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EGYPT: Another mass protest is planned for Tahrir Square


Another mass demonstration is planned Tuesday in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, two weeks after protesters began demanding the immediate resignation of Egyptian  President Hosni Mubarak.

The protest comes a day after Egypt’s newly appointed cabinet met as the government attempted to bring stability to the country.

Mubarak has set up a committee to discuss and recommend constitutional changes that will relax eligibility rules for who can run for president and limit the number of presidential terms, according to the Associated Press.

Mubarak's decrees were announced on state television by Vice President Omar Suleiman, who also said that Mubarak will set up a separate committee to monitor the implementation of all proposed reforms. The two committees will start working immediately, he said.

Outlawed opposition group the Muslim Brotherhood has warned that it may pull out of talks with the government if protesters’ demands, which include Mubarak's resignation, are not met, Reuters reported.

Germany’s Spiegel Online reported that Mubarak may soon check into a private hospital  for medical treatment in southwestern Germany, but Egypt’s state newspaper Al Ahram reported that no official requests have been made by either Egyptian or German authorities concerning Mubarak.

In the southern Egyptian city of Kharga, the head of the city's public hospital confirmed 100 protesters had been injured in clashes between residents and police. 

Some 40 of those were injured Monday night after police used gunfire and tear gas to disperse protesters who had attacked a police station and courthouse in response to an attack by police on a wedding party.

-- Amro Hassan and Raja Abdulrahim

Image: Opposition supporters wave Egyptian flags near Tahrir Square in Cairo. Credit: Dylan Martinez / Reuters

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The issue facing the world over both the uprising and ultimate outcome in Egypt is geopolitically complicated on many levels, not the least of which is the world's energy markets.
Egypt's ownership of both the Suez Canal and the SUMED pipeline, which together transport over 5 percent of the world's daily oil production, forms a strategic choke point for oil movement to the West. As well, Egypt supplies both Europe and the United States with liquified natural gas and has the largest refining infrastructure on the African continent. If Egypt's energy infrastructure were to fall under control of a leadership that was unfriendly to the West or to the rest of Africa, it could have a marked impact on the world's energy market.

Here is a summary of Egypt's energy issues and how they could impact all of us:


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