In Egypt, after a fifth day of anti-government protests, President Hosni Mubarak has appointed Omar Suleiman, the country’s intelligence chief, as the new Vice President.
The move is significant because this is the first time in Mubarak’s 30 years’ of rule that he has named a deputy.
It is not likely to appease protesters, however, as Suleiman is a military man closely associated with Mubarak’s regime.
Armed Shafiq, an ex-aviation minister, has been named as Prime Minister. Observers say this is also unlikely to calm demonstrators demanding the president’s resignation and a complete new start.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators continue to fill the streets of Cairo and other large cities, with at least ten deaths reported, although sources say the movement is largely peaceful.
In the richer suburbs, however, there are reports of gunshots and looting, and householders banding together to protect their property.
The army appears to have refrained from using the violent tactics used by the police in previous days and have not enforced a curfew which was supposed to have taken effect mid-afternoon.
Meanwhile, President Mubarak’s sons Alaa and Gamal have arrived in London with their families, and Gamal Mubarak’s confidente ,Ahmed Azz, a high profile businessman in Egypt, has resigned from the ruling party after the headquarters of his steel company were ransacked and looted.
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