World News Brief, Thursday August 8

Tunisians gather to protest transitional government; anti-government protestors in Thailand rally against amnesty bill; North Korea proposes another round of talks with South Korea; Yemen foils al-Qaeda plot; Mexico launches energy reform; and more

Top of the Agenda: Mass Protest March in Tunisia


Anis Mili/Courtesy Reuters

Tens of thousands of Tunisians gathered in downtown Tunis on Tuesday night to demand the ouster (TunisiaLive) of the transitional government, led by the moderate Islamist party Ennahda. The march marked the largest opposition demonstration since the country's political crisis began two weeks ago (al-Jazeera) when the secular opposition rose to protest two political assassinations. The opposition also wants to dissolve the Constituent Assembly, which is weeks away from finishing a draft constitution and election law (Reuters). Tunisia has been facing its worst political turmoil since autocratic ruler Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali was toppled in 2011.


"Labor union officials have recently been leading the call for a technocratic national unity government to end the current political tensions that threaten to erode the democratic progress of the past two years," writes Mohamed Elshinnawi for Voice of America.

"Behind some Tunisian politicians, there are businessmen who had very prominent positions in the old regime. Old regime interests are strong in [political party] Nidaa Tounes, the media, and even in UGTT [Tunisian General Labor Union], and these links need to be better understood by Tunisians and outside analysts," writes Omar Belhaj Salah for Foreign Policy.

"Ennahda is now trying to negotiate a new deal with the main opposition parties. The deal would pave the way for an expanded coalition, where Ennahda will still have a bigger say. But the deal will not include the parliament, known here as the Constituent Assembly. For the governing coalition, it is a 'red line,'" writes Hashem Ahelbarra for al-Jazeera.



Thai Demonstrators Protest Amnesty Bill

Around two thousand Thai antigovernment demonstrators met for an opposition-led rally near parliament Wednesday, protesting against a controversial bill (AFP) offering amnesty for those involved in political violence during and after the 2006 military coup that toppled then-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

CFR's Joshua Kurlantzick joins a discussion about the political and economic transition of Thailand and Indonesia in this audio series.

NORTH KOREA: North Korea proposed another round of talks (Yonhap) with its southern counterpart on the joint Kaesong industrial complex, which has been shuttered since early April.



Yemen foils al-Qaeda plot

Mexico launches energy reform

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