Morsi's trial adjourned until January; South Korea unwilling to meet with Japan unless Tokyo apologises for World War II crimes; 19 sailors killed in North Korea naval exercises; doctors aided torture at US military prisons; Mali arrests suspects in murder of French journalists; and more 

 

Top of the Agenda: Morsi's Trial Adjourned Until 2014

The trial of Egypt's deposed president Mohammed Morsi was adjourned until January 8, 2014 (AP), after Morsi on Monday rejected the court's authority to try him and refused to wear a prison uniform as ordered by the judge. In a sign of tighter controls on speech under Egypt's military rule, well-known satirist Bassem Youssef fled the country after his show was pulled off the air a week after he poked fun of the army chief who ousted Morsi (Reuters). Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry kicked off a nine-day tour of the Middle East on Sunday with a visit to Cairo, where he affirmed that Egypt is a "vital partner" to the United States, before heading to Saudi Arabia on Monday to mend frayed relations with Riyadh (al-Jazeera).

Analysis

"Without a doubt, the government's proposed ban threatens to curtail civil society, and by extension, democracy in Egypt. As my co-authors and I discuss in Pathways to Freedom, a healthy, vibrant civil society is a critical ingredient in democracy. A cacophony of voices and demonstrations might make Egyptian politics messier, but after decades of 'tidy' dictatorial rule, an independent and outspoken civil society is just what the country needs to transition to a more inclusive political system," writes CFR Senior Fellow Isobel Coleman.

"Mr. Obama reinforced his intention to narrow his regional diplomatic focus to the Iranian nuclear deal and an Israeli-Palestinian peace. Some have read this as weakness and retreat, rather than pragmatism. We wish he had put more emphasis on Egypt and Iraq. But his priorities make sense. His task now is to reassure the allies that the United States remains committed to their security," the New York Times writes in an editorial.

"For the overwhelming majority of Arabs, the spectacle of a US remaining aloof from the brutal mauling of the Syrian people by their regime, or remaining blasé about the continued occupation in Palestine, represents an abdication of responsibility. And when a big power turns a blind eye to havoc, who else is left to defy the jeering totem of evil," Jamal Doumani writes for Arab News.

PACIFIC RIM

South Korea's Rift with Japan Deepens

South Korea's president Park Geun-hye said there was no point in a summit with Japanese leaders unless Tokyo apologized for its crimes in World War II, highlighting a deepening rift as the region struggles to confront Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions (BBC).

This CFR Backgrounder explains the Six Party talks on North Korea's nuclear program.

NORTH KOREA: North Korea said one of its naval vessels sank last month while on "combat duties," killing at least nineteen sailors (Reuters).

ELSEWHERE:

Doctors aided torture at US military prisons

Mali arrests 12 suspects in murder of French journalists

 

This is an excerpt of the CFR.org Daily News Brief. The full version is available on CFR.org. 

 

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