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January 28th, 2011
09:13 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Crisis in Egypt

Many Egyptians defied a government curfew Friday night and faced stinging police tear gas as they marched for change.

Many Egyptians defied a government curfew Friday night and faced stinging police tear gas as they marched for change.

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight on 360°, we'll have the latest developments in the crisis in Egypt. At lot is at stake. Egypt shares a border with Israel, it's America's ally and it's the capital of the Arab world. There are a lot of questions unanswered at this hour. Will demonstrators take to the streets again on Saturday? Will the country's government resign?

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, 82, addressed his nation on television just hours ago and made it clear he has no intention of stepping down - yet his resignation is what most protesters are demanding. Instead, he's calling on the rest of his government to step down.

"I am absolutely on the side of the freedom of each citizen. At the same time, I am on the side of the security of Egypt and I would not let anything dangerous happen to threaten the peace and the law and the future of the country," Mubarak said.

President Obama called Mubarak shortly after his speech to the people of Egypt.

"When President Mubarak addressed the Egyptian people tonight he pledged a better democracy and greater economic opportunity. I just spoke to him after his speech and I told him he has a responsibility to give meaning to those words, to take concrete steps and actions that deliver on that promise," Pres. Obama said at the White House this evening.

The outrage in Egypt has been building for days. Demonstrators first took to the streets on Tuesday. Then today thousands took part in the unrest. Riot and plainclothes police were joined by the Egyptian soldiers, marking the first time the army was deployed to battle unrest since 1985.

The crowds chanted "Down, Down, Mubarak" in the capital, Cairo. Water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets were used to try to stop the protests. Protesters also filled the streets of smaller cities. Our reporters and camera crews on the scene captured amazing video of the uprising. We'll share it with you tonight, along with several reports.

We'll also look at what this all means for U.S.-Egyptian relations. Keep in mind, the U.S. gives about $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt, second only to Israel. Egypt has also received about $30 billion in economic aid from Washington since 1975. Those figures are from the U.S. State Department.

Join us for our special coverage from Egypt starting at 10 p.m. ET on CNN. See you then.


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. paul

    There is a lot to be worried about...

    – Egypt controls most of the flow of oil (through the Suez Canal) in the world at one point.
    – If this movement succeeds in Egypt, look out Saudi and UAE
    – The US gives tons of aid to Egypt, under the condition that they spend it on US systems. If this goes, it will hurt the US economy more than just the oil.
    – the movement is mostly the young and unemployed, a dangerous combination.

    we should be worried!

    January 31, 2011 at 9:10 am |
  2. Annie Kate

    Secretary of State Clinton was on several press shows on Sunday morning and when pressed with the question if the US would give asylum to Mubarak if he left Egypt, she noted that it was too early to take sides or say what we as a nation would or would not do. She did say that she hoped the end result was a government that would truly represent the Egyptian people and preserve the vibrancy of Egyptian culture and society in that government. It is as she stated up to the Egyptian people and their vote to choose the type of government and leaders that they want now and in the future – not the US.

    January 31, 2011 at 7:22 am |
  3. Carol

    Thanks for being there Anderson! You're putting this front and center....my son is in Cairo-was going to school at AUC and he just got back last week after Christmas break in the states. Please check on the students who are trapped there. Why isn't this situation considered and emergency? Why no planes evacuating those that want to leave? They need to get out!

    January 31, 2011 at 3:42 am |
  4. Kim & Paul Suter Olathe, Kansas

    We have travel plans to Cairo Egypt this summer.. We are not changing our plans. We support the people of Egypt. We are not scared the majority of people are good honest and hard working. Going to Egypt has been a life long dream for us and we have faith everything will work out.

