Well, once again the pundits have shown that they can get it wrong. Very wrong. Today’s supposed love fest, to be commenced when Mubarak would go somberly on TV and announce in tones reminiscent of Richard Nixon that he was stepping down or ceding power, is canceled. Until further notice. Mubarak insists he will remain Apparently until he is forced to leave.
And he’s served notice that the force requiring him to leave isn’t going to come from the millions of demonstrators. Or from the US and EU, which have propped up this tyrant, our Man in Cairo, democracy be damned, for thirty years. No. He’s going to stay the course.
Said the tyrant petulantly in today’s television speech:
“We will not accept or listen to any foreign interventions or dictations,” Mr. Mubarak said, implying that pressure to resign came from abroad as opposed to masses of people demanding his ouster through his country.
Well, ok, then. That will put the US and the EU and pro-democracy forces across the world on notice and in their place.
Let the demonstrations continue. This guy clearly has to go.
Firefly Memories 1.0 is where Alma takes a look back at some of the Brilliant essays of our first years posts, highlighting those which exemplify our firefly-dreaming spirit and mission. Today:What It’s Like to be Different
Here comes another assault on your pocket book. Grocery store prices for just about everything from meat to soda will be expected to spike. On of the budgets cuts that Congress could make that might ease the pain at the checkout counter and the gas pumps is to end the billions that are wasted subsidizing ethanol production which not only costs more to produce than a gallon of gas but pollutes more in its production.
The outlook for international food and grain supplies is looking more uncertain after the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported projections that corn supply would decrease to lowest level in 15 years according to the Wall Street Journal.
The supply of corn has been depleted for a multitude of reasons including increased ethanol production, increased livestock feeding, and resulting rises in international demand. Luke Chandler, a commodity research analyst for Rabobank, has suggested that ethanol production has “changed [markets] in a structural way” and that the recovery for prices will take substantial time.
Consumption rates as evidenced by the USDA report show that the 12.4 billion bushels harvested in the US agricultural sector will decrease to 651 million bushels by August 31, 2011.
Talks with potential suitors Facebook and Google reportedly value Twitter at $8-10bn
Twitter has been holding talks with potential suitors including Facebook and Google that could value the micro-blogging site at $10bn (£6.2bn), according to reports.
The early stage talks are not believed to have progressed far but, according to the Wall Street Journal, one thing has been agreed on: the loss-making firm is worth somewhere between $8-10bn.
Twitter is a private company and does not disclose its revenues. Last year it is estimated to have had revenues of $45m but ended the year making a loss as the firm spent on hiring and new data centres. This year Twitter’s revenues are expected to more than double to between $100-110m.
Update: So not the speech you were looking for. Mubarak defiant. Will not step down. Giving some powers to torturer Suleiman. Protesters outraged. – ek
2nd Update: Suleiman speaks- tells people to go home and back to work. Yup, that will do the trick. Protesters marching on the Presidential Palace.- ek
UN Wire reports this morning:
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will announce today that he is leaving office, sources told NBC News. Vice President Omar Suleiman reportedly is to take his place.
The army leadership is sending signals to demonstrators in Cairo’s Tahrir Square that it was planning to step in to “safeguard” Egypt during the transition. Mubarak is expected to address Egyptians via state-run TV tonight.
I still don’t know who sent me flowers anonymously last Friday evening, to finish out my Birthday Week. They are gorgeous, but it is kind of creepy to not know. It did bring a moment of light to the worst Birthday of my Life in the worst year of my life wherein life and people keep randomly kicking us while we are down…. but I digress.
Diane Gee’s week in the Wild:
*270 Billion: Super Egypt Bowl wherein I discuss that the advertising budget alone could feed a third world nation, and why we are too distracted to rise up.
*Boat Notes starts a fiction series from an American on the coming next Flotilla to Gaza.
*Cede Arizona rants about the racist “Anchor Baby” legislation they want to pass.
*Reason to Believe is an introspective look at how differently we behave when supported.
I think every other post on my FP has been cross-posted Port-Alliance wide, and I have to go inflate my tire in – 1 weather before work. So, please pop by WWL and check it out, in case you missed anything. I LOVE cross-posts, comments and contributions!
Chen Guangcheng describes being held at home and watched around the clock since his release from prison five months ago
Secret video shows house arrest Chinese lawyer
A Chinese grassroots lawyer says he and his family have been held in their home and watched around the clock since his release from prison five months ago, in a secretly filmed video smuggled out of their village.
Chen Guangcheng is one of the country’s best known activists, a self-taught legal advocate who fought on behalf of women who had suffered forced abortions and sterilisations.
Rights groups have expressed grave concern for him and his family and the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, raised his case in a speech shortly before the Chinese president Hu Jintao’s visit to the US last month.
Obama would rather kill or maim a dozen and a half innocent Afghan civilians per day than help millions of the weakest Americans survive life-threatening thermoregulatory challenges during a savage winter in ever harder times. At twenty times the cost. This fits his profile as a “compassionate conservative.”
