Wednesday 21 February 2018
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
President Donald Trump reportedly lashed out in a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform, demanding to know why the US should accept citizens from what he called "shithole" countries. The comments, first reported by The Washington Post, sparked anger among Democrats and Republicans and revived questions about Trump's tendency to make racially charged remarks. Trump sat down with senators and congressmen at the White House to discuss a proposed bipartisan deal that would limit immigrants from bringing family members into the country, and restrict the green card visa lottery in exchange for shielding hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation. "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" Trump said, according to people briefed...
(AFP (eng) 01/11/18)
A third night of unrest has shaken Tunisia where authorities said Thursday more than 600 people have been arrested this week as anger at austerity measures boils over on the streets. Tunisia is considered a rare success story of the Arab Spring uprisings that began in the North African country in 2011 and spread across the region, toppling autocrats. But the authorities have failed to resolve the issues of poverty and unemployment. Police detained 328 people on Wednesday for theft, looting, arson and blocking roads, the interior ministry said, after arresting more than 280 people over the previous two days.
(APA 01/10/18)
APA-Tunis (Tunisie) - Des heurts ont opposé des manifestants antigouvernementaux aux forces de police mardi dans la capitale, Tunis, et d’autres villes du pays, au lendemain de la mort d’une personne dans des protestations similaires. Des manifestations avaient eu lieu dans au moins douze villes de Tunisie, lundi, dont les stations touristiques de Sousse et de Hammamet, contre des hausses des prix et des impôts imposées par le gouvernement pour réduire le déficit des comptes publics et contenter les créanciers internationaux du pays. Mardi à Tunis, les policiers ont fait usage de gaz lacrymogènes dans deux quartiers ainsi que contre une foule qui envahissait un supermarché de la chaîne Carrefour, a rapporté un témoin. On ne signalait aucun blessé. De...
(AFP (eng) 01/10/18)
More than 200 people were arrested and dozens hurt during clashes in several parts of Tunisia, the interior ministry said Wednesday, after a second night of unrest driven by anger over austerity measures. Ministry spokesman Khalifa Chibani told local radio that 49 police officers were wounded during clashes across the country and that 206 "troublemakers" were arrested. Properties were damaged, he said, including a branch of the Carrefour supermarket chain in the suburbs of Tunis that was looted. Police and army forces were deployed in several cities during the night, including in Tebourba 30 kilometres (20 miles) west of the capital Tunis...
(AFP (eng) 01/10/18)
Fresh scuffles broke out on Tuesday night between Tunisian protesters and police, a day after the death of a man in violent demonstrations over rising costs and government austerity. Hundreds of young people took to the streets of Tebourba, west of Tunis, pelting stones at security forces who responded by firing tear gas at them, an AFP journalist said. Similar clashes were seen in the impoverished inland regions of Kasserine and Jelma, near Sidi Bouzid, the cradle of the protests that sparked the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. Clashes also erupted in the central town of Gafsa, AFP reporters said. An autopsy was carried out Tuesday to determine how a man in his 40s died during demonstrations the previous night in...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/09/18)
TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia’s main opposition party on Tuesday called for protests against the “unjust” 2018 budget including price and tax hikes to continue until the government scraps it, a day after one demonstrator was killed in clashes. Protests erupted in more than 10 towns across Tunisia on Monday against the price and tax increases imposed by the government to reduce its ballooning deficit and satisfy its international lenders. One protestor was killed in Tebourba, a town 40 km (25 miles) west of the capital Tunis. While Tunisia is widely seen as the only democratic success story among the “Arab Spring”...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
Dozens of people have been arrested over violent protests in Tunisia as ire mounts at rising costs and government austerity, with officials saying Tuesday one man died in unclear circumstances. The authorities announced 44 people were detained nationwide overnight as several official buildings were damaged and 11 policemen wounded by stones and Molotov cocktails. Officials said an autopsy would help determine how a 43-year-old man died in the town of Tebourba, west of Tunis. The police insisted they did not kill him, and said he suffered from "respiratory problems". On Tuesday small peaceful rallies were held in the centre of the capital Tunis...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
TUNIS (Reuters) - One person was killed on Monday during clashes between security forces and protesters in a Tunisian town, a security official and residents said, as demonstrations over rising prices and tax increases spread in the North African country. A man was killed during a demonstration against government austerity measures in Tebourba, 40 km (25 miles) west of Tunis, the security official said, without giving details. The protest had turned violent when security forces tried stopping some youths from burning down a government building, witnesses said. Five people were wounded and taken to a hospital, state news agency TAP said. Tunisia, widely seen in the West as the only democratic success among nations where “Arab Spring” revolts took place...
(AFP (eng) 01/05/18)
Tunisia said Thursday it was allowing Emirates Airline flights to the country again after halting them following outcry over security measures by the United Arab Emirates targeting Tunisian women. Tunisia suspended flights by the Dubai-based carrier on December 24 after women from the North African state complained they were delayed after being targeted for additional checks as they flew to the UAE. Tunisian officials said the authorities in the UAE told them they had "serious security information about the possibility of terrorist attacks" involving either Tunisian women or a women with a Tunisian passport. The controls sparked ire in Tunisia and the presidency complained that the rights of Tunisian women should not to be violated "whatever the justification". In a...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/05/18)
DUBAI (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates said on Thursday it would resume flights to Tunisia after an exchange of security information, resolving a row over a ban on female Tunisian passengers. A statement by the foreign ministry on state news agency WAM said the decision was taken in light of extensive cooperation and information received from the Tunisian side that eased the national carriers’ concerns. Tunisia’s transport ministry said an agreement had been reached after “contacts with the Emirati side at various levels”. The UAE angered Tunisia by banning Tunisian women from its passenger flights in December. Tunis later said the UAE was acting on intelligence that female jihadists returning from Iraq or Syria could try to use Tunisian...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
Israel on Wednesday began implementing a plan to force tens of thousands of African migrants out of the country by April, threatening to arrest those who stay. "This plan will get under way today," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting. Under the programme, some 38,000 migrants who entered Israel illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese, will have until the end of March to leave. Each will receive a plane ticket and $3,500 (2,900 euros) to do so. After the deadline, this amount will decrease and those who continue to refuse to go will face arrest. Holot, an open facility in Israel's desert south that can host 1,200 migrants who are allowed to leave to work...
(AFP (eng) 12/30/17)
The UAE men's handball team cut short a trip to Tunisia Friday, the Tunisian federation said after it appointed female referees for a game in apparent solidarity with women in a row with Emirates Airline. The Gulf visitors forfeited two games after Emirates received instructions to deny Tunisian women access to its planes over a feared "terrorist attack" involving a woman carrying a Tunisian passport. In response, the North African country on Sunday halted Emirates flights between Tunis and Dubai. Handball federation secretary general Amir Saadi said women had been appointed as referees for a friendly match between the two national teams on Friday. But, according to Saadi, the UAE team announced it was forfeiting that game and another scheduled...
(AFP (eng) 12/27/17)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday signed agreements in Tunis on defence, investment and the environment as he and his Tunisian counterpart expressed their determination to strengthen economic cooperation. "We affirmed the desire of the two states to strengthen cooperation... taking into account the circumstances affecting Tunisia," the North African country's President Beji Caid Essebsi said. The Tunisian leader went on to praise "the understanding shown by the Turkish president regarding these circumstances".
(AFP (eng) 12/27/17)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that a political solution to the Syrian conflict was impossible without the departure of President Bashar al-Assad, branding him a "terrorist". "It is absolutely impossible to advance with Assad in Syria," Erdogan told a news conference after meeting Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi. "Bashar al-Assad is a terrorist... We cannot just say this person goes on doing this job. If we do then it's unfair" to the Syrians who have been killed, he added. Turkey has opposed Assad throughout the conflict, now in its seventh year, backing the opposition seeking to oust him and accusing the Syrian leader of war crimes. Ankara is now a key player in efforts to end the...
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
Tunisia on Sunday suspended Emirates Airlines flights after a public outcry over security measures in the United Arab Emirates targeting women from the North African country. The transport ministry said it had "decided to suspend" Emirates flights to Tunis "until the airline is able to find the appropriate solution to operate its flights in accordance with international law and agreements". An Emirates Airlines spokesperson confirmed to AFP: "Emirates will stop services between Tunis and Dubai, as instructed by the Tunisian authorities, with effect from December 25, 2017." A number of Tunisian women had said their travel to the Gulf state on UAE airlines had been delayed and some had been forced to undergo additional examination of their visas. That triggered...
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
In Tunisian high schools, the dress code is not uniform. Actually, it is: but only for girls. Boys can wear what they like, and now the girls are up in arms. One morning, instead of turning up for class wearing the regulation navy blue smock, a defiant group of adolescent girls came to school in white T-shirts instead, demanding an "end to discrimination". At the elite Bizerte public school in the north, as is the case in most high schools in the North African country, pupils have to sign a school rule stipulating that wearing a uniform applies to girls only. One day in September, supervisors reminded senior female students who did not abide by this rule that if they...
(AFP (eng) 12/23/17)
Tunisia's minister for women said Friday more needs to be done to promote female civil servants to top jobs after a study showed that few reach the most senior positions. Just 37 percent of Tunisia's 630,000 civil servants are women, said Khaoula Labidi, who coordinated the study, a joint French-funded project by the country's presidency and UN Women. She said that was "very high compared to other countries in North Africa and the Middle East", but added that men hold three quarters of prestigious, better-paid "director general" positions.
(Xinhuanet 12/20/17)
Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed announced Monday that he had rejected a collective resignation of two of his ministers and two secretaries of state. These ministers are Minister of Local Affairs and Environment, Minister of Vocational Training and Employment, as well as State Secretary to the Minister of Trade and State Secretary to the Minister of Youth and Sports. "Proposed on an initiative of the President of the Republic, the Government of National Unity was not formed on the basis of political quotas," said Youssef Chahed in a brief statement. "I decided to keep them at their posts under the supreme interest of Tunisia especially as the State is above all partisan calculations," said Youssef Chahed. Last Saturday, the National...
(AFP (eng) 12/19/17)
An online radio station catering for the LGBT community, believed to be the first of its kind in the Arab world, started broadcasting in Tunisia on Monday. The outlet -- set up by LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) rights group Shams -- aims to tackle deep-rooted hostility in the North African state, where homosexuality is officially illegal. The slogan of Shams Rad station is "dignity, equality" and its presenters include prominent activists, but those behind it have still reported receiving threats. It intends "to sensitise the people of Tunisia, ordinary citizens and political decision makers about homophobia in society and to defend individual liberties," said director general Bouhdid Belhadi. The station is meant to be on air daily from breakfast...
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
A new date next May has been set for Tunisia's first post-revolt municipal elections, already long delayed, polling officials said Saturday. The Independent High Authority for Elections said the polling date was set at May 6, rather than March 25 as previously announced, at a meeting with political parties which requested the delay to better prepare for the vote. The polls have been seen as the final stage in Tunisia's transition to democracy following its 2011 uprising which sparked the Arab Spring revolutions. Following the uprising, municipalities were dissolved and replaced by "special delegations"...

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