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American Morning

Uprising in Egypt; Escape from Egypt; Egypt Unrest Pushes Oil Prices Higher; Another Monster Storm Bearing Down on the Midwest

Aired January 31, 2011 - 06:00   ET


T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Well, ahead on this AMERICAN MORNING, we continue our coverage of the crisis in Egypt.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: And the crisis in Egypt is sending jitters through world markets. Crude oil prices are spiking this morning. Investors are worried violence could stop shipments and that could mean even higher prices at the pump.

HOLMES: And we are getting a look of what was happening inside a Detroit police precinct when a man walked in and opened fire. The alleged shooter, police -- a sex crime.

BOLDUAN: And another monster winter storm bearing down on the Midwest right now. More than 20 states are under winter storm advisories and some cities expected to get hit by up to two feet of snow this week.

HOLMES: So yes, here we go again. I'm T.J. Holmes. I'll be alongside Kate Bolduan this morning. We start in just a couple of minutes on this AMERICAN MORNING. Stay with us.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need freedom. All these people need freedom. And we need you to support us.


HOLMES: The turmoil in Egypt continues as thousands ask for freedom. Meanwhile, the effort is under way right now to get Americans out of Egypt on this AMERICAN MORNING.

Well, 6:00 a.m. Eastern Time. We want to welcome our CNN viewers here in the U.S. and also those joining us from around the world watching us right now on CNN International as well, on this January 31st, this Monday. I'm T.J. Holmes.

BOLDUAN: I'm Kate Bolduan in for Kiran Chetry this morning.

Up first, the uprising in Egypt getting worse. Protesters flooding the streets of Cairo again this morning. Help is on the way right now for thousands of stranded Americans. Charter flights will begin taking them out of Cairo today as armed mobs walk the streets and the military begins to close ranks.

Thousands of protesters ignored a government curfew last night and surrounded their opposition leader, Mohamed ElBaradei, saying they won't go until President Hosni Mubarak goes. Meantime, Mubarak talking change but still clinging to power this morning. And from Hollywood to Atlanta to Baghdad, people were out on the streets this weekend holding Egypt -- holding Egyptian flags saying they're with the protesters.

Back in Egypt, there was an unmistakable show of military force. Fighter jets buzzing the square. The military firing warning shots, but the protesters actually walked toward the gunfire. ElBaradei told our Fareed Zakaria that this is a sign of weakness, not strength.


MOHAMED ELBARADEI, FMR. DIR. GENERAL, INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY: I think this is a hopeless, desperate attempt by Mubarak to stay in power. I think it is loud and clear from everybody in Egypt that Mubarak has to leave today and this is nonnegotiable for every Egyptian.


HOLMES: This has been a fast-moving story with fast-moving developments. We will give you updates from around the world. Our Jason Carroll is on the story for us here in New York. Our Jill Dougherty at the State Department for us. Our Ed Henry at the White House. But we want to begin with our Frederik Pleitgen who's been covering these protests for the past week now. He is live for us in Cairo.

Fred, it was an eventful weekend. Are we seeing so far that it continues into this Monday?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We certainly are, T.J. I was on Tahrir Square which is in central Cairo earlier this morning and there are already well over a thousand protesters there. Again, many people camped out there overnight. And what they're doing now is they're calling for another one million man event for tomorrow. So we do expect some very large protests to happen here in Egypt tomorrow. And also what happened overnight is that we did hear some very pierce shooting here in the capital in Cairo, also appeared as though there were some larger caliber weapons that were being used here.

The other thing that is happening is that the Egyptian government is apparently trying to bring the police force back on the streets here. Because as you know, so far, they've all but vanished over the past couple of days and that's led to some pretty bad lawlessness in the outlying areas here in Cairo, T.J.

HOLMES: Fred, what are the updates we have about the number of people injured and also the number of people killed around the country?

PLEITGEN: Well, it's over 150 people who have been killed and a lot of people have been injured. It's really hard to get the numbers right now because the government really isn't confirming very much. However, we have seen people who were brought to hospitals and a couple of days ago, one of our crews saw a body being taken away. And certainly there is still a lot of lawlessness on the street.

I can tell you that yesterday I was actually at the scene of a prison break, which was quite amazing, north of Cairo, where there was still a gun battle going on at that prison when we got there. And people there were telling us there were still dead bodies inside the prison.

If you go outside of the downtown Cairo area, there is really an air of lawlessness where every police station that you go past is abandoned, looted and burned. I went past six or seven yesterday and up until this morning, there really were no police officers in the streets to try and keep the peace and people are arming themselves to try and defend what they have. I hear this morning there are some officers who are back on the streets. So we'll wait and see if that situation improves a little bit throughout the day, T.J.

