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tv   Journal  PBS  February 1, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm PST

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>> this is of the journal. >> welcome. >> the headlines at this hour, in egypt, thousands of anti- government protesters gathered in cairo. their demand is the immediate resignation of president mubarak. and in jordan, the king fires his government and tires this man to bring political reform to the country. captioned by the national captioning institute >> in egypt, hundreds of thousands of people are out on the streets with one goal, to force president hosni mubarak to step down.
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he is due to make a televised speech shortly, but says he is not going anywhere until the next election. the protesters are not going anywhere either. the crowds on the street are the biggest in eight days. we begin with this report from the capital. >> it is night in cairo. the crowds to have gathered at liberation square do not seem to be going anywhere. all day, people from all segments of the egyptian society gathered here to demand their freedom. for the demonstrators, that meant getting rid of president hosni mubarak and his associates. some of them abandoned their cars as though they could join the crowds. gradually, they are beginning to believe they can force the president out. >> we will not give up. people are really going to come out today. by do not see that nothing can happen.
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>> it is a revolution in the making. you are now watching a revolution. >> so far, the government's pledges to reform have that fail to end the protests. the offer to review parliamentary procedure has had little effect. the message has remained unchanged. mubarak has to go. the army is keeping a low profile. they have promised protesters that they will not intervene unless there is an attempt at violence. they have appealed to protesters to remain peaceful. the demonstrators themselves are seeing to that. they have taken security into their own hands, setting up roadblocks to check for weapons. >> we are doing this because
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there are fugitives from prison trying to infiltrate and steel. we are doing security ourselves. we are capable of securing our country. >> the people, especially the young people, have spoken. the majority of egyptians are under 30 and have lived all their lives under mubarak. they say it is time for change. >> what is the latest from the demonstrations? >> there are still thousands of people in the square celebrating. it is a fantastic atmosphere, like a rock festival. earlier, there was an attempt to stop theu demonstrations, but it did not escalate. the army is keeping a low profile. they are circling the square every now and then to keep an eye on the protesters. it is all very calm and happy at the moment.
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>> president mubarak is preparing to make a speech. what do we expect him to say? >> people found out and started celebrating. they think -- they hope he will step down, but no one knowshat he will say. he may just say he will not stand for reelection in september. he has been holding on to faux papower so much. it is possible he will just say that he will not stand for reelection in september. >> assuming that is what he says, that he will not step down, but that he will make way for other candidates, do you think that will be enough to satisfy the protesters? >> definitely not. it is too late. he must step down. people will not accept anything except his resignation. they say they will come back every day until he steps down.
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this is what they want. he has no chance. this is not the same egypt any more. >> are you hearing plans for protests or demonstrations on wednesday? >> everyone has said they will come back day after day if he does not step down. we will have to see what happens after his speech. if he resigns, g knows. we will celebrate probably tomorrow. >> thank you. cairo is by no means the only place in egypt where hosni mubarak is considered persona non grata. demonstrations have taken place all over the country. marches took place in alexandria on this eighth day of protests. many planned to head to the capital, but the egyptian authorities canceled a national train service. a million stro mar was called in alexandria.
