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President Kais Saied speaks to Najla Bouden Romdhane. Photo: Handout/Tunisian Presidency

Tunisian President Kais Saied on Wednesday named Najla Bouden Romdhane as the country's first woman prime minister.

Driving the news: The announcement comes two months after Saied removed the previous prime minister, Hichem Mechichi, suspended the Parliament and assumed wide executive powers in a move critics called a coup.

  • Saied has been under domestic and international pressure to form a new government, but last week he dismissed the constitution and said he could rule by decree, Reuters notes.

What he's saying: Saied said he urged Bouden to form a government as quickly as possible "because we have lost a lot of time," according to Reuters.

  • The president called Bouden's appointment "an honor for Tunisia and a homage to Tunisian women," per Reuters.

The big picture: Bouden is a little-known university engineer who has worked with the World Bank but has little government experience. Her lack of experience echoes that of Saied, who won the presidential election in 2019 as a political newcomer and a law professor.

  • Tunisia is facing a looming financial crisis "after years of economic stagnation were aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic and political infighting," Reuters writes.

Between the lines: The prime minister's role will likely be less important than in previous administrations after Saied last week said the government will be responsible to the president during an emergency period, per Reuters.

Go deeper

Updated Sep 29, 2021 - World

Fumio Kishida set to be Japan's next prime minister

Fumio Kishida, former foreign minister of Japan, at his office in Tokyo earlier this month. Photo: Shoko Takayasu/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Fumio Kishida, Japan's former foreign minister, was elected leader of the country's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The 64-year-old's win in the leadership election runoff means he's set to become prime minister of the world's third-largest economy, and a key U.S. ally, after a special parliamentary session on Monday, per the Washington Post.

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.