HOLMES: All right. Frederik Pleitgen for us in Cairo. Thank you as always.

BOLDUAN: Cairo's main airport is in a state of chaos, much like what we're seeing on the streets. Thousands of tourists and business travelers from around the world jamming the terminals hoping to get out of the country. The State Department says charter flights have now started evacuating thousands of Americans. They will head to safe haven destinations in places like Istanbul, Turkey, and Athens, Greece.

HOLMES: As you hear there, Kate just mentioned the effort is under way to get Americans out of the country trying to do the same. But two people who were there and managed to get out, Diana and Gaynor Kelley of Chicago, they were vacationing in Egypt with a tour group. They join me now live from London.

Thank you both from being here and being willing to share your experience. But give us a little background here. What were you doing in Egypt in the first place?

DIANA KELLEY, ESCAPED FROM CAIRO: We were on a tour in Abercrombie & Kent tour of Egypt and we're just returning from Abu Simbel. And we landed at the Cairo airport and could not leave.

HOLMES: Describe the airport to us. We've heard varying reports of just how difficult it is for people there.

D. KELLEY: To get out of the airport, we feel very, very lucky. We couldn't have done it without the help of our wonderful Egyptian friends and tour guides that were there. They helped us maneuver the system. We waited in line sometimes six hours and in long two-hour security lines only to be told that the flight was canceled and ushered to other areas of the airport. When we couldn't find food, they helped us find food and water. We feel very fortunate. There's thousands of people there that didn't have the help that we had and are stranded not knowing what to do.

HOLMES: And Mr. Kelley, in reading about your experience there, you all are giving so much credit to Egyptians there who, of course, they have so much -- many other things on their mind right now but they went out of their way to help you all out. But one of your tour guides, I understand, was shot, is that right?

GAYNOR KELLEY, ESCAPED FROM CAIRO: No, actually his father was shot. He was with us at the time. And while that was happening, his father was downtown in Cairo and he was shot. But he stayed with us.

HOLMES: How difficult was that journey, trying to get to the airport in the first place? I understand that was maybe the most harrowing part of this whole experience.

G. KELLEY: While at different times of the day it was very different. We had to wait at the airport until very late at night before we could return to the hotel. Seldom getting back before midnight because the streets were not safe. The last day we were there the streets were now in roadblock, military control. And everything had to go through a funnel. It took us at least an hour to get from our hotel, which was only a mile away, to the airport. Once you got to the airport, it was utter chaos.

HOLMES: Guys, we have seen the pictures here, but you all had to actually live through it. Just how terrifying of a scene is it right now on the streets of Cairo in Egypt?

D. KELLEY: I feel very, very sorry for the Egyptian people, what they're going through. All they're trying to do is get help, get jobs, find a better way to support their families. The man that was -- the man that was sitting behind us in -- on the airplane had spent the night with a stick (ph) defending his property. He and his neighbors' homes were being looted and he felt very fortunate to have gotten out of Egypt. And I asked him if he was going to return, he said, yes, he was. It's his home. But he felt fortunate to be one of the ones that did get out, as well.

HOLMES: Well, I bet you all feel fortunate as well. Mr. and Mrs. Kelley, we appreciate you all taking some time out and sharing with our audience what you all went through. And I guess we'll see you back here in the states pretty soon, back to Chicago. But thank you for your time this morning.


D. KELLEY: Thank you.

G. KELLEY: You're welcome.

D. KELLEY: Goodbye.

BOLDUAN: As we hear their story, more than 50,000 Americans are in Egypt right now. We'll hear from some of them about the uprising and the scene at the airport. Jason Carroll will be along with their stories live at 6:40 Eastern.

HOLMES: And, of course, so much of the coverage has come out of Cairo but that is not the only spot seeing massive protests in the streets. The second largest city in Egypt, Alexandria, a lot has been happening there as well. Our senior international correspondent Nic Robertson was there. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Long after curfew right now, and if the government was controlling the situation, people -- trace of fire flying in the air. These people wouldn't be out on the streets if the government was in control. Right now, they're continuing their demand for Hosni Mubarak to step down. And the demand we've seen earlier in the day as well this one. Foreign governments stop hypocrisy and stand for Egyptian's freedom.

What people are saying, they've been telling us this all day, they're frustrated with the United States, frustrated with Britain. They've said they'll demonstrate and continue their demonstrations through the night. And this is exactly what we can see happening.


