Update at 8:12 p.m. ET: Today was another dramatic day in Egypt. It all started when a top military man announced in Tahrir Square that all of the protesters' demands would be met today. Expectations were that President Hosni Mubarak would resign.
Instead, into the evening, Mubarak gave a defiant speech in which he said he intended to die and be buried in Egypt. He also announced that he was relinquishing some powers to his vice president, Omar Suleiman.
President Barack Obama issued a written statement in response to the speech. The president urged the Egyptian government to clarify the steps they had taken.
"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," the statement read. "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."
Egypt's ambassador to the U.S. Sameh Shoukry clarified Mubarak's speech for NPR's Melissa Block. Shourky said President Mubarak has "categorically" transferred "the authorities" of the presidency to Suleiman.
Shoukry said there are only three things that the vice president now doesn't have authority to do: 1) Amend the constitution. 2) Fire the cabinet. 3) Dissolve parliament. Those three powers remain with the constitution, he said.
Shourky added that Mubarak did give parliament an order to amend the constitution before he transferred power.
Below, you'll find an archive of our live blog. But we'll leave you with a bit more from President Obama's statement:
"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."
Breaking news from Egypt (4:20 p.m. ET): President Hosni Mubarak just addressed his nation and after hours of expectations that he might say he was stepping aside immediately, he did not do that — even though he said he has transferred authority to his vice president. Thousands of protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square are visibly furious. Our updates will flow into the box below automatically. If you look below the box, you can read our original post and two earlier updates.
Our original post:
There are varying reports about how far Mubarak will go. Here's what is being said by two of Britain's leading news outlets:
The new leader of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's political party has told Britain's Channel 4 News that he expects the president to announce tonight that he is stepping aside and handing power over to Vice President Omar Suleiman.
In a series of messages on her Twitter page, Channel 4's Lindsey Hilsum said that:
— "Dr Badrawi, SecGen of NDP, just told me he expects President Mubarak to pass his powers to his Vice President tonight"
— "SecGen of Pres Mubarak's party told me to expect #Mubarak to announce he's stepping aside in bdcast tonight"
— "Hossam Badrawi to @channel4news: I'm expecting President Mubarak to transmit his authority to Vice President tonight."
She's referring to Hossam Badrawi, the National Democratic Party's new leader.
The BBC's Lyse Doucet, however, says on her Twitter page that she "just spoke Badrawi NDP: Mubarak 'probably' speak tonite, & 'hopes' he hands over powers. Confirmed its being discussed."
For 17 days, protesters have been demanding that Mubarak step down. If he does, they may not be satisfied with Suleiman as a replacement. Suleiman has long been one of Mubarak's closest aides and head of intelligence in Egypt.
Last week, Mubarak said he would remain in place until after a successor is elected in September.
Update at 10:36 a.m. ET: This isn't a confirmation, but is interesting. Wael Ghonim, the young Google executive who has become a symbol of the revolution, just posted this on his Twitter page:
"Mission accomplished. Thanks to all the brave young Egyptians."
Update at 10:32 a.m. ET: The BBC adds that "earlier, Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq told BBC Arabic that the scenario of President Mubarak stepping down was being discussed."