Bangladesh: Jute mill workers protest low wages

By SM Najmus Sakib

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – Jute mill workers on Tuesday took to the streets of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka to demand higher wages.

The protest which started Monday blocked an entry road to Dhaka causing severe traffic jam.

The demands of the protesters include; a commission to form a wage structure, immediate payment of arrears, gratuities and provident fund, and reinstating those who lost jobs for attending protests.

On Monday, clashes between police and protesters left 16 people injured and more than 50 vehicles vandalized, local Daily Star reported.

Also on Monday, several thousand workers of 12 jute mills across the country did not report to work.

Workers of 26 jute mills, mostly state-owned, have been protesting since March.

The Ministry of Labor had assured workers that all arrears will be cleared by April 25, a promise that protesters say has not been kept.

Bangladesh is among the leading jute-producing nations of the world. The industry fetches it millions of dollars in revenue every year.

London: PKK supporters disturb peace in the city

                              By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal</p>  <p>LONDON (AA) – The activities of terrorist PKK sympathizers in London over the past week have come under more scrutiny, with some asking why backers of an illegal group are allowed to gather, mobilize publicly, and even freely raid media and human rights organizations.</p>  <p>Groups of protestors carrying terrorist PKK flags, banners, and posters -- bearing the insignia of the illegal group or the likeness of its jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan -- have been seen on the streets of the British capital.</p>  <p>A group of 50 PKK sympathizers invaded a building in London last Wednesday where the offices of Turkish international news channel TRT World and Britain’s ITV are located.</p>  <p>Another group on Saturday night invaded Amnesty International’s entrance and manhandled a security officer before being removed by police who were called to the scene.</p>  <p>In both incidents, the groups hung up posters and symbols of the terrorist organization PKK/YPG and freely and openly showed their solidarity with terrorism.</p>  <p>The PKK is a banned organization in the U.K. and anybody seem openly praising its terrorist activities should face prosecution.</p>  <p>The supporters have been observed shouting anti-Turkish slogans and were able to mount propaganda without interference from the authorities, despite laws that deem some of their actions on these marches criminal offences.</p>  <p>- Amnesty arrests</p>  <p>&quot;It is with considerable regret that Amnesty International can confirm that just before 10 p.m. last night a group of approximately 40 protesters rushed the door and forcibly entered the offices of the organization's International Secretariat in London,” the rights group said in a statement.</p>  <p>“A security guard was pushed and pulled to the ground and trampled underfoot,” it said.</p>  <p>Amnesty also said the police were called to the scene and they “assessed the situation and determined that criminal offenses had been committed and took action to remove those occupying the building.”</p>  <p>“Regretfully some of the protesters refused to leave and the police had to arrest and physically remove them,&quot; it added.</p>  <p>- Loopholes</p>  <p>Supporters of the terrorist group are known for their attacks on Turkish workplaces and mosques across Europe.</p>  <p>Although the group is banned in the U.K., the police have tolerated activities by its supporters, including rallies.</p>  <p>In 2016 rallies, two young Turkish citizens were attacked, a policeman was injured, and some members of the general public were harassed by PKK supporters.</p>  <p>London Mayor Sadiq Khan last year said that the PKK terrorist group takes advantage of loopholes in the U.K. to prevent counter-measures by the Metropolitan Police.</p>  <p>Speaking to Anadolu Agency in 2018, Khan said the loopholes that allow occasional demonstrations to be held by PKK supporters in the U.K. capital are not acceptable, adding that the Metropolitan Police ought to act against any banned organizations.</p>  <p>“I think it’s very important for the government and the home secretary to close those loopholes,” Khan said.</p>  <p>The PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU, waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years and has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women and children.</p>  <p>The YPG/PYD is its Syrian branch.</p>  <p> 

Hundreds of Sudanese protest Egypt's Sisi in Khartoum

By Omer Erdem

KHARTOUM (AA) – Hundreds of Sudanese gathered on Saturday in capital Khartoum to protest Egypt’s president for “interfering” Sudan’s internal affairs.

The protesters from Omdurman city, the second largest city in state of Khartoum, demonstrated against Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for “meddling” Sudan’s internal affairs in a march towards the Cairo Embassy in Khartoum.

Chanting slogans like “This is Sudan, “your border ends at [the Upper Egyptian city of] Aswan!”, the protesters objected any kind of foreign “interference” to Sudan’s internal issues.

Protesters ended their march at the Army Headquarter.

A similar demonstration took place on Thursday to condemn Sisi’s “interference” in their affairs.

On April 11, the Sudanese army announced the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir following months of popular demonstrations against his 30-year rule.

A Military Transitional Council (MTC) is now overseeing a two-year “transitional period” during which it has pledged to hold presidential elections.

The Sudanese opposition, however, has continued to stage demonstrations to demand that the MTC relinquish power — immediately — to a civilian government.

