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IN THE NEWS - Syria Continues Attack on Dissent; Mubarak Trial Begins in Cairo

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The image shows tanks parked next to ancient ruins. The image cannot be independently confirmed but is said to be of Syrian government tanks in the city of Hama.
The image shows tanks parked next to ancient ruins. The image cannot be independently confirmed but is said to be of Syrian government tanks in the city of Hama.

This is IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English.

Tens of thousands of Syrians demonstrated against the government on the first Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Late in the day, witnesses and activists said at least fifteen people were killed when government forces fired on demonstrators. They said most of the deaths happened around Damascus. Protests also took place in other Syrian cities.

Demonstrators called for President Bashar al-Assad to resign.

The city of Hama has been under military attack since Sunday. A political activist in Hama told VOA that government forces have been raiding the homes of activists and carrying out arrests and killings. Still, he said, there were protests in Hama on Friday.

The Syrian government launched a violent campaign against pro-democracy protesters in March. American officials estimate that more than two thousand people have been killed in the attacks on protesters. On Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on other countries to join the United States in taking action.

HILLARY CLINTON: "But not just US sanctions because, frankly, we do not have lot of business with Syria. We need to get Europeans and others.  We need to get the Arab states. We need to get a much louder, more effective chorus of voices that are putting pressure on the Assad regime, and we're working to obtain that."

Secretary Clinton said a statement Wednesday by the United Nations Security Council was a first step. The statement condemned the "widespread violations of human rights and the use of force against civilians by the Syrian authorities." It urged restraint on both sides in Syria.

The government has blamed much of the violence on what it calls terrorists and militants. The official news agency SANA reported Friday that unidentified gunmen had killed two security officers.

The United States and European countries had pressed the Security Council for a resolution. A resolution is stronger than the presidential statement it approved. But Russia, China, India, Brazil and South Africa blocked those efforts. They feared that a resolution could lead to a situation similar to the international military action in Libya.

The United States dismissed a promise this week by the Syrian president to permit reforms. These include letting opposition parties operate for the first time.

Syria has long had a single-party system led by the Ba'ath party of the Assad family.

In Egypt, Hosni Mubarak appeared in a hospital bed in a cage in a courtroom on Wednesday. The former president denied the charges against him. These include ordering the killing of protesters during the eighteen days of political unrest that forced him out. More than eight hundred people were killed.

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is seen through wire mesh in the courtroom for his trial at the Police Academy in Cairo, August third.
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is seen through wire mesh in the courtroom for his trial at the Police Academy in Cairo, August third.

Raina el Malky is a newspaper editor.  She says that if anyone had predicted this trial last year, she would have thought they were crazy.

RAINA El-MALKY: "I would have said they were are living in Mars or Neptune or somewhere outside Earth because this was unthinkable. I think what happened is a miracle and the way everything has happened since the fist day, since January twenty-fifth, has been a miracle."

What became known as the Arab Spring uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East ousted the presidents of Egypt and Tunisia. Yemen's president was wounded by an explosion in June and remains in Saudi Arabia, recovering.

And that's IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English. I'm Steve Ember.

___

Contributing: Elizabeth Arrott, Margaret Basheer and David Gollust

网友的学习评论(6条):
作者:黑佬
nice
作者:shipqhd
a real fair report
作者:lvjiaying1984
I think the last thing to use to settle the conflict in a country is to use the military. We all know that the direct result that happen when using military to solve the differences between different parties in a country, is that the civilians in the country will suffer. First they might be attacked wrongly by the aircraft carrying tens of bombs, tending to wipe out the military buildings. But even the most accurate aircraft cannot ensure that they can wipe out the proper buildings,
作者:lvjiaying1984
instead of those owned by civilians. And even if they are not attacked by airplanes, the fear to be possibly attacked on hangs over the civilians, thinking that sometime, some day they might be attacked. And secondly the country who begins the war has to pay a lot for the airplanes that carry the duty to destroy the buildings in he adopted city and the bombs used to explode the so-called military buildings, without one hundred percent accurate. When thinking that there are a lot of people,
作者:lvjiaying1984
especially children in the Africa,Asia and South Africa who are dominated by hunger and malnutrition, why not use the money paid for the unnecessary war to solve the problem of hunger for the poor. It is said by some reporters that the money used to undertake the war is about several hundred thousand dollars. The situation in Libya is really harsh and it might be reproduced in the country the name of which I don't know.The United States has the largest share of money in the world.
作者:lvjiaying1984
It is the leading country trying to solve everything by campaign instead of peace. Most of people say that what the United States has done is wrong because it has always been using military forces to solve the problem. But I don't agree to the point. For some countries, there are not other ways to solve the problem by peaceful methods. The presidents in some country continues the killing of their people to gain the support from its members.
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