0030 GMT: Vice President Suleiman seems to have become fed up with the protests, Al Jazeera reports:
Omar Suleiman, the Egyptian vice-president, warned on Tuesday that his government "can't put up with continued protests" for a long time, as tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters rallied in Cairo's Tahrir Square for thesixteenth day in a row.
In a sharply worded statement reflecting the regime's impatience and frustration with the mass demonstrations, the newly appointed Suleiman said the crisis must be ended as soon as possible.
2345 GMT: Thousands have decided to go ahead with the sit-in in front of the parliament in Cairo all night, in addition to the thousands who will spend the night in Tahrir Square.
2241 GMT: The White House has released a list of steps the US supports towards a peaceful transition in Egypt as discussed by Vice President Joe Biden with his Egyptian counterpart VP Omar Suleiman over the phoen today. The steps include:
- Restraining the Ministry of Interior’s conduct by immediately ending the arrests, harassment, beating, and detention of journalists, and political and civil society activists, and by allowing freedom of assembly and expression;
- immediately rescinding the emergency law;
- broadening participation in the national dialogue to include a wide range of opposition members; and
- inviting the opposition as a partner in jointly developing a roadmap and timetable for transition.
2215 GMT: Al Arabiya is reporting that the government is placing eavesdropping chips in released activists' cell phones.
2210 GMT: The Finance Ministry announced today that they will be accepting applications for public sector job applications.
2200 GMT: Health Ministry workers also joined protests in Cairo today demanding the resignation of the newly-appointed Health Minister Ahmed Sameh Farid.
2036 GMT: Al-Ahram gives the protests coverage.
2025 GMT: Wael Ghonim at Tahrir Square:
2017 GMT: Human Rights Watch is claiming that the government is pressuring hospitals into playing down the number of casulaties since protests began. HRW has so far documented 297 deaths, but believes the number to have been even higher.
2005 GMT: Blogger Alaa Abu Fattah says a "few thousand" people are gathered in front of the Parliament building. The atmosphere is "very relaxed", with the Army allowing the crowd to hang signs and climb on walls.
1945 GMT: The Egyptian state outlet MENA has said that President Hosni Mubarak has ordered an "independent" probe into the deadly violence in Cairo last week.
MENA reported that Mubarak "has given instructions for the creation of a...transparent, independent, and impartial investigatory commission (made up) of Egyptian figures known for their honesty and their credibility to investigate the events of last Wednesday". It would investigate "the terrible and unacceptable violations that made some protesters innocent victims".
The President reportedly "assured that he shares the pain of all the families of these victims".
1925 GMT: Zohra Drif Bitat, a Vice-President of Algeria’s upper house of Parliament, has said it is time for a shake-up of the Government.
Drif Bitat, a heroine of the Algerian War for Independence who was appointed as Vice-President by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, said the Government had been unable to translate huge energy wealth into a better life for ordinary people. She continued, “Are we going to continue to tackle our problems with the same actors who have failed? Don’t we need new blood? I hope and expect a radical change in the mode of governance."
1915 GMT: Back from academic break to find an update on the protests that have moved outside Tahrir Square in Cairo today. Evan Hill of Al Jazeera English writes, "Protest at Parliament is getting bigger and louder, some judicial official just showed up and was interviewed by Dream TV."
1655 GMT: We will be on academic break until 1900 GMT. Live coverage continues on EA via the feed from Al Jazeera English.
1650 GMT: Angelique Chrisafis reports from Kasserine, 200 miles southwest of Tunis:
Kasserine was at the forefront of Tunisia's historic January uprising, the first time in the Arab world that people on the streets have ousted a brutal dictator. The country's hope of becoming the first true Arab democracy spread across the region, inspiring Egypt's revolt. But as the world spotlight turns to Cairo, Tunisia's rural interior fears its revolution could disintegrate.
The town now finds itself at the heart of the attempts by Ben Ali's former ruling RCD party to stir fresh violence to disrupt the revolution. In the past three days, at least five people have died in Tunisia in the worst violence since Ben Ali fled on January 14. The interim government has blamed the wave of violence on a plot by old figures in the RCD party to stir panic and damage the revolution.
