Mubarak tries steam rolling reforms as protests continue
Egypt's embattled President Hosni Mubarak tasked his new Prime Minister on Sunday to ram through democratic reforms as thousands of protesters in central Cairo defied a military curfew to demand the veteran leader's ouster.
His instructions to Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq were read out on state television but had no discernable effect on protesters who vowed to continue their demonstrations until Mubarak stepped down. Mubarak, who sacked his cabinet on Friday after a nationwide revolt, also said the new Prime Minister's priority was restricting unemployment and creating new jobs.
"Above all that, and concurrent with it, I emphasise the importance of urgently, completely, effectively taking new and continuous steps for more political reforms, constitutional and legislative, through dialogue with all parties," Mubarak told Shafiq.
He also instructed the new cabinet, whose members have not yet been named, to restrict unemployment, end corruption and restore trust in the country's economy. Thousands of protesters stayed put in Tahrir Square, the epicentre of demonstrations in the capital, with some setting up tents to stay overnight despite a military curfew.
Top dissident, Mohamed ElBaradei earlier told a sea of angry protesters in the square that they were beginning a new era after the six day revolt. The Nobel laureate, who was mandated by Egyptian opposition groups, including the banned Muslim Brotherhood, to negotiate with 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," ElBaradei said in his first address on Tahrir square. "I ask you to be patient, change is coming." "We will sacrifice our soul and our blood for the nation," the angry crowd shouted. "The people want to topple the president."
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," Erian said.
The protests against Mubarak's three decade rule have shaken Egypt and left at least 125 people dead as the veteran leader clings to power. A curfew slapped on Cairo, Alexandria and Suez on Friday was further extended on Sunday from 3:00 pm to 8:00 am, state television said, leaving citizens only seven hours a day to take to the street.
Mubarak has struggled to placate a nation angry at his three decades of autocratic rule with token gestures such as sacking the government.
As international officials and journalists waited for the world leaders at the NATO summit venue on Tuesday, what baffled them was to find 'Russian Salad' on the in-house restaurant menu -- especially as at the summit, Russia was expected to be labelled as a 'security threat' due to its invasion of Ukraine. The dish was also sold out within hours.
Two days after at least 18 people were killed after Russian missiles struck a shopping mall containing more than 1,000 people in the central city of Kremenchuk in Ukraine, president Volodymyr Zelensky accused the Russian president of becoming a “terrorist”. The war between Russia and Ukraine has been going on for over four months now. He further urged Russia's expulsion from the United Nations.
The Biden administration unveiled a new plan to vaccinate eligible Americans against monkeypox, prioritizing those who have been exposed to the virus in states with the highest infection rates. Hundreds of thousands of doses of the Jynneos vaccine from Bavarian Nordic A/S will be made available under the administration's new plan through a tiered-allocation system, the US Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday.
Meet the "zombie star." The star at issue, observed with the Hubble Space Telescope, is a kind known as a white dwarf, an incredibly dense object with about the mass of the sun crammed into the size of Earth.
NATO ally Turkey lifted its veto over Finland and Sweden's bid to join the Western alliance on Tuesday after the three nations agreed to protect each other's security, ending a weeks-long drama that tested allied unity against Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The steps for Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO will be agreed on in the next two days, Finnish President Niinisto said. U.S. President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomed the deal.