And just when oil was tapering off on hopes that the Middle East supply situation may actually normalize, we get this from The Guardian: "Saudi forces are preparing to intervene in neighbouring Bahrain, after a day of clashes between police and protesters who mounted the most serious challenge to the island's royal family since demonstrations began a month ago. The Crown Prince of Bahrain is expected to formally invite security forces from Saudi Arabia into his country today, as part of a request for support from other members of the six-member Gulf Co-operation Council." Pretty mich just as we predicted earlier. And yes, this is huge as Iran will promptly respond, setting off dormant religious tensions with a bang.
The crown prince, Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, said in a televised statement that Bahrain had "witnessed tragic events" during a month of unprecedented political unrest.
Warning that "the right to security and safety is above all else", he added: "Any legitimate claims must not be made at the expanse of security and stability."
The crown prince has also promised that national dialogue would look at increasing the power of Bahrain's parliament, and that any deal could be put to nationwide referendum.
However, some protesters have pressed their demands further to call for the toppling of the Sunni dynasty.
The unrest is being closely watched in Saudi Arabia, where Shia are some 15% of the population.