Last week in Kasserine at least 1,000 thugs descended on the town centre, ransacking schools, smashing buildings, attacking the court-house and robbing at knifepoint, left to run riot through the town by the lack of police. "This was a war of terrorism," said local lawyer Bedma Askri. "The RCD paid criminals and thugs around 15 dinars each [£5] to do this.
"In some cases, they just plied them with alcohol in exchange for violence. That's poverty for you, when someone will smash up a town and terrify people in exchange for a drink."
1540 GMT: Suez Canal Company workers from the cities of Suez, Port Said, and Ismailia have begun an open-ended sit-in, with the prospect of disruption to movement of ships through one of the main transport routes in the world.
More than 6000 protesters have agreed that they will not go home today once shifts are over, remaining in front of the company's headquarters until their demands over poor wage and deteriorating health and working conditions are met.
1535 GMT: Ahmed Ragheb of Hisham Mubarak Law Center says military police have told him that about 10,000 people have been detained in Cairo since 25 January.
1448 GMT: The main protest chant today in Tahrir Square, Cairo is, "The people want to change the system."
1437 GMT: Protesters have also gathered near the parliament and are chanting against the house speaker and Prime Minister Ahmad Shafiq, asking for their resignations. There are protesters near the prime minister's office too and demanding the same.
1420 GMT: Ayman Mohyeldin of Al Jazeera tweets:
Egypt's former min of interior [al-Adly] being investigated for transferring millions of govt dollars to Swiss bank accounts
1410 GMT: Tens of thousands have gathered in Alexandria as well and thousands more are expected to join protests in Suez. This time, there's almost no pro-Mubarak protesters in sight in Cairo.
1350 GMT: Al Masry Al Youm reports:
More than 500 of Egyptian media professionals issued a statement denouncing state-run media coverage of the youth-led uprising staged since 25 January calling for Mubarak’s resignation. Talk show presenter Ibrahim Eissa, press syndicate member Abeer Saady, novelist Ezzat al-Qamhawi, as well as notable artists, were among those who signed the statement.
1342 GMT: Hundreds of thousands of people have gathered in Tahrir Square and thousands more are flocking in. However, the protest that was supposed to be held in front of the TV building cannot be held because the Army has blocked all paths to the area.
1230 GMT: Ayman Mohyeldin of Al Jazeera reports seeing Cairo Univeristy professors joining protesters in Tahrir Square.
1226 GMT: A statement was issued by The Faculty of Law at Cairo University in support of protests today.
1217 GMT: The Army has blocked the road leading to the radio and TV building in Cairo and are only allowed pedestrians through. Meanwhile, celebrities are also joining the Tahrir protest, including TV host Amr Adib.
1212 GMT: Protesters are expected to take to streets in Suez later today as well according to organizers.
1207 GMT: After several denials, the central bank has finally admitted to tweaking the system to help strengthen the Egyptian pound against the dollar. The Egypt Daily News reports:
The central bank said on Tuesday it intervened in the market to prop up the Egyptian pound, helping the local currency rise against the dollar for the first time since political unrest gripped the country. The currency had tumbled steadily since the eruption of political protests on Jan. 25. The market, however, was closed all of last week and only reopened on Sunday.
The pound traded as high as 5.87 to the dollar on Tuesday, up from its 5.952 close on Monday.
1200 GMT: A Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mohammad Mursi published an Op/Ed piece in The Guardian today that calls for democratization in Egypt and defends the Brotherhood against criticism. Part of it reads:
The Muslim Brotherhood has been with those protesters from the very start, and continues to share their demands that a peaceful transfer of power is carried out immediately, and freedom in all senses is realised throughout Egypt. There can be no question that genuine democracy must prevail; and while the Muslim Brotherhood is unequivocal regarding its basis in Islamic thought, it rejects any attempt to enforce any ideological line upon the Egyptian people.
1150 GMT: Protesters are chanting against parliament speaker Fathi Surour as they pass by the parliament, one source reports.
