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Thursday 3 February 2011

Verity Murphy | 12:32 UK time, Thursday, 3 February 2011

Here are the main stories coming up on tonight's programme:

There have been running street battles in central Cairo, with protesters pushing back President Hosni Mubarak's supporters. Stones were thrown on both sides, and there has been some gunfire.

The army, which was trying to separate the two sides, appears to have failed to control the crowds.

Tim Whewell is in the city and will bring us the latest on the situation this evening.

We hope to be hearing from Egyptian opposition leader Mohammed ElBaradei and will also be getting a US point of view from US Senator John McCain.

Our Science editor Susan Watts has an exclusive report on cyber warfare and what steps governments are taking to try to defend against it. You can read more about that here.


  • Comment number 1.

    this Egypt thing is dragging on now...get the impression that the forces of reaction are getting the upper hand and the West is powerless to stop it maybe the so called 'West' has seen the implications for the wider middle east and doesn't like what it sees therefore 'do nothing' is its best option....

  • Comment number 2.

    Tim Whewell will be a welcome relief from gesticulating George wasting money by hosting correspondents on his George Alagiah show.

  • Comment number 3.

    the Egyptian soldiers should consider that if they defend Mubarak, thy are defending an AMERICAN stooge. The officer class should realise the longer, and more violent this gets, the more gain the Islamacists will have in the population, and the coming elections.

    the very people Mubarak's goons are attacking are the ones upon whom Egypt NEEDS to develop into a non-corrupt, peaceful, developing secular Islamic nation.

    speaking of which, exactly WHAT kind of people go onto the streets to demand that they *DON'T* have political freedom? They are certainly not following the teachings of the Prophet, that is for sure. They are a disgrace to Islam, just like Mubarak their 'leader'.

    are the army just AMERICAN stooges, or do they stand with the Egyptian People?

    peace, and love.

  • Comment number 4.

    our democratically elected despots are just plain scared this domino toppling of stable, however suspect, presidents will throw the whole region into copy cat panic I just wonder if it will spread as far as the UAE? Our dear friends in Israel will be birthing kittens as the hot breath of anti-zion gets closer and louder. What will the senators do follow the oil or their "election funding" Jewish money masters.

  • Comment number 5.

    As in Turkey still, the Army in Egypt are held in respect due to their historical role in achieving independence for the country.

    Unlike here in UK, the officer class, as in Turkey, is intelligent, well informed and conscious of the position they hold both as a legacy of history and as a respected body in the country.

    They, unlike Mubarak, are no-one's stooges; don't be surprised if they are writing the Deputy President's scripts for him.

    They will strike a balance between the growing demand for less high handedness from Government and the preservation of fundamental order in the society.

    An Iraq style descent into tribal/sectarian anarchy is not about to happen; for one thing, the Egptians are more advanced societally and politically than the Iraqis; secondly, Bush and Blair are not in power, waving Crusader banners as they trample over the Middle East.

    The Army in Egypt will make the weather and it will be no Desert Storm.

  • Comment number 6.


    Just how many reporters/journalists/presenters does the BBC need to get the news out from Egypt.

    By their own accounts, Alagiah, Simpson and Bowen were no more than a couple of hundred metres away from each other today in Tahrir Square environs; then there's the lesser types such as Guy, Lyce and the actual Cairo Correspondent, with Wyre and others on the coast.

    I'm sure there's a party in the Old Bazaar.

    Do they all collect Airmiles?

    Meanwhile, the World Service waves bye bye.

  • Comment number 7.

    6 Kashi...I am actively involved in commenting on Egypt over on Mark Mardell`s blog .....and though you might not agree with my views I believe your contribution to that debate would be very useful.

    It`s my thesis that the Beeb are actively making the news over there in Egypt.

  • Comment number 8.

    Egypt is like Iran in 1979

    Mubarak = The new Shah
    Obama = the new Jimmy Carter

    But who is the new Ayatollah Khomeini?

  • Comment number 9.

    #8; No, Egypt is nothing like "Iran in 1979"; is your real name Tony?

    Egypt is not predominantly sh'ia, Iran is.

    Egypt has no tempting natural resources; Iran has.

    The CIA/MI5 did not manufacture a "Shah" to replace a democratic republic in Egypt; they did in Iran, one of the main reasons why both US and UK are deeply mistrusted in Iran today.

    The commonality is that Israel will press US to act in Israel's interest.

    With this US administration, however, that will not be as simple as previously.

    The Israeli state clearly wants Mubarak to remain in office and keep the country "under control", while Obama and H.Clinton realise change must now happen.

    How it happens will be interesting.

  • Comment number 10.

