World News Brief, Thursday June 21

Mubarak on life support after suffering stroke in prison; Cambodian police arrest associate of Bo Xilai's wife; 90,000 people displaced by ethnic fighting between Buddhists and Muslims in Burma; Pakistan's Supreme Court ousts PM; Russia won't intervene in Syria; and more

Top of the Agenda: Egypt's Mubarak in Critical Condition; Tens of Thousands Protest in Cairo

Former president of Egypt Hosni Mubarak was rushed to a military hospital yesterday (NYT) after apparently suffering a stroke in prison, and was said to be in critical condition as of Wednesday morning. The news of the longtime leader's deteriorating health--Mubarak was ousted during last year's popular, pro-democracy uprising--came as tens of thousands of people demonstrated in Cairo's Tahrir Square against the ruling military council. The ruling generals moved to consolidate their power in recent days, even as the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi appeared poised to narrowly win this past weekend's presidential runoff.


"Sadly, it is not just Mubarak that is on life support at this moment--Egypt's creaky institutions and its nascent democracy are as well. Its politics are broken, its infrastructure in disrepair, its economy near collapse, its state education system in disarray, and its public health system nonexistent. If anything, this is the legacy of Hosni Mubarak: the evisceration of his beloved country," writes CFR's Steven Cook for

"But the Mubarak-led regime was always much bigger than the man who sat on top of it. Its military, one of the largest in the world with half a million troops, is also one of the most autonomous, with its own direct relationship to the Pentagon and a whole mini-economy of businesses and investments. His civilian National Democratic Party weaved a vast bureaucracy and a vaster patronage network across Egypt, and his brutal secret police enforced authoritarianism across a nation of 80 million," writes the Atlantic's Max Fisher.

"SCAF clearly did not want to risk reducing the control they have over the country, and wanted even more power. The Egyptian military controls at least 30 percent of the economy and use conscripts for cheap labour. They also receive billions of dollars from the U.S. that they are not held accountable for, nor do we know what exactly they do with it," writes Hisham Wahby for Al Jazeera.



Cambodian Police Arrest Associate of Bo Xilai's Wife

Cambodian police arrested a French architect (NYT) who was an associate of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai's wife, Gu Kailai, the police chief of Phnom Penh confirmed yesterday. Gu is currently being detained as a suspect in the death of British businessman Neil Heywood.

BURMA: Approximately ninety thousand people have been displaced (BBC) by ethnic fighting between Buddhists and Muslims in Burma's western Rakhine state, the United Nations said.



Pakistan's Supreme Court ousts PM

Russia won't intervene in Syria



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