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

Conflicts Engulf Christians in the Middle East

Research finds an increase in faith-based hostilities, and Christians are facing persecution in a growing number of countries in the region More

Iran Bolsters Surveillance of Phones, Internet

Does increased monitoring suggest the government is nervous? 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.
Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assaulti
X
Daniel Schearf
August 29, 2014 9:30 PM
After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.

AppleAndroid