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September 13th, 2012
06:31 AM ET

New Cairo protests different, comprised of disenfranchised youth – Ian Lee reports

A third day of protesting rang out near the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, as demonstrators threw rocks and Molotov cocktails. Police fired back with tear gas canisters and tried to disperse the protestors as they drove through Tahrir Square. Several police trucks were set on fire as the protests grew more violent and demonstrators climbed through barbed wire fencing outside the embassy. At least 19 people were injured – 13 protesters and six police officers, Egyptian government officials said Thursday.

The clashes follow Tuesday's attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other consular officials dead.

“What we’re seeing right now is a stalemate between the police and protestors. The protestors don’t seem to be giving up,” says CNN’s Ian Lee.

Lee adds, “These protestors that you see...the 200 or so… really don’t have the support of the entire city or the country because you’re not seeing more people come out and join them.” Lee says these demonstrators are different from the September 11 protestors. “That night we saw Islamists, we saw a very more ultra-conservatives, also some young youth but …these protestors are more or less disenfranchised youth...These are the hardcore protestors… The ones that we constantly see that are battling the police,” says Lee.

Filed under: Egypt
September 12th, 2012
09:59 AM ET

Were US compound attacks in Libya & Egypt part of a bigger plot? Fmr. CIA officer Peter Brookes weighs in

Peter Brookes, fmr. Deputy Asst. Sec. of State and fmr. CIA officer, weighs in on the attacks on US compounds in Egypt and Libya and whether the attack against US Ambassador to Libya was part of a bigger plot.

Filed under: Egypt • Libya • Terrorism
September 12th, 2012
08:53 AM ET

U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens killed in Benghazi

An online film considered offensive to Islam has sparked mass protests in Egypt and Libya. On Monday, Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton confirmed that a state department officer at the U.S. consulate was United States ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens. Later reports to CNN say the officer killed was United States ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens. An eyewitness says it began with a radical Islamist group arriving to protest a web video that they call Anti-Muslim.

In Egypt, protesters tore down the U.S. embassy's flag after an all-day protest in Cairo. The fundamentalist protesters outside of the embassy walls under watch from Egyptian security forces are also saying the web video is their reason for protesting. CNN sources say it was unclear whether the two attacks were coordinated.

The film which has been featured on U.S. websites, including YouTube contain scenes where filmmakers depict Prophet Mohammed as a child molester, womanizer and ruthless killer. Egyptian groups and other communities in the Muslim world have flagged the movie whose filmmakers are still unknown.

Embassy officials in Egypt have issued a warning to Americans in their country to avoid the demonstrations while Sect. Clinton and U.S. Government forces are working to protect American citizens worldwide.

American-Egyptian Journalist Mona Eltahawy says, “What happened in Libya is absolutely outrageous and I’m hearing from many Libyans who are saddened by the death of the U.S. ambassador and the embassy staff. They’re saying this is not what our resolution is about.” Eltahawy adds, “In fact this is worse because it’s an insult to the revolution and an insult to the very prophet of Islam who people extensively are trying to defend here.”

Filed under: Egypt
July 17th, 2012
11:45 AM ET

Americans released in Egypt to continue trip before returning home

Ian Lee reports on the release of two Americans who were kidnapped in Egypt over the weekend.

Filed under: Egypt
July 16th, 2012
09:30 AM ET

Louis family on faith in kidnapped father Michel's return from Egypt

Family members of Michel Louis on their concern over Michel's health after he was kidnapped in Egypt.

Filed under: Egypt
July 16th, 2012
05:59 AM ET

Concern for health of American kidnapped in Egypt

Cairo (CNN) - Egyptian authorities said Sunday they are preparing for a new round of negotiations with the man who has kidnapped two Americans and an Egyptian tour guide to demand his uncle's release from an Alexandria jail.

This comes amid new reports that Louis's family is concerned that the diabetic pastor does not have his medication.

Gen. Ahmed Bakr, the head of security in Egypt's northern Sinai Peninsula, says Bedouin sheikhs who are acting as mediators have confirmed the hostages "are unharmed and well fed." They include Michel Louis, the pastor of a Pentecostal church in Boston; Lisa Alphonse, a parishoner at another American church; and an Egyptian tour guide.

Authorities have identified the hostage-taker as Germy Abu Masouh, a member of a prominent Bedouin tribe in the Sinai. He wants Egyptian police to free his uncle, whom Bakr said had been caught in Alexandria with a half-ton of drugs. Bakr said negotiators include top intelligence and police officials.

This morning on "Early Start," Mohamed Fahmy reports on concern for the health of Michel Louis.


Filed under: Egypt
July 10th, 2012
10:27 AM ET

Egyptian parliament meets amid power struggle – Ivan Watson reports

Cairo (CNN) - The Egyptian parliament convened for less than an hour Tuesday, in a gesture of defiance against the country's military rulers, who dissolved the legislature last month.

The session was the first since the nation's highest court said parliamentary elections were unconstitutional, prompting the military to disband the body.

The lawmakers met after President Mohamed Morsy, who took office June 30, opted to override the edict of the military, which has run the country since the 2011 revolution that ousted longtime leader Hosni Mubarak.

This morning on "Early Start," Ivan Watson reports on the parliament meeting.


Filed under: Egypt
July 9th, 2012
02:22 PM ET

Egypt mood after Morsi's move to call back Parliament

CNN's Zoraida Sambolin on Egyptian citizens feelings on President Mohamed Morsi's move to call back Parliament.

Filed under: Egypt
June 25th, 2012
06:06 AM ET

One for all and all for Egypt: CNN's Ian Lee on president-elect Mohammed Morsi's message of unity

Cairo (CNN) - Euphoric jubilation spilled into a second day Monday in Cairo's Tahrir Square, where revelers celebrated the election of Egypt's first democratically elected president.

But with the hopes of the Egyptian revolution resting on President-Elect Mohamed Morsi's shoulders, the former Muslim Brotherhood member faces an array of challenges both at home and abroad.

For the moment, the presidency is largely a figurehead position as Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) maintains widespread control over the country - just as it has since Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule succumbed to a popular revolt last year.
Under an interim constitutional declaration, the military council said it retains the power to make laws and budget decisions until a new constitution is written and a new parliament is elected.

In his first speech since defeating former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik, Morsi said he is "in charge," while also stressing he must answer to the people.

"We are all equal in rights, and we all have obligations to carry on for this country," he said Sunday night. "As for myself, I have no rights, but I have obligations."

This morning on "Early Start," CNN's Ian Lee looks at how Egyptians are taking this message of unity.


Filed under: Egypt • Elections
June 20th, 2012
12:46 PM ET

Egyptians tense as they waits for election results and Mubarak health news

Ivan Watson on frustration Egyptians feel as they wait for news on runoff election and fmr. President Mubarak's health.

Filed under: Egypt • Elections • Hosni Mubarak
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