Morning Digest: Nine injured in Tunis explosion; Pirates seize eight Polish crew, three others from ship off Nigeria coast

1. Nine injured in Tunis explosion

At least nine people were injured when a woman blew herself up in the centre of Tunisia’s capital, Tunis, the interior ministry says.

Eight of those hurt in the explosion on the Habib Bourguiba avenue, which runs through the middle of the city, were police officers.

The ministry has described the blast, near the Municipal Theatre, as a “terrorist explosion”.

No deaths have been reported at this stage.

2.  Pirates seize eight Polish crew, three others from ship off Nigeria coast

Pirates boarded a container ship off the coast of Nigeria, seizing 11 crew including eight from Poland, according the vessel’s management firm and Polish state media.

The attackers struck the MV Pomerania Sky, bound for the Nigerian port of Onne, early on Saturday and abducted 11 of the crew, Midocean (IOM) Ltd said in a statement on Sunday. The firm added that nine others remained on board and were unharmed.

“Our priority is securing the earliest release of the eleven crew who have been taken and we are working closely with our partners and the local authorities to achieve that,” Midocean said.

“The families of those crew members taken are being kept informed of the situation,” said the company. It added the vessel had proceeded to safe waters.

3.Idris Elba writes stage show about life after Nelson Mandela

Idris Elba has co-written a stage show about life in South Africa after Nelson Mandela, which will have its premiere in Manchester next summer.

The Luther star has written Tree with Kwame Kwei-Armah, the new artistic director of London’s Young Vic theatre.

Elba played the late South African president in the 2013 film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

Tree will combine drama with music, dance and film, and will be part of the 2019 Manchester International Festival.

However, Elba won’t appear in the show, which is also inspired by the 2014 album Mi Mandela, which saw the actor bring together British and South African musicians.
4. Zimbabwe’s 2018 budget deficit seen at 11.1 percent of GDP

Zimbabwe’s budget deficit will more than double to 11.1 percent of gross domestic product this year from an initial forecast of 5 percent due to runaway government spending, a senior treasury official said on Monday.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government cranked up spending by increasing public sector salaries and purchasing farming inputs for rural farmers ahead of a disputed July 31 presidential election.

The southern African nation is facing an acute shortage of dollars that has stifled imports and sent prices soaring.

George Guvamatanga, the top civil servant at the finance ministry said the government planned to reduce spending by, among other measures, cutting its wage bill by $330 million between 2019 and 2020.

5. Ronaldo says he left Real because of president Perez’s attitude

Cristiano Ronaldo says he decided to quit Real Madrid this summer because the Spanish club’s president, Florentino Perez, only ever saw him as a means of making money. “He [Perez] only ever looked at me as a business relationship. I know it. What he told me was never from the heart,” the Portuguese forward told France Football magazine.

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