Tens of thousands have gathered in front of Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo’s Nasr City to voice their support for President Mohamed Morsi.


Hundreds of Brotherhood members hurt in Nile Delta clashes: Egypt’s FJP
At least 357 members of the Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) have been injured in recent clashes with political opponents in the city of Dosouq in Egypt’s Kafr al-Sheikh governorate, FJP Secretary-General Mohamed al-Heleisy announced Thursday. The health ministry, however, has stated that the clashes left only fourteen injured. [Ahram Online, 6/21/2013]

Tamarod considers UN supervision as signatures counted
The Tamarod campaign is considering the possibility of inviting a United Nations mission to oversee counting signatures for its anti-government petition, campaign spokesperson Mahmoud Badr said. The campaign is currently in discussions with Egypt’s Foreign Ministry, he added. Badr said the new initiative would ensure no petition forms were forged. [Egypt Independent, 6/21/2013]

IMF points to progress in aid talks with Egypt
The International Monetary Fund said Thursday it was making progress in talks with Egyptian authorities on a potential loan but that technical issues such as subsidies remain. “Our work with the Egyptians is producing increased understanding on many of the remaining issues,” IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said. [Daily News Egypt, 6/21/2013]

Tens of thousands gather for Islamist pro-Morsi rally in Cairo
Tens of thousands have gathered in front of Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo’s Nasr City to voice their support for President Mohamed Morsi. Friday’s pro-Morsi rally was meant to counter plans by his opponents to stage mass demonstrations on June 30, the anniversary of his coming to power in 2012, demanding that he step down. [Ahram Online, AP, Aswat Masriya, 6/21/2013]


Libyan PM asks displaced residents to delay return
Libya’s prime minister on Thursday told ethnic Africans forced to flee their homes during the country’s 2011 civil war to delay their planned return. Given pledges by Misratans that they will prevent the return of Tawerghans, Zidan asked Tawerghans to “stay in their place” to avoid confrontation, and promised his government would do more to resolve the Tawergha residents’ problem. [AP, 6/20/13]

UNSC urges world to assist Libya in democratic transition
The UN Security Council urged the international community to continue to support the Libyan government’s efforts to increase the effectiveness and capacity of its security and justice sector institutions in order to complete a successful transition to democracy and to develop its economy. The Security Council “welcomed the progress made by the Libyan government under the stewardship of Prime Minister Ali Zidan and encouraged it to continue this progress, delivering concrete results," Council President Mark Lyall Grant of the UK said in a press statement. [Kuwait News Agency, 6/21/13]

Blasphemy charges over election posters
Libyan judicial authorities should immediately drop all criminal charges that violate freedom of speech over election poster cartoons against two Libyan National Party officials, Human Rights Watch said Thursday. Under the laws being applied in this case, the men could face the death penalty over posters their party displayed during the 2012 election campaign for the General National Congress. [Human Rights Watch, 6/20/13]


Syrian rebel commander says they have new weapons
Syrian rebels have recently received new weapons that could "change the course of the battle" against the Syrian regime, a spokesperson for the Free Syrian Army told AFP on Friday. "We’ve received quantities of new types of weapons, including some that we asked for and that we believe will change the course of the battle on the ground," FSA political and media coordinator Louay al-Mokdad said. [NOW, Daily Star, 6/21/2013]

Syrian currency plunging
The value of the Syrian pound has plummeted in recent days following the US announcement late Thursday that it would provide “direct military support” for Syrian rebels, media outlets reported. The Associated Press said that 210 Syrian pounds traded for one US dollar at the end of Monday, with currency exchange shops closing Tuesday out of fear that its value would plummet further. [NOW, Al Monitor, 6/20/2013]

Kerry heads to Qatar to talk Syria rebel support
Secretary of State John Kerry headed to Qatar on Friday on a mission to coordinate with allies on next steps in Syria as the United States considers how far to go on assisting rebels. According to a US official, the goal of the meeting is “to be very concrete about the importance of every kind of assistance that’s coming from the London eleven countries,” which the United States hopes will re-energize the coalition and give it cohesion and direction. [Daily Star, 6/21/2013]

NGO denounces “alarming” conditions in Syria jail
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Thursday denounced the "alarming" health conditions at a prison outside second city Aleppo where more than one-hundred detainees have died in the past two months. The observatory cited an acute shortage of medicine and food in the regime-held prison and stated that at least three prisoners had died of tuberculosis this week alone because the medicine needed to treat them was unavailable. [NOW, 6/20/2013]


