This is breaking news and the details are still sketchy. What we heard last night was that Mubarak was planning to not seek another term, but was going to hang on until elections in September.
CBS News: Egypt's Mubarak Resigns
This has obviously changed. The Egyptian military is now in control of Egypt and Mubarak has resigned. From what we can tell, this was at least a somewhat peaceful transition, in that Mubarak still appears to be alive. Exactly how "persuasive" the military got remains to be seen.
What does this mean?
From an American perspective, this is probably a moderately positive result. Obviously, democratic nations do not support military coups, so expect some harsh words simply on principle.
But the fact is that the U.S. military and the Egyptian military have had very close relationships for many years. America trained many Egyptian officers, many of our people have lived with and worked with many of their people.
This means that Egypt is less likely to fall into a fundamentalist Muslim regime, as Iran did back when the Shah left the country. In all things Middle Eastern (as well as, frankly, the rest of the world), the less fundamentalist rule, the better.
How exactly the Egyptian military will govern or transfer power also remains to be seen. For now, Egyptian protesters are celebrating in the streets.
Stay tuned. This one's a hot story.