- - Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Court disbands party of ousted president

TUNIS | A Tunisian court dissolved the party of ousted President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali and ordered all its assets seized, demolishing a key symbol of his autocratic regime.

Pro-democracy activists cheered in the courtroom and sang the national anthem as the decision was announced Wednesday to dismantle the Democratic Constitutional Rally, or RCD.

Protesters had demanded its dissolution since Mr. Ben Ali was driven from power Jan. 14 after weeks of protests that led to uprisings across the Arab world.

Under Mr. Ben Ali, Tunisia was effectively a one-party state, and a quarter its 10 million people were members of the RCD.

His regime quashed political dissent and independent media while guaranteeing economic growth and a stability that drew foreign investment and European tourists in droves.


Police use tear gas against protesters

KAMPALA | Tear gas was used against protesters after demonstrations against the country’s recent presidential election turned violent, a police spokesman said.

Vincent Sekate said that police scuffled with protesters in Uganda’s capital, Kampala, on Wednesday, and that 10 demonstrators and several police were injured.

He said eight demonstrators were arrested.

President Yoweri Museveni, the country’s leader for 25 years, was declared the winner of last month’s election with 68 percent of the vote.

His top challenger took 26 percent of the vote in official returns.

Opposition politicians have said the election was rigged.

Mr. Museveni, who retains high levels of support, has said he will not allow any Egypt-style protests in Uganda.


Mandela Foundation getting into fashion

JOHANNESBURG | Preppy meets philanthropy in an international clothing line being launched by Nelson Mandela’s foundation.

The 46664 Apparel line, named after Mr. Mandela’s inmate number at Robben Island Prison, features colorful clothing that is supposed to make wearers look good on the outside - and feel good inside.

Profits from the Mandela project will help sustain the foundation’s charitable gifts, while boosting South Africa’s troubled textile and clothing industry, officials said at a news conference at the Nelson Mandela Foundation on Wednesday.

With the launch, the foundation joins a small but growing club of socially conscious sartorialists, such as Edun, a line founded by the singer Bono and his wife in an effort to bring a steady, sustainable manufacturing industry to Africa.

The 46664 line features brightly colored men’s sportswear and intricately patterned, African-influenced women’s wear, all designed by Seardel, South Africa’s biggest textile and clothing manufacturer.

Mr. Mandela was the 466th prisoner at Robben Island, a wind-swept penal colony in the Atlantic off Cape Town, in 1964.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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