World News Brief, Tuesday July 9

Egyptian soldiers fire on pro-Morsi protesters; former Chinese rail minister gets death sentence; China mourns two teenaged girls killed in plane crash at San Francisco International Airport; 13 bombs planted in Buddhist temple in India; Snowden gets offers of asylum from Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua; and more

Top of the Agenda: Pro-Morsi Protesters Fired Upon as Egyptian Political Order in Flux

Egyptian soldiers are said to have opened fire on Muslim Brotherhood protestors Monday during a sit-in outside the Republican Guard officers' club, where deposed president Mohammed Morsi is believed to be held. The violence leaves forty-three civilians and one security officer dead (NYT) one day after the Brotherhood vowed to broaden its protests. Meanwhile, a power vacuum in Cairo persists: after indications that Mohamed ElBaredei, a secular liberal who is internationally respected but has a weak domestic base, would be appointed prime minister, Salafi party al-Nour pulled out of negotiations (AP) for the interim civilian administration. In a bid to mitigate violence, U.S. diplomats urged Muslim Brotherhood officials to continue to participate in the political process.


"Few in Washington are sorry to see Morsi go. But few believe that this process, a mass uprising culminating in a military coup, will restore stability or lead to a more democratic outcome. The Muslim Brotherhood performed atrociously in power, but the real problem was always the weakness and illegitimacy of the political institutions. If the coup and uprising solve the first at the expense of the second, then the political reset will fail," writes Marc Lynch in Foreign Policy.

"Having ceded the revolutionary and moral high ground to the Salafis, the [Muslim Brotherhood] is no longer in the vanguard of the Islamist movement. Even in the realm of parliamentary politics, the same outsiders who for decades portrayed the Brothers as political geniuses now describe them as bumbling naïfs compared with the Salafis," writes William McCants for Foreign Affairs.

"Egyptians aren't the only ones watching. The rise of political Islamism during the so-called Arab Spring was in many ways a reaction to the repression of Islamists under the various secular regimes they helped topple in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt. Their rise was like a recoil after the restrictions on their political participation were lifted," writes Rania Abouzeid for the New Yorker.



Chinese Ex-Minister Sentenced for Corruption

China handed down a suspended death sentence for former rail minister Liu Zhijun, who was convicted of bribery and abuse of power (Reuters) in April. The sentence typically results in life imprisonment. The case demonstrates President Xi Jinping's commitment to cracking down on rampant corruption, which, he has said, may jeopardize the Communist Party's survival.

CHINA: China mourned two teenage girls on a school trip killed in the Asiana Airlines crash (SCMP) at San Francisco International Airport Saturday. Chinese nationals made up a large portion of the passengers on the South Korean flight.


Thirteen bombs planted in Buddhist temple in India

Snowden gets asylum offers from Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua

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