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

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers 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.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid