THE REVOLUTION IN EGYPT – Live Updates

Note: More recent updates are available here.

UPDATE 24:03 GMT: Tweet from “Fake_Dispatch” is making the rounds: “BREAKING: New Facebook upgrade option is called Mubarak. You click on quit and nothing happens.”

UPDATE 23:52 GMT: On the plus side, Egyptians now have a chance to recapture the $70 billion Mubarak family has looted. Works out to USD $84,337.97 per Egyptian.

UPDATE 23:35 GMT: White House statement expected soon. WH was obviously blindsided. Double-crossing, false signals rampant in this episode. Mubarak made references to “foreign” pressure in the open and in the close of his speech.

UPDATE 23:22 GMT: Under Egyptian Constitution, three powers Mubarak did NOT transfer to Suleiman: 1. Power to fire Cabinet, 2. Power to disband Parliament, 3. Power to change Constitution. (My thought, and I’m sure the thoughts of millions of Egyptians): These are BIG loopholes.

UPDATE 23:17 GMT: BBC’s Paul Adams in Tahrir Square says the army seems more nervous than it had been before: “People are talking about the possibility of marches tomorrow, of going to the presidential palace, and that they know that could be a gauntlet to the army. But a number of people were insisting that the army remained neutral, even though there was a slight suspicion they were lied to earlier in the day when they were told ‘tonight you will get all your demands.’ They still believe the army is neutral.”

UPDATE 23:12 GMT: CNN’s Ben Wederman tweet: “It’s amazing how far and how fast relations between the governments of the US and #Egypt have deteriorated.”

UPDATE 22:59 GMT: Obama to meet with national security team to discuss Egypt situation.

UPDATE 22:57 GMT: ElBaradei on CNN, asked if transfer to Suleiman is supportable: “Absolutely not.” Says there’s no difference between Suleiman and Mubarak. Says it’s unclear if army is with Mubarak or with the people.

UPDATE 22:41 GMT: ElBaradei via Twitter: “Egypt will explode. Army must save the country now.”

UPDATE 22:40 GMT: Egyptian Ambassador Sameh Shoukry to US is telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that Mubarak has transferred “all power” to Suleiman and that Mubarak retains title but is “president in name only.”

UPDATE 22:34 GMT: French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s first comment on the Mubarak speech: “I hope Egypt gets a democracy, not an Iran-style religious dictatorship.”

UPDATE 22:27 GMT: Comments compiled by Reuters…

Stephen Grand, Brookings Institution: “It was quite surreal. He’s a stubborn old man who refused to see the writing on the wall. I happen to believe the demonstrations will continue, people will continue to push for his ouster and eventually will succeed.”

Robert Springborg, US Naval Postgraduate School: “The speeches tonight are not intended to bring an end to the crisis in a peaceful way but to inflame the situation so there is justification for the imposition of direct military rule. They are risking not only the coherence of the military but even indeed, and I use this term with advisement here, civil war. I think it needs to be made perfectly clear (by outside powers) that Mubarak and his regime are forfeiting Egypt’s future. Egypt is in an economic crisis. It is going to have to be bailed out and the short answer to what they are doing now is that it will not be bailed out with anything like a military regime in place that is associated with Mubarak, Omar Suleiman and these people who are part of this regime.”

Anthony Cordesman, Center for Strategic and International Studies: “The truth is that even the senior military now at the top of the power structure under Mubarak almost certainly have no clear idea of what happens next, and it will be days before anyone know how well the transition will function, who goes and who stays, and how stable the result really is. It is also important to understand that democracy is less important to most Egyptians than material benefits, jobs, decent education, effective government services, ending corruption and favoritism, and emphasizing the concept of justice in ways that provide security and honest police and courts. People aren’t looking for a vote as much as they want to stop the economic, political and social injustice.”

UPDATE 22:22 GMT: Current chant reported from Tahrir Square: “We’re off to the presidential palace. We’re going as millions of martyrs.”

UPDATE 22:18 GMT: UK Foreign Secretary William Hague says it is still unclear what powers have been transferred to Suleiman.

UPDATE 22:11 GMT: Speculation that Mubarak’s goal is to provoke violence amongst protesters to justify the crackdown he wants but hasn’t been able to muster.

UPDATE 22:02 GMT: State TV is still showing images from the square, but without sound.

UPDATE 21:57 GMT: BBC says Oxford military expert Ali Shukri thinks Egyptian army is siding with the government and intends to “support President Mubarak totally to the end. I think we are approaching a moment when the army will have to make a real choice on the ground.”

