Large scale protests erupt in Tunisia over austerity measures

Tunisian protesters confront security forces blocking access to the governorate's offices in Tunis during a demonstration over price hikes and austerity measures

Protests took place in a number of towns across Tunisia on Monday following the government's decision to raise taxes under its 2018 Finance Act.

Tensions have been threatening to boil over ever since the government announced that it would increase the price of gas, oil, cars, phone and internet services, as well as hotel accommodation and other items from January 1 as part of austerity measures agreed with foreign lenders. "They also blame the government for breaking the pledges it made about improving the life standards in the country as poverty and high unemployment continue".

At least 237 people have been arrested in consecutive nights of widespread violence that has rocked Tunisia.

Anger has boiled over since the beginning of the year due to a hike in value added tax and social security contributions as part of austerity demanded by worldwide creditors.

The protests are much smaller compared to previous turmoil seen in Tunisia since the overthrow of autocrat ruler Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.

"These protests have lost their peaceful way and have been dethroned from their itinerary following the infiltration of a large number of criminals and intruders, who try to sow chaos and carry out violence or even looting", said Khalifa Chibani, official spokesman of the Tunisian Ministry of the Interior.

The government has defended the recent price and tax increases, saying they are necessary to revive the economy and curb budget deficit.

Amnesty International has accused the Tunisian authorities of using

The immediate cause of the unrest is government-imposed price and tax rises, which will raise the cost of basic goods but are said to be essential to cut a ballooning deficit and satisfy worldwide lenders.

Mhamdi said in a telephone interview on Tuesday that many Tunisian youth have lost faith in political parties.

Five others were injured during the demonstration, according to a report by Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP) on Tuesday.

West of Tunis, where hundreds of young people went to the streets after the funeral of a man who died in the riots Monday night.

Hama Hamami, leader of the leftist alliance, said, calling on Chahed to hold a television or radio debate in which Tunisians would be "witnesses to government choices and discuss the suffering of poor social groups".

A Jewish school on the island of Djerba was badly damaged after being hit with petrol bombs, although no one was injured.

On Thursday, several dozen unemployed people protested in the central town of Sidi Bouzid, the cradle of the protests that sparked the 2011 uprisings.

2018 iPhone X Plus, iPhone SE 2 to get bigger
I've also got a problem with Apple's "oh well, we'll just replace your battery for $29 and make the problem go away" response too. It will also come in 32 GB and 128 GB variants with no clear indication whether Apple will keep it's 3.5 mm headphone jack.

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