“Jasmine Revolution”
Symbol of peace: Flowers placed on the barrel of a tank
in very much calmer protests than in recent days in Tunisia

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011
Mannoubia Bouazizi, the mother of Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi. "Mohammed suffered a lot. He worked hard. but when he set fire to himself, it wasn’t about his scales being confiscated. It was about his dignity." (Peter Hapak for TIME)

1 - TUNISIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

How eyepatches became a symbol of Egypt's revolution - Graffiti depicting a high ranking army officer with an eye patch Photograph: Nasser Nasser/ASSOCIATED PRESS

2 - EGYPT Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

''17 February Revolution"

3 - LIBYA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

5 - SYRIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

"25 January Youth Revolution"
Muslim and Christian shoulder-to-shoulder in Tahrir Square
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
(Subjects: Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" (without a manager hierarchy) managed Businesses, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)
"The End of History" – Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)
(Subjects:Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Muhammad, Jesus, God, Jews, Arabs, EU, US, Israel, Iran, Russia, Africa, South America, Global Unity,..... etc.) (Text version)

"If an Arab and a Jew can look at one another and see the Akashic lineage and see the one family, there is hope. If they can see that their differences no longer require that they kill one another, then there is a beginning of a change in history. And that's what is happening now. All of humanity, no matter what the spiritual belief, has been guilty of falling into the historic trap of separating instead of unifying. Now it's starting to change. There's a shift happening."

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

African Union (AU)

African Union (AU)
African Heads of State pose for a group photo ahead of the start of the 28th African Union summit in Addis Ababa on January 30, 2017 (AFP Photo/ Zacharias ABUBEKER)

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
Few words can describe Nelson Mandela, so we let him speak for himself. Happy birthday, Madiba.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Mubarak`s deputy linked to secret CIA program

Antara News, Tue, February 01 2011 12:34

Related News

Washington (ANTARA News) - The man named by President Hosni Mubarak as his first ever deputy, Egyptian spy chief Omar Suleiman, reportedly orchestrated the brutal interrogation of terror suspects abducted by the CIA in a secret program condemned by rights groups.

His role in the shadows of the "war on terror" illustrates the ties that bind the United States and the Egyptian regime, as an unprecedented wave of protests against Mubarak present Washington with a difficult dilemma.

With Mubarak`s rule in jeopardy, Suleiman was anointed vice president last week and is now offering wide ranging talks with the opposition in a bid to defuse the crisis.

Suleiman is a sophisticated operator who carried out sensitive truce negotiations with Israel and the Palestinians as well as talks among rival Palestinian factions, winning the praise of American diplomats.

For US intelligence officials, he has been a trusted partner willing to go after Islamist militants without hesitation, targeting homegrown radical groups after they carried out a string of attacks on foreigners.

A product of the US-Egyptian relationship, Suleiman underwent training in the 1980s at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare School and Center at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

As spy chief, Suleiman reportedly embraced the CIA`s controversial "extraordinary rendition" program under ex-president George W. Bush, in which terror suspects snatched by the Americans were taken to Egypt and other countries without legal proceedings and subjected to harsh interrogations.

He "was the CIA`s point man in Egypt for rendition," Jane Mayer, author of "The Dark Side," wrote on the New Yorker`s website.

After taking over as spy director, Suleiman oversaw an agreement with the United States in 1995 - during Bill Clinton`s presidency -- that allowed suspected militants to be secretly transferred to Egypt for questioning.

Human rights groups charge the detainees have often faced torture and mistreatment in Egypt and elsewhere, accusing the US government of violating its own legal obligations by handing over suspects to regimes known for abuse.

In the run-up to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the CIA relied on Suleiman to accept the transfer of a detainee known as Ibn Sheikh al-Libi, who US officials hoped could prove a link between Iraq`s Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda.

The suspect was bound and blindfolded and flown to Cairo, where the CIA believed their longtime ally Suleiman would ensure a successful interrogation, according to "The One Percent Doctrine" by author Ron Suskind.

A US Senate report in 2006 describes how the detainee was locked in a cage for hours and beaten, with Egyptian authorities pushing him to confirm alleged connections between Al-Qaeda and Saddam.

Libi eventually told his interrogators that the then Iraqi regime was moving to provide Al-Qaeda with biological and chemical weapons.