The good news is that when people freeze to death in their homes, you can just carry them out like luggage, even while they’re shagged in ice.
BREAKING: Reports indicate Mubarak will possibly step down in an address to the Egyptian people tonight. It is unclear if he intends to hand over power to Suleiman or a Military Council and whether or not new elections will be held in 60 days.- ek
The Egyptian people have been told that there was a transition of authority, but it is not yet clear that this transition is immediate, meaningful or sufficient. Too many Egyptians remain unconvinced that the government is serious about a genuine transition to democracy, and it is the responsibility of the government to speak clearly to the Egyptian people and the world. The Egyptian government must put forward a credible, concrete and unequivocal path toward genuine democracy, and they have not yet seized that opportunity.
As we have said from the beginning of this unrest, the future of Egypt will be determined by the Egyptian people. But the United States has also been clear that we stand for a set of core principles. We believe that the universal rights of the Egyptian people must be respected, and their aspirations must be met. We believe that this transition must immediately demonstrate irreversible political change, and a negotiated path to democracy. To that end, we believe that the emergency law should be lifted. We believe that meaningful negotiations with the broad opposition and Egyptian civil society should address the key questions confronting Egypt’s future: protecting the fundamental rights of all citizens; revising the Constitution and other laws to demonstrate irreversible change; and jointly developing a clear roadmap to elections that are free and fair.
We therefore urge the Egyptian government to move swiftly to explain the changes that have been made, and to spell out in clear and unambiguous language the step by step process that will lead to democracy and the representative government that the Egyptian people seek. Going forward, it will be essential that the universal rights of the Egyptian people be respected. There must be restraint by all parties. Violence must be forsaken. It is imperative that the government not respond to the aspirations of their people with repression or brutality. The voices of the Egyptian people must be heard.
The Egyptian people have made it clear that there is no going back to the way things were: Egypt has changed, and its future is in the hands of the people. Those who have exercised their right to peaceful assembly represent the greatness of the Egyptian people, and are broadly representative of Egyptian society. We have seen young and old, rich and poor, Muslim and Christian join together, and earn the respect of the world through their non-violent calls for change. In that effort, young people have been at the forefront, and a new generation has emerged. They have made it clear that Egypt must reflect their hopes, fulfill their highest aspirations, and tap their boundless potential. In these difficult times, I know that the Egyptian people will persevere, and they must know that they will continue to have a friend in the United States of America.
By refusing to leave office, the Egyptian president has exposed Obama’s inability to decisively influence the country
The Obama administration has been embarrassingly wrongfooted as Hosni Mubarak confounded expectations by refusing to stand down.
The Egyptian president’s speech came only hours after Barack Obama and the director of the CIA, Leon Panetta, had appeared to give credence to rumours that he was heading for the exit.
The decision by Mubarak to transfer presidential power to his vice-president, Omar Suleiman, but not leave office caused dismay in the US and around the world. The British government issued a cautious statement saying it was looking closely at Mubarak’s and Suleiman’s speeches, but the disappointment felt by the White House was shared in private in London and elsewhere.
The Obama administration has been putting pressure on Mubarak since last week to stand down straight away, but Mubarak, in what appeared to be a direct snub to the US president, said he would not bow to international pressure.
Up Date 1730hrs EDT: After listening closely to Mubarak’s words and the translation. He said that he has given some powers to Suleiman. That may refer to some of the responsibilities that he has already given Suleiman to meet with the opposition groups. He also reiterated changes to the constitution which he has also said he would do.. Here is the video of his speech from CNN with the simultaneous English translation:
Up Date 1645hrs EST: Suleiman has spoken, blaming outsiders, imploring demonstrators to go home and has been promptly ignored. The demonstrators are peaceful and loud, refusing to leave the Tahrir Square until Mubarak steps down.
Up Date 1630hrs EST:In a rambling, sadly defiant statement, Hosni Mubarak refused to step down. My understanding is that he said he would transfer power to his Vice President, Omar Suleiman. This is completely unacceptable to the crowds in Tahrir Square and they are now marching to the presidential palace where the speech. A speech from Suleiman is expected but at this point I think it will fall on deaf ears.
CAIRO – President Hosni Mubarak told the Egyptian people Thursday that he would delegate more authority to his vice president, Omar Suleiman, but that he would not resign his post, contradicting earlier reports that he would step aside and surprising hundreds of thousands of demonstrators gathered to hail his departure from the political scene.
In a nationally televised address following a tumultuous day of political rumors and conflicting reports, Mr. Mubarak said he would “admit mistakes” and honor the sacrifices of young people killed in the three-week uprising, but that he would continue to “shoulder my responsibilities” until September, and did not give a firm indication that he would cede political power.
Even as Mr. Mubarak spoke, angry chants were shouted from huge crowds in Cairo who had anticipated his resignation but were instead confronted with a plea from the president to support continued rule by him and his chosen aides. People waved their shoes in defiance, considered an insulting gesture in the Arab world.