News / Middle East

Low Turnout for 1st Anniversary of Mubarak's Ouster

An Egyptian student shouts anti-military slogans during a protest as part of a general strike in Cairo University, February 11, 2012.
An Egyptian student shouts anti-military slogans during a protest as part of a general strike in Cairo University, February 11, 2012.

Activists across Egypt held strikes and demonstrations Saturday to mark the first anniversary of President Hosni Mubarak's ouster, but the turnout was modest.

The day of civil disobedience was called to demand that the ruling military council hand over power to civilian authority.  But the strikes seemed to cause little disruption and only a few protesters gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

Also Saturday, Egyptian police arrested an Australian journalist and at least one other person in the city of Mahalla on accusations of trying to pay people to encourage them to participate in the protests.

The latest move against foreigners came the same day as the top U.S. general met with Egypt's military rulers in Cairo amid tensions over an investigation into alleged illegal foreign funding of non-governmental organizations.  

Egypt has brought criminal charges against 43 local and foreign activists, including 19 Americans.  The foreign groups are accused of interfering in Egyptian affairs.  The issue has prompted calls in Washington to cut $1.3 billion in U.S. military aid to Egypt.

Egypt's military rulers have promised to stage a presidential election by June to complete a democratic transition to civilian rule.  The ruling military also held a phased parliamentary election that led to last month's formation of a new assembly dominated by Islamist parties.








(( Title: US BUNKER-BUSTER BOMB
HEAD: US Lawmakers Approve Pentagon Request to Improve Bunker-Buster Bomb   
DATE: 02/11/12
PUBLISHED AT: Saturday, February 11, 2012 11:55:18 AM
NUMBER:
AUDIO:
VIDEO:
WEB:
TYPE:  CN ))



U.S. lawmakers have approved a Pentagon request for more than $81 million in funding to make improvements to a massive bomb designed to penetrate deeply-buried enemy facilities.  

News reports say defense appropriators in Congress agreed to the request earlier this week, a month after Iran announced it would begin uranium enrichment at its underground Fordow facility, which is beneath a mountain near the Shi'ite holy city of Qom. Pentagon officials have described the request as "urgent" and say the money is needed to fix issues identified in initial testing.

Some observers believe the bomb is designed for a possible attack on Iranian facilities, but officials will not directly make that connection.

The weapon is officially called the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, but is known informally as a "bunker-buster" bomb. It weighs more than 13 metric tons - so heavy that only one can be carried on the most capable U.S. bomber aircraft.  The bomb is said to be designed to penetrate up to 60 meters of rock or concrete before exploding. The Wall Street Journal reports that the $81 million in improvements will allow the bomb to penetrate greater depths.  

The U.S. Air Force worked on the weapon with the Boeing company, and the U.S. has so far invested in developing about 20 of them.

President Barack Obama said in his State of the Union address last month that the United States is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. He said he will take no options off the table to achieve that goal.

Iran denies it is working to develop nuclear weapons, and says its nuclear activities are peaceful.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More