When the then US secretary of state Colin Powell made the case for war before the United Nations, he referred to details of Libi`s confession.

The detainee eventually recanted his confession.

In "Ghost Plane," a book about the rendition program, journalist Stephen Grey writes that Egypt faced regular public criticism from lawmakers in Congress about its rights record.

"But in secret, men like Omar Suleiman, the country`s most powerful spy and secret policeman, did our work, the sort of work that Western countries have no appetite to do themselves," he wrote quoted by AFP.

Editor: Suryanto

Some weekend work that will (hopefully) enable more Egyptians to be heard: Google

Google Blog, 1/31/2011 02:27:00 PM

Like many people we’ve been glued to the news unfolding in Egypt and thinking of what we could do to help people on the ground. Over the weekend we came up with the idea of a speak-to-tweet service—the ability for anyone to tweet using just a voice connection.

We worked with a small team of engineers from Twitter, Google and SayNow, a company we acquired last week, to make this idea a reality. It’s already live and anyone can tweet by simply leaving a voicemail on one of these international phone numbers (+16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855) and the service will instantly tweet the message using the hashtag #egypt. No Internet connection is required. People can listen to the messages by dialing the same phone numbers or going to twitter.com/speak2tweet.

We hope that this will go some way to helping people in Egypt stay connected at this very difficult time. Our thoughts are with everyone there.

Posted by Ujjwal Singh, CoFounder of SayNow and AbdelKarim Mardini, Product Manager, Middle East & North Africa

Sudan says accepts south secession vote: Vice President

Reuters, by Opheera McDoom, KHARTOUM | Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:52pm EST

(Reuters) - Sudan's vice president said on Monday he accepted the oil-producing south's split after the first official results showed a 99 percent vote for independence in a referendum hoping to end a bitter cycle of civil war.

The January 9 vote culminated a 2005 north-south peace deal, which aims to put an end to the conflict which claimed 2 million lives and destabilized much of east Africa. The south will likely celebrate independence on July 9.

"We announce our agreement and our acceptance of the result of the referendum announced yesterday," Vice President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha told reporters in the north's first reaction since the results.

"We wish our brothers in the south good luck and a fruitful future in organizing the issues surrounding the new country."

The comments end speculation that hard-line elements in the Khartoum government would delay recognition of the referendum to garner leverage ahead of talks on how to divide the country's assets and liabilities.

Taha negotiated the 2005 accord with southern rebel leader John Garang who died three weeks after taking office in the coalition government formed under the deal.

The south is now looking to the international community to recognize its independence, which will likely happen once the final results are confirmed next month.

"We expect this outcome to be confirmed by members of the international community," South Sudan's President Salva Kiir said at an African Union summit in Addis Ababa.

"We have no interest in returning to the bitterness and divisions of the past. We desire the democratic transformation of Sudan. Today the ballot box has triumphed over the bullet."

Observers have urged the north and south to resolve outstanding disputes over the border -- along which much of the country's oil wealth lies -- and the status of the central Abyei region claimed by both.

Both Taha and Kiir said Monday they were ready to engage. "Resolution of all outstanding issues is essential to maintaining stability and progress throughout Sudan and the region," Kiir said, offering reassurances to northern nomads that they will maintain grazing rights in the south post- secession.

Sudan's civil war was fueled by differences over oil, ethnicity, religion and ideology.

(Additional reporting by Richard Lough and Aaron Maasho in Addis Ababa)

Related Article:

Unrest in North Africa and Middle East may spread to Syria

CNN News, By Mike Pearson, January 31, 2011

  • Syrian opposition groups organizing protests against the government
  • The calls are the latest call for demonstrations in the wake of Tunisian protests
  • Those protests helped topple the Tunisian government and spark widespread unrest in Egypt

(CNN) -- What began as a popular uprising that toppled the Tunisian government before spreading into Algeria, Jordan, Yemen, Sudan and, of course, Egypt, may now be headed for Syria.

Bashar al-Assad has ruled Syria since 2000 (AFP)
Opposition movements in Syria are calling for mass protests on Saturday against the rule of President Bashar Al-Assad.

The groups are organizing on Facebook, with several pages promoting protests in Damascus, Aleppo and other cities.