    #7; followed up on your suggestion, however, with a few notable exceptions, yourself included, I found the comments on Mark Mardell's blog quite shallow, uninformed and juvenile.

    So why move when we can have all that - AND barriesingleton - right here!

    IT is quite sad though, the lack of depth, knowledge or insight many in this country have of the Middle East; perhaps it's the colonial legacy, but I don't find the same ignorance of the region's issues in France, or indeed, in Germany, where there is only wartime theatre history.

    One of my friends, Rainer the Spread Better, puts it down to the British hesitancy to learn languages, relying on foreigners to speak English to them.

    This is exemplified in the articulate fluency in English demonstrated by Israeli Government spokespeople, compared to their counterparts in Egypt,Palestine,Syria etc.

    Rainer's argument goes that because the British can understand the Israeli spokesperson, they are more inclined to listen to the arguments, whereas with an Arab's stilted English, they are inclined to lose patience quickly and "Johnny Foreigner" syndrome kicks in.

    We've all seen this on NN, when Jazza, for example, speaks slower and louder when he's faced with a lack of fluency in English from an interviewee, whereas others try desperately to shut them up.

  • Comment number 11.

    10 Of course...why move from educating the world to sitting in a tiny darkened room with bags over heads sharing each other`s recycled intellectual flatulence!
    Over to Barrie and Mr Duff on the accordian!

  • Comment number 12.

  • Comment number 13.


    'I am a Democracy, You are a Regime, It is a Pathetic Semantic Trick'.

    When a million of us told Westminster that WE THE PEOPLE wanted none of Blair's war - IDS, Billy the Spud, and the whipped ciphers of Conservatism, granted the NEW LABOUR REGIME the war that their deluded leader was determined to have. Now Billy has the gall to stand on a box and harangue a foreign government. It's always the short ones isn't it . . .

  • Comment number 14.


    WJ, if you are serious about 'educating the world' either.

    a) Invent a new religion (better have a few really good miracles up your sleeve though and expect to die horribly ... increasingly difficult to pull off in the age of the www).

    b) Eradicate all religions (can get a bit messy).. then start again.

    Otherwise I suggest you are just well.. wasting your time...

    Personally given the above, I would rather join in.. to paraphrase

    ...sitting in a tiny darkened room with bags over heads sharing each other`s recycled intellectual flatulence with Barrie and Mr duff on the accordian. It sounds like more fun and equally pointless to trying a) or b) above.

    At least we will enjoy ourselves a bit while we wait for an extinction event to naturally bring us down a peg or two (similar to b) above) esult you are looking for.

    Just let nature take its course WJ and enjoy the accordian music while you can.

    Einstein put it nicely, when asked what he would like to come back as if reincarnated' he replied.

    '' a plumber''.

    I think he meant it.

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    'Phillips was awarded the Orwell Prize for Journalism in 1996. In 2003, she won the award for "Most Islamophobic Media Personality of the Year"[5] from the Islamic Human Rights Commission.'

  • Comment number 17.

    'Hertz attended North London Collegiate School, Westminster School, University College London, UK, where she earned her Bachelor's degree,[1] the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, U.S. where she earned her MBA, before gaining a PhD in Economics from the University of Cambridge (King's). At the invitation of a professor at Wharton, she then went to Russia to work for the World Bank and played a role in setting up the Russian stock exchange and in advising the Russian government on its privatisation programmes.'

    Nuff said....she worked for a bank...and quite probably, the worst bank in the world!

  • Comment number 18.

    Blimey!...what you won't hear from Phillips on QT tonight...

    'Philips argues that Barack Obama believes in "revolutionary Marxism"[18] She also believes he has "adopt[ed] the agenda of the Islamists", being "firmly in the Islamists' camp," and of appointing "fifth columnists" for Iran to his administration.[19] She suggests Obama may be secretly a Muslim, writing: "We are entitled to ask precisely when he stopped being a Muslim, and why. Did Obama embrace Christianity as a tactical manoeuvre to get himself elected?".[20] She has suggested the Obama administration seeks "a final solution" for Israel,[21] a comparison which has been seen as comparing Obama to Adolf Hitler.[21] She says the "new distortions supplied by Obama" now "pose the greatest single danger to Israel’s security and existence," a position she regards as "treacherous." [22] Phillips has also claimed that "for 20 years he belonged to a ‘black power’ church whose pastor, and his own personal spiritual mentor, was an acolyte of the anti-semitic demagogue Louis Farrakhan, and who supported Hamas as a resistance movement" [23]'

  • Comment number 19.

    excellent report on Egypt on BBC@10.

    with the inevitable drop in the share price of Sky with this new TV football arrangement, will News Corp now sell its shares to another company, to reduce its interest in UK TV, and follow Monopolies laws?

    the Amazon Forest: to reply to the highly biased report, carbon is irrelevant - the change in climate we are *causing* is killing parts of the Amazon, this is a horrendous loss of biodiversity, of an integral and ESSENTIAL part of the global biosphere. Imagine the Earth is a space-ship, and there's a fire in the Life Support section. That the Amazon *also* stores enormous amounts of carbon is VERY secondary.

    this report was a terrible part of spin *apparently* aimed at increasing worries about carbon, but done so obviously and badly i cannot help but wonder if it as to divert attention from the REAL ecological disaster facing the Earth.

    either way, awful report.

    so mixed report card there on the News.


