The wave of protests sweeping the Middle East in the aftermath of the Tunisian uprising continues today in the two key U.S. allies of Egypt and Yemen. Thousands of Egyptians have taken to the streets in defiance of the government’s efforts to clamp down on the biggest demonstrations against President Hosni Mubarak in three decades. On Wednesday, protesters faced tear gas, water cannons and beatings from the heavy police presence on the streets of Cairo for the second consecutive day. Up to 1,200 people were arrested, including a number of journalists. Elsewhere in the country, about 1,000 people gathered outside the morgue in Suez to protest the death of one of three protesters who died in clashes on Tuesday. Protesters threw petrol bombs at a government building, setting parts of it on fire. Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency and Nobel Peace laureate, is expected to return to Egypt from Vienna today to join the demonstrations.