Tunisia leader Ben Ali flees and prime minister takes power

by David D. Kirkpatrick New York Times January 14, 2011

TUNIS — Tunisia’s president, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, fled his country on Friday night, capitulating after a month of mounting protests calling for an end to his 23 years of authoritarian rule. The official Saudi Arabian news agency said he arrived in the country early Saturday....

Photo: Holly Pickett/New York Times

Military backs new leaders in Tunisia

by David D. Kirkpatrick New York Times January 14, 2011

TUNIS — New battle lines appeared to take shape in traumatized Tunisia on Sunday as the military backed the nascent interim government in what state media portrayed as a fight against security forces loyal to ousted President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, blaming them for the violence and rioting that ...

Behind Tunisia unrest, rage over wealth of ruling family

by David D. Kirkpatrick New York Times January 13, 2011

HAMMAMET, Tunisia — This ancient Mediterranean hamlet, advertised as the Tunisian St.-Tropez, has long been the favorite summer getaway of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and his large extended family, many of whom have built vast beachfront mansions here with the wealth they have amassed during...

Freedom House releases report showing decline in democracy worldwide

by Hunger Notes January 13, 2011

(January 13, 2011) Global freedom suffered its fifth consecutive year of decline in 2010, according to Freedom in the World 2011, Freedom House's annual assessment of political rights and civil liberties around the world. This represents the longest continuous period of decline in the nearly 40-year...

Tunisia’s and Ben Ali’s corruptions: the Wikileaks revelations

by Pierre Tristam January 12, 2011

Tunisia is an odd, secular dictatorship. Its president is elected by popular vote to five-year terms. But the president, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, and his ruling party, also choose their opponents, vet their campaign platforms, regulate their campaign posters and messages, and limit the election seas...

The ‘food bubble’ is bursting, says Lester Brown, and biotech won’t save us

by Tom Philpott Grist January 12, 2011

For years — even decades — Earth Policy Institute president and Grist contributor Lester Brown has issued Cassandra-like warnings about the global food system. His argument goes something like this: Global grain demand keeps rising, pushed up by population growth and the switch to more meat-heav...

Sudan needs to have greater transparency over its oil revenues to help preserve peace in the region, according to a new report

by BBC News January 6, 2011

Sudan needs to have greater transparency over its oil revenues to help preserve peace in the region, according to a new report....

The coming hunger: Record food prices put world ‘in danger’, says UN

by Sean O'Grady The Independent January 6, 2011

Food riots, geopolitical tensions, global inflation and increasing hunger among the planet's poorest people are the likely effects of a new surge in world food prices, which have hit an all-time high according to the United Nations....

No police in Mexico town after last officer kidnapped

by BBC News December 28, 2010

The Mexican border town of Guadalupe has been left with no police force after the last officer was kidnapped....

Ernesto Sabato, 99: Writer led investigation of Argentina’s ‘dirty war’

by Peter Eisner Washington Post May 1, 2010

Ernesto Sabato, 99, a celebrated Argentine writer and intellectual who was chosen to lead an official investigation of thousands of killings by the military during the Dirty War of the 1970s and 1980s, and whose long life included careers as a physicist, public servant and artist, died April 30 at h...