EGYPT: Official denies that President Hosni Mubarak will step down

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Egypt’s information minister told state television that President Hosni Mubarak will not step down.

The comment by Anas el-Fiqqi, in a written scroll on state television, comes ahead of an address by Mubarak to the nation. Announcements by military officials Thursday that the demands of protesters, who have called for Mubarak’s immediate ouster, would be met raised expectations that the president would announce his resignation late in the day.

But the minister’s comment raise the possibility that Mubarak could announce an alternative, such as keeping his presidential title but relinquishing his executive powers.

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske