For two years, the conversation on Egypt centered on how to build a democracy. Suddenly the discussion has turned much darker, with some wondering aloud whether the largest Arab nation is hurtling toward civil war.
— "Hosni Mubarak, the former Egyptian president overthrown in an uprising in 2011, will be released from jail soon after a prosecutor cleared him in a corruption case, his lawyer and a judicial source said on Monday." (Reuters)
— "Egyptian judiciary officials say former President Hosni Mubarak could be freed from custody this week. They say a court on Monday ordered his release in a corruption case that alleged he and his two sons embezzled funds for presidential palaces." (The Associated Press)
NPR Cairo bureau chief Leila Fadel notes that the 85-year-old former president is still being charged in the deaths of protesters during the 2011 demonstrations that led to the toppling of his regime. He also still faces corruption charges. So even if he is released, he's still set to be tried.
Reuters reminds readers that "Mubarak, along with his interior minister, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison last year for failing to stop the killing of protesters in the revolt that swept him from power. He still faces a retrial in that case after appeals from the prosecution and defense, but this would not necessarily require him to stay in jail."
Meanwhile, Egypt's first democratically elected president — Mohammed Morsi — remains out of sight. He was ousted by the military last month and has been held since then. He's being investigated for alleged conspiracy and murder.
Since last Wednesday, when government forces moved to clear Morsi's supporters from sites where they had been protesting his removal from office, more than 900 Egyptians have died and thousands more have been wounded in clashes.
Party leaders and candidates rallied in Springfield Thursday at the Illinois State Fair, where the men competing for the top of the ticket each say they're uniquely qualified to revive the Illinois Republican Party.