BOLDUAN: That's really amazing video. The Obama administration, meanwhile, is monitoring Egypt very closely this morning. And our Ed Henry is live at the White House.

Hey there, Ed. So the White House, the administration, to this point has been really cautious in their statements and in their positioning really. But was there a bit of a shift over the weekend, specifically yesterday?

ED HENRY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I think there was when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came out. It did -- took the extraordinary step of appearing on all five U.S. Sunday morning talk shows and basically said there needs to be an orderly transition in terms of the Egyptian government. She was stopping short of calling for the ouster of the Egyptian president but nonetheless was making clear that the U.S. doesn't believe that President Mubarak is embracing reforms quickly enough. I mean, they've had these concerns throughout this crisis. It really picked up steam on Friday night when President Mubarak gave that speech that appeared to be a digging in instead of embracing reforms. President Obama, as you know, had that long phone call, about 30 minutes with President Mubarak after that speech on Friday night. And as they monitored this all weekend into this morning, there's a sense here at the White House that President Mubarak just doesn't get it but they don't really know what -- who could fill the vacuum right now. So that's why Secretary Clinton was walking a fine line yesterday.


HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: What we're trying to do is to help clear the air so that those who remain in power, starting with President Mubarak with his new vice president, with the new prime minister, will begin a process of reaching out, of creating a dialogue that will bring in peaceful activists and representatives of civil society to, you know, plan a way forward that will meet the legitimate grievances of the Egyptian people.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HENRY: Now, as you saw Nic Robertson's piece, the U.S. is under intense pressure right now from people around the world, but specifically some of the protesters there on the ground saying the U.S. should be doing more. But from the White House perspective when you talk to senior officials, they don't want look like -- to be looking like they're dictating the events on the ground. So to some extent they still need to let this play out, Kate.

BOLDUAN: You've said it over and over again since it started, a very difficult and delicate position that they're in. We'll keep watching it. Ed Henry, thanks so much.

HENRY: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: I want to get you to some live pictures that we have actually coming in from Cairo right now. You can see a mass of people there in downtown Cairo as the day has continued. We're seeing more and more people coming out. We'll be watching for what all unfolds there, of course, and bring that to you when we have it.

Now for our viewers from around the world watching on CNN I, we want to return you now to your regular programming. And for our viewers here in the United States, coming up in just a few minutes, we'll be talking with former assistant Secretary of State, James Rubin, to get some of his insight on the developing situation. You don't want to miss that.

HOLMES: Twelve minutes past the hour now. Other major stories we're keeping an eye on. One of them happens to be the weather. Our Rob Marciano is standing by for us in the extreme weather center.

Rob, good morning to you. I know you'll give us the details. But start with a little perspective here. Just in general, how bad is this next storm going to be?

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, it's not so much how bad but how big, T.J. This one encompasses about two-thirds of the country at least.

Look at this mess behind me. And it's going to stretch out to be a three-to-four-day event, slowly making its way from west to east. And here's how it breaks down.

Further north from west, the more you get in the way of snow. There's going to be a ribbon of ice and wintry mix. And the south will be stormy and wet, which is different from what we've seen in the past. Right now, there are at least 30 states that are under some sort of winter weather advisory watch or warning. Chicago right now under a blizzard watch, which means that conditions will be deteriorating beginning tonight and really going downhill tomorrow. Right now, we're just watching these two systems come together but it's going to get very, very interesting for just about everybody in some large cities and we'll try to break down the forecast track here. A little bit more details in about 30 minutes. Guys, back up to you.

HOLMES: We'll talk to you here shortly. BOLDUAN: All right. Thanks, Rob.

Egypt controls a vital artery for the region's oil and the unrest could have a major impact on what you pay for gas. We'll have the details on that coming up.

HOLMES: Well, you have been seeing the pictures of the protests down on the streets. Well, our Anderson Cooper is going to take you down to those streets.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They're calling for freedom and change and justice. Those are the words that you hear a lot. And they're saying that their demands haven't changed. They want Mubarak out.



BOLDUAN: Egyptians are protesting for a seventh day on the streets of Cairo, defying curfews and demanding President Hosni Mubarak get out, basically. Well, that's pretty much it in a nut shell. There's a lot at stake for the U.S. in Egypt's future. And that's why, James Rubin, former assistant secretary of state, now executive editor of "The Bloomberg View" joining us now.

Thanks so much for joining me, James.


BOLDUAN: Secretary of State Clinton said over the weekend several times that this is a very complex and difficult situation. Protesters are not backing down. The president himself is not backing down. Where -- ultimately, where is the breaking point going to be here?

