The growing political turmoil in Tunisia is currently being covered by a number of major news outlets. We’ll be here throughout the day (01/14/11) providing links to news articles and updates from Twitter.
Update, 2:44 EST: Nick Baumann of Mother Jones has an excellent breakdown of the situation in Tunisia, including WikiLeaks background (everything these days seems to be related to WL), some basic country facts, and more. Also of note: Mother Jones has an exclusive story about a Washington-based public relations firm that dumped Tunisia as a client.
2:14 EST: The Huffington Post posts an article by Firas Al-Atraqchi, a journalism professor from Cairo, about the influence of Twitter and social media on the Tunisian uprising. Also of note: before the uprising, the Tunisian government was known to crack down on Internet sites and bloggers (see below Al-Jazeera’s piece on the arrest of bloggers and artists). Yesterday, Ben-Ali promised to halt all monitoring of the Internet. Too little, too late? Or: three cheers for social media?
1:37 EST: Al-Jazeera has now created a dedicated page housing all of its Tunisia coverage.
1:04 EST: AP’s report on prime minister Ghannouchi taking control is up.
12:54 EST: Al-Jazeera is now reporting that the army has taken control in Tunisia after the departure of Ben-Ali. The prime minister of the country, Mohammed Ghannouchi, has assumed presidential duties.
12:52 EST: Dana Hughes, a reporter for ABC, has reported over Twitter that Al-Jazeera has reported that President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali has left the country. She now reports that the AP reports that Tunisia’s prime minister has assumed control. We’re checking Al-Jaz’s and Al-Arabiya’s website (English and Arabic) for an update.
Citizen demonstrations and protests began this week—indeed, rising uproar has been growing for the past month and a half—after police confiscated the fruit stall of a college-educated street vendor, Mohammed Bouazizi. The vendor set himself on fire and died on December 17th. Protests began shortly after, as citizens demanded government responses to high rates of unemployment, inflation, and issues of human rights.
Nick Baumann of Mother Jones has an excellent breakdown of the situation in Tunisia, including WikiLeaks background (everything these days seems to be related to WL), some basic country facts, and more.
The New York Times covers the story on its homepage, reporting that President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali promised citizens that the police would stop using live ammunition against protesters. Ben Ali is now reported to have dissolved his cabinet. The Times provides useful background about the relatively secular nature of the protests.
NYT is now reporting that Ben Ali has left the country. Here’s their take.
From yesterday, an NYT piece on Tunisia’s general malaise towards the wealth of Ben Ali and his family.
Video by the NYT, commenting on the use of Facebook and Twitter:
CNN provides backgroundalong with plenty of videos—here’s one:
And another: Tunisian forces deny that snipers were deployed to shoot protesters:
Link to CNN’s breaking news report about Ben-Ali’s departure from Tunisia: http://on.cnn.com/dRGcXP
The English site of Al-Jazeera has plenty of coverage: the headlining article on its site reports that emergency rule has now been declared in Tunisia. Police have banned gatherings of more than three people and the latest protest took place outside the nation’s Interior Ministry, where police threw tear gas at protesters. Al-Jazeera reports that 13 people have died in the past two days. Here’s the channel’s latest video update:
Al-Jaz also reported last week that political activists, including bloggers and a rapper, were rounded up by the goverment and have not been heard from.
The Guardian UK reports that the clashes in Tunisia are serving as a “wake-up call” to other authoritarian states in North Africa.
#Tunisia and #sidibouzid—that’s Sidi Bouzid, the city in which the street vendor, Mohammed Bouazizi, killed himself—are two hashtags that are on fire on Twitter. #Tunisia in particular is very good for links to breaking news. Dana Hughes, a reporter for ABC, has reported over Twitter that Al-Jazeera has reported that Ben Ali has left the country. We’re checking Al-Jaz’s website for an update. Also look out for Túnez, which seems to us to be either a French or Spanish shortening of “Tunisia.”
Our friends at the Council on Foreign Relations are updating their pages with news and views on Tunisia. A senior fellow at CFR, Steven Cook, has been updating his blog with posts about Ben Ali; previously, Steven asked whether or not Ben Ali had been losing his “military mojo.”