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Liveblogging Egypt

White House: Mubarak needed to make transition 'yesterday' ; protesters ordered out of Tahrir Square.

An Egyptian supporter of President Hosni Mubarak raises his hands in victory while facing a crowd of fellow supporters clashing with thousands of anti-government protesters at Cairo's Tahrir Square on Wednesday.(MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)

February 2, 2011

10:11 p.m. The State Department has just tweeted that any remaining U.S. citizens wanting to leave Egypt on a government flight "should report to airport immediately. Further delay is not advisable."

10:08 p.m. CNN correspondent Ben Wedeman said on Anderson Cooper 360 there is "nothing to stop" the pro-Mubarak demonstrators, and that more violence and bloodshed should be expected throughout Thursday. Wedeman was speaking with Cooper in a sheltered location with minimal lighting. Cooper said a normal broadcast could not be done because of the threat of violence in the area.

9:50 p.m. With dawn approaching in Cairo, CNN is reporting that "heavy" gunfire continues to be heard in Tahrir Square, and Al Arabiya TV is reporting that one protester has been killed in the pre-dawn hours by government supporters.

 

6:51 p.m. CNN is reporting on gunfire and explosions in Cairo's Tahrir Square where anti-government and pro-Mubarak supporters clashed today.

6:27 p.m. Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., called on Wednesday night for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down. In a statement, he said:

"The rapidly deteriorating situation in Egypt leads me to the conclusion that President Mubarak needs to step down and relinquish power.  It is clear that the only institution in Egypt that can restore order is the army, but I fear that for it to do so on behalf of a government led by or involving President Mubarak would only escalate the violence and compromise the army's legitimacy.  I urge President Mubarak to transfer power to a caretaker administration that includes members of Egypt's military, government, civil society, and pro-democracy opposition, which can lead the country to free, fair, and internationally credible elections this year as part of a real transition to democracy.

"All Americans should be appreciative of President Mubarak's long record of cooperation with our government, which has helped to fight terrorism and promote peace and security in the Middle East and North Africa.  I remain concerned about the role of the Muslim Brotherhood and other organizations in Egypt that espouse an extremist ideology.  But Egypt must have a democratic future.  It is the will of the Egyptian people.  It is in the interest of the United States.  And the greatest contribution that President Mubarak can make to the cause of democracy in his country is to remove himself from power."

6:00 p.m. CNN reports more than 600 people have been hurt in riots in Cairo.

5:26 p.m. The State Department just issued a release on the status of U.S. citizen evacuations from Egypt. An excerpt:

"The welfare and safety of U.S. citizens in Egypt remains one of the State Department’s top priorities. More than 1,900 U.S. citizens and their family members have been evacuated from Egypt in an operation that began on Monday, January 31.  We plan to continue evacuation efforts on Thursday, February 3, and are assessing the need to continue flights after that.  

"We continue with our efforts to assist any U.S. citizens who wish to leave Egypt and are boarding additional flights today. As curfew has been eased by three hours, we expect more U.S. citizens will be able to reach the Cairo airport.

...

"Although non-emergency personnel at our Embassy are leaving Egypt under ordered departure status, the Department continues to send personnel into Cairo and to our safe haven locations to assist U.S. citizens. The Embassy remains open for U.S. citizen services only during non-curfew hours. 

"The most up-to-date information for U.S. citizens in Egypt can be found on our website Travel.State.Gov." 


4:47 p.m. Pro-Mubarak protesters have begun to retreat from Cairo's Tahrir Square after their anti-government rivals charged at them with metal shields, The Jerusalem Post reports.


4:35 p.m. Now openly defying U.S. guidance, how Mubarak chooses to proceed is no longer within Obama's realm of influence, argues National Journal's Michael Hirsh.

 

4:30 p.m. Crowley says the ongoing crisis in Egypt "is very different than situations we confront with other countries... If we need to make adjustments based on what the government does, we will do so." He goes on to cite U.S. relations with North Korea as an example: "In the context of our assistance where we provide food aid to North Korea, if we are concerned that food aid is being diverted from the North Korean people to the government, we are prepared to cut off aid."