RUBIN: Well, I don't think we know that. It looks to me like we're in for what could be a long standoff. What Secretary Clinton was talking about is the fact that the administration has been driven by two fears.

On the one hand, they're afraid of being on the wrong side of history. Too often the United States has waited too long to realize that democratic change is coming and the resulting revolution or evolution or new government comes in with a resentment towards the United States. We don't want to be on the wrong side of history.

On the other hand, President Mubarak has been as strong and close a partner of the United States as you could imagine any Arab leader to be, supporting the peace process with Israel, supporting efforts to counter extremists, Islamic terrorists, supporting our effort against Iran and working closely with the United States over many, many years, 30 years. And so, we don't want to see a worse government comes in to power.

So, those two fears are driving this policy.

BOLDUAN: At the very same time, the protesters are now kind of -- there's a sense that on the ground, protesters are saying that the U.S. needs to take a stronger stance and a more forceful stance on whether Mubarak should stay or should go. They clearly think he should go.

If you were advising the president at this point, how would you tell him to hand this type of situation? There seems to be kind of a ground swell, large -- strong message coming from the ground there.

RUBIN: We're in a big risk that we end up on the wrong side of this from the perspective of the masses on the street. The hard part is, although President Obama and Secretary Clinton say that behind the scenes the United States have been quite strong in pushing for democratic change with Mubarak, the world hasn't seen that, the Arab people haven't seen it, the Egyptians haven't seen it.

Now, I think we've come a long way in the last week in terms of what we're saying. Originally, the U.S. was saying that Egypt is stable and everything is fine.

Now I think there's call for an orderly transition is correct. What needs to be added is some strong rhetoric about the human rights abuses that have occurred over the years, the fact that the United States has been pushing and will continue to push for the rights of the Egyptian people, and I think it's time for the U.S. very, very soon -- perhaps after sending an envoy to see Mubarak -- to see that the transition has to include President Mubarak's departure.

BOLDUAN: It is amazing in these situations, words have such consequences, are so important how you craft your statements from the perspective of the U.S. But looking from the U.S. perspective, this isn't just about Egypt. It's about the region.

How important is Egypt and what happens in this situation to the stability in that region?

RUBIN: Well, two factors. Number one: Egypt is seen as a kind of bellwether for the entire Arab world, given the length of its civilization, the cosmopolitan nature of Cairo, and given the size, 80 million people, Egypt -- as Egypt goes, people see the Arab world going.

So, if there is a democratic revolution in Egypt, people believe and others in the Arab world will see this as what's coming around the region. And again, because Egypt has been such a close ally of the United States on Iran, on Israel, on making sure that the Suez Canal operates, stability, and, in fact, in countering terrorism, the fear is that whatever government comes after, Mubarak will never be quite as strong in his partnership with the United States.

We have to get over that. It's probably true. But the sooner we get over that the more likely it is that the subsequent government will work closely with us.

BOLDUAN: So many people around the world watching this so closely. James Rubin, thanks so much for joining us this morning.

RUBIN: Thank you.


HOLMES: And, Kate, up next on this AMERICAN MORNING: as that unrest in Egypt continues, how might it impact you? Well, maybe at the gas station. We'll explain.

Also, don't expect to see former President Bush on the campaign trail and even on TV for that matter. Hear why he's done.

It's 21 minutes past the hour.


HOLMES: Twenty-four minutes past the hour.

We are seeing oil prices surge over the unrest happening in Egypt.

Our Stephanie Elam is here right now. A lot of people have those concerns. We see those prices go up in oil. That's going to translate to affecting all of us at some point possibly.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. And that's for a lot of Americans -- while they're watching the story, a lot of them are concerned what does this mean as far as Americans are concern. And what it could mean is a change here in gas prices based on what we see in oil.

So, I want to show you a few things. Take a look at this region here. You've got -- right there, you've got the Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea. Oil transported through there, 1.8 million barrels a day flow through there in 2009.

There's also the Sumed pipeline, which is right near it. You see right here on that yellow line there -- 1.1 million barrels per day flowed through there in 2009.

Just to show you how important this region is to be able to get through there. That's the fear that people have of this unrest spread and these transport areas are no longer accessible, then they'll have to go around Africa to transport it.

Take a look at this. That would add 6,000 miles -- that's going to obviously affect supply, get to people later and, oh, yes, that costs money. So, for it to do that, that's also going to add to the price there. So, if you take a look at the affect that it's had on oil over just January, you could see we're starting to actually go down.

This news hit us at the end of the week last week and we saw oil prices started to go back up. They're up fractionally right now.

