(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette
BREAKING: Reports indicate Mubarak will possibly step down in an address to the Egyptian people tonight. It is unclear if he intends to hand over power to Suleiman or a Military Council and whether or not new elections will be held in 60 days.- ek
Al Jazeera has a Live Blog for Feb 10
Also follow the Live blog at mishima’s Ignoring Asia.
As you can see we now have the live feed from Al Jazeera English.
Up Date 2030hrs EST: Here is the written statement issued by the White House from President Obama regarding today’s events:
The Egyptian people have been told that there was a transition of authority, but it is not yet clear that this transition is immediate, meaningful or sufficient. Too many Egyptians remain unconvinced that the government is serious about a genuine transition to democracy, and it is the responsibility of the government to speak clearly to the Egyptian people and the world. The Egyptian government must put forward a credible, concrete and unequivocal path toward genuine democracy, and they have not yet seized that opportunity.
As we have said from the beginning of this unrest, the future of Egypt will be determined by the Egyptian people. But the United States has also been clear that we stand for a set of core principles. We believe that the universal rights of the Egyptian people must be respected, and their aspirations must be met. We believe that this transition must immediately demonstrate irreversible political change, and a negotiated path to democracy. To that end, we believe that the emergency law should be lifted. We believe that meaningful negotiations with the broad opposition and Egyptian civil society should address the key questions confronting Egypt’s future: protecting the fundamental rights of all citizens; revising the Constitution and other laws to demonstrate irreversible change; and jointly developing a clear roadmap to elections that are free and fair.
We therefore urge the Egyptian government to move swiftly to explain the changes that have been made, and to spell out in clear and unambiguous language the step by step process that will lead to democracy and the representative government that the Egyptian people seek. Going forward, it will be essential that the universal rights of the Egyptian people be respected. There must be restraint by all parties. Violence must be forsaken. It is imperative that the government not respond to the aspirations of their people with repression or brutality. The voices of the Egyptian people must be heard.
The Egyptian people have made it clear that there is no going back to the way things were: Egypt has changed, and its future is in the hands of the people. Those who have exercised their right to peaceful assembly represent the greatness of the Egyptian people, and are broadly representative of Egyptian society. We have seen young and old, rich and poor, Muslim and Christian join together, and earn the respect of the world through their non-violent calls for change. In that effort, young people have been at the forefront, and a new generation has emerged. They have made it clear that Egypt must reflect their hopes, fulfill their highest aspirations, and tap their boundless potential. In these difficult times, I know that the Egyptian people will persevere, and they must know that they will continue to have a friend in the United States of America.
By refusing to leave office, the Egyptian president has exposed Obama’s inability to decisively influence the country
The Obama administration has been embarrassingly wrongfooted as Hosni Mubarak confounded expectations by refusing to stand down.
The Egyptian president’s speech came only hours after Barack Obama and the director of the CIA, Leon Panetta, had appeared to give credence to rumours that he was heading for the exit.
The decision by Mubarak to transfer presidential power to his vice-president, Omar Suleiman, but not leave office caused dismay in the US and around the world. The British government issued a cautious statement saying it was looking closely at Mubarak’s and Suleiman’s speeches, but the disappointment felt by the White House was shared in private in London and elsewhere.
The Obama administration has been putting pressure on Mubarak since last week to stand down straight away, but Mubarak, in what appeared to be a direct snub to the US president, said he would not bow to international pressure.
Up Date 1645hrs EST: Suleiman has spoken, blaming outsiders, imploring demonstrators to go home and has been promptly ignored. The demonstrators are peaceful and loud, refusing to leave the Tahrir Square until Mubarak steps down.
Up Date 1630hrs EST: In a rambling, sadly defiant statement, Hosni Mubarak refused to step down. My understanding is that he said he would transfer power to his Vice President, Omar Suleiman. This is completely unacceptable to the crowds in Tahrir Square and they are now marching to the presidential palace where the speech. A speech from Suleiman is expected but at this point I think it will fall on deaf ears.
CAIRO – President Hosni Mubarak told the Egyptian people Thursday that he would delegate more authority to his vice president, Omar Suleiman, but that he would not resign his post, contradicting earlier reports that he would step aside and surprising hundreds of thousands of demonstrators gathered to hail his departure from the political scene.
