Yemen crackdown: in pictures

The <em>New Statesman</em> publishes the most powerful images from the protests and subsequent polic

A government crackdown in Yemen on Friday left more than 40 anti-government protesters dead and hundreds wounded in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a.

Screaming

A demonstrator stands above the crowd, screaming and waving a graffitied national flag.

riot police

Until today, the protests had been largely peaceful, with only minor skirmishes between protesters and government forces. However, there has been an increasingly heavy presence of riot police.

Flag

In the photo below, two boys peek through a torn Yemeni flag on 17 March, the day before the crackdown.

Yemeni women praying in the country's capital.

Above: women pray in the nation's capital at a rally aimed at removing President Ali Abdullah Saleh, 17 March.

A protester with red hands

Below, a man raises his bloodstained hands to the camera after government forces attacked protesters, 18 March.

An injured child in Yemen.

Protesters carry away a wounded boy to receive medical treatment.

Yemen

Another injured protester is stretchered away by chanting demonstrators.

(All photos: Getty Images)

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An alternative Trainspotting script for John Humphrys’ Radio 4 “Choose Life” tribute

Born chippy.

Your mole often has Radio 4’s Today programme babbling away comfortingly in the background while emerging blinking from the burrow. So imagine its horror this morning, when the BBC decided to sully this listening experience with John Humphrys doing the “Choose Life” monologue from Trainspotting.

“I chose not to choose life: I chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got Radio 4?” he concluded, as a nation cringed.

Introduced as someone who has “taken issue with modernity”, Humphrys launched into the film character Renton’s iconic rant against the banality of modern life.

But Humphrys’ role as in-studio curmudgeon is neither endearing nor amusing to this mole. Often tasked with stories about modern technology and digital culture by supposedly mischievous editors, Humphrys sounds increasingly cranky and ill-informed. It doesn’t exactly make for enlightening interviews. So your mole has tampered with the script. Here’s what he should have said:

“Choose life. Choose a job and then never retire, ever. Choose a career defined by growling and scoffing. Choose crashing the pips three mornings out of five. Choose a fucking long contract. Choose interrupting your co-hosts, politicians, religious leaders and children. Choose sitting across the desk from Justin Webb at 7.20 wondering what you’re doing with your life. Choose confusion about why Thought for the Day is still a thing. Choose hogging political interviews. Choose anxiety about whether Jim Naughtie’s departure means there’s dwindling demand for grouchy old men on flagship political radio shows. Choose a staunch commitment to misunderstanding stories about video games and emoji. Choose doing those stories anyway. Choose turning on the radio and wondering why the fuck you aren’t on on a Sunday morning as well. Choose sitting on that black leather chair hosting mind-numbing spirit-crushing game shows (Mastermind). Choose going over time at the end of it all, pishing your last few seconds on needlessly combative questions, nothing more than an obstacle to that day’s editors being credited. Choose your future. Choose life . . .”

I'm a mole, innit.