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Sudan trade unions call for march to presidency as protests grow | Sudan News

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Trade unions and professional associations in Sudan have called for a nationwide work stoppage to protest against price hikes and worsening economic conditions, as doctors vowed to continue their indefinite strike.

Sudanese doctors launched their strike at 8am on Monday, according to activists, but said they would continue to deal with emergencies as the deadly protests entered the sixth day.

At least 12 people have been killed in the protests that erupted on Wednesday. Opposition groups, however, claim that at least 22 people have been killed in the unrest that has swept across the north African country.

The trigger of the protests was the rise in bread prices, but underlying these protests is a long-standing public discontent over the economic and political policies of Bashir’s regime

Mohamed Osman, independent Sudanese analyst

The Sudanese Professionals Association, an umbrella coalition for professional unions, called for a march on Tuesday from Abu Janzir Square in central Khartoum towards the presidential palace, demanding that President Omar al-Bashir step down immediately.

In a statement published on Sunday, the coalition said it would submit an official demand on Tuesday for the “president’s immediate resignation in response to the uprising by the Sudanese people… (and the) formation of a transitional government”.

‘Real reforms’

The Sudanese government on Monday affirmed that it will carry out economic reforms to “ensure a decent living for citizens”, according to the official Sudan news agency, in its first comment since the protests began.

“The state will take real reforms to guarantee a decent life for citizens,” said Bashir.

The coalition brings together syndicates and professional bodies that represent Sudanese doctors, lawyers, journalists, veterinarians, university professors and engineers.

Sporadic protests continued in Manaqil and Rufaa cities on Monday, according to AFP, while bigger protests erupted after a football match in Omdurman, a city on the opposite side of the Nile from Khartoum, on Sunday night.

Football fans leaving the match chanted slogans against the president and clashed with police who used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the fans, according to activists.

Video clips posted online showed them chanting “the people want to bring down the regime” – one of the main slogans of the Arab Spring uprisings.

Sudanese authorities have maintained a state of emergency in a number of provinces, while schools and universities continue to be suspended in an attempt by the government to limit the escalation of protests.

There have also been reports of limited access to social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter.





Omdurman Islamic University students hold a demonstration in Khartoum, Sudan. The protest was one in a series of anti-government protests across Sudan, initially sparked by rising prices and shortages. [AP Photo]

Sudanese diaspora mobilises

Meanwhile, Sudanese communities abroad have organised protests to show their support for the demonstrators in their home country.

“The Sudanese diaspora feels very strongly about what is happening in Sudan,” said Wafa May Elamin, a Sudanese-American activist, and co-organiser of a demonstration that is to take place at the Sudanese embassy in Washington, DC, on Monday.

“We hope to shed light on the issues facing people in Sudan, and gain the attention of the international community,” she told Al Jazeera.

Insaaf Abbas, a Sudanese-British activist, told Al Jazeera that members of the Sudanese community also held a demonstration in central Manchester, in northwest England, earlier on Monday.

“We are protesting to show our support for Sudan and to raise awareness in international media about what’s happening there,” said Abbas.

Other protests are planned to take place in several cities over the next few days across Canada, the US, Australia and the UK, according to British and American Sudanese activists.

Long-standing issues

The United States lifted its 20-year-old trade sanction on the country in 2017, but Sudan’s economic woes have continued to worsen over the past few years.

The country of 40 million people has struggled to recover from the loss of three-quarters of its oil output, which was its main source of foreign currency, when South Sudan seceded in 2011.

Although initially, the protests appeared to be tied to a recent increase in the price of a loaf of bread from one Sudanese pound to three, analysts believe the people’s grievances run deeper than that.

“The trigger of the protests was the rise in bread prices, but underlying these protests is a long-standing public discontent over the economic and political policies of Bashir’s regime,” Mohamed Osman, an independent Sudanese analyst, told Al Jazeera. 

“This is the second and stronger wave of what happened in September 2013. The government managed to survive then. But this time, the protesters seem more determined and out of the shock of mass killing that they suffered the previous time.”