  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    "safe haven for terrorists" - since WHEN? As in, when was this policy initiated? In fact, the UK has *always* been haven for more dangerous and radical Islamic ideas (we Brits ALWAYS take it to extremes, and that seems to rub off on those who just some here, and definitely those born here! ;) ) and this Govt and previous Govts have *supported* this. Because the ideas were unsettling authoritarian Muslim Regimes - that our Govts were also selling arms and crowd control technology to.

    you might find that a bit cynical by them, the selling of arms to Authoritarian dictators when they were also instigating movements of civil rights, often with religious elements.

    and in fact, we were safe under Islamic Shariah Law, because it is illegal in Shariah to attack civilians in countries where Muslims are free to practise their religion fully. This is in the Qoran, and is the Prophet Mohammed's own words(pbuh).

    not only do these "anti-terrorism laws" reduce our Freedoms, they are actually INCREASING the chance of a terrorist attack! Claire Short was spot on (as all night), losing our freedoms in tWoT is a shameful way to respond to what our Govts have done to the ME and our own populations, and stupid when the loss of our freedoms only *increases* the risk of Terrorism - and ALL educated Imams understand this basic rule of the Shariah!!! Any who do not, are not proper Muslims. Its that simple.

    it is not having extremist, minority opinion Islamic groups in the UK that increases the chance of attack - they are appreciating ad exploring their religions, with the freedom of speech that the UK offers over the dictators at home would would kill them for publicly disagreeing with him.

    plus, the UK only 100 years ago was ruling many of these countries, Pakistan is the obvious example. We have enormous history with these places, and many people in those countries greatly admire the UK. We have historic ties stretching back hundreds of years. Now we are being asked, to hate ALL of this minority, our UK minority, that regarded us as the *Mother Country of the Old Empire*, and may of them these countries still have the Queen as their Head of State!! Our Queen is also *their* Queen - and many of these countries like her more than we do!

    this is ridiculous propaganda. How did we manage to live over and with them so peacefully for so long if they were as uncivilised and barbaric as people like Melanie Phillips try to make out? She is deliberately dehumanising an entire major culture. !!Then she took orders from Burnham to chill out, after which *he* started making mollifying and populist speeches.

    that 'economist' was like that all night through. How fake can you get?

    she is not an economist, she is a propagandist.

  • Comment number 22.

    the only person of any worth tonight was Claire Short, and Damien Green when not pressed on Cabinet issues, was very genuine.

    there was melanie, economist and candidate all coordinating on the key issues, Green defensive on govt poliy, and Claire Short was honest and superb.

    green - lovely vision of what the Big Society could be - they need funding though. What you *could* do in that direction, is to mandate citizen bodies to sit on these now quangos, and both report back and discuss people issues on them. In other words, don't dismantle the current systems, just bring the Public in on them. The 'Big Society' will develop from normal people gaining experience, and enjoying taking part. There is absolutely NO need, and certainly no *justification* possible to explain why you feel these institutions should be moved from unaccountable State run services, to unaccountable Private *FOR-PROFIT* run services.

    adding your largely unnecessary cuts to the mix, and you will drive many of what are now Public services bankrupt, so the private sector will purchase them dirt cheap - and then charge the Govt far more for the same services to us, whilst running down the services maximising their short-term profits.

    yeah on "Big Society" and citizen-involvement, but a big NO to the catch that privatises to Corporates, because, Mr Green, you have to admit, Corporates do not have a good record in Citizen-involvement, do they?

    the cuts are destroying the local economies as well as the national one, despite the further stirring speeches by andy burnham, and i suspect also the economist, he(they) *supported* drastic cuts. In the leadership debates, *he* was the most pro-cuts of the lot! Isn't it sick watching slick political operators changing their opinions to the mood of the crowd, lying through their teeth?

    as least Melanie is honest in her hatred of Islam, i wouldn't trust a word coming out of the mouths of Candidate and Economist.

    the war on terror made Muslims the "enemy within", surely a greater threat are the war-mongers like Blair and Murdoch?

  • Comment number 23.

    many good comments above, what happened on NN? I can't afford the download.

