EGYPT: Protest aims at Suez Canal
The military mobilized troops, light tanks and personnel carriers Sunday as protesters threatened to close Port Tawfiq, a key port on the Suez Canal. Navy vessels cordoned off the floating dry dock and other facilities. The action was triggered by hundreds of protesters who marched toward the canal with the intention of shutting it down. They were reacting to a speech late Saturday by Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, whose attempt to ease public anger backfired and created more trouble for the government, led by Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi and his Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. The protesters, including families of demonstrators killed in January during the protests that brought down Hosni Mubarak, were turned back by striking shipyard workers.
YEMEN: U.S. puts pressure on Saleh
President Ali Abdullah Saleh must "expeditiously" sign a deal that would have him step down, transferring power to his vice president, White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan told Saleh at a hospital in Saudi Arabia where the Yemeni leader is being treated for serious injuries. It was the most public sign yet of U.S. pressure on Saleh, whose rule is being challenged by a five-month-old popular uprising. Saleh promised several times to sign the deal, brokered by Gulf Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia, then balked at the last minute. Brennan also told Saleh that "assistance will flow to Yemen" when the deal is implemented. Under the agreement, Saleh would be granted immunity from prosecution. The protesters insist that Saleh must step down immediately and unconditionally.
INDIA: Five killed in derailment
A packed train was derailed in the north Sunday, killing at least five people and injuring about 100 others, officials said. The Kalka Mail train was on its way to New Delhi from Howrah, a station near Kolkata, when its 12 coaches and the engine jumped the tracks near the town of Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh state, a railway spokesman said.