Al-Jazeera shut down in Egypt
Protesters flooded into public squares in Cairo, Alexandria and other major cities, all but forcing the country’s police off the streets and demanding the end of president Hosni Mubarak’s three-decade reign.
Addressing crowds in Tahrir Square, Mr ElBaradei said change was coming and the president must go.
The Nobel peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, apparently mandated by Egyptian opposition groups, including the banned Muslim Brotherhood, to negotiate with Mr Mubarak’s regime, hailed “a new Egypt in which every Egyptian lives in freedom and dignity”.
“We are on the right path, our strength is in our numbers. I ask you to be patient, change is coming,” he said.
Later, on American network CBS, Mr ElBaradei said: “This first thing which will calm the situation is for Mubarak to leave, and leave with some dignity. Otherwise I fear that things will get bloody. And you (the United States) have to stop the life support to the dictator and root for the people.”
Brotherhood leaders Essam el-Erian and Saad el-Katatni, who walked out of prison earlier on Sunday after their guards fled, also addressed the crowd.
“They tried every way to stop the revolution of the people but we will be steadfast, regardless of how many martyrs fall,” Mr Erian said.
“We will sacrifice our soul and our blood for the nation,” the angry crowd shouted. “The people want to topple the president.”
Show of force
This morning Mr Mubarak ordered the police back onto the streets and said the widely-ignored curfew was being extended for another night.
Air force jets flew over Tahrir Square in an apparent show of force and protesters blocked a column of tanks which had been sent in to disperse them.
The government has also shut down Arabic cable news agency Al Jazeera, which has been broadcasting blanket coverage of the events.
Al Jazeera denounced the closure of its Cairo bureau as “an act designed to stifle and repress the freedom of reporting by the network and its journalists”.
This morning, the US upped the pressure on one of its key Middle East allies, with president Barack Obama voiced support for an “orderly transition” to democracy.
The White House said Mr Obama made the comments during talks with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and British prime minister David Cameron.
“During his calls, the president reiterated his focus on opposing violence and calling for restraint, supporting universal rights – including the right to peaceful assembly, association, and speech – and supporting an orderly transition to a government that is responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people,” the White House said.
Secretary of state Hillary Clinton reinforced the message, saying “long-term stability rests on responding to the legitimate needs of the Egyptian people and that is what we want to see happen.”
At least 125 dead
Six days of nationwide protests against Mr Mubarak’s three-decade rule have shaken Egypt and left at least 125 people dead as the veteran leader clings to power.
The president has struggled to placate a nation angry at his three decades of autocratic rule with token gestures such as sacking the government.
see an in-depth report, from abc news…
links included on the abc story include:
Video: Egyptians refuse to be ‘muzzled by fear’ (ABC News)
Video: Protesters demand end to Mubarak’s rule (ABC News)
Video: Egypt in crisis as unrest continues (ABC News)
Audio: Protests continue on Egypt’s streets (am)
Audio: Egypt unrest puts US in delicate position (am)
Audio: Middle East watches, waits (am)
Audio: Egypt’s Christians worried about the influence of Islamic radicals. (am)
Related Story: Cairo airport chaos as tourists, locals try to flee
Related Story: Egypt army cracks down after mass jailbreaks
Related Story: Vigilantes guard homes and property in Egypt
Related Story: US presses Egypt for sweeping reforms
Related Story: Chaos spreads in Egypt’s revolt
Related Story: Australia ramps up Egypt travel warning
Related Story: Egypt’s Mubarak names first VP in 30 years
Related Story: Mubarak’s grip seen as faltering
Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak has named intelligence chief Omar Suleiman as his first ever vice-president as he struggles to regain control of the country.
Mr Suleiman has been labelled the most powerful spy chief in the Middle East and the sharply dressed and well-groomed general was for years a highly enigmatic figure for the world at large.
Mr Mubarak had promised an overhaul of his administration and has given the task of forming a new government to former aviation minister Ahmed Shafiq, who is now prime minister.
reported on abc news - australia…
‘No to Suleiman, no to Shafik’
Mubarak yesterday installed Omar Suleiman, his longtime intelligence chief, as vice president; and former air force commander Ahmed Shafik as prime minister.
But the move has won him little popular support, as evidenced by the signs at tonight’s rally, or the group of about 25 demonstrators who surrounded a tank outside the Egyptian museum and chanted slogans about the Egyptian intelligence chief. “Suleiman, Suleiman, get on a plane tonight,” was one refrain.
Suleiman’s appointment as vice president has been described by some as a major step; Egypt hasn’t had a vice president since Mubarak took office, after all.
But most Egyptians at Sunday’s protest dismissed the appointment as a stunt: Ahmed, a taxi driver from the Medinat Nasr neighbourhood, called him “Mubarak’s right hand”; Osama, a businessman who walked across the bridge from Cairo’s upscale Zamalek district, called him “the big man” behind the regime’s “dirty policies.”
Khalid, a 35-year-old shoe salesman from downtown Cairo, turned the tables a bit, asking me who the American government would prefer as Egypt’s president. Omar Suleiman, I answered.
“That’s why he was appointed,” Khalid said.
Broken ‘fear barrier’
As the protests continue, security is said to be deteriorating and reports have emerged of several prisons across the country being attacked and of fresh protests being staged in cities like Alexandria and Suez.
Al Jazeera’s correspondent, reporting from Alexandria, said that as of Sunday night, people were moving around the barricades that were meant to keep the streets clear.
“This protest, this march, has been going on for seven hours now. Clearly, no sign that it’s going to abate any time soon,” said our reporter.
“We have to remember that Egyptians broke a massive fear barrier on January 25 when they took to the streets … there’s probably not a single main street in Alexandria – no exaggeration – that this march has not passed through.”
Thirty-four leaders from the Muslim Brotherhood were freed from the Wadi Natroun jail after guards abandoned their posts.
The protesters in Cairo, joined by hundreds of judges, had collected again in Tahrir Square afternoon to demand the resignation of Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president.
Al Jazeera’s correspondent, reporting from the scene, said that demonstrators confronted a fire truck, at which point army troops fired into the air in a bid to disperse them.
He said the protesters did not move back, and a tank commander then ordered the fire truck to leave. When the truck moved away from the square, the thousands of protesters erupted into applause and climbed onto the tank in celebration, hugging soldiers.
see the rest of the above article, plus live streaming video, from al-jazeera…