Egypt protests continue--four activists killed, up to 1000 arrested; China now willing to 'contain' North Korea, says US; Australia considers temporary tax to help pay for flood reconstruction; Arab protests spread to Yemen; Haitian ruling party withdraws support for its candidate; Sarkozy defends Euro, says he and Merkel would never let it fail; and more
Top of the Agenda: Egypt Protests Continue for Third Day
In a third day of anti-government protests inspired in part by the tumult in Tunisia, clashes continued between demonstrators and police in several parts of Egypt, including Cairo and Suez (al-Jazeera). At least four activists have been killed during the unprecedented period of unrest, rallying against rising food costs, failed economic policies, and President Hosni Mubarak's thirty-year rule. Analysts expect the situation to gather steam with the arrival of Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the UN nuclear watchdog and a possible presidential rival to Mubarak (Haaretz). Shortly before his return to join in demonstrations, ElBaradei said it was time for Mubarak to step aside.
The Egyptian government has declared the protests illegal, increasing security and arresting up to a thousand (BBC), according to reports. Experts suggest that even if Mubarak manages to survive the crisis politically, his campaign to install his son as successor (FT) is finished. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Egypt to "respond to the legitimate needs" of its citizens. Media reports claim there is discussion among protestors about staging a big demonstration on Friday (CNN) following Muslim prayers.
CFR Senior Fellow Steven Cook blogs on the unrest from the ground in Egypt.
On the eve of his return, ElBaradei, the Mubarak regime's most high-profile opponent, writes for the Daily Beast on the young people who've taken to the streets, political Islam, and the role of the United States.
This editorial for the National Review suggests that given the Islamist alternative, Mubarak's exit should be regarded with trepidation.
This CFR Contingency Planning Memorandum discusses political instability in Egypt and assesses the possibility of a troubled leadership succession or an Islamist push for political power, the implications for the United States, and policy steps the U.S. government might take.
PACIFIC RIM: U.S. Says Beijing Wants to Contain North Korea
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said Chinese leaders expressed renewed commitment to containing Pyongyang (FT) following last week's visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao. In prior statements, Mullen has accused Beijing of giving North Korea "tacit approval" for acts of aggression against its southern neighbor.
Australia: The Australian government proposed a temporary tax (Guardian) to help pay for flood reconstruction efforts expected to top $5.5 billion. Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the tax would apply to Australians on above-average incomes for a year and raise an estimated $1.8 billion.
Australia's continued flooding is expected to cost billions in losses and clean-up, and some scientists believe the devastating floods are a harbinger of increasing extreme weather events to come.
This is an excerpt of the CFR.org Daily News Brief. The full version is available on CFR.org