May 28, 2015 06:18 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 picture taken on March 14, 2014 shows Syrian citizens walking in the ancient oasis city of Palmyra, 215 kilometres northeast of Damascus.

    Audio Islamic State Executes 20 in Palmyra Roman Theater

    A Human Rights group says that the Islamic State militants have executed 20 people in the ancient Roman theater in Palmyra, a UNESCO World heritage site. Also in the news, Heat wave kills 1,100 in India; Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum announces his campaign for president. More

  • U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announces an indictment against nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives for racketeering, conspiracy and corruption at a news conference, in Brooklyn, New York, May 27, 2015.

    Audio US, Swiss Officials Take Action against FIFA in Corruption Cases

    United States officials have brought charges against current and former leaders of FIFA, the group that governs the sport of football around the world. A U.S. federal indictment accuses them of corruption and other wrongdoing. More

  • Audio China Defends Its Island-Building in the South China Sea

    China has defended its efforts to build up islands and coral reefs in the South China Sea. Chinese officials say the efforts are no different from public construction projects. Officials compared the activities to repairing roads, and building bridges and homes. More

  • Audio Japan's Past Threatens Chances for World Heritage Site

    The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO is considering adding sites in Japan to its World Heritage list. The possible sites include coal mines, steel factories and shipyards that show how Japan became the first Asian nation to enter the modern industrial age. More

  • Audio US Military Searching for Boat People in Southeast Asia

    The U.S. military has begun flights off the west coast of Malaysia. Military aircraft are searching for thousands of people who are believed to be trapped on unsafe wooden boats. Last week, Indonesia and Malaysia announced they would temporarily permit the boat people to land. More

Featured Stories

  • Audio Brain Remembers Language Better If You Sing It

    If you have a long list of vocabulary words to learn, you might want to write them into a familiar song. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh studied the relationship between music and remembering a foreign language. After the tests were over, the singers came out on top. And it's more fun! More

  • Video New Tool Maps Buildings' Energy Efficiency

    Architects, engineers and building supervisors will soon be able to quickly collect information that once took weeks to measure and process. Scientists have developed a device to gather information about building interiors – the design and exact measurements of a building. More

  • Audio Guide to 2016 Campaign: Money and Super PAC

    Raising money is an important part of any election in America. Candidates for the 2016 race for the White House and Congress are busy lining up dollars to fund their elections. VOA Learning English helps explain how the campaign finance systems work in the U.S. More

  • Audio Hold Your Horses!

    Horses are part of the history and romance of the Old American West. These days, they are popular for sport and entertainment. So, it is easy to understand why we Americans use so many horse expressions. Learn some of the most common and try to answer our horse riddle! More

  • Audio Everyday Grammar - Introducing Conditionals

    In everyday conversation, English speakers often talk about things that are not true. Or, they talk about things that only happen if something else happens. Learn how to correctly use these conditional forms in English. If you write to us, we will let you know if it is correct. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner blog
Confessions of an English Learner blog

 

 

 

Tell us About Our Programs