- Following the revolution in Tunisia, on January 25 Egyptian protesters took the streets of Cairo and other cities across the country to ouster the 30 year serving President Hosni Mubarak.
- Protester demands focus on issues such as human rights, police brutality, unemployment and corruption in the government. Protesters demand the end of the Mubarak regime and the development of a more democratic government that serves the interests of its people.
- The government’s response to the protests includes the use of tear gas and water cannons, as well as imposing a curfew that was disregarded by protesters. The government also created a communication “blackout” by not allowing access to internet or mobile phone services before today’s “March of Millions” in Cairo’s Liberation Square.
Unrest in the Middle East
- Many wonder if the events in Tunisia and Egypt will cause a ripple effect throughout the Middle East against corrupt regimes. Opposition movements are gathering and calling for protests in other countries such as Yemen, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria.
- Today, King Abdullah of Jordan dismissed his government and appointed a new prime minister, calling for the formation of a new cabinet and widespread political reform, including combating corruption and strengthening institutional infrastructure.
- New START treaty has been ratified by both Russia and the US. The treaty will come into force on February 5 when US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov exchange instruments for its ratification at the Munich Security Conference.
Moscow Airport Bombing
- On January 24 a suicide bomber, suspected to be a 20-year-old Russian native of the North Caucasus region, killed himself and 35 others at an international terminal at Domodedovo Airport, the largest airport in Moscow.
- This attack highlights the difficulty in safeguarding public areas of terminals and brings to question airport safety and security efforts around the world.
Obama’s State of the Union Address
- The main focus of President Obama’s State of the Union address was investing in our country’s future and in our capabilities to compete in the globalizing world. While mainly a domestic speech highlighting our need to improve our infrastructure, energy technology and education, the speech also discussed potential military and defense budget cuts, as well as the importance of working with countries to contain nuclear weapon proliferation.