    January 30, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
  5. Nana

    I am an Egyptian American I grew up in Egypt and now I live in the United States. I have been watching CNN's coverage to the egyptian protests for the past three days...great coverage...yet I have to bring this crucial, crucial point up, that seems that CNN is not aware of as they have not mentioned it once. Are you guys aware of the christian coptic minority in Egypt? 9% of the population, that is more than 7 million people...And are you aware of the possible consequences of what is happening on them?..Okay let me start by telling you that I heard the discussion of the ripple effect and that the protest sparked when Tunisia protested...did you guys know that there were protests on January first, 2011 in the streets of Cairo and Alexandria carried by the coptic minority and their supporters of moderate Muslims asking for the resignation of the governer of Internal affairs, Eladly, because more than 25 coptic people were killed and more than 90 injured as a car exploded in front of a church in Alexandria as they were celebrating the new year's eve...A crime arranged in the name of the Gihad of Muslim extremists?...I think that this was the real first spark for all the revolutions.
    But more importantly now is that even though everyone is angry at the government, you can notice from the interviews with the people that the main reason might be the same, lack of a humane life, the secondary reasons are different. The most alarming is the requirement of a group to convert Egypts ruling to a Muslim extremists governemnt...do you know what that means to the Egyptian minority, the coptics? It means they will be slaughtered...and they will vanish...Coptics are already being threatened to be killed and actually are killed at some places in Egypt just because they are christians..8 christian coptics were killed in Elminia today just for being christians...This is alarming...and I just wanted to make you guys aware of this particular, crucial angle of the issue...Please do not ignore the Egyptian minority....

    January 30, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
  6. Paul Ernest Show

    Let's not fight over issues until the dusts settle down. Egypt might end up in chaos if cautionary measures are not applied. In the 80s, Iran's protests received Western support but when the dusts settled, the Ayatollah emerged and ended ...Western interests and influence. If Egypt becomes so precarious, on security, it's army might have no other option but to step in, and we'll have a harsher, dictatorial leader, or warlords might spring out to lay claims to territories, thereby splintering the nation into small enclaves with there attendant violence. another likely scenario is, Islamic fundamentalists might be behind this big protest, hoping to install their brand of extremism. Listen to the rhetoric on the streets of Egypt. Attempting to push away Western-backed governments is nothing new in Arab countries. We are yet to understand the underpinnings of this revolt. Who stands to benefit. Some of the masses may not see the hidden agenda of any group. Supporting a peaceful transfer of power, by Mubarak, is in Egypt's interest. Creating a sudden,power vacuum exposes the country to many dangerous elements. Lest not forget Mubarak is a product of violence, by extremists, on his boss, Sadat.

    January 30, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
  7. Cheyla

    AC, plz check on zoo animals/aquariums in Egypt – very vulnerable population as proven by Desert Storm 20 yrs ago

    January 30, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  8. Muhammad

    It’s crystal clear that US is siding with the dictator Hosni Mubarak. American is spending billions of dollars into this current authoritarian regime to just keep a dictator in power that will leave a negative impression on the Egyptian people who are not anti American people at the moment. Let us not forget that Egypt is a famous tourist spot for the Americans and all across the world and America isolating Egyptian population by not standing up with them. In other words they are risking the American lives by taking sides of a brutal dictator. I think American government needs to change its tone for the Egyptian people because that is the only way we can have healthy relations with each other. Hosni Mubarak has faced this uprising first time in his life time and I did not see anybody who had come to support him. Not a single demonstration came to support him. May be next time he would have to fled the country. The idea is that when the whole country becomes united and speaks out then you cannot ignore that. America must think twice before siding with this dictator.

    January 30, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  9. Pat

    1AM in Cairo– We are under cerfew & all the busnises are closed. The police let all the criminals out of jail to get back at the people and are even supervising them to loot. No police anymore. Many young men from the are guarding our neighborhood with sticks on the streets and there are gunshots outside. Other than that, things are OK.

    January 30, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  10. Joanne Tawfilis

    This morning I suggested an interim alliance between Amr Yousef and Mohammed El Baradei...I meant Amr Moussa...and still believe fresh faces respected by the EGYPTIAN people can make a transition to a vigorous democracy a reality. Mubarak sent Moussa out of the country more or less because of his popularity and love by the people of Egypt. They have confidence in him. And allied with a Nobel Laureate and proven leader/diplomat could really make a huge difference in the events that follow these horrific days of uprising and danger in Egypt, and ultimately the world.

    January 30, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
  11. Jim

    I won't be suprised if what is going on in Egypt happens here- Politicians TAKE HEED! The PEOPLE will only be pushed so far.

    January 30, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
  12. J.V.Hodgson

    Mubarak is ( maybe was) perceived by American foreign policy as a way of avoiding an Islamic type majority government based on Sharia law.
    The US government supported Hosni Mubarak because Israel saw him as its best ally in the Arab (mainly muslim )world!!
    The US will not jump on Mubarak to get out rather try encourage him to be more democratic and pass laws more oriented to western style thinking and democracy.
    The US cannot overtly appear to want to oust Mubarak as the jewish lobby would go wild.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    January 30, 2011 at 12:48 am |
  13. Keesa

    Mubarak needs to step down we ameriacans need to side with the egyptian people and where are the egyptian women?

