September 23, 2014 20:28 UTC

In the News

Mubarak Moves to Replace Government After Protests Intensify

A protester watches as an Egyptian army vehicle burns in downtown Cairo on Friday
A protester watches as an Egyptian army vehicle burns in downtown Cairo on Friday

Or download MP3 (Right-click or option-click and save link)

This is IN THE NEWS in VOA  Special English.

Egypt is a nation of eighty million people -- the largest in the Arab world. Hosni Mubarak came to power in nineteen eighty-one.

The president said early Saturday that he had asked his government to resign and would quickly appoint a new cabinet. Mr. Mubarak promised political and economic reforms and said days of protests were a plot to weaken Egypt.

The protests led by young people became more violent Friday. Military vehicles moved into Cairo and other cities.

A spokesman for President Obama urged the Egyptian government and protesters to show "strong restraint." He said the United States would be "reviewing" its assistance program to Egypt.

President Hosni Mubarak during a broadcast in which he said he had asked his cabinet to resign
President Hosni Mubarak during a broadcast in which he said he had asked his cabinet to resign

Protesters have used social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to organize. But Egypt's four main Internet providers all stopped service early Friday. Telecom company Vodafone said the government also ordered all mobile phone operators to suspend service in parts of the country.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged the Egyptian government to end what she called "the unprecedented steps it has taken to cut off communications." She also called for economic, political and social reforms.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: "We want to partner with the Egyptian people and their government to realize their aspirations to live in a democratic society that respects basic human rights. When I was recently in the region I met with a wide range of civil society groups, and I heard from them about ideas they have that would improve their countries. The people of the Middle East, like people everywhere, are seeking a chance to contribute and to have a role in the decisions that will shape their lives."

On Friday, Egyptian police briefly detained former diplomat Mohamed ElBaradei. Mister ElBaradei has said he is willing to lead an opposition movement.

Egypt's largest opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, has said it will join the protests.

But not all the people in the streets were demanding the removal of Mr. Mubarak.

(SOUND)

"The average Egyptian is suffering from low wages," says this man in Cairo. "All we want is a solution to this."

On Thursday, President Obama discussed the situation during an appearance on YouTube. He said President Mubarak has been an American ally on important issues. But he also said the need for political reform in Egypt has long been evident.

BARACK OBAMA: "I’ve always said to him that making sure that they are moving forward on reform, political reform, economic reform, is absolutely critical to the long-term well being of Egypt. And you can see these pent-up frustrations that are being displayed on the streets."

Stephen Cook, a Middle East expert for the Council on Foreign Relations, returned to Washington from Cairo late Thursday.

STEPHEN COOK: "There have been demonstrations going on in Egypt regularly throughout the last five or six years."

But he says demonstrations held Tuesday on the Egyptian holiday of Police Day gained strength because of the revolution in Tunisia.

STEPHEN COOK: "And the Tunisian situation only gave those protests momentum and a sense among the protesters that there was a real possibility that an Arab leader can be dislodged from office by people power."

Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia on January fourteenth.

Other Arab countries facing protests include Jordan and Yemen, where President Abdullah Saleh has held power for more than thirty years.

And that's IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English. For more news, go to voaspecialenglish.com. I'm Steve Ember.

___

Contributing: Robert Berger, David Gollust, Paul Westpheling and Edward Yeranian

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Learn with The News

  • A screenshot from the Netropolitan website, providing information about the service and how prospective members might join.

    Audio Rich People Get Their Own Facebook

    A new social media site, Netropolitan, promises to be more exclusive by only permitting people who are rich to join. Users must pay $9,000 to join. This includes a $6,000 entry fee plus $3,000 for the yearly membership fee. More

  • Workers shout slogans during a protest in front of an residential project, where an accident occurred in Istanbul, Turkey, Sept. 8, 2014.

    Audio Safety Is a Concern in Turkey's Construction Boom

    Istanbul is suddenly the skyscraper capital of Europe, thanks to a national construction boom. But recent construction accidents in the country have many people angry about worker safety. More

  • Hong Kong Student Strike

    Audio Hong Kong Students Protest China's Policy

    Thousands of students in Hong Kong are boycotting classes this week. They are protesting the Chinese government's decision to have a committee approve candidates for the territory's top official. More

  • The guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) launches a Tomahawk cruise missile, as seen from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), in the Arabian Gulf in this handout photograph taken and provided on Sept.  23, 2014.

    Audio US Launches Airstrikes Against IS Militants in Syria

    Also, Islamic State group urges followers to attack citizens of the United States, France and other countries. And three missing Afghan soldiers found in U.S. near border with Canada | In the News More

  • Police Shooting Ferguson Meeting

    Audio Reducing Clashes between Police and Black Youths

    The shooting of an unarmed teenager fueled racial anger between police and Ferguson’s African American community. Now, some African-American parents and social workers are talking to young people about how to act when stopped by police. More

Featured Stories

  • Cigarette Tax

    Audio Turning Cigarette Butts to Batteries

    Scientists in South Korea find that “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” Read on to learn about this idiom and many other expressions. More

  • Neural map of a typical male brain. (Photo courtesy of National Academy of Sciences)

    Audio How Did You Get so Intelligent?

    Researchers saw immediate changes in brains of people when they were told hard work is more important than their genes | Science in the News More

  • lincoln

    Audio Virginia Leaves Union, Lincoln Puts Maryland Under Military Rule

    President Abraham Lincoln asked the states for 75,000 soldiers to stop the South's rebellion. But border states -- those between the North and South -- refused to send any troops. And some prepared to leave the Union and join the Confederacy. More

  • Michelle Baxter suffers from chronic pain in her muscles and joints. She now spends her work day standing at her desk.

    Audio Sit Less, Live Longer

    These days, we all know that exercise is good for our health. But did you know that something as common as sitting too much could be bad for our health? Read on to find out more about the importance of moving. | HEALTH More

  • This undated image provided by NASA shows the ozone layer over the years, Sept. 17, 1979, top left, Oct. 7, 1989, top right, Oct. 9, 2006, lower left, and Oct. 1, 2010, lower right.

    Audio Earth's Ozone Layer Shows Signs of Recovery

    The new report says the Earth’s ozone layer is showing signs of recovery. Ozone is a form of oxygen. It is found in the air we breathe and in Earth's atmosphere. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner BlogConfessions of an English Learner Blog

Tell us About Our Programs