World News Brief, Tuesday July 2

Egyptians throng streets demanding Morsi's resignation; John Kerry urges ASEAN nations to ease tensions in South China Sea; Japan, US and South Korea to boost trilateral cooperation in curbing North Korea's nuclear programme; Croatia joins the EU; and more

Top of the Agenda: Egyptians Throng Streets, Demanding Morsi's Ouster

Millions of Egyptians poured into the streets of Cairo and cities across the country on Sunday, demanding President Mohamed Morsi's resignation on his one-year anniversary of taking office following Hosni Mubarak's departure. Demonstrators cited concerns about an anemic economy, energy shortages, and sectarian tensions, but opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood was the uniting factor for the protests. The Islamist group's offices were a locus of violence as the nation's police vowed not to protect them (NYT). The opposition movement Tamarod (Rebellion) announced that it would launch a civil disobedience campaign if Morsi did not resign by Tuesday afternoon (al-Arabiya). At least nine have been killed in the protests so far.


"It is staggering to think how Morsi and the Brotherhood have obliterated so much of the goodwill that many people genuinely had for (or were willing to give to) them, largely in a single year. All the Brotherhood and Morsi (elected by only 51.7% with the indispensable aid of a revolutionary-Islamist coalition that has since fallen apart) had to do was to be transparent, inclusive, and focused on playing a mediating role between the country's forces," writes Bassem Sabry for al-Monitor.

"In conversations with opposition politicians over the past six months, I have been struck by two things: their vehement hatred of the Brotherhood, and their inability to articulate solutions to the country's problems. People speak in vague terms about social justice and democratic values. I have yet to meet a politician with a substantive plan to overhaul a system of food and fuel subsidies that eats up almost one third of the budget, or to reform the education sector, or to stimulate foreign investment," writes Leslie T. Chang for the New Yorker.

"If the first elected Islamist president is toppled, then what will keep others from trying to topple a future liberal president? If one looks at Tamarod's justifications for seeking Morsi's overthrow, the entire list consists of problems that will almost certainly plague his successor. They have little to do with a flawed transition process and a rushed constitution that ran roughshod over opposition objections and everything to do with performance," writes Shadi Hamid for the Atlantic.



Kerry Urges South China Sea Talks

U.S. secretary of state John Kerry pressed China and ASEAN nations to make progress on easing tensions in the South China Sea (Reuters), saying that Washington had national interests at stake in the disputes. The comments come a day after China said it would hold formal discussions later this year.

This CFR Backgrounder details the ongoing territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

JAPAN: Japan, the United States, and South Korea held a ministerial meeting on Monday in Brunei to boost trilateral cooperation in curbing North Korea's nuclear program (KyodoNews).


Obama announces $7 billion to boost electric power in Africa

Croatia joins the EU

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