BREAKING: Tunisian PM Jebali says at a news conference that he has resigned
Female war correspondents are no longer a novelty. The legendary 20th century author and journalist Martha Gellhorn broke that mold around 80 years ago, and in recent times many of our most accomplished journalists and chroniclers of war zones — among them CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, the BBC’s formidable Kate Adie, Alex Crawford from Sky News and others — just happened to be women.
Male news executives like to think we have become more enlightened over the years as we made decisions about who should cover wars and who was not suited and should stay at home.
As I made judgments, as head of Newsgathering at the BBC and then president and managing director of CNN International, about whom to assign to the hellholes around the globe, the gender of a war correspondent was always under the surface. Was the story suitable for a woman? Would she prove a distraction? Was her hair too long or too blonde? Did her flak jacket fit? Crucially: Was she at greater risk of harassment, sexual assault and rape than her male colleagues?
Read more: On the front line with female war reporters
The White House announced plans on Monday to help “Arab Spring” countries swept by revolutions with more than $800 million in economic aid, while maintaining U.S. military aid to Egypt.
In his annual budget message to Congress, President Barack Obama asked that military aid to Egypt be kept at the level of recent years — $1.3 billion — despite a crisis triggered by an Egyptian probe targeting American democracy activists.
Obama proposed $51.6 billion in funding for the U.S. State Department and foreign aid overall, when $8.2 billion in assistance to war zones is included. The “core budget” for the category would increase by 1.6 percent, officials said.
Most of the economic aid for the Arab Spring countries — $770 million — would go to establish a new “Middle East and North Africa Incentive Fund,” the president said in his budget plan.
Tarak Amara for Reuters - As a symbol of how far Tunisia still has to go to fulfill the promise of the first Arab Spring revolution, Ammar Gharsallah’s death this week could hardly have been more poignant.
The 40-year-old father of three, despairing at his poverty, died after immolating himself with petrol, echoing the act of the Tunisian vegetable vendor who one year ago set off a wave of revolt that has not yet abated.
Tunisia will on Saturday hold celebrations in the capital to mark one year from the day when protests forced autocratic leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali to flee the country, and gave birth to the “Arab Spring” uprising