Night Watch

North Korea: For the record. North Korean media, through thisWatch, have not reported the start of the annual US-South Korean military exercises. That reinforces judgments that the North's leaders have made a policy decision to maintain peninsular stability for now.

Pakistan: For the record. Former president Pervez Musharraf has been indicted for murder, conspiracy to commit murder and facilitation of the murder of the late former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007. Musharraf faces charges in at least two other criminal actions involving allegations of murder and treason.

Egypt: Supporters of ousted president Muhammad Mursi organized rallies and marches Monday, 19 August, following afternoon prayers to demand his reinstatement and denounce the dispersal of the two sit-ins in Rabi'ah al-Adawiyah and Al-Nahdah squares in Cairo and Giza.

The marches started from mosques in Hilwan, Al-Ma'adi, Al-Shiratun, Al-Haram and Giza.

Comment: Through this Watch, no news outlet has reported violence or casualties in connection with today's protests. The regions in which marches took place are outside Cairo city center, which makes them less provocative.

Special comment: Nearly every mainstream US press outlet referred to Egypt as sinking into chaos or experiencing spiraling violence and turmoil, to mention only three descriptions. Our judgment is that security conditions are getting slowly better, measured by the steadily declining death toll, the resumption of work at multinational corporations and the movement of protest rallies farther away from the center of Cairo.

Except for American press, regional Arab press sources indicated today was relatively quiet in Cairo. No disturbances were reported in other cities west of the Suez Canal.

Politics. Egyptian security authorities arrested the Muslim Brotherhood's Supreme Guide Mohammad Badie in an apartment close to Rabiah al-Adawiyah square - one of the two protest sites that were cleared last week.

Badie arrest warrant said he incited violence against security forces and state institutions. Mursi is being held under similar charges.

Night Watch

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