Egypt crisis, Day 14: Google executive released
Demostrators gather Monday in Cairo's Tahrir Square, which has been the center of protests against President Hosni Mubarak.
February 7th, 2011
12:23 PM ET

Egypt crisis, Day 14: Google executive released

Read full coverage and examine a timeline of the unrest in Egypt updated continually by CNN reporters worldwide. Send your photos and video to iReport and see CNN in Arabic here. See also this roundup of timely, insightful views on the wave of upheaval in the Arab world.

[Update 8:53 p.m. Cairo, 1:53 p.m. ET] Google executive Wael Ghonim has been released in Egypt, the company announced. "Huge relief - Wael Ghonim has been released. Our love to him and his family," the company tweeted shortly after 8 p.m. in Cairo (1 p.m. ET). Ghonim's Twitter account, which had not had a posting since he went missing January 28, carried a tweet around the same time. "Freedom is a bless (sic) that deserves fighting for it," the tweet said, ending with the hashtag ".Jan25," a reference to the Egypt protests.

[Update 7:20 p.m. Cairo, 12:20 p.m. ET] Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood needs to be treated with caution, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair warned Monday. "It's not an extremist group in a way that we have seen in other countries; on the other hand we shouldn't be complacent about it either," he said.

- CNN's Ivan Watson talks with men at the barricades in Tahrir Square.

[Update 6:13 p.m. Cairo, 11:14 a.m. ET] The country's new Cabinet planned to have its first meeting, according to state-run TV.

- Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the anti-Mubarak protest, remains peaceful and festive. Morale "is very high," CNN's Frederik Pleitgen said. He reports that workers who rent camels to tourists are suffering financially as protests continue.

[Update 1:34 p.m. in Cairo, 6:34 am. ET] A group of protesters maintained a human chain at  Cairo's Tahrir Square on Monday morning.

- The Egyptian finance minister says the country will auction as much as 15 billion Egyptian pounds (about $2.5 billion) in treasury bills.

Sunday February 6, 2011

[Update 1:48 a.m. Cairo, 6:48 p.m. ET] President Barack Obama downplays the prospect of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has voiced opposition to the United States, ascending to power in Egypt once President Hosni Mubarak leaves office.  "They don't have majority support in Egypt, but they are well-organized," Obama tells Fox News' Bill O'Reilly on Sunday.

[Update 1:25 a.m. Cairo, 6:25 p.m. ET] Former ABC News journalist Sam Donaldson on Sunday stood by recent compliments he gave to Al-Jazeera regarding its coverage of the Egypt protests, telling CNN's Howard Kurtz that the network did "a service in fanning the flames in Egypt."

[Update 12:37 a.m. Cairo, 5:35 p.m. ET] The U.S. State Department  issues an updated travel warning for Egypt, continuing to recommend U.S. citizens make every effort to leave the North African country. It also adds the U.S. government is not planning additional charter trips. Read the full advisory here.

[Update 12:20 a.m. Cairo, 5:20 p.m. ET] A U.S. State Department release Sunday says Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke Saturday night with Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq. During that meeting, Clinton stressed that a "broad cross-section of political actors and civil society" should be part of the government's transformation process.

[Update 12:14 a.m. Cairo, 5:14 p.m. ET] State-run Nile TV reports Shafiq called the network to announce that Google executive Wael Ghonim, missing for more than a week, will be released Monday.

[Update 8 p.m. Cairo, 1 p.m. ET] Multiple bursts of automatic gunfire - apparently warning shots - could be heard in Tahrir Square near the Egyptian Museum. The incident marked an escalation of tempers between the military and protesters. After the army fired the warning shots, hundreds of protesters surrounded the military positions in the square, CNN's Ivan Watson reported.

[Update 6:58 p.m. Cairo, 11:58 a.m. ET] Shafiq, the prime minister, said authorities have been told "not to bother" human rights activists and journalists working at anti-government protests. If there have been such problems, they are "not intended," Shafiq told CNN's Candy Crowley on Sunday. Arrests of journalists and human rights activists "are not allowed at all," he said.

[Update 5:40 p.m. Cairo, 10:37 a.m. ET] Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said the United States cannot "micromanage the process" in Egypt, but that the Obama administration needs to make its goals clear. "Arriving at a democratic solution is important, which is in fact inclusive, democratic, peaceful and rapid," Albright said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

[Update 5:10 p.m. Cairo, 10:07 a.m. ET] Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei said that the situation in Egypt remains in a standoff as long as Mubarak refuses to leave. "I hope somebody will send a message, I don't know in which way, to President Mubarak that for the sake of the country, for his own dignity, to defuse this crisis, he better step down," ElBaradei told CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS." Watch Zakaria's take on whether Egypt is a revolution or a revolt.

