July 01, 2015 23:33 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

  • President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, July 1, 2015.

    Audio U.S. and Cuba to Reopen Embassies

    Sec. of State John Kerry will travel to Havana to raise the U.S. flag over the first American embassy there in 50 years. Also in the news, Islamic State group claims attacks in Egypt’s Sinai; Liberian president calls new Ebola case “disturbing”; U.S. advances to Women's World Cup final. More

  • Audio Clash Reported at Border of Vietnam, Cambodia

    Cambodian and Vietnamese social media have been reporting on a clash along the border between the two countries. The fighting happened Sunday. Hundreds of Cambodians and Vietnamese were involved. At least 10 people were reported injured. More

  • A doctor points to an x-ray showing a pair of lungs infected with TB (tuberculosis) in Ladbroke Grove in London, England, Jan. 27, 2014.

    Audio Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Less Likely to Spread

    The number of multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis cases is rising. Multi-drug-resistant TB results from a bacterium – a group of small living things that can cause disease. The bacterium is hard to kill because it has become resistant to two or more common antibiotics. More

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry - flanked by National Security Council Senior Director for Iran, Iraq, Syria and the Gulf States Robert Malley, U.S. Energy Secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, and Eu

    Audio Iran Nuclear Talks Deadline Extended

    Also Tuesday, leaders of the US and Brazil promised to reduce carbon emissions and increase renewable energy use; China made a simiilar announcement; and another politician entered the US presidential race. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says he will seek the Republican Party nomination. More

  • Audio Is There a ‘Skills Gap’ in US Job Market?

    8.7 million Americans are unemployed and 6.7 million are doing part-time work. But, many jobs remain vacant. Employers say many of those jobs are vacant because they cannot find people with the right skills to do the work. Some experts look at why that is the case and what to do about it. More

Featured Stories

  • Audio Sweet Potatoes as Medicine

    Researchers have helped to reduce a major health problem with a simple food – the orange sweet potato. A program created to help farmers grow the crop has unexpected and healthy results. Some reports say this is the first time an agricultural program has had a major effect on health. More

  • Video Robots Ready to Work in Restaurants

    For many years, machines have been doing work that people once did, including some difficult jobs. Search and rescue operations employ high technology robots. But there is another area that may soon take jobs traditionally held by human beings: the restaurant industry. More

  • Audio More American Fathers Stay Home to Raise Kids

    More and more fathers in the United States are trading in the traditional role of breadwinner -- the person earning money -- for the role of stay-at-home dad. Meet two fathers who have been on this road for the past decade. You can also learn some great words such as "clique" and "masculinity." More

  • Audio Don't Be Caught With Your Pants Down

    Are you too big for your boots? Do you often fly by the seat of your pants? Learn what these clothing expressions mean and so many others. You may be excited to get started but keep your shirt on! Be patient. All you have to do is click on this episode of Words and Their Stories. More

  • Video Everyday Grammar: Words Come and Go in English

    Part of the reason that English has grown as a world language is that it adjusts easily to change. Why do some words and phrases stay the same while others change? VOA guest editor David Sullivan shares his ideas on the changes he has seen in today's English. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner
Confessions of an English Learner blog

Tell us About Our Programs