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Tunisia's tourism revenues up 19 percent this year as more Europeans return
22 August 2017 - Tunisia's tourism revenues have risen 19 percent so far this year, reflecting a recovery in a vital sector . . . Tourism Minister Salma Loumi said 4.58 million foreign tourists visited the North African country between January 1 and August 10. Arrivals from neighboring Algeria were up 60 percent . . . while visits by European tourists rose 16 percent. (more)

Upcoming launch of truth commission hailed by UN as 'step forward' for Tunisia
6 June 2014 - The United Nations has welcomed the upcoming launch of the Truth and Dignity Commission in Tunisia, calling it a step forward in addressing past human rights violations in the North African nation. Tunisia will launch the Commission on 9 June at a seminar in the capital, Tunis, co-organized by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in the country, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the International Centre for Transitional Justice, and the Tunisian Ministry of Human Rights and Transitional Justice. (more)

Tunisia: Organic farming exports reach 116 million dinars
9 May 2014 - Organic farming exports reached 116 million dinars (over US123mln) in 2013. They account for 1% of the national exports against a world rate ranging between 1 and 2%, according to data presented in Tunis, at an awareness meeting on organic farming. As regards the areas dedicated to this farming, Tunisia ranks 23rd in the world and 2nd in Africa after Uganda, according to engineer Hassan Aloui. (more)

Tunisia turns to Star Wars to boost tourism
30 April 2014 - Two dozen white-clad Imperial Troopers and other Star Wars characters marched Wednesday down a stately, tree-lined avenue in Tunis -- a site where activists once fought riot police during the 2011 Arab Spring revolutions. The empire was not striking back against the poster child for Arab democracy -- just an innovative campaign to encourage tourists to return to this sunny desert-and-beach nation in North Africa. 'It's the first time such an even has happened in Tunis, it's really impressive,' said Asma Souissi, a 19-year-old student. 'It opens up new horizons for Tunisia.' (more)

Tunisia basks in praise over its new constitution
7 February 2014 - As recently as December, the outlook for Tunisia remained grim. However, on Friday, French President Francois Hollande and other world leaders attended a ceremony for the formal adoption of a document being praised as one of the most progressive constitutions in an Arab nation. What a turnaround. (more)

Tunisia embeds protection of climate in new constitution
1 February 2014 - Tunisia, the starting place for the massive protests three years ago that came to be known as the Arab Spring, did something remarkable this week: it embedded climate change into its constitution. The constitution, praised as one of the most progressive in the region, now obliges the state to 'contribute to the protection of the climate ... for future generations.' It also says that the 'state shall provide the necessary means to eliminate environmental pollution'. (more)

Tunisia: The next big travel destination
4 January 2014 - With its tradition of tolerance -- not to mention glorious Roman ruins and Mediterranean beaches-- Tunisia may yet emerge as a beacon of hope in one of the world's most troubled regions. Writer Joshua Hammer relishes the sights and the spirit of optimism in this rare desert bloom. (more)

UN rights office welcomes Tunisian law on national anti-torture body
12 October 2013 - Welcoming the adoption by the National Constituent Assembly of Tunisia of a law on setting up a national body to prevent torture, the United Nations human rights Office hailed the decision as an 'important milestone' in the country's ongoing transition. (more)

Tunisia's parties sign transition roadmap
5 October 2013 - Nearly all of Tunisia's feuding political parties on Saturday signed on to a roadmap designed to break their months-old impasse and put an end to the country's drawn-out democratic transition. Most of the Islamist-led ruling coalition a well as parties in the largely secular opposition agreed to begin a dialogue on replacing the current government with a technocratic body to supervise new elections. That new body is expected to be in place in about a month. (more)

Tunisia sets good example in education
10 May 2013 - Tunisia has set a good precedent for developing countries by meeting its Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for education, says South Africa's Trade and Industry (dti) Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe. The MDG for education is to ensure that by 2015, the majority of children all over the world are able to access and complete a full course of primary schooling. The deputy minister also praised the North African country for investing in its people. (more)

Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Tunisia: VedAroma company growing, aims to support world peace initiatives
30 April 2012 - Tunisia is becoming a hub for the production and distribution of Vedaroma products--high quality organic essential oils and blends. The company, directed by Dr Atmane Kouider, recently welcomed Dr Bevan Morris, Prime Minister of the Global Country of World Peace, near the end of his 14-country tour of Africa. Proceeds from the company are helping support large groups of Maharishi Vedic Pandits--peace-creating experts--in India, helping to fulfil one of the purposes of the VedAroma enterprise in many countries, to create permanent world peace. Dr Kouider is director of the Transcendental Meditation programme in Tunisia and Algeria. (more)

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Tunisia imposes state of emergency after deadly beach attack
4 July 2015 - Tunisia's President declared a state of emergency on Saturday in response to a second deadly attack on foreigners in three months, saying the country is 'not safe' and risks collapse from further extremist attacks. The decision came just over a week after a gunman at the popular beach resort of Sousse attacked foreign tourists, killing 38 people. (more)

Dozens killed in attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait, and France
26 June 2015 - Three deadly attacks Friday from Europe to North Africa to the Middle East followed a call to violence by Islamic State extremists. The shootings in the Tunisian resort of Sousse that killed at least 37 happened at about the same time as a bombing at a Shiite mosque in Kuwait and an attack on a U.S.-owned factory in France. In all, the assailants killed at least 65 people. (more)

