Obama, upping pressure on Yemen, sends aide to region

WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama has dispatched a top aide to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to discuss the deteriorating situation in Yemen, the White House said on Wednesday.
"We strongly condemn the recent clashes in Sanaa and the deplorable use of violence by the government against peaceful demonstrators in Taiz," the White House said, announcing the visit of Obama's top counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan.
Yemeni government troops gunned down protesters in the southern town of Taiz during violence this week in which at least 19 people died, while world powers continued to press President Ali Abdullah Saleh to end his three-decade rule.
"These tragic events underscore the need for President Saleh to sign the GCC-brokered transition proposal and to begin the transfer of power immediately," the White House said.