  • Comment number 24.

    #12 brossen: my god, a channel as fake as fox, just mirrored in some ways. Thats horrendous. You watch *that*? Russian hate TV in English?


  • Comment number 25.

    I was moved by Richard Bunnings post 41 yesterday about the rich, perhaps NN should get in touch with him and follow his comments up?

    sadly predictable to watch NN's coverage of the 'new' threat cyber war. Thank goodness you had the LSE professor on taking sense about this and who is driving this story and why?

    war and conflict seems to be often driven by those who profit from it

    there are a thousand and ones people can harm each other,

    so perhaps the game changer in all this, thinking ahead of the curve would be to seek peace and not conflict?

    best wishes

  • Comment number 26.

    14 Listen Jeremiah...that`s the gospel accordian to you not me...and what are any of you watching QT for ?

    Mentorn might as well bring that to us direct from Wall Street with George Soros in the chair!

    I lost interest when they had Jane Fonda on matronising us with the gospel according to Friedman...and then there`s that Janet Duffy character to reinforce the message.

    I am getting behind where I am coming from ....and going back out into the there or be square!

  • Comment number 27.

    24 Resistance is futile Komrad Morkovich!

  • Comment number 28.

    #27: Oh NOES!! It is Commissar Boris Jimson from Worcester!!!

    now our conspiracy has been blown, and i will be sent to Sib..., Sib..., Scotland, to serve out my exile from Civilisation.

    oh woes is me!!! :'(

  • Comment number 29.

    loved the QT audience tonight, it is so often a look at completely genuine people. Its a pity so many were unaware of Burnham's duplicity, - but thankfully, 'newsnerdiness' is not a habit practised by ALL.

    #20 was more a comment on how it would annoy him, than supposed to be insulting. Sorry for any that took offence. :)



    many candles are burning for you. xx

  • Comment number 30.


    How dare you suggest I was watching QT !

    I may have inadvertently surfed over it, noted (as usual) that there was no-one of interest there, just a bunch of intellectual but 'needy' types.

    I did watch it when they used to include a comedian on the panel to bring a bit of realism to proceeding - that 'Ed Balls' character (great name) being the most amusing,and then I moved on..but thats it..honest.

    As for gospels, i dont do gospels, but, as you may be catching on, i like, as a 17th century chemist, to mix various ingredients together to 'see what happens' in a social / geopolitical experimental sense within the test tube of the NN blogs.

    We are, after all, very knowlegable as a species about just about everything in our environment, except ourselves.

  • Comment number 31.

    11 Far Better on old Joanna with me old Blue Veined Trumpet

  • Comment number 32.

    '6. At 6:19pm on 03 Feb 2011, kashibeyaz wrote:
    Just how many reporters/journalists/presenters does the BBC need to get the news out from Egypt.

    Well, not enough, obviously. I think it's the cuts...Cuts.... CUTS!!!! Or maybe bit of a post-Chile black hole in the travel budget.

    Across most media outlets now, it all seems more like a barney betwixt footy hooligans, with the only difference being footy hooligans have a better idea of why they are fighting. And with which 'side'. Luckily some media seem there to assist, and act as cheerleaders.

    And I am not sure there are not more 'reporters' surrounding the square on their hotel balconies, like a latter day Roman Colliseum crowd. Juvenal would have appreciated the irony.

    Along with our Hillary just about asking for the next dust-up be moved to better accommodate US TV schedules.

    Top comment this morning on SKY:' 'They are pouring out of the mosques to throw themselves at riot police'.

    Best not be in a Panda car outside any Church this Sunday. Just in case.

  • Comment number 33.


    made in china? why? is it their 40% discount?

    solar is subsidised? unlike nuclear?

    i do agree any subsidy should be for private households rather than commercial farms.

    kirsty is so wrong for modern NN. give her review and book quizzes. bring back matt and stephi.

  • Comment number 34.

    The Rothschilds jobsworths and Labour MP (yes,and in that order)
    Liam Byrne said he was born in way!

    George Monbiot the Global warming storm trooper had a wee spot on your solar panel report, why..wasn't Al Gore available?

  • Comment number 35.

    I am getting worried about John Simpson, he is introduced by George Alagia as 'our world affairs editor' what soes that exactly mean? How do you become 'world affairs editor'? Isn't it the guy on the ground? The Australian floods, they get the same guy in to do a pretty good job and he is obviously based in Australia so they use him. John Simpson cannot be everywhere and don't forget there is a lot of 'ego' about when you refer to 'world affairs' but to call someone almost God and other reporters fall prostrate in homage is taking things a tad too far. If you bowed to Jeremy and called him 'world affairs editor' you would be in for a slap.....


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