The Dow, the NASDAQ, S&P, also taking big hits on Friday because of this, this sort of uncertainty. The markets don't like uncertainty about what this could mean for us here. We saw the Dow losing about one -- more than 1 percent, I'll say that. And we're seeing that same sort of loss with the NASDAQ and the S&P 500 as well.

So, the fear here is that this unrest continues and it spreads throughout the region, it could really shut down our ability to get oil, gas prices then will go up.

BOLDUAN: But right now, it's uncertainly. There is no problem with supply at the moment.

ELAM: No, it is all talk and the fear of it, and that is usually what sets the markets. That's enough to get them going. So, we'll be keeping our eyes on this to see what this means. Egypt is also one of the top 30 oil producers in the world, but most of theirs is used domestically. It's not shipped out. So, it's really about getting it from the other places in the region.

HOLMES: All right. Stephanie, we appreciate you this morning.

ELAM: Sure.

HOLMES: We'll check in with you plenty throughout this morning.

ELAM: Thanks.

BOLDUAN: Countries across the globe scrambling this morning to rescue their citizens from Egypt. We'll tell you what Washington has planned for the men, women, and children who are trapped in that chaos.

HOLMES: And a police shootout inside their own precinct was actually caught on surveillance video. We'll show you the shootout that led to four officers being injured.

It's 27 minutes past the hour.


BOLDUAN: Just about at the half hour mark. And we want to give you an update on the crisis, a big story that we're watching, a crisis unfolding in Egypt right now.

Protesters are flooding the streets of Cairo again right as we speak. Here is what we know right now about what's going on. Protesters ignored gunfire and fighter jets and stayed out past military curfew last night.

Our Frederik Pleitgen says citizens are armed with things like clubs, sawed off pipes and even samurai swords are protecting Cairo neighborhoods for looters.

And for American citizens who want out of Egypt, help is on the way. Charter flights will begin taking thousands of Americans out of Cairo today.

HOLMES: Well, protesters, as Kate said, have been defying the curfew there. They stayed out by the thousands throughout the evenings over the weekend. Our Anderson Cooper was in the middle of one of the largest demonstrations in Liberation Square and ran into the opposition leader.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Sunday night, sixth day of protest in Liberation Square, was once again filled.

(on camera): They're calling for freedom and change and justice. Those are the words you hear a lot. And they're saying that their demands haven't changed. They want Mubarak out.

(voice-over): Defying Mubarak, defying the curfew, thousands showed up shouting into the night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mubarak, get out!

COOPER (on camera): What's so remarkable about this is for those of White House have reported from Egypt over the years, is before, any time you brought out a camera, instantly police would be all over you, stopping you from shooting, checking your papers. We have a camera out, nobody is stopping us. And people are voicing their opinions.

(voice-over): There is no one organizer of these protests, but Mohamed ElBaradei showed up to try to talk to the crowd.

(on camera): ElBaradei is right over there. The crowd, they want to look at him, wants to hear anything he might want to say.

(voice-over): The crowd rushed forward. ElBaradei spoke briefly through a bullhorn.

MOHAMED ELBARADEI, OPPOSITION LEADER (through translator): Today, you are an Egyptian demanding your rights and freedom and what we started can never be pushed back.

COOPER: His words were eloquent but few heard what he said. The noise in the square was simply too great.

(on camera): What's your message to President Mubarak? What is your message to President Mubarak?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He should leave tonight.

COOPER (voice-over): Soldiers on tanks watched and waited. There were no police to be seen on the square on this night.

(on-camera): Are you scared to be here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I'm not scared. It's our village here. So, what I'm scared of?

COOPER: (voice-over): There's no telling how much longer this can go on for. Six days into the crisis and there's still no clear way for it to come to an end. (END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: And you can see Anderson Cooper live from Cairo tonight on "AC360." That's 10:00 Eastern Time, right here on CNN.

BOLDUAN: More now on the man who's emerged as the leading figure of Egypt's opposition. Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel Prize winner who made a dramatic appearance before protesters in Cairo last night.

Foreign affairs correspondent Jill Dougherty is live for us in Washington.

Hey, Jill, ElBaradei may be a high profile figure, but he may not be the spearhead of this movement, per se, right?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that really is true. I mean, the spearhead is on the streets. What you saw with Anderson right there -- social media, middle class people and others who are on the streets. So, ElBaradei really is a head of a coalition. In a sense, he's been chosen and placed himself there.

But it is a coalition. He is not really, you know, the person who is leading the charge. And don't forget that that coalition, that's called the National Association for Change, has a number of different groups in it.

