World News Brief, Tuesday February 1

Egypt protest organisers promise tomorrow will see biggest march yet (+ background & analysis); Opposition parties settle on ElBaradei as temporary leader; Burma opens first parliament in 22 years; Japanese power-broker charged with funding fraud; Niger to end military rule; and more

Top of the Agenda: Protestors Increase Pressure in Egypt

Tens of thousands of Egyptian demonstrators remained in central Cairo for the seventh day of anti-government demonstrations demanding the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. The activists have vowed to stay until Mubarak leaves office (FT). Opposition leaders said they were organizing the largest demonstrations yet for Tuesday--a "march of millions" (NYT). The BBC reported that the military has cordoned off Cairo's central square with tanks, but is letting people come and go despite the violation of a government-imposed curfew. Egyptian police failed to put down pro-democracy demonstrations last week, and the army was mobilized Friday night. The US Embassy is preparing to evacuate American citizens (WashPost), diplomatic families, and non-essential embassy personnel. The opposition has tentatively settled on pro-democracy activist and Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei as the interim leader in any negotiations with the government (WSJ). ElBaradei told reporters that he has the "popular and political support'' necessary to begin the process of forming a unity government and that he would be seeking contact with the army to discuss a political transition.


This issue guide provides a range of background and analysis on the protests in the Middle East and North Africa.

Egypt's protests put it on the threshold of dramatic change, but a range of factors, including the role of the military, will have a critical bearing on the outcome of the crisis, says CFR's Steven Cook.

This article from examines how the Iranian regime views the Arab protests.


This CFR Contingency Planning Memo 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 US government might take.


PACIFIC RIM: Burma Opens First Parliament in Decades

Burma convened its first parliament (WSJ) in twenty-two years, a move that precedes the selection of a new president for a regime that has been controlled by the military since the 1960s.

Japan: Ichiro Ozawa, the Japanese powerbroker who is widely considered the architect of the Democratic party's historic 2009 victory, has been charged with political funding violations (FT). The indictment will fuel disagreement within the DPJ between Ozawa supporters and those of Prime Minister Naoto Kan.



- Niger Votes to End Military Rule
- US Will Not Suspend Haiti Aid


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