 

4:24 p.m. Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P.J. Crowley, fielding questions from a somewhat hostile media forum in Washington, says to those demanding an explicit denunciation of Mubarak: "We are having a full range of conversations... The issue here is not a lack of communication; we are making clear privately and publicly what needs to be done. We are not subscribing what Egypt needs to do. President Mubarak has committed to a transition, but now is the time the government needs to take concrete steps to demonstrate that it is moving down a path of... democratic governance, of governance that responds to the aspirations of the Egyptian people."

Asked if Mubarak feels betrayed by the United States, Crowley says "no." Pressed for more information regarding current Egyptian sentiment toward the United States, he borrows a line from Cool Hand Luke: "Hang on a second... there is no failure to communicate here."

 

4:05 p.m. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., via Twitter: "Regrettably the time has come 4 Pres. Mubarak 2 step down & relinquish power. It’s in the best interest of Egypt, its people & its military."


3:14 p.m. Egypt's health ministry tells Egypt’s official Mena news agency that 611 people have been injured in Wednesday's violence.

 

3:01 p.m. Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said the "significant challenges" of the last few days showcase the relationship between civilian leadership and military support. "There is no... better example of that right now," he said.

"I appreciate... in a very difficult situation, the strength of that leadership and the conviction of that leadership. And obviously, we are, from a military standpoint, here to support," Mullen said alongside Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at a Global Chiefs of Mission Conference luncheon today.

"It hasn’t just been a $1.3 billion investment in Egypt over the last 30 years," he continued. "It hasn’t just been dollars, and it hasn’t just been a military investment in their armed services, which have been a critical part.  It has been an investment on the part of the United States that goes back, actually, a long way, even further back than 30 years in terms of the relationship -- the historic relationship we’ve had with a country.  And so this part of it -- to see it gel and to see it focus in this very, very difficult time -- is a wonderful example."

 

2:59 p.m.  Demonstrations in solidarity with Egypt are hitting the West Bank, where around 200 people are demonstrating in Ramallah, tweets activist group RamallahNow. 

 

2:54 p.m.  The takeaway from today’s White House briefing:

The No. 1 message coming out of the White House is that the violence in Egypt must stop. At the same time, the U.S. is putting a lot of pressure on President Hosni Mubarak to begin his transition out of power now -- or as Gibbs said, “now is yesterday.” But they still aren’t taking the step of actually telling him he must leave today -- just that the transition must begin. The White House does see its military-to-military contacts as having helped promote restraint.

As in previous briefings, Gibbs stonewalled on questions about the role of Islamic fundamentalism in the region. He did say that the U.S. would like to maintain a relationship with whatever new government comes into power. But he also called on that hypothetical government to respect treaties that the previous government had affirmed, in a clear allusion to Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel that has helped promote stability in the region for decades. Egypt is “a country that has played an invaluable role in providing stability to a volatile region in the world,” he said.

 

2:50 p.m.  Al Jazeera reports that people are afraid to leave the crowded Tahrir Square because of the danger on surrounding streets.

 

2:45 p.m. Al Jazeera reports gasoline bombs being thrown from rooftops and a stream of ambulances entering the Square to pick up injured people. The military has continued telling people to return to their homes. And newly appointed Vice President Omar Suleiman has also called for the protesters to go home.

 

2:29 p.m. National Journal's Clifford Marks writes that a running survey about "well-being" suggests that non-economic factors may be driving the turmoil in Egypt and Tunisia. The well-being metric in both countries has plummeted in the past few years, according to recent Gallup polling.

The proportion of Egyptians who identified themselves as "thriving" has fallen by more than half, from 25 percent in 2007 to just 11 percent last year. Tunisians reported a similar drop in satisfaction, with the share of those who were "thriving" plunging from 24 percent in 2008 to 14 percent in 2010.

The declines in well-being came despite steady national increases in GDP per capita, which has long been considered a valuable, though imperfect, indicator of happiness.

Over the past five years, per capita income in both Egypt and Tunisia rose by roughly a third. Yet in Tunisia, all income groups reported a decline in well-being since 2008. The same happened in Egypt since 2005, with only the richest 20 percent reporting that their sense of well-being had increased. "Gallup's global wellbeing metrics make clear that leaders cannot assume that the lives of those in their countries would improve in tandem with rising GDP," the firm said in a posting on its website.

