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Sudan professionals call for new year eve march to presidency | Sudan News

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A coalition of professional associations in Sudan has again called for a march on the eve of the country’s 63rd anniversary of independence to demand that President Omar al-Bashir step down immediately.

In a statement on Friday, the Association of Sudanese Professionals, an umbrella coalition of professional unions, said the march would commence on Monday from Qandil Square in the capital city Khartoum to the presidential palace.

“Again, we demand Bashir’s immediate resignation … (and the) formation of a transitional government. We ask all our citizens to dedicate this day and night to protesting and to making it a special welcome of the New Year,” said the coalition in its statement.

The coalition had organised a similar march to the presidential palace on December 25, when riot police used live ammunition and tear gas to disperse the crowds of several hundreds of protesters.

wave of demonstrations began across much of Sudan on December 19, first against a rise in prices but later against the government of Bashir, who has been in power since a 1989 military coup.

The protests have coincided with worsening economic conditions, a currency devaluation, fuel shortages and a hike in the price of bread.

At least 19 people have been killed in the protests, according to government estimates, but Amnesty International puts the death toll at 37 since the demonstrations began.

Several journalists, activists and opposition leaders, including chief of the Sudanese Congress Party Omar el-Digeir and senior leader of Sudan’s Communist Party Siddiq Youssef, have been arrested according to civil society groups.

The head of the media office at the National Intelligence and Security Service has denied knowledge of the arrests.

Strikes continue

In solidarity with the demonstrations, the Sudanese Journalists Network announced on Thursday a three-day strike against what it described as “the Sudanese government’s crackdown on journalists”.

In a statement, the network said the strike was also in response to the detention of a group of its members who held a sit-in outside the office of independent newspaper al-Tayyar. Two journalists among the detainees were reportedly later released.

The announcement also came after Sudanese doctors launched an indefinite strike on Monday, while trade unions and other professional associations called for a nationwide work stoppage.

“The doctors’ strike will continue until we see a peaceful handover of power. We are not putting any patients at risk as all emergency cases are being treated,” Sara Abdelgalil, President of the Sudanese Doctor’s Union in the UK, told Al Jazeera.

“The journalists’ network has joined us and we hope that more professionals will do so as well,” she added.

On Saturday, the Sudanese Doctors’ Union published on its Facebook Page a list of at least 40 hospitals and medical centres across the country that are part of the strike.

According to Abdelgalil and a statement published by the Doctors’ Union, its chairman, Ahmed al-Shaikh, was arrested during the protests on Tuesday.

“His family tells us he is being held in Khartoum’s Kobar Jail along with the union’s vice-president,” said Abdelgalil.

Al Jazeera could not independently verify these reports.

Commenting on the march planned for Monday, Abdelgalil said: “We [Sudanese doctors] are very worried about the number of casualties that may arise from the protests planned for December 31.

“Cases received at hospitals over the past week have shown many gunshot wounds to the head, neck and chest. Peaceful protesters are being targeted to be killed.”

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

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 earlier this week.

Earlier this week, the Sudanese government affirmed 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 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.

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Driver in satisfactory condition following head-on Gatineau collision

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One person was in hospital in satisfactory condition following a head-on collision between two vehicles in Gatineau on Saturday.

According to Gatineau police, the crash occurred around 1:30 p.m. on Montée Paiement, between Saint-Thomas and Saint-Columban roads.

Each of the vehicles had only one occupant at the time of the incident.

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Ottawa military family alleges bad faith eviction by Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat in Canada

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An Ottawa military family alleges their former landlord — Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat in Canada — acted in bad faith when he gave them a notice of eviction, claiming he intended to move into their Vanier rental home with his own family.

The home is now listed for sale for $950,000, two months after Vivian and Tim Funk moved out with their two young children.

In documents filed with the Landlord and Tenant Board, the Funks detailed how their landlord, Sulaiman AlAqeel, acted to end their tenancy by allegedly pretending he was moving in himself. This was preceded by an attempt to market the house to new tenants for significantly more money when the Funks had not given notice indicating they would be leaving, the documents alleged. “The landlord’s representative,” according to the documents, allegedly told the Funks they needed to accept a $500 monthly rent increase and a new lease if they wanted to continue living in the rental property, which wouldn’t be legal under the Residential Tenancies Act.

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Ottawa COVID-19 hospitalization data showing half of cases coming from community, not just long-term care

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With local data showing 50 per cent of COVID-19 hospitalizations coming from the community, long-term care residents aren’t the only one vulnerable to severe illness from the virus, Ottawa’s Board of Health reports.

Despite the majority of deaths having happened in older adult age groups in long-term care homes, residents shouldn’t think institutions are the only settings that are vulnerable to outbreaks that lead to serious illness from the virus.

“[Ottawa Public Health] continues to expand our understanding of the types of settings and situations that have the most impact on COVID-19 transmission in our community and is seeking academic partners to better explore exposure risks as well as a broader assessment of the harms from different public health measures,” OPH outlined in its document, to be present at the Board of Health on Monday.

At the same time, however, OPH says it is working closely with partners on “processes to strengthen and streamline responses.” This includes weekly meetings across agencies to address issues and concerns to ensure a strong collaboration, ongoing communications with facilities, preventative visits and phone calls to review infection prevention and control.

In situations where OPH identified failings at an LTCH or concerns of compliance have been raised, OPH has been quick to issue letters of expectation that outline the deficiencies and timelines fo compliance.

It is unclear how many letters have been issued through both waves of the virus.

And while outbreaks in LTCH during wave two have recorded a higher number of LTCH outbreaks than in wave one, the overall morbidity and mortality has been lower. This means fewer cases, fewer deaths and a lower average duration of outbreaks.

OPH contributed this to building on lessons learned from early COVID-19 outbreaks in LTCH in Ottawa.

https://www.ottawamatters.com/local-news/ottawa-covid-19-hospitalization-data-of-severe-illness-shows-half-of-cases-coming-from-community-not-just-long-term-care-homes-3136152

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