Terror attack in Tunisia a fresh blow to tourism industry
20 March 2015 - The terror attack in Tunisia that killed 21 people is a fresh blow to the North African nation's tourism industry, which has been struggling since the country's revolution of 2011. Tourism to Tunisia plunged after the revolution in 2011 led to the overthrow of an authoritarian president and augured the so-called Arab Spring. The country has set forth on a democratic path since but the number of tourists never fully recovered. And yet 2015 began with promise for Tunisian tourism. National Geographic Traveler listed Tunis on its top 20 destinations for 2015, citing its 'cultural energy,' festivals, and yes, the Bardo museum, known for antiquities. (Foreign tourists scrambled in panic Wednesday after militants stormed the Bardo museum in Tunisia's capital and killed 19 people.) (more)

Islamic State claims responsibility for Tunisia attack (with AP video)
19 March 2015 - The Islamic State group claimed responsibility Thursday, 19 March, for the attack that killed 21 people at a museum. But Tunisian authorities said the two slain gunmen had no clear links to extremists, and analysts said existing militant cells are merely being inspired by the group, rather than establishing its presence across North Africa. Confronted with a poor economy, young Tunisians have disproportionately gone abroad to fight with extremist groups in Libya, Syria, and Iraq, including some affiliated with the Islamic State. Upon their return home, some may have decided to carry out attacks on their own. The deaths of so many foreigners will damage Tunisia's tourism industry, which draws thousands of foreigners to its Mediterranean beaches, desert oases, and ancient Roman ruins. The industry had just started to recover after years of decline. (more)

Museum attack in Tunisian capital kills 19; 2 gunmen slain
18 March 2015 - Foreign tourists scrambled in panic Wednesday after militants stormed a museum in Tunisia's capital and killed 19 people, 'shooting at anything that moved,' a witness said. At least 44 people were wounded. It was the deadliest attack on civilians in the North African country in 13 years. Tunisians overthrew their dictator in 2011 and kicked off the Arab Spring that spread across the region. While the uprising built a new democracy, the country has also struggled with economic problems and attacks by extremists. (more)

The Latest: Tunisia says 21 dead including 17 tourists
18 March 2015 - Tunisia's Prime Minister says a total of 21 people have died in the attack against the Bardo museum, including 17 tourists, two Tunisians, and two gunmen. An expert on extremism says that Twitter accounts linked to the Islamic State group are voicing elation at the attack. (more)

Unrest rises in Tunisia after Islamists kill police officers
24 October 2013 - Tunisian security forces fired tear gas on Thursday to disperse hundreds of people trying to storm a local government building as demonstrations broke out over the killing of seven policemen by Islamist militants. Tensions are rising in Tunisia, where the ruling moderate Islamist Ennahda party and opposition have been trying to start talks to end a paralysing deadlock since the assassination of two secular opposition leaders earlier this year. Wednesday's killings delayed the long-awaited negotiations to save a transition to democracy, once seen as a model for the region, nearly three years after the first Arab Spring uprising toppled Tunisian autocrat Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. Clashes erupted at a government building in Kef in northern Tunisia after funerals for the officers, with enraged residents accusing Ennahda of being too lenient with hardline Islamists.  Protesters attacked two local party offices of Ennahda in Kef and Beja, ransacking one and burning furniture in the street. Demonstrators took to the streets in four other cities to demand the Ennahda government resign, residents said. Divisions between Islamists and their secular opponents have widened in one of the Muslim world's most secular countries. (more)

Thousands of Tunisians call on government to resign
24 August 2013 - Thousands of Tunisians demonstrated Saturday night in front of their national assembly kicking off a week of planned protests to call for the resignation of the Islamist-led government. The assassination of a left-wing politician in July -- the second such killing in five months -- has plunged the country into a political crisis with the opposition accusing the government of failing to maintain security or restart the economy. Tunisia was the birthplace for the Arab Spring pro-democracy uprisings when it overthrew long-ruling President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011. Its subsequent rocky transition to democracy, which has included political assassinations, terrorist attacks, and social unrest over a faltering economy, has been closely watched internationally. (more)

Jihadis threaten Tunisia's Arab Spring transition
31 July 2013 - Among the countries of the Arab Spring, Tunisia is widely considered to have the best chance for a successful democracy, with Egypt in an increasingly bloody and complex crisis after a military coup, Libya beset by competing armed groups and Syria deep in a grinding full-scale war without apparent end. But the emergence of an armed al-Qaida-linked jihadi group in the deep wooded valleys and caves of a mountainous region near the Algerian border threatens to derail the tenuous transition. During a recent visit, The Associated Press discovered a remote region of unpaved streets, smugglers, and strong distrust of the government. The Jebel Chaambi mountains, established as a national park to protect curved-horned Barbary sheep and endangered species of gazelles in Tunisia's southwest, has now become a haven for al-Qaida in North Africa. The stakes are high for this North African nation, whose educated, mostly middle-class population kicked off revolutions around the Arab world in 2011, and which is on the cusp of completing a constitution written by Islamist and secular parties working together. The government ascribes the mounting violence to a jihadist group linked to al-Qaida's branch in North Africa, including militants who fled the French military intervention in Mali. (more)

Tunisian opposition politician shot dead, protests erupt
6 February 2013 - Tunisian opposition politician was shot dead on Wednesday, sending thousands of protesters onto the streets of the capital and in Sidi Bouzid, the epicentre of uprisings that swept the Arab world and Tunisia's president from power. Tension has been growing between Islamists and secularists such as Belaid, who was a staunch opponent of the moderate Islamist-led government elected in October 2011. As news of the killing spread, more than 1,000 protesters gathered outside the Interior Ministry, many calling for the fall of the government elected after their uprising chased out veteran ruler Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011. President Moncef Marzouki, who last month warned the tension may lead to 'civil war', called for calm and cut short a trip to France as well as cancelling a visit to Egypt scheduled for Thursday after the killing. Compounding the political unrest, Tunisia says al Qaeda-linked militants have been accumulating weapons with the aim of creating an Islamic state. (more)


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