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Tunisia’s Parliament Approves New 2019 Budget With No New Taxes

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Tunisia's Parliament Approves New 2019 Budget With No New Taxes

Tunisia’s parliament has approved a 2019 budget imposing no new taxes on individuals and easing the burden on some sectors after years of tax hikes that have stoked public anger and at times violent protests.

The budget, adopted by 113 votes out of 217, projected a fall in the deficit to 3.9 percent of the gross domestic product next year, from about 5 percent expected this year.

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Prime minister Youssef Chahed said earlier this year that 2018 would be the last difficult year for Tunisians, but his government remains under pressure from the international monetary fund to trim the budget deficit by cutting subsidies and reforming the bloated public sector.

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Budget analysts expect Tunisia’s economy to grow by 3.1 percent next year, up from an estimated 2.6 percent this year.

The government will cut taxes in half next year to thirteen and a half percent for companies operating in sectors including technology, textiles, engineering, and pharmaceuticals.

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Taxes on bank profits were raised from 35 to 40 percent.

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African Summit Gives Sudan Military Three Months To Implement Reforms

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African Summit Gives Sudan Military Three Months To Implement Reforms

African leaders have agreed, at a meeting in Cairo on Tuesday, to give Sudan’s ruling military council three months to implement democratic reforms, and a quick restoration of the constitutional system through a political process, amid pressure for a handover of power to civilians.

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The decision extends a 15-day deadline set by the African Union last week for Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) to hand over power or be suspended from the A.U. TMC took over after president Omar Al-Bashir was ousted earlier this month.

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The TMC has been under pressure from demonstrators to hand power to civilians immediately.

Egypt`s Abdul Fatah Al Sisi, who holds the rotating African Union presidency, said at the end of the summit in Cairo, they have agreed on the need to give more time to Sudanese authorities and Sudanese parties to implement required measures.

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Mozambican Authorities Warn Of A Possible Tropical Storm Hit

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Mozambican Authorities Warn Of A Possible Tropical Storm Hit

Mozambican authorities have warned of a tropical storm that could hit the country this week, just one month after cyclone Idai ravaged the nation. The next organized tropical cyclone, to be named Kenneth could also affect Tanzania.

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The National Institute for Disaster Management’s spokesman, Paulo Tomás says, they will keep abreast of the evolution of the weather system.

Last month, cyclone Idai killed at least 960 people in parts of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, leaving some 3 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

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Egypt Voters Approve Referendum Extending President’s Rule

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Egypt Voters Approve Referendum Extending President's Rule

Egypt’s election commission has announced, 88% of voters had approved changes to the constitution that could allow president Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi stay in power until 2030. The amendments would also give the president new powers over the judiciary.

The commission says, voter turnout during the three-day referendum was nearly 44 and a half percent and almost 90 percent approved the amendments while 11.17 percent voted no.

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The amendments will extend Sisi’s current term to six years from four and allow him to run again for a third six-year term in 2024 and to appoint one or more vice presidents.

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His critics questioned the credibility of the turnout figure announced and are asking how can a constitution be changed to fit one person.

Sisi’s supporters say he has stabilized Egypt and needs more time to reform and develop the economy.

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After the announcement was made, Al-Sisi sent the message quote “I am your god.”

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