World News Brief, Thursday August 4

Hosni Mubarak pleads not guilty to corruption and murder charges, but protesters want more; Court appearance high point so far of Arab Spring; Thousands protest for Papua independence after 21 deaths; US allows aid even into rebel areas of Somalia; Calls for restraint as South Korea-Japan tensions grow; Italy in crisis talks; and more

Top of the Agenda: Egypt’s Mubarak on Trial, Pleads Not Guilty

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak appeared in a Cairo court (al-Jazeera) Wednesday to face charges of corruption and the killing of anti-government protesters during February's popular revolution that ousted him from power. He pled not guilty to all of the charges.

The former ruler--Egypt's longest serving in modern history--appeared in court on a hospital bed inside a metal defendant's cage (National), along with his two sons. Mubarak was charged with the “intentional and premeditated murder” of peaceful protesters and with accepting bribes in a land-swap deal.

The trial, a key demand (DeutscheWelle) of the protesters who ousted him, came amid rising tension between the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and the opposition, who accuse the caretaker government of failing to speedily implement all necessary reforms.

Mubarak's court appearance was hailed as a seminal moment in the so-called Arab Spring (NYT) that has led to protests against autocratic leaders throughout the Arab world, starting with the ouster of Tunisia's president in January.


Seeing the Mubaraks behind bars will be widely viewed as poetic justice, but it's accountability--not humiliation--that matters, says the Guardian's Brian Whitaker.

Many Egyptian military officers and some civilian politicians are interested in replicating the so-called Turkish model for Egypt, in which the military would play a leading role in guiding society and politics. But such a strategy is a poor fit for the country, writes CFR's Steven A. Cook in Foreign Affairs.

Opinion on the transition period in Egypt is polarizing, with officials promoting a calculated approach, and demonstrators demanding more rapid change, writes al-Ahram's Dina Ezzat.

The New York Review of Books' Yasmine El Rashidi explores the ascendant role of Islamists in post-revolutionary Egyptian politics and society.


PACIFIC RIM: Thousands Demonstrate in Indonesia

Thousands of Indonesians in the Papua region demonstrated for independence (NYT), following days of political violence that left at least twenty-one people dead.

South Korea: A day after three Japanese parliamentarians were prevented from entering South Korea over a territorial dispute, the US government called for “restraint” (Yonhap) amid rising diplomatic tensions.



- US Eases Restrictions on Somalia Aid
- US Debt Deal Sparks Anger at Political System
- Italy in Crisis Talks


This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on