On Tuesday, Cairo hosted an African Union (AU) summit, where participants called for giving the MTC a three-month deadline for handing power over to a civil administration.

Egypt currently holds the AU’s rotating chairmanship.

Sisi came to power in Egypt on the back of a 2013 military coup against Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first-ever democratically-elected leader.

UPDATE – Algerians hold anti-regime demos for 10th Friday in row

                            <p>ADDS FRESH DETAIL</p>    <p>By Hassan Jebril</p>    <p>ALGIERS (AA) - Hundreds demonstrated in Algiers on Friday -- and in other cities across Algeria -- to demand the departure of all government officials associated with the regime of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.</p>    <p>The 82-year-old Bouteflika resigned early this month after several weeks of popular protest against his 20-year rule.</p>    <p>Parliament Speaker Abdelkader Bensalah is now serving as interim president for a 90-day transitional period -- overseen by the army -- during which presidential elections will be held.</p>    <p>Demonstrators, however, have continued to call for the removal of all Bouteflika-era officials, including Bensalah.</p>    <p>They also demand the prosecution of Said Bouteflika, the former president’s influential brother, who is described by detractors as the “gang leader”.</p>    <p>On Friday, more than 1,000 protesters converged on the capital’s Al-Barid Square -- for the tenth week in a row -- where they shouted anti-regime slogans and demanded accountability for Bouteflika-era abuses.</p>    <p>Security has been dramatically stepped up in the capital, especially in central Algiers near the presidential palace.</p>  <p><br></p>  <p>*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat</p> 

Protesters slam Egypt ‘interference’ in Sudan’s affairs

            KHARTOUM (AA) - Hundreds of Sudanese marched towards the Egyptian embassy in Khartoum on Thursday to condemn what they described as Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s “interference” in their affairs. <br>

“This is Sudan,” marchers chanted. “Your authority ends at [the Upper Egyptian city of] Aswan.”

On Sudanese social-media accounts, activists posted video footage showing protesters in central Khartoum chanting angrily against al-Sisi.

<p>On April 11, the Sudanese army announced the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir following months of popular demonstrations against his 30-year rule.<br>

A Military Transitional Council (MTC) is now overseeing a two-year “transitional period” during which it has pledged to hold presidential elections.

The Sudanese opposition, however, has continued to stage demonstrations to demand that the MTC relinquish power — immediately — to a civilian government.

On Tuesday, Cairo hosted an African Union (AU) summit, where participants called for giving the MTC a three-month deadline for handing power over to a civil administration.

Egypt currently holds the AU’s rotating chairmanship.

Al-Sisi came to power in Egypt on the back of a 2013 military coup against Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first-ever democratically-elected leader.

UK police arrest 570 in climate change protests

                                                   By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal</p>    <p>LONDON (AA) - At least 570 climate change protesters have been arrested in London since Monday, British police said Friday.</p>    <p>In a Twitter post, the Metropolitan Police said the “protesters are using tactics of lying on the ground when approached” and this makes “at least four officers to remove one person to ensure their safety”.</p>    <p>The protesters demand urgent action from the government to tackle climate change and ecological crisis.</p>    <p>They have blocked some main and busy roads in London, which includes Waterloo Bridge, Oxford Street, Piccadilly Circus and Marble Arch since Monday morning.</p>    <p>A small group of younger protesters blocked a roundabout in Heathrow Airport area Friday morning but they were removed from the roads to keep the disruption to a minimum.</p>    <p>Heathrow Airport said that they were working with police to avoid such disturbance.</p>    <p>The protesters -- gathered by an environmentalist group called the Extinction Rebellion -- demanded the government to acknowledge there is an environment crisis, enact legally binding policies to reduce carbon emission by 2025 and form citizens’ assembly to “oversee the changes” needed to achieve this goal.</p>    <p>The group has vowed to increase the tone of their protest and they would be on the streets “as long as it takes.”</p>    <p>London police had issued a public order condition as of Monday evening, which means that protesters should leave the scene when they are asked to.</p>    <p>&quot;The same condition has been implemented to those in the Oxford Circus area,&quot; the police said.</p>    <p>The condition has since been “extended for a further three days.”</p>    <p>“In order to impose this condition, the Met required evidence that serious disruption was being caused to communities in London,” the police said.</p>    <p>Friday is the start of a four-day-long Easter break and the Extinction Rebellion said on Twitter thousands of more people would come and join them in London.</p>    <p>The protesters do not resist to arrests and most of them are released in a few hours after giving statements at police stations.

