International

World Watches As Protests Resume In Egypt

Expressing his opinion: Earlier today in Cairo, this man held up a poster. The defaced photo of Egypt's president had the words "Mubarak, get out" written on it. i i

hide captionExpressing his opinion: Earlier today in Cairo, this man held up a poster. The defaced photo of Egypt's president had the words "Mubarak, get out" written on it.

Ben Curtis/AP
Expressing his opinion: Earlier today in Cairo, this man held up a poster. The defaced photo of Egypt's president had the words "Mubarak, get out" written on it.

Expressing his opinion: Earlier today in Cairo, this man held up a poster. The defaced photo of Egypt's president had the words "Mubarak, get out" written on it.

Ben Curtis/AP

Here's what was happening in Egypt from morning to evening, as a fifth straight day of protests continued. Night has fallen there, and the protests are continuing. We will pop back into the blog if there are major developments. Otherwise, we'll be back early Sunday morning with the latest on this incredible story. (Note: Cairo is 7 hours ahead of the U.S. East Coast.):

Update at 12:15 p.m. ET: Omar Suleiman, the intelligence chief who President Hosni Mubarak chose to be vice president today, is described in one of the "WikiLeaks" State Department cables as being a "Mubarak consigliere."

Update at 11:55 a.m. ET. CNN's Ben Wedeman, who's in Cairo, just posted this:

"Came to office by Cairo metro today. People talking about Mubarak as president IN THE PAST TENSE. For most I spoke, Mubarak is gone."

Update at 11:45 a.m. ET. The BBC, which earlier reported that President Hosni Mubarak's sons are now in London, says that Egyptian TV denies that's true:

"There is no truth to what has been broadcast by some channels on the travel of Alaa and Gamal Mubarak to London," state-owned TV channel al-Misriyah says.

Update at 11:35 a.m. ET. Looting reported:

"In the capital Cairo, looting was rampant on Saturday and lawlessness was spreading fast. Residents of affluent neighborhoods in the capital were even boarding up their houses against gangs of thugs roaming the streets with knives and sticks." (The Associated Press)

Update at 11:15 a.m. ET. When leaders such as President Hosni Mubarak are under pressure to step down, it's always interesting to track where their family members are. According to the BBC, "Mubarak's two sons, Alaa and Gamal, have arrived in London, the BBC Arabic Service learns."

Update at 11:10 a.m. ET. New Prime Minister:

Reuters and other news outlets are reporting that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who dissolved his Cabinet yesterday, has named Civil Aviation Minister Ahmed Shafiq to be the new prime minister. Shafiq is a former head of the Egyptian Air Force.

Earlier, as we reported, Mubarak put his intelligence chief into the newly reestablished position of vice president.

Update at 10:52 a.m. ET. More on the reports about shooting:

According to the Associated press, "police opened fired on the demonstrators around the area of Tahrir Square after thousands tried to storm the Interior Ministry. At least three were killed and their bodies were carried through the crowd of protesters."

As we've previously posted, though, reports from other parts of Cairo and other cities indicate that there has not been as much violence today as there was yesterday and that protesters have welcomed the presence of Army troops.

Update at 10:30 a.m. ET. Mubarak names a vice president:

"State television reports Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has named a vice president for the first time since coming to power 30 years ago, choosing his intelligence chief and close confidant Omar Suleiman. Naming a vice president in the wake of the biggest challenge ever to his rule by anti-government protesters appears to be a step toward setting up a successor." (The Associated Press)

Update at 9:50 a.m. ET: CNN, Al Jazeera and other news networks are now focusing on the scene outside the Interior Ministry in Cairo, which correspondents say is something of the last holdout for police and where there are reports of shots having been fired and some protesters wounded. On Al Jazeera's Twitter page, there's this: "sporadic gunfire and teargas coming from direction of Ministry of Interior towards crowds ."

Again, though, for the most part the reports today indicate that there's been less — not more — violence on the streets than yesterday.

Update at 9:30 a.m. ET: While reports indicate that so far today there has not been a great deal of violence and that the Army is not clashing with protesters as police did yesterday, the Associated Press says that "the death toll since the largest anti-government protests in decades began Tuesday rose to 45, according to medical and security officials, 38 of them killed since Friday. Some 2,000 injuries have been reported."

Update at 9:15 a.m. ET. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson was speaking withWeekend Edition's Scott Simon this morning from Tahrir Square in Cairo when Egyptian Army tanks and personnel carriers rolled in — and were welcomed with cheers by the protesters:

Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson talking with Scott Simon

How the Army reacts in coming hours and days will be key to what happens next in Egypt.

Our original post, from 7:45 a.m. ET:

— "Thousands have gathered in central Cairo and there have been clashes with security forces, while protests are also reported in Alexandria," the BBC writes. "The army has advised people to obey curfews and avoid gathering in groups."

— "The ruling party's headquarters in the Egyptian city of Luxor has been torched as tens of thousands of protesters return to the streets in several cities following overnight demonstrations staged in defiance of a curfew," Al Jazeera reports. "Thousands of demonstrators have gathered in Tahrir Square and outside the offices of state television in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, on Saturday, shouting 'Go away, go away!' Similar crowds were gathering in the cities of Alexandria and Suez, Al Jazeera's correspondents reported."

— "It's abundantly clear" that protesters are not happy with President Hosni Mubarak's announcement last night that he's dissolved his Cabinet and will appoint new ministers, says NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, who is in Cairo. "Everyone on the street, what they've been calling for ... is for him to leave," Soraya adds. "They are done with this president. They want a new president. ... They just want freedom and democracy and they will settle for no less."

— Egypt's military "has closed tourist access to the pyramids," says the Associated Press. "Tanks and armored personnel carriers have sealed off the site on the Giza Plateau, which is normally packed with tourists." Meanwhile, says the AP, "tanks guarded key government buildings around Cairo and the central square."

We'll be back shortly with a look at some of the best analyses of what's happening.

Other sources for keeping up with the news include:

— Our "primer on following Egyptian protests on Twitter."

— Al Jazeera's live-blogging and streaming coverage.

StoryFul's Twitter list.


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