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Arab Spring cyberactivists hold convention in Tunis

TUNIS — Some 200 Arab bloggers involved in cyberactivism will gather in Tunis Monday to discuss the role of the Internet and social networking in political change following the “Arab Spring”, organisers said. Following on gatherings in Beirut in 2008 and 2009, the third meeting of Arab bloggers will focus…

Tunisian police break up anti-government rally with tear gas

TUNIS — Tunisian police fired tear gas Friday to break up an anti-government protest in the capital, with demonstrators accusing the authorities of using violence to end their peaceful action. After Friday prayers, hundreds of protestors joined a sit-in near the seat of government in Tunis’ Kasbah neighbourhood to demand…

Tunisian PM urges return of parties who quit reform panel

Tunisia’s Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi on Wednesday urged parties which pulled out of a reform panel to return and work together in the national interest. “The national interest requires that all parties work together. One should not quit politics even if there is disagreement,” he said at the headquarters…

Tunisian police arrest 30 at anti-secularism protest

TUNIS — Tunisian police arrested about 30 people on Tuesday at a rally by Salafist Muslims demanding the release of comrades who ransacked a cinema that showed a film on secularism, witnesses said. On Sunday, six members of the Salafist movement were arrested after they stormed a cinema and broke…

Tunisia’s Ben Ali sentenced in absentia to 35 years in jail

TUNIS (Reuters) – A Tunisian court sentenced former president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in absentia on Monday to 35 years in jail, six months after his overthrow in a revolution helped to inspire the “Arab Spring.” Ben Ali, who has been in Saudi Arabia since he was forced from power,…

Hundreds in Tunisia protest political exclusion

TUNIS — Hundreds of supporters of ousted Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s party held a protest in Tunis Saturday, the first since his toppling in January, against their exclusion from politics. “No to exclusion” and “Tunisia is for everyone”, chanted the group — backers of the Rally for…

Hundreds airlifted from Tunisia in mass evacuation

DJERBA, Tunisia – A major European operation was under way Thursday to airlift out of Tunisia thousands of people who fled the bloodshed in Libya as Washington also offered planes to repatriate Egyptian refugees. More French and British flights were planned Thursday with extra aircraft due, including from Spain, and…

French foreign minister to resign on Sunday: minister

PARIS (AFP) – Beleaguered French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie will on Sunday tender her resignation after returning from an official visit to Kuwait, a minister told AFP on condition of anonymity. Alliot-Marie has become embroiled in a series of scandals over her controversial links to Tunisia, where she took a…

Tunisia’s ex-leader Ben Ali ‘in coma’ in Saudi hospital

TUNIS – Ousted Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali suffered a stroke and was “in a coma” in a Saudi hospital, a family friend said Thursday, as more details of corruption under his rule came to light. The 74-year-old former leader slipped into a coma “two days ago” while…

Tunisian reservists report for duty amid instability

TUNIS (AFP) – Tunisian army reservists reported for duty Wednesday after being recalled by the interim government struggling to impose order following the toppling of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali a month ago. Between 400 and 500 turned up at a main mobilisation centre at Bouchoucha, in the suburbs…

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