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Obama: Egypt Will Never Be the Same

President Barack Obama on Friday welcomed the peaceful transition of power in Egypt with the resignation of longtime President Hosni Mubarak. "The people of Egypt have spoken. Their voices have been heard. And Egypt will never be the same," he declared.

In brief remarks at the White House, the president noted that it was "not the end of Egypt's transition, it's a beginning." He said that many important questions remain to be resolved and difficult times lie ahead.

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Cairo Streets Explode in Joy as Mubarak Steps Down, Hands Power to Army

Cairo's streets exploded in joy on Friday when President Hosni Mubarak stepped down after three-decades of autocratic rule and handed power to a junta of senior military commanders.

A grim-faced and ashen Vice President Omar Suleiman announced the handover on state television after an extraordinary national outpouring of rage brought more than a million furious demonstrators onto the streets.

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Mubarak Quits Cairo as a Million March

President Hosni Mubarak flew out of Cairo to his Red Sea retreat on Friday as more than a million furious Egyptians marched in cities around the country to demand he step down.

Egypt's army threw the 82-year-old strongman a lifeline, endorsing his plan to stay in office until September even as determined protesters marched on state television headquarters and the presidential palace.

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Reports: Iran Gas Pipeline Explodes

A gas pipeline exploded on Friday in central Iran near the Shiite holy city of Qom, without causing casualties or disrupting gas supplies, media reports said.

The official IRNA news agency said the blast occurred near Salafchegan, a special free economic zone southwest of Qom. It did not say what caused the explosion.

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Army Throws Weight behind Mubarak Plan, 3 Officers Join Protesters

The Egyptian army threw its weight behind President Hosni Mubarak on Friday while trying to reassure anti-regime protesters that it will ensure he follows through with democratic reforms.

Egyptian state television interrupted programming to read out "communique number two" by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, headed by Defense Minister Hussein Tantawi.

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Clashes between South Sudan Army, Rebels Kill 105

Clashes between rebels and south Sudanese troops in troubled Jonglei state have killed 105 people, a southern army spokesman said on Friday, a dramatic jump from an earlier death toll of 16.

The death toll from the fighting in Fangak town on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, adds to an earlier toll of at least 16 dead from clashes between southern troops and the rebels in the Door area of Fangak county.

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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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