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

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid