Update 13: Just watched Mubarak’s speech. Seriously out of touch. Will form new cabinet tomorrow. Aging, out of touch. He effectively doubled down. Tomorrow might be bloody. Will the army rally to the people or Mubarak?
The parliament of the wealthy Gulf state of Kuwait on Wednesday unanimously passed legislation to grant cash and free food to Kuwaiti citizens totalling over $5 billion to mark national occasions.
The grants, made last week by Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, stipulate paying 1,000 dinars ($3,580) to each Kuwaiti citizen plus free distribution of essential food items for 14 months.
A little nervous? Wonder what we’ll see in Saudi Arabia?
“They hate us for our freedoms” update: Teenager showed me teargas canister “made in USA”. Saw the same thing in Tunisia. Time to reconsider US exports? #Jan25 #Egypt This has gotten a lot of play all day on Al Jazeera English.
From The Guardian live blog: Foreign journalists are being tougher on Gibbs than the White House press corps. “We have reached a point where the grievances have to be addressed with concrete reforms, have to, must,” says Gibbs at one point, in annoyance. Gibbs does go on to describe internet access as a basic right, which is a revelation of sorts.
Update 11: Based on what I heard White House spokesman Gibbs say, Mubarak has been officially thrown under the bus. I make a lot of fun of the White House and Obama, but Gibbs made all the right noises a few moments ago. Mubarak is clearly finished and the White House knows it.
Be sure to check out the photo stream of Al Jazeera Live, here.
Update 10: Critical news from the AP: WASHINGTON (AP) AP source: US will review its stand on providing aid to Egypt based on unfolding events. Looking for link now. This is a game changer. Follow up from Nick Baumann:
Israeli official: “I’m not sure the time is right for the Arab region to go through the democratic process.” Link to story Idiots RT @HumaImtiaz Fox News: groups linked to al-Qaida “in danger of taking over the government in Cairo” http://bit.ly/fPaZmz
Update 9: The question of the hour is this: will the army side with the people of Egypt or with the police? All indications are that the army is, at the very least, not attacking the people. That fact weighs against the survival of Mubarak’s regime.
Al Jazeera is reporting from Suez: “there are no police on the streets. Several tanks, lots of protesters. Order has resumed.”
Lambert has updates here. Head over there for good stuff as well.
Okay, I have personal business to attend to. Please see comment thread, and Mark’s updates for more info. Hopefully I will return soon.
Update 8: “Al Jazeera English: Unconfirmed reports that that army and the police are clashing”
Correction: reports of gunfire incorrect. They were sounds of rocks being hurled at multiple APCs disabled in downtown Cairo.
The sounds in the background of the AJE livestream are clearly gunfire.
AJE livestream is reporting shots fired against protesters. “We are hearing very loud gunfire from Ministry of Information. I cannot confirm, this but I have heard sound of ammunition in my life,” says one AJE reporter.
The sound of protests and crowds in the background of the Al Jazeera live feed is simply astonishing. Crowdsourcing has a new face. You can watch it here. Of course not a single US network covers this, the largest, most important country in the Arab world. #fail
Update 6: “BREAKING: Egyptian TV announces immediate curfew in Cairo.”
Update 5: Al Jazeera confirms:
Unconfirmed reports are coming in that the army is now on the streets.
From Evegeny Morozov:
To recap: El Baradei is under house arrest. Protests have spread to many cities in Egypt, not just Suez and Cairo. Alexandrian protests rumored in 100,000 area.
The vaunted “free” press of American is getting absolutely pwnd by Al Jazeera.
The White House is as silent as Mubarak.
Update 4: Shorter Obama: “Can’t we all just get along?” Rumors in Washington DC is that our masters of civility have a serious case of the vapors. David Broder has been hospitalized. David Brooks fainted. Peggy Noonan apparently whipped out a Ouija board and channeled Ronald Reagan.
Updated 3: Protests now spreading to Luxor, reports Al Jazeera. Rich neighborhoods in Cairo joining in protests as well. Protesters, per Al Arabiya have stormed the Governate Office in Alexandria.
Al Jazeera reports protesters now heading towards Presidential palace. End game near?
All reports, sporadic, otherwise, from official media and non-traditional indicate downtown Cairo is a madhouse.
From Al Jazeera: Protesters take control of parts of Suez & Egyptian security forces are retreating.
Mark Lynch tweets: “Absolute silence of Mubarak so far is really striking.” I personally think he’s toast at this point. Live fire would just draw more protesters into the streets.
Update 2: Things are simply moving too fast now. Its hard to keep up. If Mubarak has not ordered police and security forces to use live ammunition by now it’s pretty clear he’s lost control. Protesters own Tahrir Square. Reports coming in that October 6 bridge is burning. More: “Opposition leader Ayman Nour suffered head injury, now in ICU at Agouza hospital, his son tells Al Jazeera English.”
Update: Thousands protesting in Al Masoura, thousands reported in Arish as well. Things moving very fast. Many satellite channels completely blocked now inside Egypt.
Al Jezeera reporting police in Alexandria refusing to fire tear gas at protesters, others taking off uniforms joining protests. Al Arabiyya has reported the same.
Mohamed El Baradei has been doused by a water cannon and subsequently arrested. Supporters attempted to shield him.
Reporters from outlets as diverse as Al Arabiyya, Al Jazeera and CNN are all reporting police harassment and beatings for filming anything in Egypt. Ben Wedeman of CNN has his camera smashed.
There are a reported 100,000 protesters in Alexandria. Al Jezzera reports protesters in “Al Areesh, N Sinai.” More protests than the regime can handle, apparently.
So far today? Attacks on protesters, press. Internet, cell phone service cut. Nobel laureate arrested. And day still young. #Jan25 #Egypt
Background here: Egyptian protesters are not just Facebook revolutionaries
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