1146 GMT: Tahrir Square is filling up again. Several reports suggest that the crowd today may rival the number of protesters on Tuesday. All the entrances are open and the crowd is getting ready for another day of demanding for Mubarak's departure.
1100 GMT: Ayman Mohyeldin of Al Jazeera tweets:
Egypt to set up 3 committees: constitutional reform, investigate violence against protesters, advance national dialogue
1035 GMT: Al Ahram - a newspaper that the government owns the majority shares of and appoints the editors of - ran a piece about state media bias against the protesters today which shows the extent to which media in Egypt is beginning to change for the best. The piece starts with:
The Egyptian revolution has embarrassed the country's state media by exposing its true purpose: defending the regime. They failed to change at a time when the regime itself was compelled to change.
The climate of fear and lies has also seen many journalists being beaten and detained and their equipment confiscated. Al Arabiya, Al Jazeera, CNN, Times, CBS, Al-Shorouk newspaper and The Guardian have reported several attacks on their journalists. One night, all TV news cameras were confiscated, there was no live coverage starting Thursday evening, the evening before “Departure Friday".
You can access the story here.
1020 GMT: Al Masry Al Youm reports:
Egyptian space scientist Farouk al-Baz called on Egyptian protesters in Tahrir to hold their ground until President Hosni Mubarak steps down. In a message he addressed to the protesters via Al-Masry Al-Youm, al-Baz said, "You must stick to your just position until your chief demand--that of the departure of Mubarak--is met."
0950 GMT: Reuters quotes Vice President Suleiman saying that the government has a plan for a peaceful transition of power. However, the plan will not include the immediate stepping down of Mubarak as per protesters' demands.
0945 GMT: Al Arabiya reports:
Egypt's general prosecutor on Monday opened probe on former Interior Minister Habib el-Adly's reported role in the New Year's Eve bombing of al-Qiddissin Church in Alexandria in which 24 people were killed, an Egyptian lawyer told Al Arabiya.
An attempt to improve Mubarak's image?
0924 GMT: Al Arabiya is reporting that police in Yemen have arrested 12 protesters after firing shots to disperse protesters in the southern port city of Aden. No confirmation exists beyond that one source.
0740 GMT: Monday night's concert in Tahrir Square:
Egypt Video: The Interview with Wael Ghonim "I Want to Tell Families Who Lost Their Sons..."
A Warning from Egypt: "Surprisingly, Protesters Have Lost" (Gallo)
Egypt Snapshot: After Molotovs and Stones, An Encounter with the Muslim Brotherhood (Kamel)
Egypt Video: Al Jazeera English's Ayman Mohyeldin on His Detention
Turkey's Foreign Minister on Egypt: "We Took the Most Active and Clearest Position
Egypt Monday LiveBlog: Celebration, But Will It Soon Be for the Tourists?
0715 GMT: We begin this morning with two very different features. Claudio Gallo, who has just returned from Cairo, writes with concern that "Surprisingly, Protesters Have Lost" as they remain in Tahrir Square.
However, Gallo's worry that the movement may have been contained may be met today with the video --- posted in a separate entry --- of the dramatic appearance of activist and Google executive, Wael Ghonim, on Egyptian TV hours after his release from 13 days in detention. Ghonim, who was the driving force behind the "We are Khaled Said" Facebook page that helped spark protest, passionately described his emotions over the protest, breaking down as he was shown photos of those who were killed. If reactions in Egypt match those on social media, there could be well be a push to take anger, hope, and demands beyond the Square.
So far the only planned demonstration in Cairo outside Tahrir is a rally by the 6 April Movement this afternoon, reportedly outside the State TV building.
Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Faculty of Law at Cairo University calls for a decree establishing freedom for political parties and demands guarantee of a citizen's right to vote and to make political nominations. The lawyers also declare all Government institutions should be restructured swiftly and in accordance with a new Constitution.
And, in a statement which reveals more about his own perspective --- not only today but in the past --- than the issues confronting Egypt, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair declares, "I am totally in favor of change in Egypt and democracy; I just think we need to manage it."