    January 30, 2011 at 12:35 am |
  14. Mike

    Regarding the demonstrations in Egypt, I continue to hear CNN and Wolf say, "What should the United States do about it?" Well I believe the United States will do the same thing they did when the Iranian protesters were crushed, apprehended, and beaten during their demonstrations after the disputed Iranian Elections of 2009. The fact that people continue to live in poverty all over the world is a direct result of America's demand for cheap consumer goods produced in third world countries. American corporations consistently move their operations to third world countries to take advantage of cheap labour, without improving the standard of living for the people. Thus unfair trade practices currently exist throughout the world. Fair and free trade will only exist in this world when all people share a common standard of living. The U.S has done nothing to stop the current practice of the American Corporate Empire taking advantage of the disadvantaged people in third world countries. Stop the poverty of the world by demanding fair and free trade practices among all nations as equals to help improve and stabilize the standard of living for all. When will an American corporation provide a fair and just standard of living to its employees equally all over the world? When will an American corporation provide the same health benefits and human rights to all its employees equally all over the world? America needs to legislate for fair and free trade practices at home to stop the American Corporate Empire from taking advantage of the disadvantaged and impoverished people of the world. America is to blame for allowing and propping up dictators in the name of national security and greedy, selfish American Corporate Empire interests. This issue obviously affects American poverty as much as non American poverty, when it comes to jobs being moved around the world. That is the bottom line. And if you put lipstick on a pig, it is still a pig and American Corporations are still international pigs, as are the dictators they prop up. America needs to set a better example and standard for the world to end poverty and bring about true equality for all; if America wants to be held in high esteem for international human rights, freedoms, and democratic principles. Try walking the talk, rather than just talking the talk.

    January 30, 2011 at 12:23 am |
  15. Jim Carroll

    DOWN WITH THE DICTATOR OF EGYPT
    Don’t just stand there, President Obama, stand
    up for the people of Egypt. Tell the dictator of
    Egypt to go. Send a message to the world! Read
    more Internet Free Press

    January 29, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  16. Howard butler

    Andreson no doubt about it obama's message of change has saturated the egyption population. In every dispensation in order for change to take place, worth while change there has always been blood shed. Unfortunately this is what happens. We must always learn from history it is our best teacher.

    January 29, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
  17. whitney

    These people have to stand up and fight for themselves and their rights. They should have the freedom we have and for us to step in and help is just too much. We are a broke nation and we are going to help them? I think the only way they will have real change is to do what they are doing! Go Egypt!! America fix your problems first stop sending our men and sons to fight the messes in other countries. They can fight, I see it in them on T.V.

    January 29, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  18. Natascha

    Hope our Govermnt. is urging the Airlines to add more flights for stranded tourists & others at Cairo Airport

    January 29, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  19. Loren Spencer

    Revolts don't always end in peaceful change. History shows the largest party willing to take the government will rule.

    Governments maybe hostle to us but not the people. In Iran more than half the people what change but are stuck with their government.

    January 29, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
  20. chris

    All these riots, especially in Egypt, what does this mean for the US? Are we looking at more countries that will soon be lead by radicals who hate the US?

    January 29, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
  21. Suzie

    Everyone deserves figure of speech and freedom, but the government can't help you if you can't help yourself.

    There has to be justice for both sides and to be acted in a peaceful manner with no harm bought to any of the parties

    January 29, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  22. Susan of Libertyville, IL

    Great coverage! Please consider adding context addressing Egypt's economic power, political influence and military strength and significance in region and the world. This aditional insight will help your listeners better understand your commenaty. Futher, please address how these activities may be seen by Egypt's neighbors Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria.

    Thank you.

    January 29, 2011 at 10:43 am |
  23. Nadia Amer

    Yes women are not out in the streets protesting because it is dangerous. Have you seen the streets? men are getting shot and killed and tear gas is enveloping the streets! what man would want his wife in that especially if they have kids at home?!?! Egypt is a very different country from places like the US or England. Its how they are. It is not because women are unworthy of egyptian society. who are you to accuse them of such an act? my family is in egypt, that is there home, and its not because of Islam that my aunts and female cousins aren't in the streets.

