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Council on Foreign Relations Daily News Brief
July 3, 2013

Top of the Agenda

Top of the Agenda: Egypt Ultimatum Deadline Approaches

Suhaib Salem/Courtesy Reuters  

Suhaib Salem/Courtesy Reuters

Due to the July 4 holiday, there will be no Daily Brief on Thursday, July 4, or Friday, July 5. The DB will resume on Monday, July 8.

Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi continued to defy the military despite his crumbling cabinet, with six resignations since protests began Sunday (NYT). "There is no substitute for legitimacy," Morsi said in a televised speech late Tuesday. Opposition leaders rejected his proposals to install a technocratic government and charge a committee with amending the constitution (al-Jazeera). If a power-sharing agreement is not reached by Wednesday afternoon, the army will reportedly suspend the constitution, dissolve the Islamist-dominated parliament, and install a primarily civilian interim council (Reuters). U.S. military leaders tried to dissuade their Egyptian counterparts from mounting a coup; under U.S. law, it would trigger the suspension of military aid (WSJ).


"It is not just about the fuel shortages, power outages, deteriorating economy or soaring prices. Western media rarely, if ever, mention the Muslim Brotherhood's assault on Egyptian identity, culture and way of life as a core cause of protests," writes Wael Nawara for al-Monitor.

"Reliance on street mobilization and army intervention to bring down an elected leader who has support on the ground is unlikely to lead to a positive outcome. On the contrary, that pattern--seen in Spain in 1936, Iran in 1953, Chile in 1973, Turkey in 1980, Sudan in 1989, and Algeria and Tajikistan in 1992--usually leads to military dictatorships, civil wars, or both," writes Omar Ashour for Project Syndicate.

"The greatest force to be overcome in governments and societies everywhere is inertia. Demonstrations are easy. Lasting change is hard. Those who hope for it in the Arab world and elsewhere must focus more on training oppositions in the long game of getting and consolidating power and less on how today's chants are playing on CNN or in the Twitterverse," writes David Rothkopf for Foreign Policy.



Tensions Flare at ASEAN Meeting

Philippine and Chinese ministers exchanged tense remarks (Reuters) during a regional security meeting in Brunei despite China's agreement later that day to hold talks with ASEAN on maritime rules in the South China Sea. The talks, to be held in China, are relatively low-level.

This CFR Backgrounder delves into the territorial disputes riling the region.

JAPAN: Japan's LDP Party, led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, looks set to consolidate power in a vote for the legislature's upper chamber this month (KyodoNews).

This CFR Backgrounder explains Abenomics, the prime minister's grand plan to jolt the country's economy out of decades of stagnation.



Drones Kill Seventeen in Waziristan

A U.S. drone attack targeting the head commander of militant network Haqqani killed at least seventeen in the North Waziristan tribal region on Tuesday (Dawn). U.S. intelligence considers the Haqqani network to be one of the most dangerous militant factions fighting American troops in Afghanistan.

AFGHANISTAN: The Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack (al-Jazeera) at a NATO compound in Kabul that killed at least seven people.



Gunmen Attack Tripoli Ministry

Gunmen attacked Libya's interior ministry in Tripoli (AFP), forcing its closure on Tuesday after a separate explosion in the eastern city of Benghazi injured two members of the special forces. The government blamed militants from the western city of Zintan for the attacks.



Obama Wraps Up Africa Tour

President Barack Obama finished his three-stop Africa trip in Tanzania (DeutscheWelle), where he honored the victims of the 1998 U.S. embassy bombing with former president George W. Bush. The visit follows his pledge to invest $7 billion in expanding electricity networks on the continent.

CHAD: Chad's ex-President Hissene Habre was charged in Senegal with war crimes (BBC), crimes against humanity, and torture of political opponents by a special court.



Portuguese Foreign Minister Resigns

Portuguese markets tumbled after Foreign Minister Paulo Portas resigned, a day after Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar also quit. Beleaguered Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho has pledged to stay in office and seek a stable government despite the departures (WSJ).

CYPRUS: Cyprus's President Nicos Anastasiades will meet Mario Draghi, head of the European Central Bank, on Wednesday in a bid to soften the country's bailout terms (FT).



Bolivian Plane Suspected of Carrying Snowden

A plane carrying Bolivian president Evo Morales from Russia was rerouted (AP) on Tuesday after France and Portugal refused to let it cross their airspace on suspicions that NSA leaker Edward Snowden was on board. Bolivia denied the claims.

This CFR interview explores the complexities of the Snowden case.

BRAZIL: Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff sent reform proposals (MercoPress) to Congress in a bid to recoup popularity after the wave of protests against the country's political establishment.



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