Tunisia’s health minister resigns after 11 babies die in hospital

Tunisian prime minister Youssef Chahed (5th-R) gives a speech prior to a confidence bill during a plenary session at the Tunisian parliament in the capital Tunis on July 28, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 10 March 2019
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Tunisia’s health minister resigns after 11 babies die in hospital

  • Government critics say the public sector is rife with corruption

TUNIS: Tunisia’s health minister Abdel-Raouf El-Sherif resigned on Saturday after 11 babies mysteriously died within 24 hours in a hospital in the capital, state news agency TAP said.
The health ministry and state prosecutors have launched investigations into the cause of the babies’ death which was likely due to a blood infection, it said.
Tunisians have complained about a decline of state services since the overthrow of Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011 which has brought a democratic transition but also thrown the country into an economic crisis.
Government critics say the public sector is rife with corruption.


Syrian businessman linked to Assad arrested in Kuwait

Mazen Al-Tarazi has been living in Kuwait for a long while. (AFP/File)
Updated 19 March 2019
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Syrian businessman linked to Assad arrested in Kuwait

  • The businessman has a publishing and advertising company in Kuwait
  • He is blacklisted in the EU

KUWAIT CITY: A prominent Syrian businessman with close ties to Syrian President Bashar Assad has been arrested in Kuwait, his lawyer said Tuesday.
Mazen Al-Tarazi was arrested late Monday at his offices, his lawyer Badr Al-Yacoub told AFP.
He said that he did not yet know the reasons behind his client’s arrest.
Local authorities did not immediately release the charges against Tarazi.
But Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Qabas, citing unnamed informed sources, reported that the businessman is accused of money laundering and printing texts without authorization.
A longtime resident of Kuwait, Tarazi owns a publishing and advertising firm in partnership with a high-profile local businessman, Ahmad Al-Jarallah.
Jarallah confirmed to AFP that police had raided his offices on Monday night and arrested Tarazi’s secretary and two Al-Hadaf magazine employees.
Tarazi is on an EU blacklist of Syrian nationals who have been banned from entry to European states and whose assets have been frozen over their role in the Syria war.