Police arrest over 460 in London climate protest

             By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal</p>    <p>LONDON (AA) - More than 450 people have been arrested in London since an environmentalist protest has started on Monday, British police said Thursday.</p>    <p>“As of 3.30 p.m. on Thursday, more than 460 people have been arrested -- all for section 14 Public Order Act breaches and obstruction of the highway,” London’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement.</p>    <p>The protesters demand urgent action from the government to tackle climate change and ecological crisis.</p>    <p>They have blocked some main and busy roads in London, which includes Waterloo Bridge and Oxford Street.</p>    <p>The protesters -- gathered by an environmentalist group called the Extinction Rebellion -- demand the government to acknowledge there is an environment crisis, enact legally binding policies to reduce carbon emission by 2025 and form citizens’ assembly to “oversee the changes” needed to achieve this goal.</p>    <p>The group has vowed to increase the tone of their protest and they would be on the streets “as long as it takes.”</p>    <p>Three protesters who disrupted a light railway system when they glued themselves to trains on Wednesday have been charged with public disorder offenses and appeared in court on Thursday. The court refused to release them on bail.</p>    <p>The Extinction Rebellion said they will disrupt the Heathrow Airport on Friday if their demands are not met.</p>    <p>Heathrow Airport, for its part, said that they were working with police to avoid such disturbance.</p>    <p>London police issued a public order condition as of Monday evening, which means that protesters should leave the scene when they are asked to.</p>    <p>&quot;The same condition has been implemented to those in the Oxford Circus area,&quot; police said.</p>    <p>The condition has since been “extended for a further three days.”</p>    <p>“In order to impose this condition, the Met required evidence that serious disruption was being caused to communities in London,” police said.</p>    <p>Friday is the start of a four-day-long Easter break and the Extinction Rebellion said on Twitter thousands of more people would come and join them in London.</p>    <p>The protesters do not resist to arrests and most of them are released in a few hours after giving statements at police stations.

Lebanon employees protest possible wage cuts

By Wassim Saif al-Din

BEIRUT (AA) – Lebanon's public sector employees went on strike on Wednesday to protest possible cuts in their wages by the government.

Hundreds of university professors and employees held a protest in central Beirut as parliament convened to discuss the country's budget deficit.

Protesters raised banners demanding the government and parliament to not make cuts to their wages, pensions and end-of service benefits.

Dozens of teachers also staged a protest outside the premises of the education ministry in Beirut against the cuts. Roads were reportedly blocked in the Lebanese capital as part of the protest.

"There is an economic crisis and we will take tough decisions," Prime Minister Saad Hariri told parliament, but without elaborating.

The public sector employees in Lebanon are estimated at around 300,000.

UPDATE – Police arrest more than 200 protesters in London

                UPDATES WITH MORE ARRESTS; CHANGES HEADLINE, DECK, LEDE

By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal

LONDON (AA) – The U.K. police on Tuesday said they have arrested 209 climate change protesters since Monday evening.

The updated number by police came after more than a 100 overnight arrests as the protest brought London to a standstill with some roads in the city blocked since Monday morning.

London Metropolitan Police issued a public order act as of Monday evening, which means that protesters should leave the scene when they are asked to. "The same condition has been implemented to those in the Oxford Circus area," police said.

“The Metropolitan Police Service is currently dealing with a number of demonstrations taking place across London," Chief Superintendent Colin Wingrove said in an earlier statement.

“We have officers out on the ground engaging with protestors and local communities to ensure proportionate policing plans are in place,” Wingrove said.

“We need to ensure we are striking the right balance between allowing the right to a peaceful protest, while ensuring disruption to communities is kept to a minimum,” he added.

The protesters have blocked Waterloo Bridge, one of the main passages across River Thames as well as Marble Arch and Oxford Circus areas in central London.

The organizers, Extinction Rebellion, a grassroots activist movement, have said they plan to continue the protests throughout the week.

The protesters are demanding the government to declare a state of "climate emergency" and reforms "to address climate change as an educational priority".

London: Police arrest more people on Waterloo Bridge

             By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal

LONDON (AA) – Police on Tuesday arrested more than 20 protesters on London's Waterloo Bridge on the second day of demonstrations staged by a climate group.

This comes after more than a 100 overnight arrests as the protest brought London to a standstill with some roads in the city blocked since Monday morning.

London Metropolitan Police issued a public order act as of Monday evening, which means that protesters should leave the scene when they are asked to.

“The Metropolitan Police Service is currently dealing with a number of demonstrations taking place across London," Chief Superintendent Colin Wingrove said.

“We have officers out on the ground engaging with protestors and local communities to ensure proportionate policing plans are in place,” he said.

“We need to ensure we are striking the right balance between allowing the right to a peaceful protest, while ensuring disruption to communities is kept to a minimum.”

The protesters have blocked Waterloo Bridge, one of the main passages across River Thames.

The rallies are also being held in Marble Arch and Oxford Circus, other hotspots in the British capital.

The organizers, Extinction Rebellion, a grassroots activist movement, have said they plan to continue the protests throughout the week.

The protesters are demanding the government to declare a state of "climate emergency" and reforms "to address climate change as an educational priority".