News / USA

Obama: History Unfolding in Egypt

United States supports an 'orderly and genuine transition' to democracy in Egypt, says Obama

President Barack Obama speaks at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan, February 10, 2011
President Barack Obama speaks at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan, February 10, 2011

President Obama says the United States supports an orderly and genuine transition to democracy in Egypt. The president spoke during a brief visit to the U.S. state of Michigan where he promoted a National Wireless Initiative mentioned in his State of the Union Address.

The president's statement about fast-moving events in Egypt came at the top of his remarks at Northern Michigan University, where he traveled to promote a National Wireless Initiative.

The local government headquarters is set on fire by protesters, claiming delays on requests for housing in Port Said, Egypt, February 10, 2011
The local government headquarters is set on fire by protesters, claiming delays on requests for housing in Port Said, Egypt, February 10, 2011

With television screens showing tens of thousands of people in Cairo preparing for a speech by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Obama said the world is watching history take place as the Egyptian people demand change.

"It is a moment of transformation that is taking place because the people of Egypt are calling for change," he said. "They have turned out in extraordinary numbers, representing all ages and all walks of life, but it is young people who have been at the forefront, a new generation, your generation, who want their voices to be heard."

The president said the United States wants young people in Egypt and all Egyptians to know that America will continue to do everything to support an orderly and genuine transition to democracy.

Earlier, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama and his advisers were watching developments as they occurred. Obama received a telephone briefing earlier from National Security Adviser Tom Donilon.

After his remarks about Egypt, President Obama spoke about the inter-connectedness of the world and his initiative to bring high-speed broadband access to 98 percent of Americans.

Comparing the United States to South Korea, where he said more than 90 percent of homes have high-speed broadband, the president said "the lights are still off" in one third of American households.

Obama said high-speed wireless service will spark new innovation, investments and ultimately help create jobs.

"This is not just about a faster internet or being able to friend someone on Facebook. It is about connecting every corner of America to the digital age," he said. "It  is about a rural community in Iowa or Alabama where farmers can monitor weather across the state and markets across the globe.  It is about an entrepreneur on Main Street with a great idea she hopes to sell to the big city," continued Obama, "it is about every young person who no longer has to leave his hometown to seek new opportunity - because it is right at his fingertips.

The president compared his National Wireless Initiative to a call by John F. Kennedy who, while campaigning for president in Michigan in 1960, spoke about the importance of America being first.

He tempered his message about the need to, in his words, "up our game" and "win the future" with another reminder of steps he has taken to cut down on unnecessary and wasteful government spending.

 

Obama again mentioned his call to freeze annual domestic spending over the next five years, to the lowest level as measured against Gross Domestic Product (GDP) since the Eisenhower administration.  But the president said spending should not be reduced in key areas that will help create jobs and grow the economy in the long run, such as education, innovation and infrastructure improvements.  

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs