Tunisia launches vaccine ‘open day’ against Delta-driven spike

Tunisia launches vaccine ‘open day’ against Delta-driven spike
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Tunisians wait for their turn to receive a COVID-19 veccine at an inoculation center in Ariana governorate near the capital Tunis on August 8, 2021. (AFP)
Tunisia launches vaccine ‘open day’ against Delta-driven spike
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A Tunisian nurse prepares a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at an inoculation center in Ariana governorate near the capital Tunis on August 8, 2021. (AFP)
Tunisia launches vaccine ‘open day’ against Delta-driven spike
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Nurses prepare vaccines at a vaccination center at the Ariana pilot high school in the eponymous governorate near the capital Tunis, on August 8, 2021. (AFP)
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Updated 08 August 2021

Tunisia launches vaccine ‘open day’ against Delta-driven spike

Tunisia launches vaccine ‘open day’ against Delta-driven spike
  • Tunisian authorities aim to have vaccinated 50% of country’s population with a first jab by mid-October
  • More than 300 centers across the country held an “open day” for vaccinations, drawing large crowds

TUNIS: Tunisia on Sunday launched a Covid-19 vaccination drive for the over-40s, after receiving more than six million doses from abroad to combat surging infections.
More than 300 centers across the country held an “open day” for vaccinations, drawing large crowds, AFP correspondents said.
Tunisia, in the thick of political and economic crises, has received more than six million doses from Western and Arab countries, and the same number of additional vaccines are on the way, President Kais Saied said Thursday.
Saied, who last month dismissed the government — in part due to its alleged bungling of the Covid crisis — and suspended parliament, has announced the establishment of a coronavirus crisis unit supervised by a high-level military official.
Tunisian authorities now aim to have vaccinated 50 percent of the country’s 12-million population with a first jab by mid-October.
A first “open day” of inoculations held in July was abandoned when the vaccination centers were overwhelmed by high demand and lack of organization.
The World Health Organization said last week that Tunisia, which has the world’s worst officially declared Covid-19 death toll, may be over the peak of the latest wave but the government must still speed up inoculations.
“The epidemiological data are going in the right direction,” the WHO representative in Tunisia, Yves Souteyrand, told a press conference.
The Delta variant is responsible for “more than 90 percent” of cases in Tunisia, which on Sunday registered 2,546 new cases, raising infections to a total of 610,660 with almost 21,000 deaths.


Salary cuts continue as Tunisian judges enter fourth week of strikes

Salary cuts continue as Tunisian judges enter fourth week of strikes
Updated 26 June 2022

Salary cuts continue as Tunisian judges enter fourth week of strikes

Salary cuts continue as Tunisian judges enter fourth week of strikes
  • Despite salary cuts, Tunisian judges state that they will continue to strike until their colleagues are reinstated

LONDON: The Ministry of Justice in Tunisia announced on Sunday that it will continue to order judges' salaries cut to take account of strike days.

Tunisian judges are on strike for the fourth week in a row in protest of President Kais Saied's dismissal of 57 judges.

Four judges' unions declared a general strike on June 6, claiming that Saied fired their colleagues “without the slightest recourse to disciplinary procedures,” in violation of the constitution, according to the Association of Tunisian Magistrates.

Almost 99 percent of judges in Tunisia have decided to strike, as reported by the association.

While Saaed has accused the dismissed judges of corruption and protecting terrorists, the Association has said that his decision said were mostly politically motivated.

Despite salaries being cut since the strike began, Anas Hamadi, president of the association, stated that the strike will continue until judges are reinstated.


Egypt tries man over murder of student who refused advances

Egypt tries man over murder of student who refused advances
Updated 26 June 2022

Egypt tries man over murder of student who refused advances

Egypt tries man over murder of student who refused advances
  • The murder has triggered widespread anger in the Arab world, as a similar killing of a female Jordanian student occurred a few days later

AL MANSURAH: A trial began Sunday for an Egyptian man accused of stabbing a woman to death in a public street after she rejected his advances — a case that has sparked widespread outrage.
A video went viral last week appearing to show the victim, identified as student Nayera Ashraf, being stabbed by a young man outside her university.
The crime has triggered widespread anger both in Egypt and beyond, having been followed a few days later by a similar incident in which Jordanian student Iman Irshaid was shot dead on a university campus.
Social media users immediately drew comparisons between the two murders, decrying cases of femicide in the Arab world.
At the Mansoura Criminal Court, 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of Cairo, Mohamed Adel was accused of “premeditated murder,” after confessing to intentionally killing the victim, an AFP correspondent said.
Ashraf had previously reported the alleged perpetrator to the authorities, fearing that he would attack her, according to her father and witnesses.
The maximum penalty for murder is death in Egypt, which carried out the third highest number of executions in the world in 2021, according to Amnesty International.
“He stabbed her several times,” said the prosecution, which found “messages threatening to cut her throat” on the victim’s phone.
The next hearing is set for Tuesday, the defendant’s lawyer, Ahmed Hamad, told AFP.
In a rare occurrence among cases involving violence against women, authorities allowed television cameras to film the hearing on Sunday.
On social media, many Jordanian and Egyptian users called for the perpetrator to be sentenced to death, while others said men must “learn to take no for an answer.”
Egyptian preacher Mabrouk Attia sparked outrage last week after suggesting that the victim would not have met the same fate had she been veiled.
Nearly eight million Egyptian women were victims of violence committed by their partners or relatives, or by strangers in public spaces, according to a United Nations survey conducted in 2015.


Jordanian woman stabbed to death by husband in UAE

Jordanian woman stabbed to death by husband in UAE
Updated 26 June 2022

Jordanian woman stabbed to death by husband in UAE

Jordanian woman stabbed to death by husband in UAE
  • CCTV footage shows the victim being stabbed 15 times in her car before the attacker drove off in it
  • Killing triggered widespread anger in Arab world, follows murder of female Jordanian student occurred a few days earlier

LONDON: A Jordanian woman was stabbed to death by her husband in Sharjah, UAE on Friday, local media reported.

The 20-year-old woman was stabbed 15 times following a dispute with her husband, according to Sharjah Police.

The suspect, who fled in the victim's car, was arrested on a beach within two hours of the crime.Col. Faisal bin Nassar, the head of Sharjah Police CID, said CCTV footage from the young woman's residence parking lot showed the suspected killer attacking the woman inside her car.

After the suspected attacker was seen leaving in the vehicle, police were able to trace it where the found her body inside it.

The man confessed to killing the woman due to personal differences and has now been transferred to the Public Prosecution.

Following the incident, people took to Twitter to express their outrage.

One user tweeted: “The World is no longer safe for us women.”

Another wrote: “Now tomorrow who is the next victim?”

Only two days prior, a female student was killed by a male shooter inside a private university in Amman, Jordan.


Qatar ‘likely’ venue for Iran, US nuclear deal talks: Report 

Qatar ‘likely’ venue for Iran, US nuclear deal talks: Report 
Updated 26 June 2022

Qatar ‘likely’ venue for Iran, US nuclear deal talks: Report 

Qatar ‘likely’ venue for Iran, US nuclear deal talks: Report 
  • Iran’s indirect talks with the US on reviving the 2015 nuclear pact will resume soon, the Iranian foreign minister said

Talks between the US and Iran on the 2015 nuclear deal are “likely” to be held in Qatar, Iran International reported on Sunday, citing a website close to Iran’s security council.

Efforts by Qatar to help restart talks for lifting US sanctions on Iran made “Doha’s chances for hosting the upcoming negotiations higher” than other countries, Iran International website said, quoting Nour News.

Nour News, according to Iran International, reflects the views of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Secretary, Ali Shamkhani.

Iran’s indirect talks with the US on reviving the 2015 nuclear pact will resume soon, the Iranian foreign minister said on Saturday amid a push by the EU’s top diplomat to break a months-long impasse.

“We are prepared to resume talks in the coming days. What is important for Iran is to fully receive the economic benefits of the 2015 accord,” Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said, adding that he had held a “long but positive meeting” with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

Borrell met Iran’s top diplomat on Saturday, Iranian state TV reported, as the bloc seeks to break an impasse between Tehran and Washington over reinstating a nuclear pact.

The pact appeared close to being revived in March when the EU — which is coordinating negotiations — invited foreign ministers representing the accord’s parties to Vienna to finalize an agreement after 11 months of indirect talks between Tehran and President Joe Biden’s administration.

(With Reuters)


Israeli PM convenes Cabinet before parliament is dissolved

Israeli PM convenes Cabinet before parliament is dissolved
Updated 26 June 2022

Israeli PM convenes Cabinet before parliament is dissolved

Israeli PM convenes Cabinet before parliament is dissolved
  • Benjamin Netanyahu, the current opposition leader, who now has an opening to return to lead the country

TEL AVIV: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett convened what is likely his last Cabinet meeting as premier on Sunday, with parliament expected to dissolve itself this week, triggering new elections in the fall.
Bennett’s decision to head to elections puts an end to an ambitious political project that united eight ideologically disparate parties that chose to put aside their differences to oust former leader Benjamin Netanyahu, the current opposition leader, who now has an opening to return to lead the country. The elections, the fifth the country has held in three years, deepen an unprecedented political crisis in Israel.
At the meeting, Bennett listed a series of accomplishments under his year-old government and thanked his coalition partners, which included dovish parties that support Palestinian statehood, nationalist ones who don’t, and for the first time in Israeli history, an Arab political faction.
“It was an excellent government that relied, yes, on a complicated coalition. And here in this room there is a group of people that knew how to put aside ideological disagreements, to rise above, and to work for the state of Israel,” he said.
As part of the power-sharing agreement that brought Bennett to power, he is set to hand over the premiership to Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, a centrist former broadcaster, once parliament is dissolved. Elections are expected around the end of October and polls show Netanyahu’s Likud party is expected to garner the most seats.
But as in most rounds of voting during the current political turmoil, Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption, has been unable to muster a majority to form a coalition government, with some of his traditional allies refusing to join him. That could further extend the crisis after the upcoming vote.
While Bennett’s government helped steady the economy and navigated the last year of the coronavirus pandemic, it was beset by disagreements over the very issues it sought to avoid, particularly Israel’s 55-year occupation of the West Bank. Bennett said he decided to put an end to his political experiment because the government was unable to renew regulations that enshrine separate legal systems for Jewish settlers in the territory and Palestinians.
Bennett’s own nationalist faction, Yamina, was dogged by defectors, legislators who said the prime minister, a former settler leader, had veered too much toward the center in his bid to keep the coalition intact.
Bennett, who entered politics a decade ago, hasn’t said whether he’ll run in the upcoming elections.