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REUTERS, BBC NEWS (UK), WALL STREET JOURNAL (USA)

Worldcrunch

BAMAKO - Mali"s Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra announced his resignation on Tuesday, hours after being arrested by soldiers while trying to leave for France, reports Reuters.

Diarra addressed the nation on national television saying: "Our country is living through a period of crisis. Men and women who are worried about the future of our nation are hoping for peace."

He went on to declare that he was "resigning along with my entire government on this day, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012. I apologize before the entire population of Mali."


He was arrested in his house late Monday reportedly on the orders of Captain Amadou Sanogo, who had led a military coup earlier this year, reports BBC News. A military spokesman said the arrest Tuesday was not a coup, and a new prime minister would be named shortly.

Mali's prime minister was getting ready to leave the country for France, reports the Wall Street Journal. It's unclear if the trip was planned, or if Diarra had gotten wind of the pending arrest and was trying to flee.

Diarra had been appointed prime minister of an interim government in April after the military officially handed power back to civilians following the coup that shook the country a month earlier.

Over the last few weeks, tensions between the leader and the army has risen in Mali.

The 60-year-old astrophysicist has backed plans to send a West African intervention force into the northern half of Mali which was seized after the coup.

West African leaders have agreed to dispatch more than 3000 soldiers to Mali to revamp the army and then support operations to retake the north from the Islamist rebels.

France has led a push for an international military operation to tackle the Islamist groups, including al Qaeda's North African wing, AQIM.

Many within Mali's military are opposed to a foreign intervention, saying they need only financial and logistical support.

Earlier this week, the country was described as "one of the potentially most explosive corners of the world" by the United States.

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Society

Mahsa Amini, Martyr Of An Iranian Regime Designed To Abuse Women

The 22-year-old is believed to have been beaten to death at a Tehran police station last week after "morality police" had reprimanded her clothing. The case has sparked the nation's outrage. But as ordinary Iranians testify, such beatings, torture and a home brand of misogyny are hallmarks of the 40-year Islamic Republic of Iran.

Mahsa Amini

Firouzeh Nordstrom

-Analysis-

TEHRAN — The death in Iran of a 22-year-old Mahsa Amini — after she was arrested by the so-called "morality police" — has unleashed another wave of protests, as thousands of Iranians vent their fury against an intrusive and violent regime. Indeed, as tragically exceptional as the circumstances appear, the reaction reflects the daily reality of abuse by authorities, especially directed toward women

Amini, a Kurdish-Iranian girl visiting Tehran with relatives, was detained by the regime's morality patrols on Sept. 13, apparently for not respecting the Islamic dress code that includes proper use of the hijab headscarf. Amini was declared dead two or three days after being taken into custody. Officials say she fainted and died, and blamed a preexisting heart condition. But neither her family nor anyone else in Iran believe that, as can be seen in the mounting protests that have now left at least three dead.

For Amini's was hardly the first arbitrary arrest, or the first suspected death in custody under Iran's Islamic regime.

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