Unrest In Egypt, Unhappiness In Catalonia And Under Pressure In Washington

Egyptian Protests
Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi did not adequately anticipate the backlash to his granting himself sweeping powers to change laws on a temporary basis. After days of violent protests, Morsi began meeting with judges for crisis talks.

Fearing a growing movement toward a more Islamist state, a coalition of groups in have joined to form a National Salvation Front to push back against Mr. Morsi’s decree.  The actions taken by Morsi have analysts concerned that the new president may be following the path of ousted leader Hosni Mubarak, rather than an Arab Abraham Lincoln.

Catalonians Hold Vote On Secession
A majority of voters in the Spanish region of Catalonia voted on Sunday in favor of independence but not for the party headed by Catalonia’s current leader, Artur Mas. The voters indeed sent a mixed message — coolness towards Mr. Mas but support for independence. Since Mas received less support than anticipated, it is less likely that he could emerge as a rallying point for secessionist forces.

Congress, President Under Pressure Over Fiscal Cliff
The campaign ads may have ended after the election, but they were quickly replaced by the voices from both sides of the political aisle making their case concerning the fiscal cliff.

With each passing day, the stakes become more severe. While the two sides remain at odds over how to increase tax revenue, there is hope that the stalled talks will begin anew this week. If one can read the tea leaves (well, the comments made on the Sunday talk shows), there is is a growing sense that progress may be made when Congress returns to Washington today.

In recent days some Republicans have broken ranks by stepping away from pledges not to raise taxes. The pledge, pushed by anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, has been a longstanding symbol of a candidate’s fiscal bona fides.

As Republicans are under growing pressure to accept tax increases as part of a grand bargain, the Washington Post’s editorial board weighed in, expressing its view that entitlement reform also needs to be on the table as discussions restart.

Et Cetera
Washington needs to pay attention to the need for infrastructure investment, asserts a Financial Times editorial.

Is the United Nations trying to gain more regulatory control over the Internet?

The World Bank issues a warning on global climate change.





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