Greetings readers (Hi Mom!) and apologies
4 pm ETSkip to next paragraph
The Arab League observer mission in Syria is likely to fail
Egypt's military rulers crack down on democracy groups
Iran's threats over Strait of Hormuz? Understandable, but not easy
Eastern Libya poll indicates political Islam will closely follow democracy
Iraq's Maliki threatens, Sunnis grumble, and Baghdad goes boom
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The Backchannels blog went live today and our first post was, well, a little misleading. I've been noodling with this in development for a week or two and writing test posts. With the fall of Tunisia's President Ben Ali today (and my test posts this morning focusing on that) we decided to go live early. The problem? A short post that was written at 8:30 this morning, when Ben Ali's prospects were dim, went live to readers at about 4 pm, a few hours after Ben Ali had fled the country. And it wasn't time-stamped.
Then, capping our first day with an extra measure of glory, Google News crawled our site, recognized the early morning post as "new" content, and put it at the top of their page.
Apologies for any confusion if you were drawn here by that outdated story. But welcome. What is this thing? Well, we're not entirely sure yet. I'll be Backchannels primary writer and editor. I spent 15 years reporting and working overseas before coming to the Monitor's Boston headquarters in 2009. This page will largely reflect my interest in America's current wars abroad and the Middle East but I plan to cast a fairly wide net.