And worrisome for some in the West, certainly for the United States, would be one of those, the Muslim Brotherhood, an extremist organization, political organization. And that would be the concern, that this movement without a real leader could move into other groups taking power, taking control of this movement to get rid of Mubarak. So, there are definitely concerns about that.

BOLDUAN: So, let's talk about President Mubarak's new vice president, Omar Suleiman. I mean, he has a very interesting background. Is the administration a taking a stance on his appointment?

DOUGHERTY: Well, they know him very well. I mean, P.J. Crowley of the State Department was asked about him. And, in fact, he said, we know him well, we worked with him.

And Omar Suleiman is a fascinating person. He is definitely one of the most influential people, and important people in the Middle East, but has been behind the scenes. He was head of intelligence, actually since, I think, 1993. And so, he was in the shadows.

He dealt with the CIA, with other intelligence organizations around the world. But he is a lieutenant general. So, he has a military component. He has the intelligence component.

And then he also has a political side to him because he has been involved. And if you look at some of the WikiLeaks, you can read about this, he has been involved in a lot of the political movements and -- especially in the Mideast peace process, Israel, Palestinian, and other areas, bringing them together.

So, he's a highly important person. But you know, Kate, the real question is: can this new government even stand at this point?

BOLDUAN: Exactly. And what role he'll play as this continues to play out and what ends up happening, you know, with this government. Exactly.


BOLDUAN: Jill Dougherty in Washington for us -- thanks, Jill.

HOLMES: Well, we have been watching what's happening on the streets of Egypt, the process there. But did you know there were also protests happening right here in the U.S. against the Egyptian government? We'll show you, coming up.

BOLDUAN: And Washington working to rescue the tens of thousands of Americans who are stuck in Egypt right now. We'll tell you what the State Department has planned.






UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We hate -- we hate this person. He's very bad, very bad.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is not for the people. All the people hate him. He's supporting Israel. Israel is our enemy. We don't like him.


HOLMES: Thirty-eight minutes past the hour.

You're hearing some of the sentiment on the streets of Cairo and Alexandria, other parts of Egypt, people protesting what's happening with their government there.

But in Egypt, that's not the only place where we're seeing protests take place. Look at what's happening in Finland. An iReporter sent this to us, a demonstration in front of the Egyptian embassy there. Hundreds of people there are shouting, "Down with Mubarak."

Also in Los Angeles, at least 300 people gathered in front of the federal building there, the Westwood Federal Building, demanding the same, wanting Mubarak to go.

Then in London, another one of our iReporters sent this in to us. A demonstration there in front of the Egyptian embassy. People are chanting, just like some of the other things you've been hearing around Egypt, "Mubarak, you betrayed us." BOLDUAN: And across the globe this morning, governments are working really hard, plans to get their citizens strapped in Egypt out safely. And among the countries sending emergency evacuation flights to Egypt are the U.S., Turkey, Iraq, Australia, Japan, the Philippines, Belgium, Israel, Canada, China, and Britain. That's a lot of people.

HOLMES: Yes. Our Jason Carroll here live with us.

Jason, do you know the effort under way to get Americans out right now? We just heard a story from a couple of people who got out. It's just a mess at the airport right now.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A lot of worries, a lot of confusion about what's going on.

The U.S. State Department has begun chartering flights. In fact, the first flight has already gotten out, landed this morning in Cyprus. Other flights will be heading to destination such as Greece and Turkey as well.

A U.S. State Department spokeswoman says the U.S. does have enough flights to evacuate all the American citizens who are stranded. There are no hard numbers on the number of those who want to get out, but there are an estimated 52,000 Americans register with the embassy in Cairo, either working or touring there.

But with western carriers suspending many of the flights, many U.S. passengers are wondering how they were going to get out, one of them, Laura Murphy, a Nile River cruise passenger told CNN she feels safe but trapped.


LAURA MURPHY LEE, TRAVELER (via telephone): You cannot get away by water. You cannot take public transportation because it's been deemed unsafe. And you cannot fly. So, apparently there are over 50,000 Americans in Egypt. Some of whom may be flown out of the major cities. But those of White House are not in Cairo or Alexandria are trapped right now.


CARROLL: You see a lot of the worry going on there.

Of those 50,000 Americans in Egypt, there are 380 government employees at the U.S. embassy in Cairo and 760 spouses and children living with them in Egypt. The other Americans possibly trapped could be the 1,100 American students studying in Egypt.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton weighing in on the crisis on NBC's "Meet the Press."


HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: Thankfully, we do not have any reports of any American citizens killed or injured. We want to keep it that way.


