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Egypt's Mubarak turns 80 amid silent discontent
"There is no sign of protest anywhere. But there is tighter security, with riot police trucks stationed in downtown Cairo and in (the northern industrial city of) Mahalla just in case," the official told AFP.
The most visible sign of protest came from about 15 people chanting "Down, down with Hosni Mubarak" outside the Lawyers' Syndicate in downtown Cairo, an AFP journalist reported.
The call circulated via email, text messages and Facebook, and urged Egyptians to stay at home or wear black to coincide with Mubarak's birthday.
In the run-up to his 80th, official news outlets called the president a hero, while the state-owned Al-Ahram described May 4 this year as "the day Egypt was born again."
The state-owned Akhbar al-Youm newspaper dedicated Saturday's front page to a rosy picture of Mubarak in a wheat field against a bright blue sky under the huge headline "Why we love you, chief."
English-language daily the Egyptian Gazette said that on Mubarak's 80th "Egyptians will light a new candle in the victorious life of their leader who has a high sense of self-denial and has made many sacrifices for Egypt."
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