Tusk

Tusk

[tuhsk]
Tusk, Donald, 1957-, Polish political leader, prime minister of Poland (2007-), b. Gdańsk. After studying history at Gdańsk Univ., he became active in the Solidarity movement in the 1980s. He co-founded a party (the Liberal Democratic Congress) that emerged from Solidarity, which later merged into the Freedom Union, of which he became deputy chairman. In 2001 he co-founded the Civic Platform party, and after the 2001 elections Tusk became (2001-5) deputy speaker of the Polish parliament. In 2005 his party lost in the parliamentary elections to the Law and Justice party headed by Jarosław Kaczyński, and he was defeated in a bid for the presidency by Lech Kaczyński. An advocate of free-market policies, Tusk led the Civic Platform to victory in the 2007 parliamentary elections and became prime minister of a coalition government.

A tusk is an extremely long incisor tooth of certain mammals that protrudes when the mouth is closed. Tusk-bearing mammals include elephants, warthogs, wild boar, walruses, and narwhals. Tusks are used by humans to produce ivory, which is used in artifacts and jewelry, and formerly in other items such as piano keys.

Since most tusk-bearing mammals are endangered (especially the African elephant), the ivory trade is severely restricted by the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). It is unknown if or when this restriction will end.

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