The surveys found wide variation in well-being among Middle Eastern nations.  Egypt and Tunisia were both near the bottom, but Morocco, Yemen, Iraq, the Palestinian Territories, and Libya all had fewer than 15 percent of adults who thought of themselves as "thriving." Countries such as Saudi Arabia (43 percent) and Jordan (30 percent) fared better.

 

1:50 p.m. Gibbs also said that President Obama spoke by phone with the King of Jordan on Tuesday night, but did not give any further details. King Abdullah II of Jordan dismissed his Cabinet and prime minister on Tuesday after weeks of protests, hiring another prime minister to enact "immediate" political and economic reforms.

 

1:33 p.m.  Gibbs was asked what the White House meant by “now” in calling for Mubarak to make the transition in government. “Now means yesterday,” Gibbs said.

 

1:25 p.m. ABC’s Jake Tapper put White House press secretary Robert Gibbs on the spot by asking him if President Obama thinks Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is a dictator. He responds: “The administration believes that President Mubarak has a chance to show the world exactly who he is by beginning this transition that is so desperately needed in his country and by his people.”

 

1:19 p.m.  Asked about Obama’s reaction to the violence in Egypt that has escalated today, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said in today’s press briefing: “The president and this administration strongly condemn the outrageous and deplorable violence that’s taking place in the streets of Cairo today. We have said that throughout this process. If any violence is instigated by the government, it should stop immediately. That has been our message throughout this.”

Gibbs called Obama’s discussion with Mubarak last night “direct,” “frank,” and “candid.”

Obama's message to Mubarak was that "the time for change had come," Gibbs said.

 

12:55 p.m. Egyptian state TV is warning people to evacuate Tahrir Square, The Guardian reports. Meanwhile, BBC reports that Egypt's health ministry said one person has been killed and 403 people wounded so far in the violence there today.

 

12:49 p.m. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley released a statement on today's attacks on demonstrators and journalists:

"After days of peaceful protests in Cairo and other cities in Egypt, today we see violent attacks on peaceful demonstrators and journalists. The United States denounces these attacks and calls on all engaged in demonstrations currently taking place in Egypt to do so peacefully.

These attacks are not only dangerous to Egypt; they are a direct threat to the aspirations of the Egyptian people. The use of violence to intimidate the Egyptian people must stop. We strongly call for restraint."

 

12:40 p.m.  National Journal political columnist Charlie Cook has more on White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley's comments on the crisis in Egypt.

 

12:37 p.m.   Al Jazeera reports that the military in Tahrir Square is now trying to enforce the curfew and telling protesters to go inside. It's 7:37 p.m. in Cairo. The curfew was supposed to start today at 5 p.m.

 

12:26 p.m.  This just in from National Journal's Josh Smith: "Even as street protests took a turn for the worse Wednesday, analysts and observers on the ground are reporting that Internet access seems to have returned in Egypt," he writes. After a five-day blackout, analysts noticed a spike in Internet traffic at about 11:30 a.m. in Egypt, according James Cowie of the Internet intelligence firm Renesys.

 

12:15 p.m.  Wael Nawara, secretary general of the opposition Ghad party, tells the BBC: "Whatever sympathy [President Mubarak] had from us yesterday, I think this sympathy has totally dried up. We have 500 injured in Tahrir Square just because he wants to stay in power for another few months. Why can't he just step down now?"

 

12:13 p.m.  National Journal political columnist Charlie Cook reports:

"The whole world is watching," White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley said of the crisis in Egypt this morning, borrowing a slogan that demonstrators used against his father more than three decades ago to put authorities in the troubled nation on notice not to crack down on street protestors.

At a Bloomberg News breakfast with reporters, Daley quoted the taunt shouted against his father, the late Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, when he noted the Egyptian authorities use of fire hoses to suppress protestors. The tactic recalled  the violence that broke out between anti-war demonstrators and local police during the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago.

 

12:10 p.m.  Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen spoke by phone this morning with his Egyptian counterpart, Lt. Gen. Sami Enan.

 "This was their second conversation since Gen. Enan returned to Cairo last week," Mullen's spokesman, Capt. John Kirby, said in a statement.  "The general provided an update on recent developments in the wake of President Mubarak's speech. The Chairman thanked him for the continued contact, reiterated his desire to see the situation return to calm and expressed his confidence in the Egyptian military's ability to provide for their country's security, both internally and throughout the Suez Canal area."

