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The latest from the Middle East:

Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Tuesday dismissed Prime Minister Samir Rifai and his cabinet after widespread protests by crowds of people inspired by demonstrations in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere.

The weekly demonstrations, which have drawn momentum from the unrest in the region and were joined Friday by thousands across Jordan, reflect growing discontent stoked by the most serious domestic economic crisis in years and accusations of rampant government. Demonstrators protested rising prices and demanded the dismissal of Rifai and his government.

One of the staples of op-ed page commentary is complaints about third-world governments that subsidize food and fuel to keep prices down. It’s inefficient! The market should set prices! And so it should. But events of the past couple of weeks certainly make the decision to subsidize a lot more understandable, don’t they? If it’s a choice between market efficiency and keeping your head off a pike, market efficiency is going to lose every time.

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We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

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That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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