Tunisian PM names key gov’t posts
TUNIS, Tunisia — Tunisia’s prime minister appointed independents to three key posts in the country’s new interim Cabinet on Thursday, removing ministers from the former ruling party in a major concession to demonstrators.
But Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi, himself a holdover from the former regime of ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, is staying on in the new Cabinet, despite demonstrators’ calls for his ouster.
It was not immediately clear if naming independent ministers to the interior, foreign and defense Cabinet posts would succeed in quelling Tunisia’s daily street protests demanding the removal of all ministers with ties to the country’s former regime.
Chile: Obama exaggerated rescue role
SANTIAGO, Chile — The leader of Chile’s remarkable mine rescue says President Barack Obama exaggerated the role of an American drilling engineer.
Obama said during his State of the Union speech Tuesday that when Brandon Fisher saw the news that 33 men were trapped in a Chilean mine last year, ‘‘no one knew how to save them,’’ and that Fisher ‘‘designed a rescue that would come to be known as Plan B.’’
The Plan B drill, using Fisher’s unique piston-driven hammers, did provide the miners with a way out. But Chilean engineer Andre Sougarret, who began planning the rescue three days into the 69-day ordeal, says it’s ‘‘not correct’’ to suggest that Fisher and other Americans ‘‘were the only participants in the success.’’
Mandela, 92, hospitalized
JOHANNESBURG — Former South African President Nelson Mandela was hospitalized for a second straight day Thursday for what his office described as routine tests but which drew concern over the health of the 92-year-old anti-apartheid icon.
Mandela undergoes regular hospital checkups, but his latest visit starting Wednesday stretched into an unusually long stay. Journalists camped outside the hospital Thursday as Mandela’s relatives and friends entered for visits. President Jacob Zuma, attending the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, is being updated on developments by the defense minister.