Protest organizers want better living standards, human rights improvements and a greater voice for youth, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that studies and translates news accounts and social media postings.

It's unclear how many people might join the protests. A few thousand people had expressed their support for the movement on the Facebook pages, some of them undoubtedly from outside the country, the research institute said.

On Sunday, Sudan got a taste of the protests. An undetermined number of university students and others demanded the removal of the government in Facebook-organized protests that its leaders said were inspired by the events in Tunisia.

The students protested at a university in Khartoum, chanting "No to high prices, no to corruption" and "Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan together as one."

"The people of Sudan will not remain silent anymore. It is about time we demand our rights and take what's ours in a peaceful demonstration that will not involve any acts of sabotage," according an English language version of the group's profile on Facebook.

"We will demonstrate against the rising of the prices, the corruption, unemployment and all false practices of the government such as violence against women and lashing them in ways that breaks all laws of religions and humanity and the violation of minorities' rights."

The Sudan Tribune newspaper, citing a statement from police, said 70 people, 40 of them students, were arrested after the protests.

Meanwhile, a Facebook page has surfaced calling for a protest on Thursday in Yemen, which has been the site of a few demonstrations already.

The Tunisian protests that sparked the region's unrest sprang up after Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old college graduate, set himself on fire in protest of police confiscation of the fruit cart he had set up to make money. He later died.

The protests resulted in the collapse of Tunisia's government and inspired similar protests in other countries, including Algeria, Jordan, Sudan and Yemen.

The protests have reached their zenith to date in Egypt, where untold thousands of Egyptians have ignored government curfews and clashed with police over demands that President Hosni Mubarak resign.

A popular Facebook page that helped organize the Cairo protests was dedicated to Bouazizi.

Journalist Isma'il Kamal Kushkush contributed to this story

Related Article:

Dust off your dialup modem to contact Egypt

RNW, 31 January 2011, by Willemien Groot

(Photo: ANP)

With the internet down and SMS services unavailable, most of Egypt is closed off from the rest of the world. This makes distributing eyewitness reports very difficult. Radio hams, hackers and bloggers from all across the globe are desperately trying to set up make connections and to distribute information.

Until Saturday night it wasn’t even possible for Egyptians to use their mobile phones. In order to break the large-scale protests the Egyptian authorities are using all possible means to cut off communication channels. But an old-school analogue communication platform turns out to be very helpful. So messages are coming out off Egypt through regular landline phones.

“Thanks to many dedicated bloggers outside of Egypt”, says Manal Hassan, an Egyptian blogger operating from South Africa.

“So what we’ve been trying to do is get in touch with some of the activists on the ground who had firsthand accounts of what is happening. And then we would try to publish it on the internet: on our blog, on twitter and other social networks. On Saturday the government brought back the voice mobile communication. SMS is still down until now. But at least we could get in touch with activists in the protest itself. We would call them and ask them about what’s happening, about the people’s reactions and we could even hear some of the chants in the protest. And then we would post these updates.”

Old-school communication

Internet traffic is not entirely impossible. A Swedish online group of internet activists, hackers and ‘freedom-of-speech-activists’ known as Telecomix is working on setting up connections through the old-fashioned dialup phone modems, that many of us know from the nineties”, says Telecomix’s Christopher Kullenberg.

“We were looking around for dialup connections that were still active at some European Internet Service Providers. We found a few and we managed to send in dialup numbers onto modem pools in Sweden and France. And we had a few Egyptian people calling up using old- style modems to get on the internet.”

Modems wanted

In the West, dialup internet access has been obsolete for almost a decade but it is currently the only way to connect digitally with Egypt, says Kullenberg.
Making use of landlines in Egypt is not without its dangers. There is a good chance the lines are tapped. Also the connections are often slow and unstable and the costs of these connections are high.

Radio hams

Radio hams occasionally distribute messages from Egypt. They communicate in Morse Code, putting their lives in danger because both their transmitters and identities can easily be traced by the authorities.

Related Articles:

Blair says change is inevitable in Egypt

The Jakarta Post, Associated Press, Jerusalem | Mon, 01/31/2011

International Mideast envoy Tony Blair says a change in Egypt's leadership is inevitable following the week of anti-government protests that have gripped the country.

Blair said in Jerusalem on Monday that "there's bound to be a process of change" in the Arab country. He did not say explicitly whether President Hosni Mubarak must step down.

But he says it's important that Egypt hold proper elections and that any transition take place in an orderly fashion.

Related Articles:

German scientists to study mud volcanoes in Azerbaijan

Trend, M. Aliyev, Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan.31

German scientists will study mud volcanoes in Azerbaijan.

Researchers from Germany's Kiel University have visited the Institute of Geology of the Azerbaijani National Academy of Sciences in this regard, the institute told Trend today.

The scientists delivered reports on Egypt's underwater mud volcanoes to a wide audience at the institute. The reports were dedicated to research conducted by Kiel University experts in the delta of the Nile River.

Scientists at the Institute of Geology spoke about ground mud volcanoes in Azerbaijan at the meeting. An excursion to the mud volcanoes was organized for the guests.

Do you have any feedback? Contact our journalist at trend@trend.az

Niger election: Issoufou, Oumarou and Amadou favourites

BBC News, 31 January 2011 

There are long queues for Niger's first election since a military coup ousted Mamadou Tandja a year ago.

Hama Amadou and Seini Oumarou have promised to
back each if a run-off is needed
The BBC's Idy Baraou in the capital, Niamey, says everything seems to be going smoothly so far, amid tight security.

Longtime opposition leader Mahamadou Issoufou and former Prime Ministers Seini Oumarou and Hama Amadou are seen as favourites.

Mr Tandja was ousted after being widely criticised for seeking a third term.

Earlier this month, he was moved from house arrest to prison and accused of corruption.

Mr Oumarou and Mr Amadou both served as prime ministers under Mr Tandja.

They have promised to back whichever one of them qualifies for the second round.

A candidate needs more than 50% of the vote to be elected in the first round and a run-off is seen as likely.

A new constitution was passed in a referendum in October. This reduces the powers of future presidents and limits them to two terms in office.

Niger is one of the world's poorest countries but has large deposits of uranium in the north, under the Sahara Desert.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Most AMAZING video on the internet #Egypt #Jan25

Created by Tamer Shaaban. Another Egyptian who's had enough.

Violent clashes between police and demonstrators as over ten thousand gather on the streets of Cairo. The Egyptian population has endured a tyrants rule for far too long, millions struggle each day to find where their next meal is coming from. January 25th, 2011 marks the day when the people rise and take back what's rightfully there's. This isn't the end, but hopefully the beginning to a long awaited regime change! Send to everyone and let them know.

Song: "Into the Fire" - Thirteen Senses

Related Article:

Egypt's Al Jazeera bans shows channel's key role

Reuters, by Andrew Hammond, CAIRO | Sun Jan 30, 2011

An Egyptian Army soldier gestures to a crowd as he stands atop a tank in Cairo
January 30, 2011. (
Credit: Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)

(Reuters) - Egypt's decision on Sunday to close the offices of Al Jazeera illustrates the leading role the Arabic broadcaster has taken in reporting unprecedented popular revolts against Arab rulers.

Egypt has often harassed the Qatar-based channel since it started in 1996, setting off a revolution in Arab media in the face of state-controlled information, but it had never before tried to shut down its operations completely.

The channel led coverage of a Tunisian uprising that toppled Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali earlier this month, even though it was already banned from the North African country.

Then, sensing that Tunisia's example would set off copycat movements elsewhere, the channel charted mobilisation in Egypt that led to huge protests in the past week demanding the end of President Hosni Mubarak's rule.

"Al Jazeera saw the gravity of the situation (in Tunisia and Egypt)," said Shadi Hamid of Doha's Brookings Institute. "They saw it was going to be big before other people did and that it would stand as one of the historic moments in Arab history."

Arab governments have often closed the offices of the channel, which helped put tiny Gulf state Qatar on the map and boosted its status as a leader of regional diplomacy.

A major oil and gas power, Qatar employs vast resources to back the channel. This month it released a stack of secret documents revealing embarrassing Palestinian Authority concessions to Israel in peace talks.

A leaked U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks in December said U.S. diplomats saw Al Jazeera as a "bargaining tool" used by Qatar in its foreign policy.

