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Morsi ousts much of the Egyptian Military Leadership, Gay Marriage may come to Vietnam, Scotland may wish to stay in the Union

August 13, 2012

April 14 2012, The Economist, ‘The Scottish Play’ – Caution again Scottish independence – warnings of its reliance on oil, finance and currency choice – they may be well advised to stay in the union, as Scotland does particularly well out of it through the tax and education systems, not to mention that it is largely the poorest part of Britain. The Euro debacle does not help, and also provides a warning against one currency between multiple nations, if Scotland were to keep the Pound.

August 11, 2012 ‘Hanoi ponders easing rules on same-sex unions’ Helen Clark, SMH – Vietnam’s Justice Minister is considering legalising same-sex marriage, the first Asian state to do so, as part of the country’s marriage law overhaul beginning in 2011. It marks a long way coming from a society where homosexuality has often been seen as a a social evil; unthinkable 15 years ago.

August 12, 2012, Kareem Fahim, ‘In Upheaval for Egypt, Morsi Forces Out Military Chiefs’, NYT  – Egypt’s president Mohamed Morsi forced the retirement of several of the most powerful army figures, including his defence minister, the army chief of staff and several generals. He also nullified a constitutional declaration binding his powers, now apparently possessing significant legislative and executive powers, allowing him have a greatly expanded role in drafting the constitution. While the army was no doubt weakened politically from the recent conflict in northern Sinai, in which 16 soldiers died, the resignation of Field Marshal Tantawi, the defence minister, long an ally of Mubarak, was particularly shocking. There is speculation concerning if Morsi truly broke with the military, or older officers agreed to step down in lieu of younger officers to come to the fore. While Morsi and the Supreme Constitutional Court are naturally opposed, as the latter have been instrumental in bolstering the military’s legal power, it appears that Morsi is convincingly disposing of the SCAF’s (Supreme Council of Armed Forces) authority and legacy. However, his increased power, particularly given the long-standing unease with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, does give pause for thought – it will remain to be seen whether he truly intends to devolve power to Parliament. It is also of note that the US was not informed of Morsi’s decision – perhaps a break with the old US-Egypt alliance.

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