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Doctors’ strike continues in Sudan as protests enter eighth day | Sudan News





Medical students at the University of Gadarif in eastern Sudan joined doctors at a central hospital on Wednesday to demand that President Omar al-Bashir step down, as anti-government protests entered their eighth day. 

Sudanese doctors, who launched a strike on Monday to protest the government, called on members of other professions to join the nationwide work stoppage. 

The medical students chanted slogans against the government as they left their university campus and entered the nearby hospital, witnesses told Al Jazeera. 

Is it Sudan’s version of the Arab Spring?

Security forces responded by cordoning off the hospital, reported activists.

“The protest staged by Gadarif’s medical students and doctors is part of the wave of demonstrations that have continued throughout this week,” Al Jazeera’s Altaher al-Mardi reported from Khartoum.

“The students and doctors expressed their support for their fellow demonstrators and their condemnation of the government’s use of force against them,” he added. 

Meanwhile, the Sudanese Doctors’ Association released a statement saying nine protesters had been injured during demonstrations in the capital city of Khartoum on Tuesday. One of the protesters is in critical condition, according to the statement.

Riot police in Khartoum had used live ammunition and tear gas in an attempt to disperse protesters marching towards the presidential palace on Tuesday. Videos posted online appeared to show crowds of several hundred people heading towards the palace.

Also on Wednesday, an umbrella coalition of independent professional unions said a protester injured in anti-government demonstrations had died of his wounds, reported Associated Press. The victim, identified as Abuzar Ahmed, was reportedly shot in the head last week in Gadarif.

The coalition had called for a nation-wide work stoppage on Monday, after doctors began an indefinite strike. Striking doctors have refused to work – except to treat emergency cases – in a bid to bring the government to a standstill.

At least 12 protesters have been killed since demonstrations decrying price hikes and wider economic woes gripped the country since December 19.The protests have since escalated into calls for al-Bashir to step down.

Amnesty International said it had “credible reports” that Sudanese police have killed 37 protesters since the protests began.

Probe into killings

Meanwhile, Sudan’s top Islamist party, a member of Bashir’s government, called for a probe into the killings of protesters in demonstrations.

At a press conference in Khartoum, Popular Congress Party senior official Idris Suleman said his party’s own reports indicated that 17 people “were martyred” and 88 wounded in the demonstrations.

Condemning the killings, the party urged the authorities to find those responsible.

“We call on the government to launch an investigation into the killings,” Suleman said.

“Those who committed these killings must be held accountable.”

Police and security officers remained deployed in several parts of the Sudanese capital on Wednesday.

Bashir has sought to clamp down on the protests by vowing to “take real reforms” to solve Sudan’s economic woes.

But his statements appear to have done little to appease protesters angered by financial hardships.

Sudan is mired in economic difficulties including an acute foreign currency shortage and soaring inflation.

The crisis has worsened despite the lifting of an economic embargo by the United States in October 2017.

Inflation is running at close to 70 percent and the Sudanese pound has plunged in value, while shortages in bread and fuel have been reported across several cities including Khartoum.

Since the start of the protest movement, Sudanese authorities had arrested several anti-government figures with liberal and communist backgrounds.

Al Jazeera and news agencies


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When Ontario declared a COVID-19 health emergency last spring, the first instinct of Ottawa entrepreneur Peter O’Blenis was to preserve cash.

“We basically stopped our discretionary spending,” said O’Blenis, the co-founder and CEO of Evidence Partners, which makes software for accelerating the review of scientific and medical literature, using artificial intelligence. “We cut investments in things meant to help us grow.”

It was a defensive posture born of experience. O’Blenis had 12 years earlier nearly been crushed by the global financial crisis. Another looked to be on the way.

In 2008, O’Blenis and his colleagues, Jonathan Barker and Ian Stefanison, hit a brick wall with their first venture, TrialStat, which helped hospitals manage patients’ electronic data. While TrialStat had secured $5.5 million in venture financing just a couple of years earlier, the founders had burned through most of it during a rapid expansion. When the financial world collapsed, so did their firm.

The trio played things far more conservatively with Evidence Partners, which has relied almost exclusively on customer revenues to finance expansion.

The caution proved unnecessary. Like so many other businesses, O’Blenis underestimated the government’s willingness to keep the economy afloat with easy money. Nor did he anticipate that COVID-19 would prove a significant catalyst for the firm’s revenues so soon.

Evidence Partners is hardly the only local firm with technology particularly suited for the war against COVID-19. Spartan Bioscience and DNA Genotek adapted existing products to create technology for identifying the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. Ottawa-based units of Abbott Laboratories and Siemens Healthineers make portable blood analyzers that diagnose patients afflicted by the virus.

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Shepherds of Good Hope wants to expand ByWard Market operation with eight-storey housing complex





The Shepherds of Good Hope plans to build an eight-storey building near its current shelter for the homeless in the ByWard Market that would include supportive housing for up to 48 people, a soup kitchen and a drop-in centre.

The organization says it wants to be part of the solution to the housing crisis that has fuelled a rise in homelessness in Ottawa.

People would be moved out of the emergency shelters and into their own tiny apartments in the complex, which would include a communal dining hall and staff available to help with mental health, addiction and medical problems, said Caroline Cox, senior manager of communications for the Shepherds.

Some residents in the neighbourhood are opposed, saying services for the homeless and vulnerable should not be concentrated in one area of the city.

“I was flabbergasted,” said homeowner Brian Nolan, who lives one block from the development proposed for 216 Murray St., where currently a one-story building houses offices for the Shepherds of Good Hope.

Nolan said that, in the 15 years he’s lived in the area, it has become increasingly unsafe, with home and car thefts, drug dealing, loitering, aggressive and erratic behaviour, urinating, defecating and vomiting on sidewalks and yards and sexual acts conducted in public on his dead-end street. Before he lets his son play basketball in the yard, he checks the ground for needles and his home security camera to see who is nearby.

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Carleton University Hosts the Forum Lecture: Towards a Feminist Post-COVID City





evehe Carleton University Forum Lecture: Towards a Feminist Post-COVID City given by Leslie Kern launches Ottawa Architecture Week. Urban geographer, author and academic, Kern will discuss how the pandemic has highlighted long-standing inequalities in the design, use and inclusivity of urban spaces. The talk will share some of the core principles behind a feminist urban vision to inform a wider vision of justice, equity and sustainability.

: Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.

About the Speaker

Kern holds a PhD in Women’s Studies from York University. She is currently an associate professor of Geography and Environment and director of Women’s and Gender Studies at Mount Allison University.

Kern is the author of two books on gender and cities, including Feminist City: Claiming Space in a Man-Made World (Verso). The book discusses how our cities have failed in terms of fear, motherhood, friendship, activism, the joy and perils of being alone, and also imagines what they could become.

Kern argues, “The pandemic has shown us that society can be radically reorganized if necessary. Let’s carry that lesson into creating the non-sexist city.”

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