The US Department of Transportation issued a ban against passengers travelling on nonstop flights to the US from Saudi Arabia and seven other Middle Eastern and North African countries, who are banned from carrying electronic devices on board. The ban targets 10 international airports such as King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, where Saudi Airlines operates nonstop US-bounds flights and which received the information from the General Authority of Civil Aviation. In these new procedures on US-bound flights laptops, iPads and Kindles can only be accepted as part of checked-in luggage. The reason behind the ban is probably the terrorists’ ongoing interest in targeting commercial aviation, including transportation hubs over the past two years and the US Government concern about it. Moreover the UK is also due to announce a ban on laptops and other electronics on certain flights as the BBC reported.
Support for the creation of income sources was given in kind to eleven families in need in Medenine on Saturday, at the initiative of the Kuwaiti Association “Direct Assistance” in Tunisia, in coordination with the Women’s Association Ayadi Rahima. The projects concern sheep farming, sewing, embroidery, trade and handicrafts. Some 45 beneficiaries (men and women) from several regions (Medenine, Kebili, Gafsa, Siliana, Béja) benefit from this assistance programme initiated by the Kuwaiti Association active in Tunisia since 2012. Last year the association undertook maintenance work for eleven schools and plans to provide a similar programme in eight other schools throughout the regions. In Sfax, the association launched a programme for the distribution of microcredits to 3,000 families, mainly women.
A takfiri was arrested by National Guard units on Friday in Zaafrane (Kebili governorate). He was in possession of a manual of homemade bombs downloaded in his phone. The individual, wanted for belonging to a terrorist organization, was planning a terrorist attack on members of the National Guard and the Army, an Interior Ministry press release read.
“The creation of real jobs requires the restoration of economic growth,” Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said on Friday when he presented the government’s declaration to the House of the People’s Representatives ( HPR). “Real jobs are created by growth,” added Chahed, adding that his government’s economic program, whose finance bill is a tool for its achievement, is based on the resumption of growth. It is a question of working to offer employment to more than 600 thousand unemployed among including 250 thousand among the higher education graduates, he said. “The strategy of the national unity government in the field of employment is based on three axes namely the impulse of growth, the strengthening of private initiative through the encouragement of young people to create jobs and the implementation of employment policies for young people suffering from chronic unemployment, “he said, adding that these axes will serve both young people and the inland regions. The Prime Minister recalled that post-revolution low growth rates limited employment in the civil service, indicating that the organized private sector was able to create only 10 thousand jobs while the number of higher education graduates, which reach the labour market annually, stands at 50 thousand people.
The French Development Agency is preparing to establish a diversified partnership with the Gafsa region, in particular with the Phosphates Company to create rail lines connected to ports and dedicated to phosphate transport, especially to the governorate of Sfax, France’s ambassador in Tunis, Olivier Poivre d’Arvor told TAP on Tuesday during his visit to the region. France is willing to finance this project, he said. Efforts are being made to boost the partnership between Gafsa governorate and several French regions, including Lille and the Pays de la Loire, the diplomat said, pointing out that a cultural centre will be created in Gafsa as part of the promotion of the sector in the region. The visit of the French Ambassador in Gafsa is part of monitoring the project to rehabilitate the districts of Essourour and El Moula, financed by AFD and the Tunisian Agency for Rehabilitation and Urban Renewal (ARRU). During his meeting with the governor of Gafsa, Olivier Poivre d’Arvor spoke about the multidisciplinary hospital project that will be carried out in 3 or 4 years for EUR 60 million in the framework of the recycling of part of Tunisia’s debt to France. This project will have a large influence on neighbouring regions, he pointed out.
The Ministry of Education has just launched a pilot program to create 1,000 educational farms with a surface area of 5,000 m2 in schools, to strengthen students’ gains in food production and encourage them to take care of plantations. The initiative also aims to ensure food self-sufficiency in schools and to exploit the thousands of hectares of abandoned educational institutions, said a statement by the Ministry of Education issued on Tuesday. The “educational farm” started in the governorates of Zaghouan (Schools of El Manakaa and Jradou) and Gabes (school of Ramathi), the statement said, noting that this initiative helped these institutions to cover their notional and educational needs. This pilot project is part of an integrated strategic plan put in place by the Ministry of Education to provide school feeding to one million students in all primary schools by 2020. “All the necessary resources must be mobilised to implement this plan, as the school meal currently offered in schools does not meet the conditions of a balanced food meal due to lack of budget,” the source said.
Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) Secretary-general Hassine Abassi said, on Friday, that the difference between UGTT and the current government that wants to postpone the payment of wage increases, can only be settled through bringing justice to the rights holders, affirming that it is inconceivable to trample on this right. In a statement to the media at the end of a meeting with House of People’s Representatives Speaker Mohamed Naceur, Abassi added that UGTT is willing to return to the table of dialogue and accept possible options provided that this right is not violated. He pointed out that this consultation meeting, which was held at the initiative of Ennaceur whom he described as “a man of dialogue,” had turned on the difference between UGTT and the government. UGTT, he specified, still considers this government as the result of a large consultation between political parties and UGTT, which is still attached to the Carthage Document. For his part, Ennaceur underlined that dialogue will continue and that there is a real will and commitment on the part of the country’s senior officials to preserve the national union, overcome current difficulties and reinforce the citizen’s confidence in his country. There are proposals that will be looked at to reach a solution and iron out difficulties, he said.
Prime Minister Youssef Chahed met, on Wednesday in Paris, with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. In a statement to TAP, the French FM said that during the meeting they discussed the ways to provide the conditions for success of the International Conference on Investment “Tunisia 2020” scheduled for November 29 and 30. Emphasis was also placed on security co-operation between the two countries and the means and mechanisms that should be put in place to encourage the rapid return of French tourists to Tunisia. “France is actively encouraging tourists to visit Tunisia,” he said, adding that whoever believes in the Tunisian democracy should not hesitate to visit this country. Jean-Marc Ayrault also stressed that France is already very committed to Tunisia through the mobilisation of a EUR 1 billion fund over five years and contributes significantly to the doubling of European financial support to Tunisia.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, on Wednesday, called on French tourists to return to Tunisia and take full advantage of their holidays in this “beautiful country”. Tourism is a driving element of the Tunisian economy and the security situation has improved considerably, he said at the end of his meeting with Prime Minister Youssef Chahed. He is making a two-day official visit to France. Some 464,665 French tourists visited Tunisia in 2015, down 35.5% compared to 2014. France has been the leading European customer of Tunisia in terms of tourism since 2004. In an exclusive statement to TAP, France’s ambassador to Tunis, Olivier Poivre d’Arvor stressed his country’s determination to actively encourage the rapid return of French tourists to Tunisia. “This position is explained by the stabilisation of the political and security situation in Tunisia insofar as the danger of terrorism is largely controlled by the efforts exerted by the military and security institutions,” he said.
Health workers confirmed the girls were not sexually abused while in captivity, and tested negative for sexually transmitted diseases. Many girls kidnapped by the Islamist militant group have been used as sex slaves, fighters and even suicide bombers, according to rights groups including Amnesty International. But the 21 freed girls said the militants treated them well while they were held captive, according to a confidential report based on their two-week debriefing prepared for President Muhammadu Buhari and seen by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.