    January 29, 2011 at 2:25 am |
  24. Michele

    @Pat...I ha ve seen women in the news footage..not many but they are there. And ..if you have never been allowed to have a voice simply because you are a woman you may feel your voice is unimportant. I f fervently hope that these incredibly brave people are successful .

    January 29, 2011 at 1:35 am |
  25. Pat

    Has anyone noticed that there are NO females anywhere in the revolt! Is this not disturbing to anyone. I do understand the nature of Islam, yet, what does this say about the regime of Egypt and it's people. Women are not counted and are not worthy of notice in the Egyptian society.

    January 29, 2011 at 1:13 am |
  26. Sally

    Anderson – here are questions to ponder as we try to lead a world where the people of oppressed countries are now speaking:
    – How do we as leaders of the world show Authentic leadership for Egypt?
    – if we truly believe in democracy then do we support the people who are seeking it? or do we worry less about democracy and more about our interests and continue to support dictators who are allies for us and Israel?
    – what will happen when all the people begin to speak? do we fear them speaking or do we lead them?
    – do we believe 'hope, change and democracy' are only for us or do we want it for others? or does that answer solely depend on our 'interests'?

    January 29, 2011 at 12:55 am |
  27. Mori Goldlist, Toronto Canada

    So many people bash the US for having chosen to support what may not be the most democratic regimes but I wish that they could understand that the US must continually choose between the lesser of the evils thrown at them.
    They propped up Mubarak for 30 years not because he was their prime choice but because compared to the other choices Mubarak was the best of the worst.
    Ya gotta play with the hand you're dealt.

    Mori Goldlist, Toronto Canada

    January 28, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
  28. bruce

    these universal rights President Obama is speaking of; Do they apply to the citizens of Saudia Arabia? Yemen? Jordan?

    January 28, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
  29. Cornelius

    What happens now, brings back memories from what happened in Eastern Europe in 1989. Back than I was on the streets of Romania on what it was the bloodiest revolution in the Eastern Europe. it marked the end of the communism. Could this be the year when the Middle East and the Arab World will change? It could be. Good Look fighting I now how it is I was there in 1989.

    January 28, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
  30. Stephen Real

    Get on the plane Mubarak !

    January 28, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
  31. Aladdin Zackaria

    Can't wait till the ripple effect get to Sudan and weed out Omer Elbasheer and his gang.

    Aladdin Zackaria

    January 28, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
  32. kelly nielsen

    The question is not who will replace moubarak. The question is will the people gain their right to protest.

    January 28, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
  33. albert

    Mr moubarak don't care about his people. did he even care about what been happing to christians this year or last year . if he didnt change 30 years why should we even allow him to stay.

    January 28, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
  34. Robert Guttry

    I am concerned about the american tourist in Cairo right now. I have family in Cairo now and have no contact with them of course. I would like to know the state of travel out of Cairo at the moment. I have heard the flights in have stopped but no one seems to report on people leaving. Any news on this condition is appreciated.

    January 28, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
  35. RobK

    Hosni Mubarak
    Aspiration: Dictator for life of Egypt, Center of the Arab World.
    Fate: Exiled by revolution. Seeks asylum in the only country that will have him... a country that has a peace agreement signed by him.....Israel. Wouldn't that be hilarious.

    January 28, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
  36. osman nasr

    I think president mubarak has made a mistake in choosing to make that speech. He just provoked more protests, and further continuation of unrest in Egypt. This crisis will have many negative effects on the economic and political situation in Egypt, therefore it must be stopped as soon as possible.

    January 28, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
  37. TERRENCE

    WHY IS THE US PAYING FOR THE EGYPTIAN ARMY IN THE FIRST PLACE? DON'T THEY HAVE ENOUGH WEALTH TO SUSTAIN THEIR OWN COUNTRY?

    January 28, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
  38. Nadia Amer

    I am half egyptian. My fathers side of the family are all in egypt. I look at the past few days and worry for my family. I have no contact with them and its scary. Please know that this has not just been going on for a week. Its been a long time coming. Mubarak needs to leave. Egypt needs to be saved.

    January 28, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
  39. solomon

    it will all come down 2 whether the military wants 2 close the deal or not .

    mubarak never been " elected "

    this one has no relation 2 radical islam .. these r fed up muslims from a dectator

    January 28, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
  40. Evelyn Al-Misnad

    We could see many Arab countries following the lead of Tunisia and Egypt the US better get their act together quickly on how they will treat the situation. Its time for the Egyptian people to demand their rights, Obama mentioned he supports the Egyptian people to Peacefully demonstrate how exactly can do that with such a regime???

