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Ahmadinejad on Revolution Anniversary: U.S., Israel to Exit Mideast

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Friday that the Middle East will soon be free of the United States and Israel, as massive crowds of Iranians chanted pro-Egypt and anti-American slogans while marking the 32nd anniversary of the Islamic revolution.

Ahmadinejad warned Egyptians to be "watchful of the friendly face" of the United States.

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Impatient, Obama Sharply Questions Mubarak Pledge

Bristling with impatience, President Barack Obama on Thursday openly and sharply questioned whether Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's pledge to shift power to his vice president is an "immediate, meaningful or sufficient" sign of reform for a country in upheaval.

Without naming Mubarak, Obama issued a written statement that criticized the leader for not offering clarity to his people or a concrete path to democracy. He called on Egyptian government leaders to do so, declaring: "They have not yet seized that opportunity."

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As He Assumes Mubarak Powers, Egypt Powerful VP Tells Protesters to Go Home

Egypt's Vice President Omar Suleiman on Thursday told protesters and strikers to head home or back to work in his first speech after Hosni Mubarak delegated presidential powers to him.

Suleiman told "the youth of Egypt, its heroes, go home and go back to your jobs" in a televised statement shortly after Mubarak made an address formally putting his former intelligence chief in charge of government business.

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Mubarak Says Transferring Power to VP, But Keeps Title

Egypt's embattled President Hosni Mubarak announced Thursday he was handing his powers over to his vice president, Omar Suleiman, and ordered constitutional amendments.

But the move means he retains his title of president and ensures regime control over the reform process, falling short of protester demands.

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Obama: History Unfolding in Egypt

U.S. President Barack Obama declared Thursday the world was watching history unfold and a moment of transformation in Egypt, as reports said President Hosni Mubarak may be ready to step down.

Obama also directly addressed the young people of Egypt who have swelled massive crowds in Cairo, saying America would do all it could to ensure a genuine transition to democracy at an apparently pivotal moment of the crisis.

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Egypt Army Says to Take 'Measures to Protect Nation'

Egypt's military said Thursday it would respond to the "legitimate" demands of the people as President Hosni Mubarak's regime tottered in the face of massive nationwide protests demanding his overthrow.

It was not immediately clear if the announcement spelled the end of Mubarak's 30-year-reign, the central demand of hundreds of thousands of people who have filled the country's streets in the two-week-old uprising.

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Mubarak Could 'Respond to People Demands' by Friday, Says Ruling Party Official

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak could "respond to the people's demands by tomorrow," the secretary general of his ruling party told the BBC on Thursday, as protesters demanded the strongman's departure.

"I expect the president to respond to the demands of the people, because what matters to him in the end is the stability of the country. The post is not important to him," Hossam Badrawi of the National Democratic Party said.

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Kuwait Bails Government Critic, Pardons 3 Others

A Kuwaiti court granted bail on Thursday to Obaid al-Wasmi, an academic critical of the government, as the prime minister withdrew charges against three other critics, lawyers said.

"Today, I submitted a plea to the court to free my client, and Judge Adel al-Huwaidi accepted the request and ordered his release on $3,500 bail," Al-Humaidi al-Subaie told Agence France Presse.

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Opposition Leader Detained, 16 People Killed in Rebel Attack on Sudan Troops

Sudanese security services on Thursday arrested prominent government critic Mariam al-Mahdi, daughter of the prime minister whom veteran President Omar al-Bashir ousted in a 1989 coup, a member of her Umma party said.

Mahdi was arrested as she went with a group of activists to petition the security forces for the release of protesters detained nearly two weeks ago, Habab Mubarak, the daughter of another leading Umma party member Mubarak al-Fadil, told Agence France Presse.

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Egypt’s Protest Star Has No Political Ambitions

Wael Ghonim, a Google executive who emerged as a prominent voice of Egyptian protests against President Hosni Mubarak, promised on Thursday to stay out of politics once the dissidents' demands are met.

The 30-year-old was freed Monday after 12 days in custody, and was swiftly propelled to the forefront of the popular uprising, addressing huge crowds in Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the protests against Mubarak.

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