Emad Gad of the Al Ahram Strategic and Political Studies Centre said the effort to smother Al Jazeera was the last effort of a dying authoritarian system to control events in the traditional heavy-handed manner.

He cited a government move to block the Internet and mobile phone networks on Friday in an effort to stop people gathering.

"Is cutting the Internet or the mobile network in 2011 a solution? This is equivalent to that. It's the behaviour of a dictatorial state breathing its last," Gad said.

Social media and mobile phone technology have also been cited as playing a major role in the street mobilisations of the past month, which touched Yemen and Jordan too.


Having ignored the protests for five days, Egyptian state TV has now focussed on the disorder that erupted after security forces withdrew from streets on Friday rather than the protests.

On Sunday state TV -- which like other Arab official outlets has tried to modernise to keep up with the Qatari trend-setter -- sniped against the station saying only a handful of protesters were in central Cairo.

Yet, Al Jazeera continued to carry live images of crowds on Tahrir, using a still camera fixed above the square. It also has a live channel which Egypt tried to block on its Nilesat satellite last week.

"We should have taken steps before with this channel since it has caused more destruction than Israel for Egypt," governor of Minya province, Ahmed Diaeddin, raged on state TV. "I call for the trial of Al Jazeera correspondents as traitors."

Salah Issa, editor the state-owned weekly al-Qahira, said Islamists often said to dominate Al Jazeera's editorial line were driven by a vendetta against Mubarak.

"It's managers think they are creating a revolution, first in Tunisia, now in Egypt," he said.

Saudi-owned Al Arabiya has been more conservative in covering the Arab uprisings -- less proactive in covering the protests in the early stage and quicker to promote a return to stability once concessions are offered.

As'ad AbuKhalil, a politics professor in the United States, wrote on his popular site that Egyptian and Saudi media were both trying to discredit the protest movement.

"House of Saud's propaganda is on over-drive. They are really trying hard to discredit the protests in Egypt," he said, citing a headline in Saudi-owned daily Asharq al-Awsat "Egypt mutilates itself".

(Editing by Samia Nakhoul/Maria Golovnina)

Related Article:

Elbaradei tells Cairo protesters we are `beginning new era`

Antara News, Mon, January 31 2011 02:46

Related News

Cairo (ANTARA News/AFP) - Top dissident Mohamed ElBaradei told thousands at the epicentre of anti-regime protests in Cairo on Sunday that they were "beginning a new era," amid chants for President Hosni Mubarak to stand down.

ElBaradei hailed "a new Egypt in which every Egyptian lives in freedom and dignity," his words however inaudible to most of the vast crowd gathered on Tahrir square that he addressed through a megaphone.

"We are on the right path, our strength is in our numbers," the Nobel peace laureate and former chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency said. "I ask you to be patient. Change is coming."

ElBaradei arrived at the square to address the country`s main protest for the first time to cries of "The people want to topple the president."

"We will sacrifice our soul and our blood for the nation," the crowd shouted.

The National Coalition for Change, which groups several opposition movements including the banned Muslim Brotherhood, on Sunday accused ElBaradei of negotiating with Mubarak`s embattled regime.

Six days of nationwide protests against Mubarak`s three-decade rule have shaken Egypt, the most populous nation in the Arab world, and left at least 125 people dead as the veteran leader clings to power.

Opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei addressed protesters in Cairo
on Sunday, defying a curfew.

Related Articles:

6th AU summit opens to discuss African peace, stability

English.news.cn   2011-01-30

Photo taken on Jan. 30, 2011 shows 16th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the
 African Union held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The 16th African Union Summit was held
 here with the theme of "Towards Greater Unity and Integration through Shared Values".
 (Xinhua Photo/Zhao Yingquan)

ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- The 16th African Union (AU) summit opened on Sunday here in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, as African leaders gather to discuss peace, security and stability on the continent.

The summit's theme "Towards Greater Unity and Integration Through Shared Values," is likely to be overshadowed by heated discussion on a number of thorny issues including the political crisis in Cote d'Ivoire, the social unrest in Tunis and Egypt, the post-referendum reconstruction in Sudan and the deteriorating situation in Somalia.

