Egyptians vote in presidential election to rid nation of decades of dictatorship
CAIRO (AP) — Determined to end decades of authoritarian rule, millions of Egyptians waited patiently in long lines outside polling stations across the nation on Wednesday to freely choose their first president since last year's ouster of longtime ruler and close U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak.
"I can die in a matter of months, so I came for my children, so they can live," a tearful Medhat Ibrahim, 58, who suffers from cancer, said as he waited to vote in a poor district south of Cairo. "We want to live better, like human beings."
Thirteen candidates, who include Islamists, liberals and Mubarak regime figures, are contesting the election. No outright winner is expected to emerge from the two-day vote starting Wednesday. So, a runoff between the two top finishers will be held June 16-17. The winner will be announced on June 21.
"It's a miracle," said Selwa Abdel-Malik, a 60-year-old Christian from the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria as she was about to vote. "And it's a beautiful feeling too."
For most of his 29-year rule, Mubarak — like his predecessors — ran unopposed in yes-or-no referendums. Rampant fraud guaranteed ruling party victories in parliamentary elections. Even when, in 2005, Mubarak let challengers oppose him in elections, he ended up not only trouncing his liberal rival but jailing him.
Regulators probe whether Morgan Stanley selectively informed clients ahead of Facebook IPO
WASHINGTON (AP) — Regulators are examining whether Morgan Stanley, the investment bank that shepherded Facebook through its highly publicized stock offering last week, selectively informed clients of an analyst's negative report about the company before the stock started trading.
Rick Ketchum, the head of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the self-policing body for the securities industry, said Tuesday that the question is "a matter of regulatory concern" for his organization and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The top securities regulator for Massachusetts, William Galvin, said he had subpoenaed Morgan Stanley. Galvin said his office is investigating whether Morgan Stanley divulged to only some clients that one of its analysts had cut his revenue estimates for Facebook before the stock hit the market on Friday.
The bank said late Tuesday that it "followed the same procedures for the Facebook offering that it follows for all IPOs," referring to initial public offerings of stock. It said that its procedures complied with regulations.
The questions about the role played by Morgan Stanley, the lead underwriter for the deal, add to the confusion surrounding Facebook's IPO. In the most hotly anticipated stock debut in years, the offering raised $16 billion for the social networking company, valuing it at $104 billion
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iran is demanding that world powers set specific timetables and goals in talks Wednesday over Tehran's nuclear program, a senior Iranian government official said before a second round of negotiations.
The push for milestones by Iran reflects apparent efforts to force concessions from the West on sanctions in exchange for gradually addressing international concerns over the Islamic Republic's nuclear ambitions.
Tehran hopes to leave Baghdad with a clear framework for future talks and potential dealmaking, the official said. Western diplomats have voiced similar concerns, although few believe the discussions in Baghdad will yield breakthroughs in the showdowns over Iran's nuclear program.
The U.S. and allies fear Iran could use its nuclear expertise to build atomic weapons. Iran claims it only seeks nuclear reactors for energy and research.
Iranian negotiators, who met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki hours before the talks were to open, would not identify any specific offers or benchmarks they wanted to see by the day's end.