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Che Guevara

Degage! Tunisian protesters say PM must go too

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Tunisian demonstrators have called on Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi to step down and leave the country, shortly after he announced that he had taken over as interim president.

Ghannouchi announced that he was assuming power on Friday, promising to enact social and political reforms. But tensions remain high and protesters in the capital are now reportedly demanding that Ghannouchi resign and leave the country.

The Tunisian army took control of the North African nation when President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali left the country due to a groundswell of public discontent shortly after sacking his cabinet members, AFP reported.

Tunisian military units have surrounded the international airport on the outskirts of Tunis after another day of unrest on the streets of the capital.

There are reports that Ghannouchi plans to hand over power to the leader of the Tunisian parliament, Fouad Mbazaa.

Meanwhile, there are conflicting reports about where Ben Ali is headed. Some reports say the president is heading for Qatar but Maltese air traffic controllers said that he is on his way to Paris via Malta.


Egyptians call for Tunisian-style demos - which of the Arab dictatorships will fall next?

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Tunisian youths throw stones at police forces in Tunis on Friday, Jan. 14, 2011.
Hundreds of Egyptians have gathered outside the Tunisian Embassy in Cairo to show their solidarity with Tunisians and have called for protests similar to those in Tunisia.

Egyptian activists opposed to President Hosni Mubarak's three-decade regime also looked to Friday's events in Tunisia with hope.

Activists are out on the streets to celebrate the overthrow of Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, who has fled the country. Anti-government demonstrations drove Ben Ali from power on Friday after 23 years in office.

The celebrating Egyptians congratulated the Tunisian people over their victory against their government, AFP reported.

"Ben Ali, tell Mubarak a plane is waiting for him too!" and "We are next, we are next, listen to the Tunisians, it's your turn Egyptians!" chanted the demonstrators, surrounded by heavy security. Reports say that Egyptian police have fanned out across the capital.

Che Guevara

Palestinians hail Tunisia uprising

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Palestinian resistance groups have hailed Tunisia uprising which led to the ouster of President Zine El Abidin Ben Ali, saying it could inspire the Arab world to reject "tyranny and injustice."

"We congratulate the Tunisian people for their uprising against the tyrannical regime," Daoud Shihab, a spokesman for the Islamic Jihad group, said on Saturday.

The events in Tunisia "demonstrate that the Arab masses are able to bring change for freedom and rejection of tyranny and injustice," he added.

Ben Ali, who had earlier fired his government and announced early elections, fled the country on Friday after a month of popular revolt that claimed dozens of lives.


Lebanese observer: only a matter of time before Tunisian revolution sweeps through Arab world

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People celebrate in their vehicles in front of the Tunisian Interior Ministry after Tunisian President Ben Ali's address to the nation in Tunis
The Tunisia crisis could highly spread throughout the Arab world and threaten the "authoritarian" Arab governments, says a former ambassador to the UN.

In an interview with Press TV, Clovis Maksoud, Lebanon's former ambassador and permanent observer of the League of Arab States at the United Nations added that Tunisia uprising is a wake-up call for the Arab world.

"It's going to be infectious in several other areas in a manner that might not necessarily lead to bloodshed but [could] weaken the authority [in many Arab countries]," Maksoud told Press TV.

Tunisian President Zine El Abidin Ben Ali fled the country on Friday after a month of popular revolt that claimed dozens of lives. He had earlier fired his government and announced early elections.

Che Guevara

Tunisia to hold polls in 60 days after President flees revolution


Tunisia's President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali addresses the nation in this still image taken from state TV. He then fled to Saudi Arabia
The council, Tunisia's highest legal authority on constitutional issues, decided to formally oust president Zine El Abidin Ben Ali and put Speaker Fouad Mebazaa in charge based on Article 57 of the Constitution.

Premier Mohammad Ghannouchi had earlier taken over from Ben Ali.

Tunisian airports were reopened after Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia.

Ben Ali ruled Tunisia for more than two decades. His era was marred by repeated human rights violations and torture.