A wave of protests erupted across Sudan in September 2013 after Bashir announced an end to fuel and other subsidies. Tens of people were killed in the protests, according to government estimates, while activists say fatalities were in the hundreds.

“Also, in terms of geography, the previous demonstrations were concentrated in Khartoum, where the government maintains a strong security presence. This week’s protests started in the northern states which are the heartland of the trade unions as well as Bashir’s ethnic base,” Osman, the analyst said.

The ruling National Congress Party said it understands the people’s anger over the economic situation, but spokesman Ibrahim el-Sadik accused Israel and “left-wing parties” of being behind the protests, according to AFP news agency.

On Sunday, the Sudanese military reiterated its support for al-Bashir in a statement, saying that it “stands behind its leadership”, according to the official SUNA news agency. This came after some senior military officers had reportedly joined protesters in the cities of Atbara, Gadarif and Port Sudan.

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Tiger-Cats claim victory against the Argos to maintain home record on Labour Day

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The Hamilton Tiger-Cats were at their devastating best against the Toronto Argonauts when the two locked horns on Labour Day at the Tim Hortons Field.

Just like with previous Labour Day fixtures, the Ticats produced a stellar performance with Dane Evans throwing two touchdown passes while Frankie Williams scored on a 67-yard punt return as they claimed a 32-19 victory on Monday. With this vital win, the Ticats extended their Labour Day home record to 7-0.

For players and fans of the Tiger-Cats, games on Labour Day are a lot more special and losing is something the Ticats aren’t used to.

“We know the fans are going to be behind us, we know Toronto is going to be chippy, we know it’s going to be sunny; we know it’s going to be windy. Everything that happened (Monday) we prepared for. There is something extremely special about Tim Hortons Field on Labour Day . . . you can feel it in the air, I can’t put it into words,” said Evans.

After the COVID-19 induced hiatus, the CFL is back in full action and fans can now bet on their favourite teams and just like with online slots Canada, real money can be won. Hamilton (2-2) recorded its second straight win to move into a tie atop the CFL East Division standings with Montreal Alouettes (2-2). Also, the Ticats lead the overall Labour Day series with Toronto 36-13-1.

In the sun-drenched gathering of 15,000—the maximum allowed under Ontario government COVID-19 protocols—the fans loved every minute of this feisty game. After all, this was the Ticats first home game in 659 days, since their 36-16 East Division final win over Edmonton in November 2019.

The contest between the Ticats and Argos was certainly not bereft of emotions, typical of a Labour Day fixture, as it ended with an on-field melee. But the Argos often found themselves on the wrong end of the decisions with several penalty calls and most of the game’s explosive plays.

Hamilton quarterback Evans completed 21-of-29 passing for 248 yards and the two touchdowns while Toronto’s make-shift quarterback Arbuckle completed 18-of-32 attempts for 207 yards. Arbuckle also made a touchdown and two interceptions before eventually being substituted by McLeod Bethel-Thompson.

Bethel-Thompson made an eight-yard TD pass to wide receiver Eric Rogers late in the final quarter of the game.

“They got after us a bit . . . we didn’t block, or pass protect well,” said Ryan Dinwiddie, rookie head coach of the Argos in a post-match interview. “They just kicked our butts; we’ve got to come back and be a better team next week.”

The Labour Day contest was the first of four fixtures this year between Toronto and Hamilton. The two teams would face off again on Friday at BMO Field. Afterwards, the Tim Hortons Field will play host to the Argonauts again on Oct. 11 with the regular-season finale scheduled for Nov. 12 in Toronto.

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Roughriders looking to bounce back after Labor Day defeat

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In what an unusual feeling for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, they would now need to dust themselves up after a 23-8 loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in what was a Labor Day Classic showdown in front of a full capacity crowd at Mosaic stadium.

Craig Dickenson, head coach of the Riders, witnessed his team with an unbeaten record get utterly dominated by a more superior team from Winnipeg. Now, he has got a lot of work on his hands getting his team back to winning ways as they visit the Banjo Bowl next.