 

12:00 p.m.  Al Jazeera's Rania Zabaneh tweets: "All entrances to Cairo's Tahrir Square closed, clashes continue, electricity turned off."

 

11:49 a.m. Mohammed Ali Sabra, a former director in Mubarak's government, said the West must “respond actively and firmly” to the violence with a clear message to Mubarak: “Step down.”

“This is the only message that we can accept from the leaders of the free world,” he said on Al Jazeera, adding that stubbornness by Mubarak will create “an army of suicide bombers” in the country. Ali Sabra told his wife before leaving to join the protests that he would be ready to die. “If the result will be bloodshed, I accept to die in this bloodshed rather than leave a dictator to continue to remain in office.”

“This is the future of my children,” he said.

 

11:36 a.m.  Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Egypt’s government bonds and its currency bank deposits today as it changes its outlook of the country from stable to negative. The change came from the political tensions, the agency says, and a sense that a weakened regime, eager to retain power, will ease the financial discipline of an already stretched economy. “In Moody's opinion, there is a strong possibility that fiscal policy will be loosened as part of the government's efforts to contain discontent,’’ the agency said.

 

11:30 a.m. James Rubin, an assistant secretary of State during the Clinton administration, said it’s in the interest of the Mubarak government to have the world worried about the violence in Egypt and the chaos it could cause in the region.

“It’s in their interest for the world to be saying, ‘Look we’ve gone far enough, we’ve got the changes we need,’” Rubin said on CNN. The individuals who are attacking journalists and stirring up the violence today, Rubin said, “are of a certain type—former intelligence and police officers playing out an act on the stage that is the Square that is now being shown to the world.

“Those who support president Mubarak... have an interest in some form of the status quo,” he continued. “They would not like to see Mubarak have to get on a plane and leave the country and have the top layers of his party depart. They very much want to have the world move from a position of pressuring Mubarak to leave to a position of encouraging the military and security forces to establish control.

“I have no doubt that there are Mubarak supporters who are intentionally creating the impression of wide-scale violence in order perhaps in the future near or later... to justify establishing control through the military,” Rubin said. He warned that the worst thing to do in this situation would be to panic. “We don’t want to let the pro-regime supporters push us -- because of a few Molotov cocktails and some very unfortunate injuries -- into supporting or endorsing some reestablishment of control by the army or clearing of this stage.”

 

11:23 a.m. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, speaks with MSNBC: “President Mubarak’s announcement last night... has not satisfied the Egyptian people. We need to see something happen now so that there is a peaceful transition.” She declined to say if she herself thought Mubarak should step down immediately.

Shaheen said that when she and other senators visited the country in July, they expressed concerns about the repression in the country and stressed the “the importance of free, fair, open elections, loosening the hold and providing human rights for the people of Egypt.”

“Those are the calls we’re hearing [now] that the people want,” she said. “The U.S. will continue to do what we can to support the Egyptian people to move in that direction.”

 

11:14 a.m. Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, speaks to Al Jazeera: “Above everything,” she said, the situation on the ground needs to be “calmed down.”

“Its not for me to call for [Mubarak] to stand down. He needs to be in dialogue [with the people] and work the process out with them so that they can feel confident with the transition,” she said. “He has to talk to the leaders of the demonstration, the opposition. He has to explain what he’s trying to do and set the timetable with them. The job of the government in any country is to listen to the people and respond. If the people are saying we want change he has to demonstrate that he’s listening to that.”

“We in the EU want to see Egypt move forward.... Then we can all work with the transition to make sure we’re supporting Egypt into the future -- with elections, democracy, human rights, combined with the economic and political support we can give,” Ashton said.

 

11:05 a.m. Al Jazeera reports emergency vehicles are trying to get into Tahrir Square.

 

10:57 a.m. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs issued a statement on the violence in Egypt:

"The United States deplores and condemns the violence that is taking place in Egypt, and we are deeply concerned about attacks on the media and peaceful demonstrators. We repeat our strong call for restraint," Gibbs said.

 

10:40 a.m. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley reiterates the U.S. message calling for all sides to avoid violence. "We reiterate our call for all sides in to show restraint and avoid violence," Crowley said via Twitter. "Egypt's path to democratic change must be peaceful."

