Yemen clashes: in pictures

At least 20 anti-government demonstrators have been shot dead today in the southern city of Taiz.

Above, an anti-government protester carries a wounded child following clashes with security forces in Taiz, Yemen's second-largest city, south of Sana'a.


Soldiers reportedly moved in to end a four-month-old sit-in in the city. Above, they can be seen using water cannon to disperse demonstrators.


A wounded man is carried by fellow protesters. Taiz was one of the first cities in Yemen where demonstrators chose to gather, inspired by the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.


Above, a man in Sana'a waits with his family (out of shot) for transportation to take them to another city after the recent clashes. President Ali Abdullah Saleh refuses to step down despite months of protests and strong opposition from a leading tribe.


Here, a shop displays battery-operated lanterns. Sana'a has been hit by fuel and water shortages.


An anti-government protester flashes the victory sign at yesterday's daily rally in Sana'a against President Saleh.


Yemeni anti-regime mourners carry the coffin of a fighter loyal to the top dissident general Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar at a funeral in Sana'a.

Samira Shackle is a freelance journalist, who tweets @samirashackle. She was formerly a staff writer for the New Statesman.

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It's Gary Lineker 1, the Sun 0

The football hero has found himself at the heart of a Twitter storm over the refugee children debate.

The Mole wonders what sort of topsy-turvy universe we now live in where Gary Lineker is suddenly being called a “political activist” by a Conservative MP? Our favourite big-eared football pundit has found himself in a war of words with the Sun newspaper after wading into the controversy over the age of the refugee children granted entry into Britain from Calais.

Pictures published earlier this week in the right-wing press prompted speculation over the migrants' “true age”, and a Tory MP even went as far as suggesting that these children should have their age verified by dental X-rays. All of which leaves your poor Mole with a deeply furrowed brow. But luckily the British Dental Association was on hand to condemn the idea as unethical, inaccurate and inappropriate. Phew. Thank God for dentists.

Back to old Big Ears, sorry, Saint Gary, who on Wednesday tweeted his outrage over the Murdoch-owned newspaper’s scaremongering coverage of the story. He smacked down the ex-English Defence League leader, Tommy Robinson, in a single tweet, calling him a “racist idiot”, and went on to defend his right to express his opinions freely on his feed.

The Sun hit back in traditional form, calling for Lineker to be ousted from his job as host of the BBC’s Match of the Day. The headline they chose? “Out on his ears”, of course, referring to the sporting hero’s most notable assets. In the article, the tabloid lays into Lineker, branding him a “leftie luvvie” and “jug-eared”. The article attacked him for describing those querying the age of the young migrants as “hideously racist” and suggested he had breached BBC guidelines on impartiality.

All of which has prompted calls for a boycott of the Sun and an outpouring of support for Lineker on Twitter. His fellow football hero Stan Collymore waded in, tweeting that he was on “Team Lineker”. Leading the charge against the Murdoch-owned title was the close ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and former Channel 4 News economics editor, Paul Mason, who tweeted:

Lineker, who is not accustomed to finding himself at the centre of such highly politicised arguments on social media, responded with typical good humour, saying he had received a bit of a “spanking”.

All of which leaves the Mole with renewed respect for Lineker and an uncharacteristic desire to watch this weekend’s Match of the Day to see if any trace of his new activist persona might surface.


I'm a mole, innit.