Governments in Arab world put on pause

Friday in the Arab world has dawned with relative quiet, albeit a likely temporary pause, as the position of several governments in many places shifts.

Egypt: widespread rumours that appear to have started with the New York Times have the US and President Hosmi Mubarak discussing his departure with a three-head government to replace him.

Tunisia: the interim government is dismantling the old Ben Ali regime by replacing all 24 governors and several top security officers.

Algeria: President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has agreed to lift the 19-year-old state of emergency that limits internal travel and is behind other restrictions.

Yemen: The largest gatherings against the government in two weeks of protests, 3 February, brought out several thousand people in what turned out to be mostly peaceful calls for the president to step down, in a country where unemployment runs at 40 percent.