In a nationally televised address following a tumultuous day of political rumors and conflicting reports, Mr. Mubarak said he would “admit mistakes” and honor the sacrifices of young people killed in the three-week uprising, but that he would continue to “shoulder my responsibilities” until September, and did not give a firm indication that he would cede political power.
Even as Mr. Mubarak spoke, angry chants were shouted from huge crowds in Cairo who had anticipated his resignation but were instead confronted with a plea from the president to support continued rule by him and his chosen aides. People waved their shoes in defiance, considered an insulting gesture in the Arab world.
Up Date 1300hrs EST: It is 8 PM in Egypt and the crowds in Tahrir, Liberation, Square are the largest since the beginning of the protests. An announcement from President Hosni Mubarak from the presidential palace near the Cairo airport is expected tonight. Speculation is he will step down as will Suleiman. What happens from there is still very much unknown.
This is the complete statement from the Egyptian military:
Statement of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces
10 February 2011
Based on the responsibility of the Armed Forces, and its commitment to protect the people, and to oversee their interests and security, and with a view to the safety of the nation and the citizenry, and of the achievements and properties of the great people of Egypt, and in affirmation and support for the legitimate demands of the people, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces convened today, 10 February 2011, to consider developments to date, and decided to remain in continuous session to consider what procedures and measures that may be taken to protect the nation, and the achievements and aspirations of the great people of Egypt.
The reaction to Suleiman’s statements were equally grim:
“He is threatening to impose martial law, which means everybody in the square will be smashed,” said Abdul-Rahman Samir, a spokesman for a coalition of the five main youth groups behind protests in Tahrir Square.
“But what would he do with the rest of the 70 million Egyptians who will follow us afterward.”
Up Date 0100 hrs: Last night on the Rachel Maddow Show, Rachel had a live interview with NBC News chief foreign correspondent, Richard Engel, who is in Cairo. Mr. Engel describes the changing nature of the anti-Mubarak protests as the movement grows and spreads to the labor sector. This Friday portends to be a really big day.
A vigil was held in Tahrir Square for those who were reported killed in today’s protests.
News from around the world and internet:
On Wednesday evening, as protesters settled in for another night outside the gates of the country’s Parliament and in its central square, Evan Hill, a Web journalist for Al Jazeera, reported with amazement on Twitter:
Tahrir Square, so far beyond modern Egyptian infrastructure. They have organic and non-organic trash bins. Put these people in government!
Here is video of the new recycling station set up in the square by the protesters, from Hossam El-Hamalawy’s Arabawy blog.
Following days of nationwide protests, Tahrir Square’s “week of resistance” celebrates the square as a “liberated zone” while also raising questions about its future.
As the Egyptian uprising enters its third week, many are wondering just who exactly will come out on top in this battle for the Arab world’s most populous nation.
This time last week, it seemed that the millions of pro-democracy protesters who took to Egypt’s streets had delivered a knock-out punch to the autocratic, American-backed, military regime of Hosni Mubarak.
One week on, however, and Mubarak remains in power.
Twenty-four rights organizations have submitted a report to Egypt’s Attorney General to call for the trial of Minister of Information Anas al-Fiqqi, accusing him of being responsible for the death of protesters who called for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.
Nobel laureate Ahmed Zewail has joined those calling for President Hosni Mubarak to leave office, telling the BBC Wednesday that the president should “step down as soon as possible.”
Government refuses transition plan as demonstrations are joined by strikes – and vice-president’s coup ultimatum raises tensions
Talks between the Egyptian government and opposition have all but collapsed after the regime balked at surrendering power to a transitional administration in the hope that mass protests would die down this week.
Instead, the unrest is spreading as some of the largest demonstrations yet against President Hosni Mubarak were joined by labour strikes across the country, including on the Suez canal, in the city of Alexandria and by public transport workers in Cairo.
As the late afternoon sun illuminated the Pyramids of Giza in the distance, nine rotting horse carcasses lay upended in the sand at the nearby village of Nazlat al-Samaan.
According to Zaki Sultan, a 43-year-old tour guide who has lost three of his own animals in recent days, additional carcasses waste away in the desert nearby.
The latest papers from Wikileaks show the US questioning Saudi claims about its oil reserves:
Saudi Aramco is having to run harder to stay in place – to replace the decline in existing production.
The Guardian also quotes former Saudi Aramco executive Sadad al-Husseini saying that Saudi Arabia’s claims of 12.5 million barrels per day capacity is unachievable.