Protesters wear white shrouds to show their readiness to die for their cause in Cairo. The placards read: "This shroud is for the sake of Egypt". Image Credit: AP

Vice-President Omar Sulaiman tells state TV that Mr Mubarak has asked him to open immediate talks with all parties on constitutional changes. Sulaiman says new elections will be held in some districts where there was evidence of irregularities in last year's parliamentary election.

The US says it is despatching a representative to Cairo to help it understand the situation on the ground. Officials say Frank Wisner is a private citizen, not an envoy. The BBC's Adam Brookes in Washington says Frank Wisner was US ambassador to Egypt in the early 1990s, and officials describe him as a man trusted by Mr Mubarak.

Abbas Al Lawati writes: Another issue that may sway the passive disgruntled Egyptians is lack of salary disbursement. Salaries are due Tuesday and it has been announced that banks will be closed. With that in mind, a one million march is not inconceivable.

Abbas Al Awati writes: I should add that the mood outside the square is not as revolutionary as inside. People on the outside are tired of the regime but are more concerned about security. Having said that Tahrir Sq did have thousands of protesters.

I would describe the disgruntled Egyptians who are not protesting as 'swing' revolutionaries. They say they are sick of the regime but their primary concern is security for their families. They admit that had the security situation not been so bad they too would have been in Tahrir Sq. Conspiracy theorists at the Square say the government was responsible for the 'thuggery' for that very reason: to keep the protesters at home, protecting families and possessions

Abbas Al Awati writes: A name that popped up a couple of times at Tahrir Sq today, and more than usual, was Amr Mousa. But others I spoke to said that anyone that has ever been affilitated with the ruling regime would be rejected by default.

Egyptian vice president says president asked him to begin dialogue for constititional changes

The head of the League of Arab States, Amr Moussa, says there must be a peaceful transition "from one era to another" in Egypt. "It is incumbent upon politicians or people working in politics to help that process," he tells the AFP news agency.

Abbas Al Lawati writes: It's not safe to be out after curfew so sometimes I just wait outside the hotel to tag along with another group of journalists to Tahrir Square. They are always heading back and forth. In return I always translate their conversations with soldiers on the way if they are asked where they are heading and why. It's also a good way to determine what other news organisations are up to, and sometimes an eye opener on how little some foreign journalists know about what's going on.

Abbas Al Lawati writes: Just overheard a new batch of soldiers getting instructions from their superiors "tomorrow will be a very difficult day. Your weapons are to stay on your side at all times. Do not use them.

Remember the protesters are your brothers. But do not have conversations with civilians whatsoever. Keep your distance. They will try to tie you in to their program but you remain silent." The soldiers then saluted him and dispersed.

The Egyptian army has said it will not use force against protesters, the AFP news agency reports.

Egyptian poet Abdul Rahman Yousuf has been addressing the crowds in Tahrir Square, calling on President Mubarak to go. It's been his message for years, BBC reports.

Abbas reports: Some people at Tahrir Square have come from faraway districts, walked for hours with their families to come and protest.

Abbas Al Lawati reports from Tahrir Square: A different kind of atmosphere at Tahrir Square. More people than last night, now singing with drums. Many have brought sleeping bags.

Many slogans now directed at Mubarak’s ‘collaboration’ with US and Israel

Some slogans: ‘I want Internet’, ‘Be patient O country’; “I have come here to complete the million”!

Just spoke to an Estonian girl; she said she is here because she can relate. “This is what my parents went through in 1991. It’s for them now is the 1991 for the Arab world."

Looting rampant in Cairo

Abbas Al Lawati reports: City Centre in Cairo's upscale Ma'adi neighbourhood has been completely ransacked after looting Friday night and Saturday morning.

Gulf News spoke with some shop owners who gave a shocking account of how events unfolded. “Friday night the police disappeared. From 12am to 7am cars thronged in in the thousands. Women, children and entire families. Some people came in fancy cars and clothes,” a security guard on scene told Gulf News.

“One woman came in her abaya, wrapped up a whole bunch of stuff, flung it over her shoulder and walked out in her pajamas,” he added. A Damas jewelry store was completely emptied. ATM machines were beaten beyond recognition, but the culprits weren’t able to get into the cash reserves. “It looked like a well planned operation,” the security guard said.

Youtube hit
An eight-year-old Saudi girl's message to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is reportedly becoming a bit of a hit on YouTube.

Journalists freed

Dan Nolan, one of the Al Jazeera journalists who was briefly detained, tweets: "Losing my phone now. Think we are ok. #Egypt #Jan25."

Al Jazeera said six journalists have been released, but that their camera equipment remains seized. The US state department had called for their release.