CARROLL: Well, Internet interruptions in Egypt are obviously making it difficult for Americans there to get information about evacuations. But the State Department spokeswoman says the word is still getting out. The U.S. is also considering sending charter flights to other Egyptian cities such as Luxor.

Also, a note, that those folks who are here in the states or in other points of Europe or other destinations throughout the world who have loved ones in Egypt are asked to check the State Department Web site for more updated information.

BOLDUAN: Probably the best way for their loved ones in Egypt to get information. I mean, how is the State Department getting this information about where to go, when, how to get there, what the best way to communicate is? Because there is very little communication.

CARROLL: Very little communication. Here's what we're hearing -- basically, those who are able to get phone -- able to use the phone to call folks over in Egypt, Cairo, Luxor, or wherever they may be, Alexandria, are getting information where they do have Internet, relaying that information by phone. It's a slow process, but seems to be in a chaotic situation, this is what's working for now.

HOLMES: All right. Jason, appreciate the update. We'll check in with you again.

CARROLL: All right.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Jason.

And coming up in the next hour, at 7:15 Eastern, we'll get more on Washington's plans to rescue the thousands of Americans stuck in Egypt when we talk to Janice Jacobs, the deputy assistant secretary of state for consular affairs.

HOLMES: Also, a major storm is on the way. Things are calm right now, but -- it's OK, Jason -- this is not really going to be that severe of a storm according to Rob. It is just going to be a huge storm. He'll give us the forecast, coming up.

BOLDUAN: And former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, also a key player in the Mideast peace process -- why he says anyone who wants to see peace in the region should be worried about what's happening in Egypt. We'll have more.

Forty-three minutes after the hour.


BOLDUAN: One reason why the crisis in Egypt matters to all of us, hopes for Mideast peace may hang in the balance here. No one knows that better than former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. He's now a special Mideast peace envoy and is weighing in on the crisis. Zain Verjee is joining us live from London right now. Hey there, Zain. So, what did Tony Blair say?

ZAIN VERJEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, there. What he basically said when we asked him whether he thought Hosni Mubarak should go, it was time for him to just get out, and what he said was that he felt that it would be inevitable that there would be change, and the only question for everyone now is what will that change be and how would it be managed? He also said that any new regime was definitely going to have an impact on Israel as well as on his efforts to push forward Israeli/Palestinian peace. Just listen to him.


TONY BLAIR, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Of course, I'm worried about the impact on the peace process and, you know, you'd have to be strange not to be. I mean, look, we're in a situation where, yes, President Mubarak has been a very strong partner in this. So, you know, people like myself who worked very closely with him over a period of time. He's also been emphatically against extremists trying to abuse this process.

Now, actually you say it's on live support. Well, we're trying to restart direct negotiations. Actually, there's been a lot of change produced by the Palestinian authority on the west bank, a lot more needs to happen. We've got the first opening up of Gaza. That again needs to be taken a lot further. So, we need to make sure that whatever comes out of Egypt does not end up destabilizing the progress that's been made.


VERJEE: And what he's saying there, though, he didn't say those two words that are worrying a lot of people, is Muslim brotherhood. This is a group that is very organized and has a lot of popular support, even though it's officially banned in Egypt. It wants Sharia law. It has a strict morality code as well as a religious outlook.

And what Tony Blair then went on to say is that he didn't think Egyptians would elect the Muslim brotherhood to play the key political role in Egypt after that because it is a mostly secular country, particularly in its history. But it is a threat and it is a challenge, and a lot of people are worried.

BOLDUAN: If Blair says he doesn't think that the Egyptian people would elect any of the Muslim brotherhood, why then is he so concerned about the Muslim brotherhood?

VERJEE: Even if they may not be in the driver's seats after Mubarak regime, whenever it ended, basically, they would play some kind of influencing role simply because they have a head start. They're very, very organized, and they do have a lot of popular support. The thing is, the reason he is worried is because any role that the Muslim brotherhood plays will affect relationships with Israel. They would probably be less accommodating to the west and for the United States, significantly, less so than Hosni Mubarak has been.

He's been a great friend and a great ally to the United States. There's one newspaper in Israel that had this headline. It said, "Israel's strategic distress in The Middle East is that it could be alone without an ally." So, whatever happens after Mubarak, the Muslim brotherhood is going to play a role, keep your eye on them, but it depends on how much power and influence they can absorb.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. All right. Zain Verjee in London. Thanks so much. Zain, great to see you.

T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Ten minutes until the top of the hour. Check the morning's weather headlines. Rob Marciano in the Extreme Weather Center with a big storm to tell us about. Hello again, Rob.