AU Commission Chairperson Jean Ping, AU President and Malawi President Bingu Mutharika, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon and French President Nicolas Sarkozy were among the present at the opening ceremony.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, when addressing the opening ceremony, again expressed concerned about the situation in Cote d' Ivoire.

He reiterated UN's stance that Alassane Ouattara was the rightful president-elect of the West African country, and he welcomed the decision by the AU Peace and Security Council to create a high-level panel to deal with the crisis in the West African country.

Mutharika, in his opening speech, also appealed to Laurent Gbagbo to cede power, to respect the will of Ivorian people and the election results.

Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Ngcuema Mbasogo takes over the rotating presidency of AU from Mutharika during the opening ceremony.

During a press conference on the eve of the summit, Jean Ping predicted that the summit would be characterized by "serious divergences," with intense discussions on Cote d'Ivoire, Tunisia, and south Sudan, among others.

Egypt protests: Hillary Clinton urges 'orderly transition'

BBC News, 30 January 2011

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called for an "orderly transition" to democracy in Egypt, but warned there is a long way to go in the process.

Hillary Clinton has called for reform and restraint in Egypt
"Democracy, human rights and economic reform are in the best interests of the Egyptian people," she told ABC News.

"Any government that does not try to move in that direction cannot meet the legitimate interest of the people."

Her call came as protesters took over the centre of Egypt's capital on a sixth day of protests.

Clashes between protesters and the security forces - mostly riot police - are reported to have left at least 100 people dead across Egypt since rallies began on Tuesday. Thousands have been injured as violence has flared in cities including Cairo, Suez and Alexandria.

'Clear message'

The BBC's North America editor Mark Mardell says Mrs Clinton's comments are a sign that the Obama administration is edging towards accepting, if not openly endorsing, an end to Mubarak's rule.

Mrs Clinton took the rare step of appearing in back-to-back interviews on five US Sunday morning talk shows to address the situation in Egypt.

She was repeatedly asked to back, or oppose President Mubarak, but side-stepped every opportunity to do either, our correspondent says.

"We want to see an orderly transition so that no-one fills a void, that there not be a void, that there be a well thought-out plan that will bring about a democratic participatory government," Mrs Clinton told the "Fox News Sunday" programme.

"We are trying to convey a message that is very clear," Mrs Clinton told ABC News. "That we want to ensure that there is no violence and no provocation that results in violence... We want to see these reforms and a process of national dialogue begun so that the people of Egypt can see their legitimate concerns addressed."

Asked if she thought Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had taken the necessary steps so far to hold on, Mrs Clinton said: "It's not a question of who retains power... It's how are we going to respond to the legitimate needs and grievances expressed by the Egyptian people and chart a new path.

"Clearly, the path that has been followed has not been one that has created that democratic future, that economic opportunity that people in the peaceful protests are seeking."

'Increasing chaos'

The US government, which previously had advised US citizens against non-essential travel to Egypt, is now advising Americans in Egypt to consider leaving the country as soon as possible.

Mrs Clinton said there was "no discussion as of this time about cutting off any aid" to Egypt, adding "we always are looking at and reviewing our aid".

The US Secretary of State warned there was "no easy answer" to Egypt's problems and said a solution was "unlikely to be... [found] overnight without very grave consequences for everyone involved".

"Increasing chaos or violence in the streets" was "not the way to go" she said.

The US wanted to "see this be responded to in a clear unambiguous way by the government. She said there were "many steps" that could be taken to "really respond to the political desires of the people".

There was an urgent need for a "process that bring people to the table," Mrs Clinton said, advocating an effort that is going to result in changes that have responded to the "legitimate concerns" of the Egyptian people.

Related Article:

UN's Ban urges solidarity over Ivorian election crisis

BBC News, 30 January 2011

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for a united approach to the ongoing poll dispute in Ivory Coast.

Ban Ki-moon said the world "must act together"
to find a solution to the Ivorian crisis
Speaking at an African Union summit, Mr Ban said the world should "stand firm" against attempts by incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo to cling onto power.

Both the UN and AU recognise Mr Gbagbo's challenger Alassane Ouattara as Ivory Coast's president-elect.

Meanwhile, the AU is setting up a panel tasked with finding a legally-binding settlement to the Ivorian dispute.