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in nearby jordan, the king has fired a the government and ordered the new prime minister to carry out what he calls, "true political reform." this is a after a week of opposition protests demanding political and economic reform. the demonstrators and jordan say that the government has dealt to provide a decent standard of living. an islamic opposition group imdiately criticized the choice of prime minister, saying he is no a reformist. i am joined by a middle east analyst. what is your interpretation of this move by a the king? >> he understands that the wind of change is blowing in the middle east. his own people could pour into the streets. in fact, they did so last week. the message of the jordanian population was not down with the
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king, but get a new government. this is what he is trying to do. he is trying to take the lead off this basket that is about to explode. >> if you look at everything we have seen in this region since the beginning of the year, you get the impression it is a domino effect. what country do you think will be next in line? >> there is a fundamental change in the whole region. what we have seen today is the largest demonstration ever in the history of the arab world. this is a revolutionary moment in the history of the middle east. it will affect all governments in the region. they are all very much afraid that they will be blown out of power as well. even in countries with strong governments like saudia arabia and syria, they will very much have to rethink how they treat their own people. >> we have some interesting
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weeks ahead. thank you very much. let's check in now on the economic impact of all of this. >> that there are, of course, repercussions for the economic situation. the egyptian finance ministers says the economy is suffering as a result of the ongoing protest, but says they have not plunged into chaos. he spoke in a bbc interview. meanwhile, both moody's and the fitch ratings have downgraded government bonds from stable to negative. commercial life in cairo has come to a virtual standstill with banks and businesses closed. the largest tour operator says about 40% of departures from egypt to germany have been changed or canceled. many foreign facilities with
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production -- many foreign companies with production facilities in egypt have brought back workers. for some background on the role of the economy in the current unrest in egypt, we spoke to the director for the center of researchn therab rld. we asked him first about the income disparities in egypt. >> there is a very small, ruling group, of big business that controls the vast majority of wealth in the country. on the other side, 30% of the population is living below the poverty line, which is about $2 per day. a huge part of the populati is extremely poor. the wealthy, luxurious a leading group is one of the main reasons for the conflict in
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egypt. >> what about the immediate affect of the unrest on the economy in egypt? how bad can it get? >> first of all, tourism will be affected in a tremendous way. income from tourism is altogether about $10 billion per year. it has already been seriously affected. in addition, the whole trade situation will be affected. egypt is one of the major consumer markets. there is no cargo going in or coming out. there is a huge backdrop here, and it is very difficult as an economic situation. there are 79 enterprises actively engaged with more than 500-700 offices board trading.
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this is a really important sector for trading with the german economy. >> egypt is not a major oil producer, but it is a strategic transit country for oil heading west. there has been an increase in oil prices since the suez canal closed. that is a key route for oil tankers, and this has sent prices to over $100 per barrel. opec is concerned but will not be boosting output. they say that suez canal traffic is not endangered and there is not an oil shortage. unease about egypt is spreading to markets in that the middle east. this is affecting the markets in europe. for more, we go to the frankfurt
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stock exchange. >> it does not seem to fit together, the situation in egypt and investors being in a buying mood in the equities market, but that is what is happening. investors are very concerned though. they are watching the monitors for development in egypt, and they are asking how quickly political stability can be reinstalled, because they know that is important for economic stability, for oil, for oil prices, and for the world economy. they did react to some good news. news from the deutsche bank, a profit downfall is being adjusted very well indeed. >> let's take a closer look at some market indices right now. staying in frankfurt, the market closed up word.
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blue-chip are also up. the dow jones went upon -- went up to overpower -- to over 12,024. >> the german government has once again called on the egyptian leadership to restrengthen -- to restrain from using violence. they reiterated germany's support for democracy and human rights in egypt, and warned that a general strike could affect egyptian tourist areas. the german government has expanded its travel rning to cover the entire country. israel has been very clear on how it feels about the situation in egypt. the president and prime minister both expressed concern that this
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will land on their doorstep. >> the meeting between the israeli president and the german chancellor was dominated by the situation in neighboring egypt. they warned of the possible threat of a religious dictatorship. angela merkel appeal to the israelis not to let this be a reason to neglect to the middle east peace process. >> it is important that steps are taken to guarantee the security of israel and of course, the security of the borders to the palestinians, to meet the conditions of a two- state solution. >> angela merkel also discussed the peace process with israeli opposition leader. berlin has not ruled out further
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sanctions against iran. she said they will work for israeli security. >> as we just heard, israel is very worried about the situation. what do the palestinians think? when they are very happy about what is going on in egypt. the hamas movement has shown the first signs of nervousness. there were attempts to go onto the streetin the gaza strip as well, but hamas told the population they should not do that. they forbade it. >> hamas is stuck in the middle from an economic standpoint. what do we know about the reaction there? >> the economic situation is a catastrophe, but this has nothing to do with egypt. this is the immediate result of the israeli blockade of the gaza strip. the gaza strip is now prison if you want to look at it this way. there is a very bleak future for people living there.
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they hope for a change as well. >> assuming that mubarak does leave -- he has been a stabilizer in the peace process. what effect will his removal have? >> there will be a rough road ahead for the israelis. a new government, any new government, will not be such a staunch, unconditional friend of israel. we will hear more different than it did tons from within a new at egyptian -- more differentiated tones from within a new egyptian government. >> after 30 years in power, president hosni mubarak is under intense pressure to step down. protests are under way throughout egypt, demanding change. it is the eighth day of protests
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against the regime, and the biggest so far. we will be right back after a short break.