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hey there, guys. Check this out. I mean, there's over 30 states that are under advisory or watches or warnings right now, stretching from Boston all the way back through New Mexico. Let's break down the forecast for you. It's going to be pretty much a week-long event. Wrap its things up around Thursday and today being Monday. We're getting things started right now. How much snow and then ice do we expect to see?

Oklahoma City, you may see blizzard conditions at times, eight to 12 inches with snowfall developing tonight and in through tomorrow. Kansas City could see eight to 12. St. Louis could see six to ten inches. And then, the wind is cranking up a little bit farther to the north, 10 to 16 in Detroit, I'm thinking (ph), 12 to 18 inches in Chicago. That is a tremendous snowstorm for the folks in Chicago. So, they're finally getting a piece of the action with all the action that's been across parts of the northeast.

This is part of it but not the whole thing. This is kind of a front- runner with a little bit of rain across the southeast but certainly not the whole thing. Here's what we think is going to happen. Low pressure coming out of the Four Corners today, develop across the plains, rain to the south where it should be. At times, there's going to be thunderstorms, and also this ribbon of ice is going to be kind of the disaster zone as far as seeing icing on the roadways, icing on the trees, and then, north of that, there's no picnic either.

You saw those snowfall totals that we think are going to take place here. Certainly significant. Then it all noses into the northeast. The northeast will start seeing snow tomorrow and then switching over to sleet, freezing rain, rained the back to snow once Thursday comes along. So, complicated and very, very large system that's certainly going to create travel headaches across the board here as these things come together. Atlanta today, 30 to 60-minute delays. A little bit of snow in Minneapolis and Denver as this storm gets its act together. T.J. and Kate, back up to you.

HOLMES: All right. Someone here in the studio just used the word depressing when you talked about the weather heading to the northeast has been every couple of days, it seems, Rob.

BOLDUAN: I think the only thing you didn't mention was hail coming our direction.

MARCIANO: we might have a little bit of that down across the south. BOLDUAN: Just stand by, Kate. Thanks, Rob.

HOLMES: Thanks, Rob.

MARCIANO: All right, guys.

All right. So, we will have much more on the crisis in Egypt ahead in the next hour, including the mass exodus we've been telling you about. More than 50,000 Americans desperately trying to get out of there. We'll speak to the state department about where they're going and whether they're safe.

HOLMES: Also, we'll explain how the U.S. military is involved in the crisis in Egypt. It's nine minutes to the top of the hour.


HOLMES: We're about five minutes to the top of the hour now. You remember the story we told you about here last week about the Detroit police shooting. This happened at a precinct in Detroit where a man walked into the precinct and opened fire on police officers. It was a shootout that involved seven officers. Four of them were wounded. You're seeing some of the aftermath of it here. But now, we are getting the surveillance video of the actual incident. Take a look and listen now.


HOLMES (voice-over): You saw it. Quiet there for a moment as business was going about. And then a man walked in and started shooting. Now, you see the officers taking cover and then firing back at the suspect. You see him hop over the desk there. Now, the suspect, according to police, was Lamar Moore. No one really has really good motive for why he walked in and did this.


HOLMES (on-camera): But according to police, he was a suspect in an actual sex crime. Now, possibly, they say this was a suicide by cop. But four police officers were injured. All expected to survive. A couple of them grazed in the head by bullets but expected to all survive. But again, the suspect was shot and killed in that incident.

BOLDUAN: So, you won't see former President George W. Bush on the campaign trail any time soon, apparently. In an interview with C- Span, the former president says he's sworn off politics for good.


BRIAN LAMB, FOUNDER OF C-SPAN: You're through with politics.


LAMB: Define that.

BUSH: I won't go out and campaign for candidates. I don't want to be viewed as the perpetual money racer. I don't want to be on these talk shows giving my opinion, second guessing, you know, a current president. I tell people one of the interesting, you know, sacrifice, I think it's -- I don't think you sacrifice to run for president. To the extent you do is you lose your anonymity. And I like the idea of trying to regain anonymity to a certain extent.


BOLDUAN: That may be difficult to do. But since leaving the White House, Former President Bush has given very few interviews. Most, of course, to promote his memoir "Decision Points."

HOLMES: But he sounds done. I mean, right after he left office, we didn't see, hear from him for quite some time. We heard he bought a new house in Dallas. Things like that which you didn't hear much, and he sounds sure about it.

BOLDUAN: He sounds pretty done with it. He doesn't want to go on those talk shows.

So, we are continuing to monitor developments in Egypt this morning. We'll have the latest developments coming your way right after a break.