Meanwhile, unrest continues in the capital Tunis where the central railway station and a market were set on fire. Witnesses have reported lootings in shopping centers.

Police have arrested several people in central Tunis during the overnight curfew.

Analysts believe the ouster of the Tunisian president is a warning to authoritarian regimes across the Arab world.


European tourists flee Tunisia as new interim president sworn in

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Military armored vehicles guard the center of Tunis on Jan. 15, 2011
Violence continues to rage in various parts of Tunisia one-day after a historic revolution ousted president Zine El Abidin Ben Ali from power.

Parliament speaker Fouad Mebazaa was sworn in as the interim president on Saturday.

In a televised address, Mebazaa said all political parties including the opposition would be consulted in the country's new political atmosphere.

"All Tunisians without exception and exclusion must be associated in the political process," he said after taking the oath. Under the constitution a new presidential election must be held within 60 days.

Soon after taking office, Mebazaa called on Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi to form a unity government.

Light Sabers

Russia puts blame on Poland for crash

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A report released by Russian investigators blames Poland for of the April plane crash which killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others.

The report released on Wednesday said that Russian air traffic controllers were not to blame for the April 10 plane crash. It said pressure exerted on the pilot by officials on board led to the disaster.

The investigation focuses on the commander of Polish air force, General Andrzei Blasik, who reportedly had a high level of alcohol in his blood when entering the cockpit before the crash.

Tatyana Anodina, the head of Russia's Interstate Aviation Committee -- a regulatory body overseeing aviation in several former Soviet countries -- said that psychologists, including those from Poland, found Blasik's presence behind the pilot's decision to take a fatal risk.

Heart - Black

French man in debt kills family, himself

A retired elderly French man under severe financial debt pressure has killed himself after ending the lives of his wife, daughter, and mother.

The 62-year-old killed his family with a knife before ending his own life, leaving a suicide note, which explained his cause of his actions citing thousands of euros of consumption debts, local media reported on Wednesday.

According to France 24, the man's body was found hanging in his residential yard shortly after the discovery of the three bodies. The body of his 90-year-old mother was also found in her flat in Amiens.

The mayor of Pont-de-Metz Gerard Arlacon, an usher, and a policeman discovered the bodies after they went into the house to make an inventory of equipment before a referral.

Light Sabers

Police clash with protesters in Athens over proposed border fence with Turkey

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A protestor holding a Greek flag looks towards police forces in the neighborhood of Agios Panteleimonas in Athens.
Athens police clash with demonstrators who were protesting against a planned fence on the Greek-Turkish border to stop illegal immigration.

Around 3,000 left-wing activists gathered in the city to demonstrate against xenophobia, when police clashed with rival groups for and against immigration in the Agios Panteleimon area, which has a large immigrant population.

Protesters carried banners reading, "Kick out the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and the EU (European Union), not migrants," and "No to racist attacks."

Extreme-right protesters, members of the Chrysi Avgi, or Golden Dawn also attended the protest.

Some left-wingers fled into a local church after throwing stones at the police. Officers reacted to the move by firing tear gas inside the church.


Feds say Wash. dairy cows had unlawful drug residues

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Seattle - Federal authorities have sued a northwest Washington dairy that they claim has a long history of selling cows for slaughter even though their tissues contained drug residues deemed unsafe to eat.

The 850-cow Rhody Dairy LLC of Sumas was charged civilly in U.S. District Court in Seattle this week with violations of the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

The complaint says that seven times in the past decade, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued letters to the dairy warning that cows it offered for sale tested positive for illegal levels of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications or other drugs.

The Justice Department said that despite the warnings, the dairy administered the drugs to its cattle in unapproved dosages or without prescriptions, or that it failed to observe proper drug withdrawal times before offering the cows for slaughter. They also say the dairy refused to keep treatment records for the animals.

"Defendants' poor record-keeping and improper drug administration practices constitute insanitary conditions whereby the food (edible tissues of their animals) may have been rendered injurious to health," the complaint said.