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>> welcome back. suppose the egyptian president does resign or leave the country? suppose the government collapses? ku will -- who will take political power? many believe it will be the muslim brotherhood. the group has been keeping a relatively low profile since the protests began. our next report looks at what role, if any, the muslim brotherhood could play in a new egypt. >> the new face of the opposition movement. among the demonstrators who have come out to support him are
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members of the muslim brotherhood. they will likely become more visible if there is a move toward democracy in egypt. on sunday, the islamist movement buried one of their own, shot by police at protests in alexandria. the organization had been keeping ia low profile as protests grew in egypt. they believe the muslim brotherhood it could pay the price for past mistakes. >> [unintelligible] >> the muslim brotherhood supports the new leader, and intends to be the unifying
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force among the opposition. anxiety levels are running high in the west, especially in neighboring israel. for many in the jewish state, and egypt potentially governed by islamists is a nightmare scenario. concern is growing because many extremists have been able to escape prison as the unrest has swept the country. but the leader of the muslim brotherhood has continued to present himself as a moderate, saying that violence must be condemned. reformers say they one day several state built on islamic fundamentalists. but the movement is not religious in nature, with some seven days -- 70 offshoots. the organization enjoys strong
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support among many egyptians, not least because of its social welfare activities. some experts say that 30% of the people support the moslem brotherhood. it is well organized and will likely play an important role in ]ny transition of power in the country. >> for analysis of the situation, i am joined by an analyst. a figurehead has emerged for a wide range of groups. do you think he and the muslim brotherhood will be able to work together to bring democracy to egypt? >> they have to, at least for a transitional time. at the same time, the army is saying they want to have a strong influence in the new government. i think it will be representative of the army. plus, the muslim brothers and this new figurehead. they will try to form a new, transition mary government. of course, the path forward --
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transition marary government. of course the path for root will be difficult. >> this situation caught everyone by surprise. how do you think this will affect relationships with the rest of the world? >> it will influence developments in the middle east to a large extent. all arab leaders are now afraid that the same fate will read to them. there will be more openness in the region. in the first time in the history of the arab world, there will b a pcess of democratization. that is something very positive. israel not be the only democracy in the middle east. there will be others, so there will be a new power balance, and i think it will be difficult for israel to continue not making any compromises with the
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palestinians. >> thank you. the internet is filled with pictures of women on the front lines of the protests. this is truly exceptional. egypt is a very conservative country and the voice of women often goes on her there. the image last week of a woman on the street kissing a soldier to show unity is revolutionary in and of itself. we spoke to women who are daring to stake their claim and fight for their rights. >> the site of women taking part of political demonstrations in egypt is unusual. they have been shunned from political events in the past. egyptian society has become increasingly conservative as to the role of women. men increasingly sexually harass women. but this time, men and women i standing side by side, making their demands together.
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>> i was afraid of being harassed, but nothing happened. people are looking out for each other and helping one another. there is always someone who watches out for you. people apologize if it gets too crowded. if a man barges into a woman, he apologizes right away. people are looking after each other. we are all together here out on the streets. we have seen so much of each other now at the demonstrations. i think once all of this is over, women will be harassed a lot less, because we all know each other better. >> many women have joined the protest because they want a bigger say in society. >> i want women to have more right. they should play a bigger role, and they should be respected for this. men and women are equal. women can accomplish the same
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things as men. i want more freedom for women, fairness and transparency. >> i want women to be able to work. i want freedom and justice for them, safety and security. >> it is not just about women's rights. we want a normal life with good hospitals and good schools. our education system is just not acceptable. >> parents with their children can also be seen in the streets. the mood in egypt is currently exceptional. many appear to believe that men and women have to support each other if they want their voices to be heard. >> we are back now in the studio. we have seen how these mass demonstrations have influenced politics in the region. do you think they will also be able to empower women and change the way they are treated and
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viewed in islamic countries? >> let's not take two steps at that time, but as we have just heard, women are very happy, and we are hearing women say intelligent things. according to tehran -- according to her own perception and you v, women are not backward and uneducated. we do not have to like ts, but we have to accept that this is a society that follows different rules than we do. >> thank you very much. sum up tuesday's events korea, protesters gathered in egypt again, -- today's events in egypt, protesters gathered again for an eighth day demanding that the president resigned.
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ow! of course. thank you. i'd call her honeydew goodbody, not lisa. the very fact that she is called lisa proves that she exists.
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