 

10:28 a.m. Al Jazeera reports that Mohamed ElBaradei is calling for the army to intervene as the conflict escalates in Tahrir Square: "Mubarak has to step down... no one wants him in Egypt. Egyptian people regained their dignity and will not turn back," ElBaradei said.

 

10:27 a.m. London’s Guardian reports that British Prime Minister David Cameron and Ban Ki-Moon, the U.N. secretary general, are calling for urgent change. “These are despicable scenes that are we are seeing and they should not be repeated. They are underline the need for political reform and frankly for that political reform to be accelerated,” Cameron said. “If it turns out that the regime in any way has sponsored or tolerated this violence, that is completely unacceptable.”

 

10: 07 a.m. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley tweets: "We are concerned about detentions and attacks on news media in #Egypt. The civil society that Egypt wants to build includes a free press."

 

10:06 a.m. Janice Jacobs, assistant secretary for consular affairs, gives an update on the ongoing evacuation of Americans from Egypt. Upon arrival to safe havens, "U.S. consular officers are assisting them in making lodging and onward travel plans," Jacobs said. "We will continue evacuation efforts to facilitate the safe transport of every U.S. citizen who wishes to leave the country."

 

10:05 a.m. CNN is reporting that the violence has resulted in many injuries and that a mosque has been turned into a makeshift hospital.

 

10:05 a.m. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof tweets: "In my part of Tahrir, pro-#Mubarak mobs arrived in buses, armed with machetes, straight-razors and clubs, very menacing."

 

9:45 a.m. Anderson Cooper reports that he was attacked while in the mob. He wasn't sure, he said, if they thought he was with Al Jazeera or recognized him from CNN, but in any event he was well enough to appear on television (without visible blemishes), moments later. Cooper said that everyone on his team is OK.

 

9:35 a.m. The European Commission called for orderly transition and the holding of free and fair elections in Egypt. Here is its press release: 

“The European Commission has been following closely the latest events in Egypt and at its meeting today expressed its firm commitment to support the legitimate aspirations of the people of Egypt.

The European Commission reiterates the call for an orderly transition in Egypt through a comprehensive process encompassing all political forces and civil society ready to abide by democratic norms. We urge for the necessary reforms including the holding of free and fair elections to be undertaken in a timely, decisive and concrete manner.

The European Commission firmly believes that rule of law, respect for fundamental rights, free and fair elections and a pluralist democracy anchored in an active civil society are the best means to achieve stability and prosperity.

These are the very foundational principles of the European Union and are also the core values that underpin the cooperation with our partner countries, notably those that are part of the European Neighbourhood Policy in the Southern rim of the Mediterranean.

European and Mediterranean countries share a common history and cultural heritage. The basic hopes and ambitions of people in the South of the Mediterranean do not differ from those living in the North of the Mediterranean: dignity, well-being and respect for personal freedoms.

The European Commission stands ready to step up its assistance to Egypt and its people in this transition."


9:30 a.m. The Egyptian military has been firing warning shots in the air to try and calm the protests that have turned violent in Tahrir Square, Al Jazeera reports. 


8:35 a.m. Anderson Cooper is reporting on CNN that the two factions -- the pro-Mubarak group and the anti-Mubarak protesters -- have divided into sides with a small "no-man's land" between them. The two sides are throwing rocks, bottles, and whatever else they can grab.


8:35 a.m. More on Yemen from National Journal's Sara Sorcher.

 

8:25 a.m. CNN is reporting that men on horseback and and camels have charged into Tahrir Square, whipping and lashing at people on the ground. 


8:05 a.m. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., on MSNBC this morning: “Our relationship with Egypt since 1979 has been critical to stability and peace in the Middle East. They reached a peace agreement with Israel and we said we'll stand by you, and we have, working with their military to make certain that there weren't reprisals and we have a peaceful situation. If a vacuum is created as Mubarak leaves, and I believe he will, the question is, what will fill the vacuum?”

