Friday, January 28, 2011

From the CFR Daily News Brief


Following Friday prayers, a new wave of anti-government protests (Haaretz) erupted across Egypt. The demonstrations have continued for four consecutive days, as activists pressed for the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled for nearly thirty years. Employing tear gas, rubber bullets, and water cannons, police tried to disperse throngs of demonstrators. Many arrests and detentions have been made, and the BBC reported clashes with security forces in multiple cities. Analysts expected Friday's rallies to be the biggest so far, with websites urging people to join after attending prayers. As a result, the government has disrupted or restricted communications including cellphones and social media (NYT), which has also hampered the ability of journalists to report on the unrest.


Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan vowed fiscal reforms in the wake of a downgrade in the country's long-term debt rating by Standard & Poor's (Reuters). In order to institute his reforms, Kan needs the support of opposition parties that, according to observers, have shown little tendency to compromise.


The Satellite Sentinel Project, an initiative of several U.S.-based NGOs, says it has captured images of Sudanese military deployments in strategic areas along the North-South border (allAfrica), but the troops do not look like they are preparing forward movement.


Chile is launching its first investigation into the death of President Salvador Allende (Latin America News), thirty-seven years after the socialist leader was found shot in the head during a U.S.-backed coup. Until now, his death had been ruled a suicide.


The German Bundestag approved a one-year extension to its military mandate in Afghanistan (DeutscheWelle). The proposal also contained the first explicit plans for withdrawal, to begin by the end of 2011 and be completed by 2014.


Italian prosecutors alleged that a second female minor was present at Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's private residences on multiple occasions. Prosecutors are investigating claims that Berlusconi paid for sex with a minor (CNN), though he denies the allegations.

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