The panel of five African leaders will be asked to find a solution within a month, reports say.

'African splits'

Addressing the AU summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, Mr Ban said: "We must preserve our unified position, act together, and stand firm against Mr Gbagbo's attempt to hang onto power through the use of force."

Earlier, the UN chief expressed his concern about apparent splits in African efforts to end the Ivorian crisis.

Ivory Coast crisis

The AU is backing Mr Ouattara, who is running a parallel government from a hotel in Abidjan which Mr Gbagbo's forces have blockaded.

However, Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni suggested earlier this week that the UN should not have recognised Mr Ouattara so quickly.

Separately, Mr Gbagbo's call for a vote recount has been taken up by some African leaders who appear increasingly reluctant to resort to the military option suggested by the West African bloc Ecowas.

Mr Ouattara is seen by many countries as the legitimate winner of November's presidential election.

But Mr Gbagbo is refusing to step down after the country's Constitutional Council, headed by one of his allies, ruled in his favour.

Tunisia`s Islamist leader returning from exile

Antara News, Sun, January 30 2011

London (ANTARA News/AFP) - Rached Ghannouchi, the leader of Tunisia`s Islamist movement Ennahda, boarded a plane Sunday to return home from London after 22 years in exile, his daughter travelling with him told AFP.

Tunisian Islamist party leader Rachid Ghanouchi,
center, is surrounded by supporters shortly after arriving
at the international airport in Tunis, Tunisia, Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011.
The leader of a Tunisian Islamist party that was long outlawed by
authorities has returned to his homeland after two decades in exile.
(AP Photo/Hassene Didri)
"He is boarding the plane now," Soumaya Ghannouchi told AFP by telephone from a departure gate at London Gatwick Airport.

Ghannouchi`s British Airways flight to Tunis was due to depart at 0830 GMT and arrive at 1125 GMT.

Following the ousting of authoritarian ruler Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Ghannouchi checked in at Gatwick to return to Tunisia after 22 years in exile, accompanied by 30 supporters and journalists.

Wearing an open-necked shirt and overcoat, a smiling Ghannouchi posed with the Tunisian flag and embraced relatives.

"I feel very happy today," the 69-year-old said.

"When I return home today I am returning to the Arab world as a whole.

"I am still the leader of my party. I want to organise a conference.

"If there are free and fair elections Ennahda will take part -- in the legislative elections, not the presidential elections."

He added: "There is still confusion regarding the political situation.

"The interim government is changing its ministers every day, it`s not stable yet and its powers are not clear yet.

"It`s not clear who it is accountable to because the current parliament is still the one-party parliament."

Ghannouchi`s return comes as the new government installed after Ben Ali`s downfall unveiled unprecedented democratic freedoms including lifting media controls, releasing political prisoners and registering banned parties.

The Islamist leader still officially has a life sentence from the old regime hanging over him for plotting against the state but in practice other convicted exiles have been able to return without any hindrance in recent days.

The government has drawn up an amnesty, which still has to go to parliament.

Asked whether he supported Sharia law, Ghannouchi told reporters: "All of these have no place in Tunisia. For many years we have agreed alongside the opposition parties common ground, including approving freedom of conscience,

political pluralism... and we have agreed on a paper on gender equality."

Members of Ghannouchi`s Ennahdha (Awakening) movement, which was banned under Ben Ali, are expected to come to Tunis airport to greet him.

He wants to turn his movement -- which is still officially banned -- into a political party that will contest the country`s first democratic elections.

Tunisia`s law prohibits any political parties based on religious grounds.

Ghannouchi founded Ennahdha in 1981 inspired by Egypt`s Muslim Brotherhood but says it is now more like Turkey`s ruling Justice and Development Party.

Some feminist groups however are worried that Ghannouchi`s return signals a rise in political Islam that could endanger their hard-won rights.

Ghannouchi fled Tunisia shortly after Ben Ali came to power in a bloodless coup in 1987. In elections in 1989, which were heavily falsified, an Islamist-backed coalition still managed to win 17 percent of the vote.

Shortly after that, persecution of leading Islamists began and Ghannouchi fled first to Algeria and then to Britain. Hundreds of Islamist activists who stayed behind were thrown into prison, often on flimsy charges.

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