Media monitors

The BBC is monitoring reports that the official and pro-government newspapers in the Middle East are looking nervously at the implications of the Egyptian unrest. In the Jordanian daily, Al Rai, Sultan Al Hattab writes: "The influenza for change is blowing in some Arab countries and is causing deaths."

An editorial in Algeria's Al Fadjr says: "We will without a doubt come to know new patterns of democracy that do not come as a result of US tanks… Rather, a democracy of different standards - one that does not guarantee US interests or Israel's security."

Larger Muslim Brotherhood presence

At Tahrir square, there are significantly more people on Monday than Sunday. Despite curfew people pouring in. Volunteers are checking IDs of all males to check if they are working in the interior ministry.

Vendors have set up kiosks to do business but are still participating with the crowds chanting anti-Mubarak slogans. Many people are holding signs for the million-man march on tuesday. There is a charred up pickup truck serving as a large garbage bin.

A much larger Muslim Brotherhood presence was seen on Monday. One of the leaders, Essam Al Arian, is in the area and being carried on supporters’ shoulders. There are no jets or helicopters to enforce the curfew.

8,000 prisoners escape

The BBC's John Simpson - on the road from Alexandria to Cairo - said he just drove past a prison where there was a massive breakout by some 8,000 prisoners amid the unrest. For the next 32km or so, the road was littered with prison uniforms thrown off by the escapees.

Journalists arrested

Six journalists have been arrested in Egypt, where protests have continued for a seventh day. According to media reports, Al Jazeera camera equipment were seized.

Star calls on Mubarak to step down

Egyptian film star Omar Sharif, known for his role in Lawrence of Arabia, has added his voice to those calling for Hosni Mubarak to step down, Reuters reports.

"The president should have resigned," Sharif told France Inter radio from his home in Cairo. "Given that the entire Egyptian people don't want him and he's been in power for 30 years that's enough."

Details about new interior minister

Al Jazeera's correspondent in Cairo has more on the appointment of new interior minister Mahmoud Wagdy, saying the retired police officer's last position was as head of all prison affairs in the country.

He is a well-decorated minister, who served in very high security posts in the government of Minya, our correspondent reported.

Voice tweet

With the internet blackout still hindering access for most people in Egypt, a new service could help circumvent those obstacles. Now, people inside Egypt can call a number to post a "voice tweet".

Call +16504194196, +390662207294 or +97316199855 to leave a tweet and hear tweets.

Egyptians stock up on food

Everyday life in Cairo has been turned upside down by the largest anti-government protests in decades in Egypt, which began last Tuesday and have surged since.

Schools are closed and businesses boarded up" the usual bumper-to-bumper traffic is now little more than a trickle" and the capital's famed nightlife has been snuffed out by a 4 pm to 8 am curfew. Even the Internet and text message services have been blocked for days.

The overriding concern for almost everyone in Cairo remains the fear of lawlessness.

"There's no cash in the ATMs, there's something like 5,000 prisoners roaming the streets and there's no security," said May Sadek, a public relations agent who lives in the middle class Dokki neighborhood. There have been jail breaks from at least four prisons around Cairo in recent days.

The police, which before the revolt could be seen on nearly every corner, melted away Friday, giving way to looting and arson. Gangs of thugs have cleared out supermarkets, shopping malls and stores, as well as luxury homes and apartments in affluent residential areas in the suburbs. On Monday, police were beginning to redeploy in many neighborhoods.

But in the meantime, young men stepped in to fill the vacuum left by the police, setting up neighborhood defense committees armed with guns, clubs and knives to protect their families and property.

Groups of youths also directed traffic in parts of Cairo, chasing away the gangs of criminals smashing passing cars.

Egyptian protesters have called for a "million man march" on Tuesday in Cairo to mark one week since the start of the biggest anti-government protests in three decades, organisers said.

The protesters were camped out in central Cairo on Monday and vowed to stay, as pressure mounted from the street and abroad.

In Cairo's Tahrir Square, demonstrators shared food with soldiers sent to restore order after violent protests shook Egypt to its core.

Gulf News live from Cairo

Gulf News' Abbas Al Lawati reports:  “I’m in the upscale neighbourhood of Zamalek. Most stores are still closed. Banks have boarded up their windows. Police are slowly starting to reappear".

Egyptian TV says over 4000 of the prisoners who had escaped have been caught by the army.

“I just spoke with a middle-aged Egyptian man who says Mubarak was good for Egypt in the beginning but the last 20 years has been worse than the British colonisers”, Abbas says.

HSBC one of the few banks open with a large queue outside.

“I asked people if they are afraid now that the police are out and they say “no”. They’re scared of us. The tables have turned. They wouldn’t even dare to ask for a bribe now,” reports Abbas.

Abbas adds, “My driver tells me to ensure that people know you’re not from Al Jazeera when you introduce yourself as a journalist. The authorities don’t like Al Jazeera and the people are afraid to talk to them.”

