Suleiman may please military, not public
The story goes that Omar Suleiman rose to favor when he saved President Hosni Mubarak's life in 1995 by demanding the president ride in an armored car in Ethiopia. A gunman opened fire on the vehicle, and still Mr. Mubarak escaped unharmed.
This time, however, Suleiman may not be able to save the president. On Saturday, Suleiman was named vice president of Egypt - and the clear successor to the top job - after years as Egypt's foreign intelligence chief and Egypt's lead liaison with the Palestinians. With the streets filled with protesters for a fifth day, and the death toll rising across the country, President Mubarak turned to a longtime friend, confidant and close ally of Washington to be his second in command.
"The president is choosing a man he can trust while he is on shaky ground," said Mahmoud Shokry, a former ambassador to Syria and personal friend of Suleiman. "There is no doubt that the president doesn't know what will happen tomorrow."
But Suleiman, a former general, is also the establishment's candidate, not the public's. His appointment, and his elevation, if it were to occur, would represent not the democratic change called for on the street, but most likely a continuation of the kind of military-backed, authoritarian leadership that Mr. Mubarak has led for nearly 30 years, experts said.
"I think basically this is a way of paving the way for a military-led regime in a so-called constitutional context," said Ragui Assaad, a professor at the University of Minnesota. "It is clearly the result of negotiations with the army."
Suleiman has run Egypt's General Intelligence Service since 1993, taking over as the nation was battling Islamic extremists. He is 74 years old and, like Mr. Mubarak, fought in two wars with Israel.
He is said to hold a similar worldview, deeply distrusting Iran, favoring close relations with Washington, supporting the cold peace with Israel, and against easing up on the Muslim Brotherhood, the principal opposition group in Egypt.
He has managed most of Egypt's hottest issues, including dealing with Hamas, Hezbollah and Sudan.
Leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy nations mocked the macho image of their absent adversary Vladimir Putin on Sunday, at a meeting in Germany dominated by the Russian President's invasion of Ukraine. "We all have to show that we're tougher than Putin," British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, to laughter from some of his colleagues. "Bare-chested horseback riding," shot back Canada's Justin Trudeau. Britain, Canada, Japan and the United States announced moves to ban imports of Russian gold.
Four G7 powers will ban Russian gold exports in a new bid to stop oligarchs from buying the precious metal to avoid the impact of sanctions against Moscow, Britain said Sunday. The joint action taken by Britain, Canada, Japan and the United States, "will directly hit Russian oligarchs and strike at the heart of (President Vladimir) Putin's war machine," said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
"Wanted: Dead or Alive" is the usual demand in the world of crime anywhere. But the living is declared dead in Pakistan's world of criminals and terrorists. This is the curious case of Sajid Mir, one of the masterminds of the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, India, in 2008. This is why, and how, Sajid Majeed Mir has surfaced. The now ailing and exiled military ruler, General Pervez Musharraf would ridicule any talk of Pakistan hiding Osama Bin Laden.
The number of young people who have died at a makeshift nightclub in a township in South Africa's southern city of East London has risen to 20, a senior safety official said Sunday. "The number has increased to 20, three have died in hospital. But there are still two who are very critical," head of the provincial government safety department Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe said on local TV.
President Joe Biden said Sunday that the United States and other Group of Seven leading economies will ban imports of gold from Russia, the latest in a series of sanctions that the club of democracies hopes will further isolate Russia economically over its invasion of Ukraine. A formal announcement was expected Tuesday as the leaders meet for their annual summit.