World News Brief, Tuesday August 14

Egypt's president forces retirement of defense minister; Japanese economy slows; Julia Gillard backs report recommending asylum seekers heading to Australia be deported to detention centres in the Pacific; mayor-elect and campaign manager murdered in Mexico; Romney's running mate makes first solo campaign appearance; and more

Top of the Agenda: Morsi Ousts Military Chiefs

In a move to reclaim political power (NYT) seized by the military after the fall of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi forced the retirement of his defense minister, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, along with the army chief of staff and other senior generals. Morsi also swept aside a military-issued constitutional declaration that had gutted presidential authority, replacing it with a declaration giving him broad legislative and executive powers, including a possibly decisive role in drawing up a new constitution.


"The Brothers have long maintained a vision of society that resonates with many Egyptians but very little in the way of means to transform these ideas into reality. The military is an exact mirror image of the Brothers. The officers have no coherent and appealing worldview, but they have had the ability to prevent those who do from accumulating power and altering the political system. The result has been a stalemate (ForeignPolicy), marked by a series of tactical political deals that only last until circumstances force the Brothers and the officers to seek accommodation. But the Rafah killings may well have tipped the scales," writes CFR's Steven A. Cook.

"The reshuffle plays into the broader strategy of Morsi's powerful Islamist alma mater, the Muslim Brotherhood, which most analysts agree is still calling the shots in the presidential kitchen," writes Abigail Hauslohner in TIME.



Economy Slows in Japan

The Japanese economy grew at an annualized rate (WSJ) of 1.4 percent in the April-June quarter, much slower than analysts' expectations.

CANBERRA: Prime Minister Julia Gillard backed an independent report recommending that asylum seekers trying to reach Australia by boat (SMH) should be deported to detention centers in Malaysia, Manus Island in northern Papua New Guinea, and the Pacific atoll of Nauru.



Mayor-elect and campaign manager murdered in Mexico

Romney's running mate makes first solo appearance


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