UPDATE 21:53 GMT: Alanoud Al Sharek of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, says Mubarak “doesn’t seem to understand the magnitude of what is happening in Egypt. At this point I don’t think it will suffice. He still seems to think he is the top patriarch and custodian of the Egyptian people. He doesn’t realize that there is a genuine act of resistance taking place.” Al Sharek calls Mubarak’s transfer of authority to Suleiman but retaining his position as ruler a “sleight of hand.”

UPDATE 21:48 GMT: Suleiman says a “clear road map has been laid down” and “I call on all citizens to look forward to the future, and to make this future bright.” BBC: “It’s doubtful anyone in Tahrir Square heard Mr Suleiman’s speech – the noise of chants and horns is deafening.”

UPDATE 21:34 GMT: Suleiman is now on Egyptian State TV. Doubtful that he’ll be mollifying anyone.

UPDATE 21:31 GMT: Obama administration’s statements earlier in the day show they were completely out of the loop.

UPDATE 21:24 GMT: If violence is extremely widespread – or truly a civil war, if it comes to that – will be more likely to result in either an even more repressive Egypt or with extremists ending up in power.

UPDATE 21:20 GMT: Mubarak’s tone being described as “condescending,” spoken as a father to a child.

UPDATE 21:18 GMT: If the people of Egypt want control over their lives, they will earn it with their blood.

UPDATE 21:14 GMT: Mubarak: “Egypt is braving hard times, where we cannot tolerate these circumstances to continue. Our economy has suffered losses and damages – and day by day it will end up where the youth, who are calling for more reform will be the first victims.” Sounds threatening.

UPDATE 21:10 GMT: Mubarak would not have given this speech if he did not have significant support from Egyptian military, but it is an open question whether the foot soldiers will follow the generals. If there is dissension in the ranks, the violence could sink the Egypt into civil war. This is a very dangerous moment in Egyptian history.

UPDATE 21:03 GMT: Tahrir crowd: “Get out! Get out!”

UPDATE 20:58 GMT: Violence is sure to break out…but whose side will Egypt’s army be on?

UPDATE 20:50 GMT: MUBARAK SAYS HE WILL NOT STEP DOWN

UPDATE 20:46 GMT: Mubarak on TV.

UPDATE 20:40 GMT: Chants from Tahrir Square: “The pilot, the pilot, your plane awaits you” (all chants rhyme in Arabic so sound better.).

UPDATE 20:38 GMT: ElBaradei just tweeted: “We are almost there.”

Egyptian state TV showing a promotional film for Egypt. Everyone’s still waiting for the Hosni Show.

UPDATE 20:28 GMT: NBC reporting that Mubarak address to begin in “5 or 10 minutes.”

UPDATE 20:13 GMT: BBC reporting that Egyptian state TV is currently broadcast a global weather forecast. Possibly not what most people have tuned in for.

UPDATE 20:08 GMT: The scheduled start of Mubarak’s speech has passed, but he hasn’t appeared yet.

UPDATE 19:39 GMT: Live feeds of Mubarak address will be available via NY Times here, via Reuters here or Al Jazeera English (with English translation) here.

UPDATE 19:16 GMT: NY Times reporting that Egyptian government officials expect Mubarak resignation and pass authority to VP Omar Suleiman. “But if the military does assume formal control of the government, it remains uncertain if it would give Mr. Suleiman, a former military officer, a leading role.”

UPDATE 19:05 GMT: President Obama’s remarks on Egypt were “broadcast, translated, live on State TV.”

UPDATE: Egyptian TV reports Mubarak will speak at 20:00 GMT, but situation fluid.

UPDATE: Al Arabiya is reporting that Mubarak will announce constitutional procedures before handing over powers.

UPDATE: Obama: “What’s absolutely clear is that we are witnessing history unfold. The people of Egypt are calling for change. People representing all ages and all walks of life – but it is young people who are at the forefront – a new generation, your generation, who want their voices to be heard – and we want those young people to know the United States of America will support an orderly transition to democracy.”

UPDATE: Egyptian state TV reporting Mubarak will NOT step down.

UPDATE: Senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood reports concern the military is seizing power. “It looks like a military coup…The problem is not with the president, it is with the regime.”

UPDATE: Army, not Omar Suleiman, to hold power. Unclear if Suleiman assumes presidency.

UPDATE: CIA director Leon Panetta: “strong likelihood that Mubarak will step down this evening.”

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