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Jordan King Names Maruf Bakhti as New PM

King Abdullah II of Jordan named Maruf Bakhit as prime minister on Tuesday with orders to carry out "true political reforms," the palace said, after weeks of opposition protests demanding change.

"King Abdullah II designated Maruf Bakhit to form a new government to replace the government of Samir Rifai," a palace statement said.

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Web-Free 'Tweeting' in Egypt in Response to Internet Blockade

Google, in response to the Internet blockade in Egypt, said Monday that it had created a way to post messages to microblogging service Twitter by making telephone calls.

Google worked with Twitter and freshly acquired SayNow, a startup specializing in social online voice platforms, to make it possible for anyone to "tweet" by leaving a message at any of three telephone numbers.

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Egyptian Demonstrators Conflicted over US Role

One of the insults flung at President Hosni Mubarak by Egyptian protesters seeking his ouster: "Mubarak, you coward! You American collaborator!"

Hostility toward the United States is widespread among the crowds in Cairo's streets, who feel Washington's alliance with Egypt — along with billions of dollars in military aid over the years — has helped Mubarak's authoritarian regime keep its grip on power for nearly 30 years.

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Opposition Demands Mubarak Steps Down before Negotiations as Hundreds of Thousands of Anti-Mubarak Protesters Flood Cairo

No negotiations before Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak steps down, announced Egypt's Opposition as several hundred thousand anti-regime protesters flooded Cairo's Tahrir square on Tuesday for a hoped-for million-strong march against embattled President Hosni Mubarak.

The committee "will not enter into negotiations until the President of the Republic leaves," said a statement signed by several prominent opposition figures, including Mohammed ElBaradei, who is emerging as a leader of anti-regime protests, and former presidential candidate Ayman Nour

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Netanyahu Fears Rise of Iran-Style Regime in Egypt

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday warned of the dangers of an Iranian-style regime arising out of the political chaos sweeping through Egypt.

"In a time of chaos, an organized Islamic group can take over the state. It happened in Iran and it also happened in other places," the Israeli leader said at a press conference with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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Mubarak Tasks Suleiman with Starting 'Immediate' Talks with Opposition

Egypt's new Vice President Omar Suleiman said on Monday that President Hosni Mubarak had tasked him with opening "immediate" dialogue with the opposition amid raging protests against the regime.

"President Hosni Mubarak has tasked me with opening immediate talks with the political forces to begin a dialogue around all the issues concerning constitutional and legislative reforms," Suleiman said on state television.

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In Israel, Merkel Urges Quick Restart of Peace Talks

German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday to seek a swift revival of peace talks with the Palestinians citing regional unrest as cause for urgency.

At a joint press conference with Netanyahu on the first day of a visit to Tel Aviv that included a joint German-Israeli cabinet meeting, she spoke of "troubled times" against a backdrop of civil revolt in Egypt and Tunisia.

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Mubarak Drops Hated Interior Minister from New Govt

Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, struggling to defuse the biggest-ever challenge to his rule, axed the widely-hated Habib al-Adly as interior minister on Monday as he rolled out a new government that was swiftly rejected by the opposition Muslim Brotherhood.

On day seven of mass protests demanding the end of Mubarak's regime, state television showed new cabinet ministers being sworn in and shaking hands with the man who has ruled Egypt for three decades.

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EU Urges 'Free, Fair' Egypt Elections amid Arab Turmoil

Europe demanded "free and fair" elections in Egypt on Monday as it sought to respond to pressure to speak up on the turmoil sweeping Arab nations on its volatile southern flank.

With Egypt seen as key to stability across the Middle East, European Union foreign ministers demanded President Hosni Mubarak kickstart an "orderly transition" that stopped short of asking him to step down.

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EU Freezes Assets of Ben Ali and Wife

Europe's foreign ministers on Monday froze the assets of ousted Tunisian leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his wife in response to a request from the Tunisian authorities.

The sanctions against Ben Ali and Leila Trabelsi were decided at a meeting of the European Union's 27 ministers, diplomatic sources said.

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