried. That's because Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has been a key U.S. ally in the fight against al-Qaida.
Several hundred fighters who are known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, are based in Yemen. The group, which was behind the Christmas Day bombing attempt on Northwest Flight 253, also sent printer-cartridge bombs to the U.S. on cargo planes last fall. (Saudi intelligence revealed the plot to U.S. officials before the bombs went off.)
Here's something that's always intrigued me. Why do almost all groups of professional teams call themselves "leagues," but similar college aggregates call themselves "conferences"? It can't be because league suggests professionalism. After all, the purest college sports alliance is the fancy-schmancy old Ivies, and they call themselves the Ivy League.
There was one professional conference, the All-American Football Conference, which lasted for a few years in the 1940s, and gave to the NFL the Cleveland Browns and the San Francisco 49ers.