The biggest protest yet could take place in Cairo Friday after President Mubarak defied rumors and didn't not step down. Instead he "delegated powers" to the his vice president. We'll have the latest developments from Egypt and tonight's other headlines.
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[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/02/10/t1larg.protesters.tahrir.afp.gi.jpg caption="Outraged protesters in Tahrir Square after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said he would stay in office until September elections." width=300 height=169]
As a new day begins in Cairo, an old regime is still in power. That's not what the massive crowd of anti-Mubarak protesters expected when they gathered in Tahrir Square to hear Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak speak to the nation. All day there were rumors he was stepping down. That's not the case.
However, Mubarak's regime is claiming he transferred his power to his vice president.
"The vice president is the de facto president," Egypt's ambassador to the United States, Sameh Shoukry, told CNN, shortly after Mubarak's speech.
Yet, the reality is Vice President Omar Suleiman is part of the same ruthless regime. He was just appointed to the new role on January 29th by President Mubarak.
Another reality: The Egyptian Constitution prohibits Suleiman from gaining the power to dismiss the parliament or the government, and the power to ask for amendments to the Constitution is still in Mubarak's hands. However, Suleiman can oversee the Interior Ministry, the police and other agencies, and negotiate with opposition parties.
But the harshest reality for the many people in Egypt is that Mubarak is still the president and still in the country. He will hold that title until elections take place in September.
"The transfer of the responsibility is going to be for the one who the people will choose as their leader in transparent and free elections," said Mubarak.
His message was met with anger in the streets of Cairo.
"Get out! Get out!," many cried out in Tahrir Square as he addressed the nation.
That message was not received. So, a crowd of protesters marched to the presidential palace and the offices of state-run Nile TV.
Tonight on 360°, we'll show you what's happening now on the streets of Cairo. There's concern that tomorrow could be a dangerous day in the city, with perhaps the largest protest yet. We'll also look at how the Obama administration and many others were led to believe Mubarak would step down.
Join us for those angles and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET. See you then.
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Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, right, thanks the audience while alongside presidential historian Michael Beschloss, left, at the National Constitution Center where he is launching his book on February 9, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)
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“…you do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around, that’s what its all about”
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Tom Foreman | BIO
Reporter's Note: President Obama is clearly calculating every day how to address each new development in Egypt. I’m calculating how much sleep I’ll get if I can finish this letter in the next fifteen minutes. Ha!
Dear Mr. President,
Our dog has been in a wonderful mood lately. Can’t say exactly why. For that matter, I can’t guarantee that I even know what her “mood” is, it just seems that way. Lots of prancing around, barking, and giving us those adorable looks that say “Hey, I feel great. Want to go out back and bite sticks?”
Not sure why I am mentioning it to you, other than the fact that it is very late as I write this and she is curled up at the other end of the sofa.
I suppose you don’t have a lot of time for considering such things, what with Egypt still boiling around. It’s been interesting to watch the standoff over there. A real test of wills, wouldn’t you say?
I was talking to some Middle East experts and asking them, “So what do you think the government of Egypt will look like once all of this is over?” Most of them seem to share the apparent view of your White House - that Mubarak and company are done like a piece of chicken fried steak. But beyond that it gets murky.
New York (CNN) – CNN’s Anderson Cooper said Wednesday that his continued focus on the protests in Egypt and the Egyptian government’s response is not a personal vendetta.
After spending a week in Cairo covering the protests and coming under attack twice during that time by individuals supporting Egypt’s embattled President Hosni Mubarak, Cooper has dedicated nearly all of his airtime since then to the situation in the Middle Eastern country.
“Now I’ve seen some emails suggesting that the reason we on this program are calling out the Mubarak regime for their lies – trying every night to point out these lies - is that it’s somehow personal,” Cooper said Wednesday night, “that because I and my team was attacked by thugs on two occasions, that somehow I’ve lost objectivity.”
“This is not personal,” Cooper added, “This is not to insult Egypt. This is about the truth. And all of the reporters on the ground and, frankly, all of the people in [Cairo’s Tahrir Square] and most of the people around the world have seen the truth in Egypt. You have seen peaceful protesters attacked by uniformed police and then by mobs. And, having seen the truth, it is our obligation, I believe, to continue to bear witness to it.”
At the beginning of his broadcast Wednesday, Cooper also noted that he continues to invite representatives of the Egyptian government to appear on AC360° in order to have the opportunity to provide evidence supporting any of their many claims relating to the protests. “They continue to decline,” he said, adding “the invitation is an open one.”