Army chief Gen Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on an anti-Islamist protester's placard. US president Obama is depicted as a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood. Getty
When the army and security forces ignored pleas for restraint from Egypt’s allies in the US and Europe, moving to crush the Muslim Brotherhood protest camps that spread across Cairo after the July 3 coup d’etat that toppled President Mohamed Morsi, they had reason to feel supremely confident.
What General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his colleagues have done is to restore the security state – an action that should not be confused with re-establishing security.
This restoration is edging towards the status quo ante the Tahrir revolution that overthrew Hosni Mubarak in 2011. It started before the coup, with the constitution Morsi and the Brothers railroaded through last December. Most of the controversy excited by this Islamist-tinged charter was caused by the way it ignored liberal, Christian and women’s concerns over fundamental rights and freedoms. Alarmingly little attention was paid to the way the Brotherhood sought to co-opt the military by embedding the army’s privileges and prerogatives even beyond the powers it enjoyed under Mubarak. Read more
♦ The Egyptian military reasserted its privileged political position by removing Mohamed Morsi from power. Troops surrounded the state broadcasting headquarters and General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the army chief of staff, delivered a televised speech announcing the takeover. Morsi’s authoritarian governing style exacerbated the huge challenges Egypt already faced – including a moribund economy and intense political polarisation, reports the FT’s Borzou Daragahi. David Gardner says that Morsi’s government, the liberals and Mubarak’s “deep state” are just as much to blame for Egypt’s stormy state of affairs as the generals.
♦ The Indian newspaper Patrika has achieved success through itsreputation for credibility – it doesn’t take political bribes, which is increasingly common among other Indian newspapers – and for public interest advocacy – it focuses on hyperlocal coverage.
♦ Lithuania’s president, Dalia Grybauskaite, has backed a deal to break up the Russian export monopoly that supplies gas to Lithuania by anchoring a ship off of a small nearby island to process deliveries of liquefied natural gas for homes and businesses.
♦ Le Monde reports that France has a “big brother” similar to the American Prism system that systematically gathers huge amounts of information on internet and phone activity.
♦ The FT’s Chris Giles argues that Carney’s “forward guidance” plan for the BoE may be too risky, even though it is based on a strategy used by other central banks including the US Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan. Read more
Egypt’s rulers are making a dangerous mess of the political transition. Long before the latest violence against Christian demonstrators – which left 24 people dead on Sunday night in Cairo – the military council which ousted Hosni Mubarak was losing the confidence of many of the activists who had seen it as their saviour.
On the surface, Monday’s violence was a reflection of the sectarian tensions that have flared up since the fall of the Mubarak regime, as attacks on churches by ultraconservative Muslims have escalated.
But they quickly turned into a condemnation of the military council ruling the country since the toppling of Mr Mubarak – and the Christian protesters were joined by Muslims. Read more
People follow the trial of Hosni Mubarak in Cairo. Getty Images.
Who needs Ramadan soap operas when you can watch live, second by second, an Arab ruler on trial?
Until the moment Hosni Mubarak was wheeled into the iron cage this morning on a hospital bed , there were widespread doubts that he would appear in court to face charges of killing protestors during the 18 day revolution that ended his 30-year rule. Some said the trial of the deposed autocrat would be postponed, others speculated Mubarak would prefer to die than be dragged to court. Read more