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Islamist-backed candidate becomes first woman mayor of Tunisian capital

TUNIS: Islamist-backed candidate Souad Abderrahim defeated a city official who served under ousted despot Zine el Abidine Ben Ali on Tuesday to become the first woman mayor of the Tunisian capital. "I dedicate this victory to all Tunisian women," Abderrahim said. "My first task will be to improve the face of Tunis." Deteriorating waste disposal services have blighted the capital since Ben Ali's 2011 overthrow in the first of that year's Arab Spring uprisings. The 53-year-old manager of a pharmaceutical firm, known…

First woman elected Mexico City mayor

MEXICO CITY: Mexico City has elected a woman mayor for the first time in history, local politician and scientist Claudia Sheinbaum, according to exit polls. Sheinbaum, 56, won the election to lead North America's largest city with between 47.5 and 55.5 percent of the vote, according to an estimate by polling firm Mitofsky. A woman had previously served as mayor of the capital on an interim basis -- Rosario Robles, from 1999 to 2000 -- but Sheinbaum, who holds a doctorate in physics, is the first woman elected to the…

U.S. Senate announces Gina Haspel as first woman CIA director

WASHINGTON: The U.S. Senate confirmed Gina Haspel on Thursday to be director of the CIA, ending a bruising confirmation fight centered on her ties to the spy agency’s past use of waterboarding and other brutal interrogation techniques. Haspel, who will be the first woman to lead the CIA, is a 33-year veteran at the agency currently serving as its acting director. The tally was 54-45 in favor of her nomination in the 100-member chamber, where a simple majority was required for confirmation. Six Democrats joined…