World News at a Glance
Posted January 14, 2018 9:51 p.m. EST
Tunisia’s Government Pledges Improvements After Protests
Tunisian authorities are moving to defuse anger that has driven protesters to the streets over the past week. As more people gathered Sunday to mark the seventh anniversary of the Tunisian revolution, which set off the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings, the government said it was taking steps to ease the plight of the poor and the jobless. Among the measures: Government aid to needy families will be increased, officials will review retirement disbursements for some people being underpaid because their employers did not declare their real salary, and they would extend health care to all Tunisians. Protesters seemed little mollified.
No One Is Hurt in a Runway ‘Miracle’ in Turkey
A Pegasus Airlines flight trying to land in Turkey this weekend made a heart-stopping skid off a runway, ending up halfway down a steep slope at a perilous angle, feet from the Black Sea, Turkish officials reported on Sunday. Yuksel Gordu, a passenger, told the official news agency Anadolu that no words could describe the fear of those on board, according to The Associated Press. “It’s a miracle we escaped,” he said. “We could have burned, exploded, flown into the sea.” The 162 passengers, two pilots and four members of the cabin crew disembarked safely, the airline said.
Liberia President’s Ouster by Party May Raise Questions Over Her Legacy
Just days before the end of her 12-year tenure, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has been expelled by her political party, which accused her of supporting the opposition candidate and now president-elect, George Weah. A Unity Party statement, released Saturday, said Sirleaf, Africa’s first female democratically elected head of state, was expelled because of “several violations and other acts inimical to the existence of the party.” Among them was her failure to support her vice president, Joseph Boakai. Weah will be sworn into office Jan. 22, the first peaceful democratic transfer of power in the country since 1944.
In Czech Election, a Choice Between Leaning East or West
Populist leaders have risen to power in recent years by tapping into deeply emotional issues. In two weeks, an outspoken one, President Milos Zeman of the Czech Republic, will face a test that could provide a barometer for the strength of that message. The final round of the presidential election will help decide whether the Republic continues to be drawn east toward Russia and China or moves back into the European Union's embrace. Zeman’s opponent, Jiri Drahos, has presented himself as a defender of democratic values and civility.
Afghans Say Talks With Taliban Are Underway; Insurgents Deny It
Senior Afghan officials said Sunday that meetings were underway in Turkey between their government and representatives of the Taliban, although the insurgents denied that any talks were taking place. A senior Afghan official in Kabul, the capital, confirmed that talks in Istanbul had begun Saturday and were to continue through Monday. However, Zabiullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman, denied in a Twitter post that any talks involving representatives of the group were taking place. A spokesman for the office of the Afghan president declined to comment, but said he was unaware of any talks taking place.
Hope Fades for Missing Crew Members as Iranian Oil Tanker Sinks
An Iranian oil tanker that collided with another vessel in the East China Sea and had been burning for more than a week sank Sunday, the Chinese Transportation Ministry said. “There is no hope” of finding missing crew members, said Mahmoud Rastad, chief of Iran’s maritime agency, according to The Associated Press. President Hassan Rouhani of Iran expressed his condolences and called on government agencies to investigate the tragedy, according to state TV. The vessel collided with the CF Crystal, a bulk freighter, Jan. 6. All 21 Chinese crew members of the CF Crystal survived.