TAHRIR – THE MARSHAL
With an estimated 35 Egyptians dead from the crackdown during recent days of protesting, the leader of the country's ruling military junta gave an address on state television, announcing that the ruling government cabinet's resignation has been accepted and that presidential elections will be held before next June. The ruling military leadership "only cares about the national interest and does not want to remain in power," Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi said.
TAHRIR – THE PEOPLE
Thousands have converged on Tahrir Square in Cairo to demand the military hand over power to civilian authorities and hold elections. "The people want the field marshal to fall," they chanted.
TAHRIR – THE MARKET
CNN Arabic reports that the Egyptian stock market shed $1.6 billion on Tuesday, with trading suspended by authorities after stocks plummeted more than five percent over the course of one hour. Experts attributed the drop to events in Tahrir Square.
TAHRIR – MARCHING ON
Egyptian Maged Amidou tweets from the scene, "the march began at Ain al Shams University and now we're on Talaat Harb Street. Our march is taking up the entire street."
TAHRIR – SITTING OUT
The Muslim Brotherhood, meanwhile, has declined to participate in the "National Salavation" rallies. The party says it does not want to go down a road of bloody confrontation and violence. It will continue efforts to "bury the strife sparked by the Interior Ministry, which has left lawlessness to prevail in many provinces."
…AND IN YEMEN
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh continues to stall for time by not signing a Gulf initiative that would see him leaving power immediately and transferring control to the vice president. BBC Arabic quotes "knowledgeable sources' saying that Vice President Abd Rabo Hadi "was authorized to sign the initiative only during the absence of the president from Yemen."
The report is a direct contrast to a statement by Saleh in his first comments since returning from a medical check-up in Riyadh, during which he said Hadi could sign the agreement at any time. BBC Arabic quotes political sources as saying, "the negotiations have stalled because of the desire of the Yemeni president, who would transfer power to his deputy, to remain as president, even if in name only."