"Everybody is ready to give him the dignified out he is entitled to as a former president of Egypt," ElBaradei told Zakaria.

- During his CNN interview Sunday, ElBaradei also said he would refuse to meet with the Egyptan government unless Mubarak steps down. Other oppositions groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, have meet with the government. ElBaradei said the Egyptian people are getting confusing messages about whether Mubarak should leave office, referring to a U.S. envoy's comments that Mubarak must stay in place during a transition of power and the Obama administration saying he should leave soon.

[Update 3:09 p.m. Cairo, 8:09 a.m. ET] The mood in Tahrir Square, the site of pro-Mubarak and anti-Mubarak clashes last week, was festive and peaceful as Christians and Muslims held hands and sang. The gathering appears to be strong as people continue to push for Mubarak to leave office.

[Update 11:46 a.m. Cairo, 4:46 a.m. ET] It is a "huge mistake" for Egypt to shut down the internet or use violence against protesters, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Sunday.

Some banks in Egypt were open Sunday, according to the country's minister of finance. Some banks opened as early as 8:30 a.m. local time.  Banks have been closed in recent days amid anti-government protests.

[Update 10 a.m. in Cairo, 3 a.m. ET] Egyptian Coptic Christians are expected to gather at Tahrir Square to pray for those who have lost their lives since the protests started. Muslim protesters said they will form a ring around the Christians to protect them during the service.

The Muslim Brotherhood said it will meet with the country's vice president, days after the group said it would not negotiate until Mubarak leaves office.

Opposition activists formed a human chain outside one of the entrances to Tahrir Square on Saturday to prevent two Egyptian military tanks from crossing through barricades into what has effectively become an anti-Mubarak enclave.

The death toll from the violent clashes in Tahrir Square has reached 11, Egypt's Health Ministry has said. Nearly 1,000 people have been injured in clashes in the Cairo square.

The U.S. Embassy in Egypt issued a statement indicating several embassy vehicles were stolen in Cairo on January 28. The statement was in response to an online video that showed a white diplomatic van running into anti-government protesters near Tahrir Square.

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Filed under: Egypt • Protest
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. bye

    Is he your boyfriend?

    February 7, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bye

    Cesar si hablas español avisa para decirte algunas cosas

    February 7, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      Lo que se que !es no es tan gracioso que piensa! Hable en serio como nosotros.

      February 7, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |

      Muy bien dicho,Cesar. Muchas grcias.

      February 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cesar

    @banasy, Hi banasy. Nice to see your posts again.

    February 7, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Cesar

    @bye, si. Que pasaV

    February 7, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Cesar

    @bye, si. Que pasa?

    February 7, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cesar

    I actually like Mubarak, just a little bitsey,itsey bit-he helped keep the region in peace and he looks great after he dyes his hair. 82? No way; he doesn't look a day over 65. Go Packers!! Go Egyptians!!

    February 7, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      Sorry folks,I didn't post the above. Somebody's trying to mimic me again. Of course I don't like Mubarak and that's all there is to it!!!

      February 7, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Cesar

    Who is this masked man?????

    February 7, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Cesar

    @bye/fake Cesar: Oh what a tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive.

    February 7, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Cesar

    That Google exec Wael is a true inspiration. That's one smart, rich Egyptian. He cares about Egypt and left the safety of his Penthouse to fight for freedom. He's not Ghandi, but he is awesome. Folks, I did post my feelings toward Mubarak, I like him sometimes. Well, kind of. I'm gonna have some one Corona and just relax. SHHHH, time for A/Copper.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Cesar

    I like Mubarak. Good ally to the U.S.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Markey Marshall

      Are you trying to be funny or are you truly that demented? Every knows that Hosni Mubarak is no good at all. Of course he's been a good ally of the good ol' U.S. because of all the foreign aid money we gave him,compliments of the U.S. taxpayer!!!

      February 8, 2011 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  11. aprillynn

    This is going to happen in the US in 20 years when retirees are told that social security is bankrupt. We all are toing to demand our money. We will not let our money be stolen by the us government.

    February 8, 2011 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Thor

      It's not the US government stealing our money, it's the Federal Reserve.

      February 8, 2011 at 6:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Markey Marshall

      The money that you're talking about aprillynn is being wasted on two completely useless and unnecessary wars in Iraq and Afghanistan plus that being handed over to worthless dictators like Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. That's the way Washington does business!!!

      February 8, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  12. Cesar

    Thor, that is a pretty bold statement, don't you think? Can you back it up with one example?

    February 8, 2011 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
  13. Cesar

    @Thor, that's what I thought.......@bye: Hi bye.

    February 8, 2011 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  14. engy helmy

    yb2a enta akeed f masr

    February 8, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ashley

    WHAAAAAT?! This isn't going to end so well.

    April 25, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
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