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Monday, January 31, 2011

Egypt's Protests; Day Seven: Anti-Mubarak Demonstrators Stay Put : The Two-Way : NPR

President George W. Bush and Egyptian Presiden...Image via WikipediaEgypt's Protests; Day Seven: Anti-Mubarak Demonstrators Stay Put : The Two-Way : NPR

Thousands of protesters who want Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down are in Cairo's Tahrir Square again today, as the demonstrations that have rocked that nation are in their seventh day. As NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reported for Morning Edition, the most populous Arab nation has been turned "on its head" by the crisis.

We'll keep following the news from Egypt as the day continues. To get started, here's a quick look at some of what's being reported at this hour:

— "Egyptian protesters have called for a massive demonstration on Tuesday in a bid to force out president Hosni Mubarak from power," Al Jazeera says. Organizers hope to have "more than a million people on the streets of the capital Cairo, as anti-government sentiment reaches a fever pitch."

— The Associated Press says that "the coalition of groups, dominated by youth movements but including the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, said it wants the march from Tahrir, or Liberation Square, to force Mubarak to step down by Friday. Spokesmen for several of the groups said their representatives were meeting Monday afternoon to develop a unified strategy for ousting Mubarak. The committee will also discuss whether Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei will be named as a spokesman for the protesters, they said. ElBaradei, a pro-democracy advocate and former head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, invigorated anti-Mubarak feeling with his return to Egypt last year."

The BBC reports that its correspondents "say all the signs continue to suggest that the only change the protesters will settle for is Mr Mubarak's removal from office. Meanwhile, Moodys Investor Services has downgraded Egypt's bond rating and changed its outlook from stable to negative, following a similar move by Fitch Ratings last week. Both cited the political crisis."

NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Novarro said the protesters in Tahrir Square are determined to stay until Mubarak goes. But "they're not anointing anyone" as the next leader of Egypt, she told ME host Steve Inskeep.

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