"Just went to a charity office where widows were collecting money. They say they want Mubarak to stay because under Mubarak there is security. They do not want Egypt to turn into another Palestine. On Shehab street, which saw a lot of destruction, fashionable sun-glass wearing youth are directing traffic.

"I stopped by a mini 3 person rally in support of Mubarak who says only he can bring security who say many people support Mubarak but are afraid to speak out.  A heated argument broke out between anti-Mubarak types who accuse them of taking bribes. Salaries are expected tomorrow. If they don’t come, I anticipate massive protests," he says.

"My driver is ecstatic about being able to drive so fast on the highways. Says he’s never seen Cairo so empty. An indication that the governments claims of people going back to work are far from true".

Professor Fawaz Gerges from the London School of Economics told BBC that the crisis is having a major impact on regional and world economy - and the domestic economy, of which tourism is a major component. He says markets prefer stability - if stability returns things will probably recover very quickly. A prolonged crisis could have a devastating impact on both the middle class and the poor - but on the plus side, the crisis could end up reinvigorating Egypt's economy and society.

The result of the Al Jazeera English blackout in the United States has been a surge in traffic to the media outlet's website, where live footage can be viewed. The last 24 hours have seen a two-and-a-half thousand percent increase in web traffic, Tony Burman, head of North American strategies for Al Jazeera English, told Huffington Post. Sixty percent of that traffic, he said, has come from the United States.

Israel has urged the world to tone down Mubarak criticism amid Egypt unrest to preserve stability in the region, the Haaretz newspaper reports, citing senior Israeli officials.

Senior Israeli officials said on Saturday night that the Foreign Ministry issued a directive to around a dozen key embassies in the United States, Canada, China, Russia and several European countries. The ambassadors were told to stress to their host countries the importance of Egypt's stability. In a special cable, they were told to get this word out as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, Egyptian film legend Omar Sharif on Monday joined the calls for President Hosni Mubarak to step down, saying he had failed to improve the standard of living for ordinary people and that 30 years in power was enough.

The 78-year old from Alexandria is best known for his role as Arab reformer and revolutionary Sherif Ali in the 1962 movie Lawrence of Arabia.

"The president should have resigned," Sharif told France Inter radio from his home in Cairo. "Given that the entire Egyptian people don't want him and he's been in power for 30 years that's enough."

Six days of unrest

The protests have killed more than 100 people but the two sides have reached a stalemate. Protesters refuse to go, while the army is not moving them.

Protesters in Tahrir Square - epicentre of the earthquake that has sent shudders through the Middle East and among global investors - have dismissed Mubarak's appointment of military men as his vice president and prime minister.

Protesters have called for a general strike on Monday and what they bill as a "protest of the millions" march on Tuesday, to press their demands for democracy.

US officials including President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke about "an orderly transition".

Mubarak, a former air force chief, has turned to his military commanders, meeting them on Sunday. Egypt's defence minister spoke by phone to US Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Sunday.

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and highest-ranking US military officer, praised the "professionalism" of Egypt's armed forces as its troops refrained from a crackdown on protesters. Egypt receives about $1.3 billion a year in US military aid.

Investors nervous

Financial markets around the globe opened on Monday bracing for the impact of the weekend's events in Egypt. Brent oil hit a 28-month high, pennies below $100 a barrel. The dollar rose in Asian trade as investors sought a safe haven.

Share prices fell in Asia, and US S&P futures were lower on Monday after Wall Street closed down 1.8 percent on Friday, suggesting a global pullback from risk assets like equities had room to run.

Egypt's own financial markets will be closed for a second working day in a row on Monday and the turmoil could quickly run down its substantial reserves if it continues.

Security restored

"I think he is a good guy. He wasn't prepared for what happened. All we care about is that we don't get another pharaoh," said Rami Nabil, 39, a businessman camped in Tahrir.

A short distance from the protests, shooting echoed over Cairo. Impromptu neighbourhood watch groups set up checkpoints across the city centre, checking anyone passing by.

Some of the self-appointed guards said shooting in one area near Cairo's supreme court was the result of looters in a chemical company building.

Security, which disintegrated on Saturday and Sunday when police withdrew from the streets, has been slowly restored. Extra troops sent into cities helped calm panicked residents and the official news agency said police patrols had resumed.

While the army has sought to stop lawlessness, there is no sign it is willing to drive the protesters off the street.

"In the next few days security and stability will return," said Brigadier Atif Said in Suez, east of Cairo and the scene of some of the worst of the violence between police and protesters.

"We will allow protests in the coming days. Everyone has the right to voice their opinion. We're listening and trying to help and satisfy all parties. We're not here to stop anyone. These are our people," he said.

With inputs from agencies.