Egyptian Protests Continue Despite Further Concessions

08.02.2011 - El Cairo - Democracy Now!

Mubarak’s cabinet has approved a 15 percent raise and increased pensions for state workers. Mubarak’s government has also set up a committee to recommend constitutional amendments to relax presidential eligibility rules and impose term limits.

**Report: German Hospital Prepares for Mubarak’s Arrival**

The German magazine Der Spiegel is reporting that preparations are underway for President Hosni Mubarak to possibly leave Egypt and visit Germany for what’s been described as an *”extended medical check-up.”*

**Egypt: Google Executive and Online Activist Released from Detention**

It is unknown how many protesters are still being jailed by Egyptian authorities. On Monday, authorities released one of the most high-profile detained protesters, Google executive Wael Ghonim, who was secretly detained 12 days earlier. Ghonim was an administrator to a Facebook page used to organize Egypt’s unprecedented pro-democracy uprising. He spoke to reporters after being released from jail.

Wael Ghonim: *”We want our country to change. I ask you, really, please don’t turn me into a hero. I am not a hero, OK? I am not a hero. I am a very ordinary person. The heroes are the ones out in the street. I’ve been asleep for 12 days. Please, everybody, I ask you…we won’t leave until we change our country, and we will take our rights. We will take them. That’s it.”*

**WikiLeaks Cables Reveal Extended Israeli Support of Egyptian Vice President**

Newly released classified U.S. diplomatic cables from WikiLeaks reveal that Israeli officials have long hoped that newly appointed Egyptian vice president, Omar Suleiman, would eventually succeed Hosni Mubarak as president of Egypt. In an August 2008 cable, a U.S. diplomat wrote, “There is no question that Israel is most comfortable with the prospect of Omar Soliman.” The cable reveals that Suleiman’s deputies spoke to Israeli military officials several times a day via a “hotline.” The cable also shows that Suleiman wanted Hamas “isolated” and thought Gaza should “go hungry but not starve.” The Obama administration has already embraced the longtime ally. Suleiman played a key role in the U.S. extraordinary rendition program. He also underwent training in the 1980s at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare School and Center at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

**Coalition of Egyptian Attorneys Accuse Mubarak Family of Stealing State Money**

Al Jazeera English is reporting 20 lawyers have delivered a petition to Egypt’s prosecutor general alleging the Mubarak family should face charges of stealing state funds. Last week, news agencies reported the family’s wealth at as much as $70 billion, much of it deposited in U.K. or Swiss banks, or in real estate in London, New York, Los Angeles and on the shores of the Red Sea.

Categories: International, Middle East, Politics

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