FROM Jeffrey Fleishman
Peaceful Protests Turn Violent in Egypt After nine days of peaceful protest in Cairo, Tahrir Square erupted in violence today, just hours after President Hosni Mubarak said he would not run for re-election. At 2 in the afternoon, pro-Mubarak forces attacked anti-government demonstrators in Tahrir Square. We hear about the developing scene in Egypt and about repercussions in other Middle Eastern countries. (Listen to today's full To the Point discussion about the situation in Egypt.)
Peaceful Protests Turn Violent in Egypt After President Mubarak declared he would not run for-re-election last night, President Obama went on TV with his assessment of the ongoing protests in Egypt. At today's White House briefing , press secretary Robert Gibbs would not elaborate on whether the President was calling on Mubarak to step down immediately, rather than serving out his term, which ends in September. Meanwhile, after nine days of peaceful protest, Tahrir Square erupted in violence today as Mubarak loyalists arrived on the scene. Men on horses and camels beat anti-government protesters. Thugs attacked reporters and TV crews. As darkness descended, Molotov cocktails started fires in crowds of men, women and children, and there was the sound of gunfire. But, despite the presence of tanks and armored personnel carriers, there was no indication that the military was trying to restore order. It's now evening in Cairo. We hear from reporters and others about the developing scene, see how the Obama Administration is reacting, and talk to observers about repercussions in other Middle Eastern countries.
Obama Goes on Al Arabiya, George Mitchell Goes to the Middle East As a candidate, President Obama promised to reach out to Arabs and Muslims, especially in the Middle East. His special envoy, George Mitchell, is already in Egypt to discuss the fate of the Gaza Strip; and the President granted his first interview to the satellite channel AlArabiya. Jeffrey Fleishman is Cairo Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times .
Saudi King Pardons Rape Victim King Abdullah reportedly has pardoned the young rape victim whose sentence of 200 lashes created a furor in much of the world. It appears that many of the King's own Saudi subjects were outraged and that his country suffered international embarrassment. The details now are familiar. A young, married woman sat in a car with a former boyfriend to retrieve a photograph. They were discovered by seven men who raped them both at knife-point. A hard-line Islamic court sentenced both the criminals and the victims—giving the woman 90 lashes for being along with a man who was not her husband. When her lawyer appealed, the court doubled her sentence. Jeffrey Fleishman is Cairo Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times .
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
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