    January 28, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
  41. Ahmed Mohamed

    The internet is still not working in Egypt.

    January 28, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
  42. M. Iskander

    A few points missing from coverage (everywhere):

    The Prime Minister of Egypt is the Architect of the Internet. Before serving as PM, Dr. Nazif was a professor of EE, then the director of the cabinet center that designed and implemented the current system of free dial up Internet access. So cutting the internet is no big deal, if you designed the system of routers and revenue sharing for providers.

    Face book is really big in Egypt, with far more usage than the US

    I just returned from Egypt, prices are on par with New York City but the incomes are far less. Friends in marketing tell me that they estimate that no more than 10-15% of the population participate in a western style economy. The middle class is vanishing, and the majority is suffering.

    The people are revolting against world-bank style "reforms" In Egypt bread, gas, electricity, water, natural gas, and many food staples are subsidized. The government attempt to cut the subsidies and levy taxes are not popular.

    From analysis of the photographs, The first two days of the revolt were dominated by middle-class citizens and many copts (note the disproportional numbers of women not wearing Islamic veils). On Friday, it appears te composition changed with much looting and violence.

    As the social media was turned off, the Islamic Brotherhood took over. So the decision to terminate social media may have had unintended consequences by transferring the leadership of the revolt from the bloggers to the fundamentalist brotherhood

    The aid to Egypt is really aid to the US Military Industrial Complex. Follow the money very little of it trickles to Egyptians and most of it stays here with General Dynamics et al.

    January 28, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
  43. mark

    Is Egypt the Arab Berlin Wall? Will the entire Arab world fall like Eastern Europe?

    January 28, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
  44. Ahmed Mohamed

    In the last decade Mubarak never do things to improve people's life. I don't think the lives of Egyptian people can get any worse.
    It's Mubarak is fault that he didn't let or allow anyone to compete with him. I believe Egypt should have a transition government under someone like Mohamed ElBarady who believe in changing the constitution to grantee a fair election and limit number of presidency periods.

    January 28, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
  45. Omar

    I knew Mubarak when he was an officer. he came from a modest background. he had nothing more than his salary as an officer. Today, he and his family are the wealthiest peopole in Egypt.

    the wealth he and his children accumulated in such a poor country is measured in $billions of dollars.

    How they managed to accumulate such wealth. Simply by misusing his authority. it came a time when no new company can invest in Egypt without his son having the loin's share in that company otherwise, the company would not be given a license to operate.

    Also, the Aid they get from the US is used to benefit his family and his corrupted clique.

    It is time for the USA Adm. to wake up and realize that you cannot turn the clock backwards. The Muslim Brotherhood is not the boggy many that Mubarak try to present. They are mostly professionals from all walks of life. It is for the interest of the USA to understand them because sooner or later, the Administration will have to deal with them.

    They would be much better for the US interests in the region if they are treated as equals.

    January 28, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
  46. Mina

    if moubarak leave office this way it ll be the worst thing u ll ever see , he need to leave in a peacfull way otherwise the us ll be the more looser than moubarak , this is true
    ask anybody who do u think can replace moubarak ?

    January 28, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
  47. Imperial

    Where are the Egyption women protesters? I see only men.
    When the Iranians protested, women were in the frontline.

    January 28, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
  48. Tom Richards, Massachusetts Moderate

    crisis in Egypt: Mubarak must announce the Speaker of parliament is in charge, elections in 90 days and speak out strongly for a secular democracy.

    January 28, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
  49. Ahmed Mohamed

    I'm very disappointed about the US's response and support to the Egyptian regime. I really don't stand for democracy and the right for the people to choose their leaders. Few month ago there was a unfair election US didn't comment about because the Egyptian government said not to pressure their for political reform if the US did't want Muslim Brotherhood to gain power. They don't care about dictatorship if the dictator is helping them to achieve their goals. About the US aid to Egypt it's usually don't used to help to improve people's life and lots of this money is stolen by a small group of people. Media always say this is bad for the American interest in the Middle East because they are worry about who will be in power. They forgot that Mubarak is 82 years old and they never think about what happened if he died. The US makes their relationship with another counrty depending on one person. This is a lame.

    January 28, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
  50. Nader Elbassiouny

    The internet seems to be working now. But cell phone are still out of service

    January 28, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
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