World Bulletin/News Desk
Tunisia's new constitution will be ready by October 23, Parliament Speaker Mustafa Ben Jaafar said on Friday, paving the way for elections next year in the birthplace of the Arab Spring and easing concerns about the pace of democratic transition.
Tunisians ousted veteran dictator Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in popular protests over a year ago, sparking the Arab Spring uprisings, and elections in October ushered in a constituent assembly assigned the task of drafting a new constitution.
Once that constitution is complete, Tunisians will go to the polls again to elect a full-year parliament, completing the first phase of the transition.
Tunisian officials have promised the parliamentary election will take place between March and June 2013.
But some Tunisian opposition and civil society groups had raised concerns that the constitution would not be ready in time and have complained about delays in judicial reforms and the slow pace of justice against Ben Ali's former associates.
Ben Jaafar, head of the Ettakatol party and speaker of the constituent assembly, said on Friday that the constitution would be complete within a year as promised before the last elections.
"The constituent assembly is continuing to look into the articles of the new constitution and the constituent committees have so far held 193 sessions," Ben Jaafar said, adding that this responded to accusations that parliamentarians were not carrying out the duties for which they were elected.
Speaking after the assembly passed an amended 2012 budget, Ben Jaafar also said the assembly by June should receive for approval a new parties law and laws establishing an independent election commission, an interim authority to oversee the judiciary and an independent commission to oversee the media.
Media and human rights groups had complained in recent months that the pace of reforms was too slow.
Berlin has announced it will send military supplies that will arm more than 4,000 Kurdish troops.
Two children are believed trapped in wreckage of collapsed building.
In a statement late Sunday, the government said its ministers and senior officials had faced threats and it is deemed "dangerous" for them to go to work.
Iraq has been without a government since April 30 elections won by former PM Maliki, who resigned amid criticism and was replaced by Abadi last month.
Anti-government protesters throw rocks and petrol bombs as clashes with police continue.
Libyan militiamen have occupied the US embassy in Tripoli to 'secure' it.
The bodies are believed to belong to the victims of a massacre carried out by right-wing Jewish militias in the former Arab district in 1948.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov sa'd "Only Ukraine can reach an agreement with Novorossiya, taking into account the interests of Novorossiya, and this is the only way to reach political settlement."
Iceland's largest volcanic system, which cuts a 190 km long and up to 25 km wide (118 miles by 15.5 miles) swathe across the North Atlantic island, has been hit by thousands of earthquakes over the last two weeks and scientists have been on high alert.
In a statement, the military said the drone was downed by a Patriot missile near the Quneitra border crossing between the Israeli-held Golan Heights and Syria.
President Barack Obama authorized the new military action, broadening U.S. operations in Iraq amid an international outcry over the threat to Amerli's mostly ethnic Turkmen population.
Former Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus president Mehmet Ali Talat on his official Twitter page said "I will not run for presidency as of yesterday (30 August) I told the CTP General Secretary that I will stand with our party's candidate."
On Sunday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told a news conference that Iran would respond to the sanctions "if deemed necessary."
The files that were made public by the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP) shows how American delegates agreed to Israel's refusal to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The militants detonated several explosive-laden cars before trying to break into the prison amid heavy fighting with the prison guards.
Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled al-Sabah, whose country has tried to mediate in the dispute, said Saturday's meeting had led to limited progress.