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. Sutler

    Is it even worth the paper its printed on?

    February 7, 2011 at 6:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      I seriously doubt it,Sutler. Like RUFFNUTT already said,back in 1905 Czar Nicholas II pulled the same thing on the Russian people and we should have no reason to believe that Mubarak will act any differently. History does have a way of repeating itself!

      February 7, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael O'Rourke

      Gee Cesar,you really know your history. It's nice to have someone like you post here once in a while instead of all these right-wing uneducated lemmings who don't know diddlely-squat!!!

      February 7, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Cesar

    I bid $55 over Sutler's cheap bid of $10.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      That's going to be some expensive toilet paper if you win. 🙂

      February 7, 2011 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  3. personny

    Israel is becoming a nation.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      The last time I checked, Israel was already a nation...In fact they have been a recognized State since May 14, 1948. I think your news source might be lagging by a few decades.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  4. Taz

    This just in should be renamed. How about " When I get around to it". Jeez, how embarrassing. Last update 6:34ET.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Completely agree, horrendous reporting. It's Monday morning, everyone is back to the grind. The people want to get caught up on what's been happening if they hadn't watched over the weekend, and they'd also like some "real-time" updates...if you actually consider 2 sentences every hour or 2 as "real-time".

      February 7, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      In addition: it appears that it was strangely updated all day long yesterday...Super-Bowl Sunday. Yet nothing today? Sounds like someone filled in on Sunday, and the main editor today has a hangover as he was supposed to get back to work.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  5. Randy

    What has happened to all of the CNN UPdates?

    February 7, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  6. Scott

    The second "real-time" update of the day: 11:14 a.m. THIS JUST IN: Good morning Sunshine!! There's coffee in the pot, but it's cold. Late night? How 'bout them Packers.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  7. LetsScissor

    I'm not a left or right guy, but I love how the Fox "Opinion" journalists are always on the Muslim Brotherhood fear tactics. The Muslim Brotherhood makes up between 15-20% of egyptian government. Being Catholic should have MR.Bill focusing on bringing justice to all the children hurt by pedo priests.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. LetsScissor

    Hi Michael! I'm actually in the middle of a lemming sandwich right now. See I'm one of those pesky independent or swing voters (40% of all voters are independents as opposed to 30% right and 30% left). The news is continuously biased either way in their reporting. I know many lefty window lickers on tv who will defend abhorrent behavior by someone simply because they aren't white or affluent. Really you can't take 100% of either side's positions. If you do then you are part of the problem.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      Don't answer that post,Michael. This jerk is only trying to be funny since he obviously has little on his mind. Let's just stick to the facts.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. abby

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss - isn't that how the words go? Until Mubarak's crew is out of office, things will not change.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. banasy nice!

    Hi, Cesar! 😉

    February 7, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mike

    THIS JUST IN: CNN is too busy following Palin around that their credible news worthiness is failin.

    February 7, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy


    Now you've gone and done it! You brought up the "P" word!

    February 7, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. chrissy

    for real the p word lol hello banasy

    February 7, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. bye

    Hey guys take it easy remember its monday

    February 7, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bye

    Hey Cesar why do you tell Michael what to do?

    February 7, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
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