“We’re going to see what we’re made of now…the jury’s out,” said Dickenson.

Dan Clark, who played centre for the Riders expressed his disappointment in losing what was “the biggest game of the year”.

 “If you lose every other game, you don’t want to lose that one. We’ve just got to take the next step,” said Clark in a report. “There are 12 steps to the Grey Cup left and it’s just about taking that next step and focusing on what Saturday will bring.”

With their first defeat to Winnipeg, the Riders (3-1) now rank second place in the CFL’s West Division, trailing the Bombers by one victory (4-1). However, the Riders will have the chance to even the season series during their trip to Winnipeg this Saturday. With the CFL heating up, fans can now enjoy online sports betting Canada as they look forward to their team’s victory.

The Rider’s offensive line will once again have a busy time dealing with the Blue Bombers’ defence.

Quarterback Cody Fajardo, who played one of the best games of his career two weeks earlier, had quite a stinker against the Bombers in the Labour Day Classic—which is the most anticipated game for Rider fans.

Fajardo had a 59 per cent completion percentage which wasn’t quite indicative of what the actual figure was considering he was at 50 per cent before going on a late drive in the final quarter with the Bombers already becoming laid back just to protect the win.

Fajardo also registered a personal worst when he threw three interceptions, but in all fairness, he was always swarmed by the Bomber’s defence.

While Fajardo has claimed responsibility for the loss and letting his teammates down, many would be curious to see how the team fares in their next game and with less than a week of preparation.

Dickenson is confident that his team would improve during their rematch in the 17th edition of the Banjo Bowl in Winnipeg. The only challenge now would be the loss of home advantage and dealing with the noisy home crowd, he added.

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Canadian report reveals spike in food-related litter during pandemic

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TORONTO — Restaurants’ inability to offer their usual dine-in service during much of 2020 may explain why an unusually high amount of food-related litter was found across the country, a new report says.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup (GCSC) is an annual program in which volunteers are encouraged to clean up green spaces and other natural areas.

Last year, single-use food and beverage containers made up 26.6 per cent of waste collected through the program – nearly twice as high a percentage as in 2019, before the pandemic.

“We suspect the change may be one of the many implications of COVID-19, including more people ordering restaurant takeaway and consuming more individually packaged foods,” GCSC spokesperson Julia Wakeling said in a press release.

While food- and beverage-related litter accounted for a greater percentage of waste uncovered by GCSC than in the past, it wasn’t the single largest category of items picked up through the program last year.

That dubious honour goes to cigarette butts and other smoking-related paraphernalia, which comprised nearly 29 per cent of all items collected. There were more than 83,000 cigarette butts among the 42,000 kilograms of waste found and clean up last year.

So-called “tiny trash” – little pieces of plastic and foam – also accounted for a sizeable share of the waste, making up 26.8 per cent of the total haul.

In addition to smoking-related items and tiny trash, the main pieces of litter removed by GCSC volunteers last year included nearly 22,000 food wrappers, more than 17,500 pieces of paper, more than 13,000 bottle caps and more than 10,000 beverage cans.

Discarded face masks and other forms of personal protective equipment were also detected and cleaned up, although not tallied in their own category.  PPE waste has been repeatedly cited as a concern by environmental advocates during the pandemic; a robin in Chilliwack, B.C. is the earliest known example of an animal that died due to coronavirus-related litter.

The GCSC is an annual program organized by Ocean Wise and the World Wildlife Fund Canada. Its operations were disrupted by the pandemic as well; only 15,000 volunteers took part in the program last year, versus 85,000 in 2019, due to delays and public health restrictions making large group clean-ups impossible.

Still, there was GCSC participation from every province and the Northwest Territories in 2020. Nearly half of the volunteers who took part were based in B.C., where the program began in 1994.

Data from past GCSC reports was used as part of the research backing Canada’s ban on certain single-use plastic items, which is scheduled to take effect by the end of 2021.

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