 

7:50 a.m. From CNN’s Frederik Pleitgen, who is on the street in Cairo: “Well, what we're seeing from our somewhat elevated position is that these two sides are still going at it. We had a little bit of what appeared to be tear gas used on the square just a couple of minutes ago which was strange. As we've been saying there aren't any law enforcement authorities there. And the military seems to be standing by. Also, the other thing that we saw clearly here from our position is there appeared to be at least one injured person who was carried away and then laid down next to one of the tanks in the square. If you look toward the square there seem to be more and more people coming into it as these clashes continue. From our position we can see people pelting rocks, pelting what appeared to be sticks or something. Some even told me that people were throwing shoes at each other as these clashes continue. And the scene really and interestingly enough seems to be not one where you have two clear fronts but where people seem to be mingling with each other and these clashes erupt. It's going to be very, very difficult to separate these two sides if, indeed there is some sort of force that's going to try to do that. Because from my position here, I can actually see the soldiers here just sort of hanging out, staying in their tanks and not really doing anything to try and de-escalate or stop the situation."

 

7:40 a.m. News of President Hosni Mubarak's decision not to run for reelection has sent Twitter aflutter. The Atlantic Wire has some good responses.

 

7:35 a.m. Pro-Mubarak forces and anti-Mubarak protesters are clashing in the streets.

 

7:30 a.m. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a speedy transition in Egypt as pressure continues to mount for President Hosni Mubarak to step down.

Mubarak announced late Tuesday that he would not seek reelection in September, responding to more than a week of demonstrations, but his announcement has not mollified the masses. Following his remarks, protesters continued to crowd the streets of Cairo and other major cities in Egypt chanting the words “Leave! Leave!” and calling for Mubarak to step down immediately.

"The president repeats his wish that a concrete transition process begin without delay," a statement from Sarkozy's office said, according to the Associated Press.

Sarkozy’s statement, which echoed President Obama’s call on Tuesday for an immediate and orderly transition, was followed by words from Turkish PM Erdogan.

Erdogan said that the “masses will be satisfied” if they see a road map for transition, adding that “the people are waiting for a very different step from Mubarak.”

 

7:25 a.m. Internet service has been returned to Egypt.

 

7:20 a.m. Across the fence, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed in meetings with diplomatic officials that Israel's interest is in maintaining its peace deal with Egypt. "l believes that the international community must insist that any Egyptian government maintain the peace treaty with Israel," the prime minister's office said in a statement today. "Israel is a democracy and supports the advance of liberal and democratic values in the Middle East.  The advancement of those values is good for peace," it continued.

"But if extremist forces are allowed to exploit democratic processes to come to power to advance anti-democratic goals -- as has happened in Iran and elsewhere -- the outcome will be bad for peace and bad for democracy," the statement said.

 

7:15 a.m. The curfew in Cairo has been eased to 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. from 3 p.m. to 8 a.m.

 

7:00 a.m. Mubarak's announcement that he will not seek reelection still leaves a lot of unanswered questions. Not knowing who will replace him puts the relationship between the United States and Egypt in flux, and the issue of aid has already come up.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairman of the Senate State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, suggested the U.S. not rule out withholding aid to the country, if needed, “to support a transition to democracy.”

Other lawmakers say the question of who will lead the country next needs to be answered in order for the U.S. to keep spending money on Egypt.

“Obviously, it would be indefensible to continue any level of aid to Egypt if the Muslim Brotherhood or any Islamic radical government took power in Egypt,” said House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King, R-N.Y.

 

6:40 a.m. Even after President Hosni Mubarak said he would not seek reelection later this year, the protests in Cairo have continued. Some people spent the night in Tahrir Square, and hundreds of others joined them this morning, though not nearly in the numbers from Tuesday, to demand the immediate departure of the ruler, the Los Angeles Times reports.

 

6:25 a.m. Another U.S.-backed strongman, President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen, announced today he would not seek another term when his current one expires in 2013 or give power to his son, caving to public pressure as protesters plan another rally in Sana'a calling for a "Day of Rage" to sack Saleh after three decades of power. As the Tunisia-inspired protests in Egypt prompted Hosni Mubarak to announce he won't run again and Jordan's King Abdullah II to dismiss his government and commission a new prime minister to enact political reform, other rulers in the region are warily eyeing stability in their own regimes. Roll over National Journal's interactive map to learn more about the unrest -- or lack thereof -- in each country.

Read more from Monday, Jan. 31, and Tuesday, Feb. 1.

Lindsey Boerma and Katy O'Donnell contributed contributed to this article.

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