Tunisia FM urges peaceful solution to Syria crisis
Tunisia’s top diplomat called for a peaceful solution in Syria after meetings with Lebanese officials Thursday. Othman Jarandi, Tunisia’s minister of foreign affairs, met Lebanese President Michel Sleiman, Speaker Nabih Berri, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour to discuss security, stability and freedom in the Arab world. [Daily Star, 6/21/2013]

Regional conference on transitional justice opens in Tunis
The Transitional Justice and International Justice in the Arab World conference opened in Tunis Thursday, focusing on the assessment of transitional justice processes in several Arab countries and the role of the International Criminal Court in the Middle East. National Constituent Assembly President Mustapha Ben Jaafar said that transitional justice in Tunisia seeks accountability, reconciliation, a safeguard of collective memory, and moral and material rehabilitation for victims of arbitrary abuse. [All Africa, 6/20/2013]

Strike quiets Tunis medina, but some shopkeepers resist
Tunis’s normally bustling medina was largely quiet yesterday, as many craftsmen and sellers went on a one-day strike in protest of what they deemed as a “monopolization” of the sector by certain families and large shops. Some owners of the few shops still open, however, bitterly resented the head of the union that organized the strike. [Tunisia Live, 6/20/2013]

How Tunisia is turning Into a Salafi battleground
After a trial lasting more than a year, Habib Kazdaghli, a dean at the University of Manouba, was acquitted in May of charges that he slapped a veiled female student, avoiding a five-year jail term. Instead, the court found guilty the two women who had invaded Kazdaghli’s office and thrown his books and papers on the floor. The Kazdaghli affair, a cause célèbre with more than 230,000 Google results, is part of a larger struggle for power in post-revolutionary Tunisia. [The Atlantic, 6/20/2013]


Yemen tribesmen release kidnapped soldiers
Yemeni tribesmen have freed eleven soldiers after receiving an assurance from a senior commander that he would raise their demand for the release of a clansman, a military source said on Friday. The eleven had been abducted on Tuesday and Wednesday in the southern province of Abyan. [Daily Star, 6/21/2013]

Yemen’s main crude pipeline repaired
Yemen’s main oil export pipeline has been repaired and crude is again flowing to the terminal on the Red Sea after tribesman blew up a section of the link last week, a Yemeni oil official said on Thursday. Friday’s explosion followed a day after the completion of repairs to damage from a similar attack on May 24, before which the pipeline had been pumping around 125,000 barrels per day. [World Bulletin, 6/21/2013]

Yemen to have constitutional referendum on October 15
The Supreme Commission for Elections and Referendum announced that October 15 will be the day for Yemen’s constitutional referendum, which also coincides with Eid al-Adha. The voter registry implementation will be awarded to an international company in two weeks, and voting will take place using a new computerized system. The system is scheduled to be implemented in September, and proponents say it will make the process more efficient and eliminate the risk of fraud. [Yemen Times, 6/20/2013]


Moderate Islamists in Jordan present vision for democratic reform
Members of the National Initiative for Building, otherwise known as the Zamzam Document, said at a press conference Thursday that their project seeks to help Jordan achieve a national consensus on its path to democratic reform. Founding member Rheil Gharaibeh, a Muslim Brotherhood leader, said Jordan’s “shallow political partisan life,” threats facing young Jordanians, and the increasing violence across the nation’s universities were the major stimuli behind Zamzam’s formation. [Jordan Times, 6/20/2013]

HRW urges Morocco judges to end “torture confessions”
Human Rights Watch called on Moroccan judges to halt convictions based on confessions obtained through torture, saying in a report released on Friday that failure to probe such claims encouraged further abuses by police. It said that alleged confessions were often the main, if not the sole, basis for conviction. In the face of the Arab Spring protests that swept North Africa in 2011, the kingdom adopted a new constitution that purported to strengthen the independence of the judiciary and defendants’ rights. [AFP, 6/21/13]

Iraq Kurdistan economy booming
As central Iraq grapples with a surge in violence and a longer-term struggle to wean its economy off a dependence on oil, Abdullah Abdel Karim stands at a car dealership in the northern Kurdish city of Irbil and smiles. The economy of the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, with Irbil as its capital, is growing faster than the rest of the country and sees none of the violence that has raged across Arab areas. [Middle East Online, 6/21/2013]

Photo: Voice of America