In Cairo's Tahrir Square, where hundreds of thousands of protesters met Mubarak's announcement with jeers, many Egyptians said their leader must bow out immediately.
For nearly two weeks, pundits have speculated whether the ousting of Tunisian dictator Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali would lead to further unrest in the region. The answer came today as thousands of protesters poured into the streets of Cairo and smaller Egyptian cities to chant slogans against President Hosni Mubarak and demand more rights.
At about the same time that Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was meeting President Obama in Washington on Wednesday morning, trouble was brewing back home: Hizbullah and its allies withdrew 11 ministers from the cabinet, effectively causing Lebanon’s government to collapse. As political hardball goes, this is a pretty difficult move to top.
The Iranian president showed his Donald Trump flair by firing Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki while he was on an official visit to Senegal, in a high-profile ouster unusual in Iran's opaque political scene.
In the past week, the Egyptian resort town of Sharm al-Sheikh has been hit by a spate of gruesome shark attacks. The shark is still on the loose, prompting some Egyptian officials to accuse outside forces of sabotaging the country’s booming tourism industry.
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood is the biggest opposition group running in the country’s parliamentary elections this week, but don’t expect to see its name on the ballot: the movement is banned and its candidates run as independents. In 2005 the group swept 20 percent of the seats, but a repeat performance seems unlikely. Hundreds of members have been arrested in recent weeks. Mohammad Badie, 67, a trained veterinarian who has spent more than 12 years in jail, was chosen to lead the group at the beginning of the year. He faces strong pressure from outside as well as internal dissent. He spoke with NEWSWEEK’s Babak Dehghanpisheh in Cairo. Excerpts: