Daily Archives: April 19, 2019

Home Appliances and Automobiles Highlight Smart Technology During Phase 1 of 125th Canton Fair

GUANGZHOU, China, April 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The 125th China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair) is showcasing more than 8,700 exhibitors from the home appliance, automobile, construction, chemical and energy sectors during Phase 1, with a special highlight on smart technologies in these areas.

Home Appliances Apply Human-oriented Smart Manufacturing

More than 2,700 home appliance suppliers, including world leaders such as Haier, Midea, Haisen, TCL, Gree and Changhong, are demonstrating not only high-tech and smart products but also the digital services behind them. Galanz, a leading Chinese electronic home appliance manufacturer, has brought their smart home product lineup to Canton Fair. Products introduced include its IoT fridge which enables users to monitor and control the appliance on their mobile device.

Home Appliances and Automobiles Highlight Smart Technology During Phase 1 of 125th Canton Fair

Singfun, a home appliance leader in electric heaters and fans in China, is demonstrating its latest achievements at the Fair. Eric Zhu, Sales Manager of Singfun, noted that the technologies Canton Fair has showcased is a signal of Chinese businesses introducing their manufacturing capabilities to the international market. Companies such as Singfun are taking advantage of the Fair’s platform to promote its brand to global customers. “Canton Fair as a platform is helping us on increasing our brand’s visibility. We meet new friends and customers every year,” Zhu said.

Vansky Fan, General Manager of the International Business Division, Overseas Brand Development Dept. of Konka Group Co., Ltd., a Chinese manufacturer of electronics products and a regular exhibitor at Canton Fair, added that Konka aims to find cross-border business partners and create a path for its private brand at the Fair. Its displayed products show innovation in visual technology, from an 8K-size display to smart home systems.

“Implementation of the latest technology in internet, big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence are seen not only in the mobile industry but in home appliances and automobiles as well. Products in these areas are becoming terminals for human-computer interaction,” said Liu Quandong, Deputy Director General of the Foreign Affairs Office of Canton Fair. “Canton Fair is privileged to present these trends to the world and explore how humans realize their potential and achieve technological breakthroughs.”

Automobiles: High-Tech Embraces a Smarter Future

This year’s Canton Fair also gathers 1,300 businesses in the motorcycle, bicycle, auto parts and vehicle sectors, including industrial experts and leaders such as Phoenix bicycle, Yadea, Guizhou tire and Leoch battery. Exhibitors are cultivating new business modes to develop new energy and smart products.

Driven by innovation, Qianjiang Motorcycle has made breakthroughs in its three key business sectors including high-end motorcycles, industrial robots and smart electrical equipment. “Innovation is crucial for us, that’s why we are investing in new energy and smart technologies, as well as innovative design of motorcycles, ” Dante Bustos, Sr. Director of Marketing &Communication of Qianjiang Motorcycle said. “The products we brought to the Fair this time, Benelli Leoncino, Benelli TRK251 and Benelli 180S, from design to manufacturing, are achievements of an international team in Qianjiang Motor, with team members from Italy and China, and they should shine at an international platform just like Canton Fair.”

For more information, visit: http://cantonfair.org.cn/en/index.aspx

About Canton Fair

The China Import and Export Fair, also known as the Canton Fair, is held biannually in Guangzhou every spring and fall. Established in 1957, the fair is now a comprehensive exhibition with the longest history, highest level, largest scale and largest number of products as well as the broadest distribution of buyer origins and the highest business turnover in China.

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Media from the Middle East Visit GAC Motor to Experience Smart Manufacturing

GUANGZHOU, China, April 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Mainstream media from the Middle East have visited the leading Chinese automaker GAC Motor’s (“the Company”) headquarter in Guangzhou, China. The Middle East is the first overseas market that GAC Motor has explored. To date, the Company has entered eight countries in the region, become the best-selling Chinese auto brand in Kuwait and Bahrain, and established a high-end automobile brand image.

Mainstream Media from the Middle East at GAC Motor’s Factory

Mainstream media from the Middle East have visited GAC Motor’s Factory, GAC R&D Center, GAC NE Center, GAC Pavilion, GAC Sales and Service Center, and directly gained insights from experiencing the cutting-edge and innovative technologies as well as strict quality management system. Seeing the full picture of the Company’s highlighting achievements on smart manufacturing in terms of research, design, production, marketing and sales, they highly recognized the Company’s capabilities in independent research, design and manufacture. The group also participated in the roundtable with GAC’s senior executives during the visit.

Jorge Bialade, a reporter and the General Manager of YallaMotor.com, commented that visiting GAC Motor facilities in Guangzhou helped him to learn about the brand and its true potential, which changed his perception of the brand in a positive way.

“We at Yalla Motor were lucky enough to visit GAC Motor’s factories, R&D center, showrooms and service centers which allowed us to assess the high tech they are using and the quality of their products. Most importantly, we learned about their ambitious plans for the future in terms of new models, electrification and autonomous driving,” noted Bialade.

“Last but not the least, we got to know their people, from their president to directors to front-line workers. We saw how they all work in perfect synergy towards building and developing a great automotive brand. We warmly welcome GAC Motor and their people to the Middle East.”

The group also took rides on GAC Motor’s all-star car models, including the SUV GS8 and the MPV GM8, and spoke highly of the product quality as well as the brand’s persistence in pushing forward their internationalization process on a firm footing.

“I was impressed at how huge GAC Group is, and at the extent of its joint ventures with the biggest automotive brands. GAC Motor has a promising future, and I’m optimistic about GAC entering the Middle East market,” noted Hatem Saleh Alkhathlan, a reporter at Saudi Shift Magazine.

Yu Jun, President of GAC Motor, at Media Roundtable

At the media roundtable, GAC Motor’s senior executives had good conversations with mainstream media from the Middle East. Yu Jun, President of GAC Motor, answered media’s questions about GAC Motor’s products, R&D and design, marketing plans in the Middle East, overseas branding strategies, the Company’s business philosophy, etc.

“China has lots of economic and trade exchange with Middle Eastern countries; we are reinforcing the GAC Motor brand in the region to raise market awareness and strengthen our competitiveness with innovative designs and high product quality,” noted Yu Jun, President of GAC Motor.

Middle East Media Group Visiting GAC Motor Group Photo

GAC Motor has partnered with Saudi’s Aljomaih Automotive Company, one of the largest auto dealers in the region, to promote GAC Motor’s products. Earlier this year, GAC Motor successfully gained the recognition and built the brand awareness in the Saudi Arabia market after launching four independent showrooms there.

And through strategic cooperation with the renowned UAE’s Gargash Group, GAC Motor’s sales and service center in Dubai are now in full operation.

GAC Motor will officially release its star models, the GS3 SUV and GA4 sedan, in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar, followed by UAE and Bahrain in May 2019. Later in November, GAC Motor will return to the Dubai International Motor Show (the Show), which is the second time that GAC Motor participates in the Show.

About GAC Motor

Founded in 2008, Guangzhou Automobile Group Motor CO., LTD (GAC Motor) is a subsidiary of GAC Group which ranks 202nd among Fortune Global 500 companies. The company develops and manufactures premium quality vehicles, engines, components and auto accessories. GAC Motor has now ranked first among all Chinese brands for six consecutive years in J.D. Power Asia Pacific’s China Initial Quality StudySM (IQS), demonstrating the company’s quality-centric strategy from innovative research and development (R&D), manufacturing to supply chain and sales & services.

For more information, please visit:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GACMotor
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gac_motor
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/gac_motor

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The 43rd CIFF concludes after hosting some 300,000 professional visitors

GUANGZHOU, China, April 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The 43rd China International Furniture Fair (Guangzhou) (CIFF), viewed by industry watchers as having been a great success, concluded on March 31. The fair was held in two phases, from March 18 to 21 and from March 28 to 31, bringing together 4,344 exhibitors and playing host to approximately 300,000 professional buyers and visitors worldwide.

The 43rd China International Furniture Fair (Guangzhou) hosts some 300,000 professional visitors

CIFF, the one-stop new product debut platform of choice for businesses, is designed to create opportunities for exhibitors who are seeking to launch new products or market products both in and outside of China.

The furniture exhibition zone dedicated to home improvement showcased a variety of new products from original design brands, internationally-renowned manufacturers and emerging entrepreneurs in the housewares space.

Exhibits in the home accessories and textiles area covered the gamut from new products for background décor to furniture suites for full-scale remodeling projects aimed at creating an inspiring living environment in the family home.

In the outdoor home furnishings exhibition zone, visitors circulated among product lineups that were a fusion of Eastern and Western decorative styles for families seeking to fashionably equip their backdoor patio or terrace.

The office furniture and accessories exhibition zone integrated new themes that are trending across the sector, such as health and senior care, hospitality and interior furnishings, in addition to displays of conventional office facilities.

The exhibition zone designed for machinery and equipment focused on new applications as well as the development of intelligent technologies pertinent to the industry, giving visitors an opportunity to gain a comprehensive overview of the trends taking place across the world of furniture via exhibits from internationally established brands, in addition to a series of product release conferences and forums.

CIFF, a stage for new product launches, highlighted 25 of the most forward-looking and original products displayed in a feature zone of the event entitled Global Exhibit of New and Latest Household Products and Furniture.

CIFF was also the leading choice for high-end global brands seeking to carve out a niche in China’s highly competitive marketplace. The inaugural display zone for high-end and imported exhibits was set up to cater to the needs of overseas exhibitors.

CIFF brought together several original brands. Several leaders in the field, among them, Wen Hao, Zhu Xiaojie, Hou Zhengguang, Chen Xiangjing, and Chai Xiaodong, gave presentations on new trends in the Chinese furniture sector.

Impressive and diversified design highlights, enhanced business advantages and a comprehensively upgraded service experience, among other new touches, allowed both exhibitors and visitors to go back home with a memorable experience.

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/870927/43rd_CIFF_Guangzhou.jpg

The 43rd CIFF features wider diversification of exhibits and upgraded services

GUANGZHOU, China, April 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The 43rd China International Furniture Fair (Guangzhou) (CIFF), which was held in two segments, took place in Pazhou, a subdistrict of Haizhu in southeastern Guangzhou, from March 18 to 21 and from March 28 to 31. At the 760,000-square meter event, over 90% of the exhibitors debuted their new products, while more than 50 companies held new product release conferences.

Founded in the spring of 1998, the China International Furniture Fair, usually more well-known by its initials, CIFF, takes place semi-annually, in Guangzhou in the spring and in Shanghai in the autumn. It is regarded as a leading event of its kind in terms of scale, diversity of exhibits, number of visitors as well as turnover.

This year’s event caused a lot more excitement across the industry in addition to a higher level of diversity in terms of products and services, thanks to a number of new highlights.

With a focus on innovation, the event, which has assumed the role as the go-to platform for new product launches, highlighted 25 original products on display in a feature zone of the event entitled Global Exhibit of New and Latest Household Products and Furniture.

Several well-known Chinese designers, among them, Wen Hao, Zhu Xiaojie, Hou Zhengguang, Chen Xiangjing, and Chai Xiaodong, gave presentations on new trends in the Chinese original furniture sector.

The 43rd CIFF features wider diversification of exhibits and upgraded services

A series of exciting events were held during the expo, including some scenario-focused exhibitions which looked at different ways of creating a new and holistic environment in the home, setting new directions in terms of answering the expectations of new-generation individuals who seek to take control in determining their lifestyle.

Over 60 leading multi-disciplinary designers inspired visitors to think about what a high-quality lifestyle looks like by messaging across the many segments of the design sector at the expo via cases sharing, forums, presentations on latest trends in addition to various seminars and workshops.

With the presence of a large number of exhibitors from across the world, the event organizers further enhanced their special trade matching service, inviting large buyers and designers from China and abroad to attend, understanding their buying needs and setting up appointments with exhibitors fitting their profiles.

To assure that the invited attendees would feel that they had gained something meaningful upon their return home, the event personalized the invitation according to the interest of the invitee in terms of theme, sector and channel, based on the analysis of the visitor database. The invited buyers could enter the expo via a QR code scan without having to wait in line as well as get easy access to exhibition information by querying the guide at the information desk.

Targeted marketing and sales as well as the event’s massive footprint in the industry has made CIFF unique and unrivaled. The 44th China International Furniture Fair (Shanghai) will be held at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) in Hongqiao from September 8 to 11, continuing CIFF’s efforts at creating of a model home that fits the lifestyle of every member of the family.

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/870937/CIFF_43rd_furniture_fair.jpg

‫شركة آركتيك سولار تحتفظ بموقع في المراتب الأربع العليا في الصناعة، مع زيادة حصتها في سوق الوحدات الشمسية في العام 2018

شنغهاي، 18 نيسان/أبريل، 2019 / بي آر نيوزواير / — تم تصنيف شركة آركتيك سولار، وهي شركة موفرة لأنظمة التتبع والاصطفاف الشمسي، في الرقم 1 في منطقة آسيا المحيط الهادىء وفي المرتبة الرابعة في حصص سوق الوحدات الشمسية العالمي في العام 2018، حسب تقرير حصص سوق المتتبعات الشمسية وتوجهات الشحن العالمي للعام 2019 الذي أصدرته شركة وود مكنزي باور أند رينيوبلز.

وإذ تصدرت التصنيفات للسنة الثالثة على التوالي، كشف التقرير أن آركتيك سولار استحوذت على 9٪ من سوق تتتبع الطاقة الكهروضوئية العالمي بحسب الميغاواطات التي شحنتها في العام 2018، وهي زادت حصتها في السوق بشكل مطرد من 6٪ في العام 2017. إلى جانب ذلك، ضاعفت آركتيك سولار شحنات متتبعات الطاقة الشمسية الكهروضوئية العالمية التاريخية مقارنة بالعام الماضي.

وبالإضافة إلى ريادتها في منطقة آسيا والمحيط الهادئ، حققت آركتيك سولار طفرة كبيرة في المناطق الأخرى، على سبيل المثال، احتلت المرتبة الثالثة في أستراليا لأول مرة. كما أنها أصبحت من بين أكبر 10 شركات في المكسيك والبرازيل وإسبانيا وأميركا اللاتينية وأوروبا. ويعود الكثير من الإنجازات إلى استراتيجية توسيع سوق آركتيك سولار في أسواق الطاقة الشمسية سريعة النمو في العام 2018.

وقال السيد غاي رونغ، رئيس قسم الأعمال الدولية لشركة آركتيك سولار: “تمثل هذه النتائج علامة فارقة بالنسبة لشركة آركتيك سولار وأثبتت قدرتنا التنافسية في سوق التتبع الشمسي. يشرفنا أن يتم الاعتراف بنا كواحدة من الشركات الرائدة في السوق للعام الثالث على التوالي، ونعتقد أن هذا يؤكد استراتيجيتنا العالمية والتزامنا المستمر بالابتكار والخدمة”.
حافظت آركتيك سولار أيضًا على ريادتها في قائمة الشحنات الكهروضوئية الإجمالية التاريخية (بما في ذلك الشحنات الثابتة والتتبعية) للسنة الثالثة على التوالي مع سجل تراكمي بلغ 18.827 غيغاواط.

ويأتي هذا النمو المثير للإعجاب نتيجة لاستراتيجية تدويل الشركة وتفانيها في الابتكار والتنفيذ وخدمة العملاء. يمتد وصول  آركتيك سولار، التي استهلت منهجها العالمي في العام 2013، إلى أربع قارات، وتمكّنها خبرتها ومعرفتها بالمعايير المحلية لأكثر من 20 دولة من توفير حلول مخصصة.

وبالإضافة إلى توسيع نطاق وجودها الدولي، تواصل آركتيك سولار تطوير التقنيات المتقدمة، بما في ذلك أنبوب عزم الدوران الجديد Skyline ونظام التتبع الرائد عالميا  SkySmart. توفر هذه الابتكارات كفاءة أعلى في استهلاك الطاقة، وتكاليف تركيب وصيانة منخفضة، بينما تحتفظ بموثوقيتها وتوافقها مع معايير الشهادات العالمية. على وجه التحديد، اجتاز نظاما التتبع هذان اختبارات نفق الرياح مع أخذ تأثير سفك الدوامة في الاعتبار، مثل تحليل عدم الاستقرار الديناميكي والضغط الهوائي. وبالتالي، يمكن أن تساعد آركتيك سولار في حماية جودة نظام التتبع وتوفير قاعدة مستقرة كشريك موثوق به للمستثمرين العالميين.

تخطط آركتيك سولار لعرض منتجاتها الرئيسية في المعارض التجارية في جميع أنحاء العالم في العام 2019 وما بعده كجزء من مهمتها المستمرة المتمثلة في جلب الطاقة النظيفة إلى العالم.

حول اركتيك سولار
آركتيك سولار هي واحدة من الشركات الرائدة في العالم المصنعة والمزودة لحلول أنظمة التتبع والاصطفاف الشمسية. في العقد الماضي، أنشأت آركتيك سولار بنجاح فروعا / مراكز خدمات خارجية في الولايات المتحدة والهند واليابان وإسبانيا والمكسيك وأستراليا. اعتبارًا من نهاية العام 2018، قمنا بتركيب سعة إنتاجية تبلغ 19 غيغاواط واستكملنا بناء 900 مشروع في 24 دولة. وتعتبر آركتيك سولار الآن شريكًا موثوقًا به في صناعة التتبع واصطفاف الألواح الكهروضوئية العالمية. لمزيد من المعلومات، يرجى زيارة الموقع www.arctechsolar.com.

لمعلومات وسائل الإعلام، يرجى الاتصال:
ليزا جو
هاتف: 18918888669-86+
إيميل: lisa.zhou@arctechsolar.com

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Sudanese Political Cartoonist Seeks Lasting Change with Iconic Images

A week after the Sudanese military ousted Omar al-Bashir as president and seized control of the country, protesters continue to demand representation and civilian rule.

Thousands of kilometers away, Khalid Albaih monitors the events that are unfolding in Khartoum, the capital, with rapt attention. He scrolls through his social media feeds for updates, and consults a network of contacts about the latest developments.

Since December, the protests in Sudan have swelled into an uprising that toppled Bashir, who had held power for nearly three decades.

The military is now in charge, but protesters want a civilian government, leading to a series of high-profile resignations and ongoing tension.

Within the chaos, Albaih looks for decisive moments. Then, he draws them, capturing complex events with simple designs that highlight key actors and their motives.

‘Deja vu’

A Sudanese political cartoonist, Albaih has for years lived in Doha, Qatar, where he witnessed the Arab Spring, a series of political revolts, unfold. He sees parallels between Sudan’s uprising and the changes that gripped countries such as Egypt and Libya.

For me, this is a deja vu, Albaih told VOA.

Albaih sees himself as a kind of interlocutor.

I’m trying to, as much as possible, push for what’s happening in Sudan � translate as much as possible � to make sure that the people around the world understand the facts from our point of view, Albaih said.

Born in Bucharest, Albaih never worked for a newspaper. But his cartoons and commentaries have drawn a large following online. As the Arab Spring unfolded, he created a cartoon a day for eight years.

Now he’s aiming to tell the world what’s happening in his home country, in the hope that knowledge translates into action.

But convulsions in Sudan have felt more personal. It hurts, Albaih said. It’s very hard to get your heart broken twice, referring to the rise of military rule in the wake of Bashir’s ouster.

In one recent cartoon, Albaih depicts former Defense Minister Awad Ibn Auf, who has since stepped down, addressing the nation from an oversized chair. A host of other top officials, including Bashir, peek from behind, signifying a revolving door of military and government insiders.

It’s the happiness being kidnapped, Albaih said.

‘We need entertainment, not news’

Albaih sees his cartoons as a way to grab attention in a media-saturated world that craves jarring images.

I think the Western media have the fetish of images, of visuals, he said.

Albaih plays to that desire, doing what he can to get play in international outlets in the hope they, in turn, raise awareness of people’s struggles.

It’s fortunate, but it’s very unfortunate, that we live in the day and age of this viral culture, he said.

In such a world, it’s often the most shocking imagery that prompts action. It’s really sad that, as humans, we need entertainment, not news, he added.

Albaih cited the example of Aylan Kurdi, a 3-year-old Syrian refugee who drowned off the coast of Turkey when the boat he was in capsized. Images of Kurdi’s lifeless body on a Turkish beach shocked the world and brought a new level of international scrutiny to a years-long crisis that had, by then, displaced 4 million people.

A political cartoon by Khalid Albaih, based on widely shared images of Syrian refugee children Alan Kurdi and Omran Daqneesh.

Audiences seem to fixate on archetypes, according to Albaih � not just victims, but also saviors.

The Western media have always looked for heroes in this part of the world. So they always make one person into this god or goddess, as if this is the hope for this ruined region. You know, we have one person, who’s going to save it.

But Albaih hopes people see past a single image to the deeper meanings it represents.

Photographs of individual suffering, strife or triumph can personify an issue and captivate an audience, but they can’t tell the full story � stories like Kurdi’s 5-year-old brother, who drowned on the same boat en route to Greece. Or the millions of other Syrians whose lives have been upended since the country’s civil war broke out in 2011.

‘No action’

In another cartoon, Albaih depicts a woman holding back an oversized version of Salah Abdallah Gosh, Sudan’s former head of intelligence, with just her finger, while Gosh attempts to crush her with his foot.

The protester, Alaa Salah, 22, led chants in Khartoum earlier this month.

Albaih based his work on Lana Haroun’s photograph of Salah standing on the roof of a car, high above a group of protesters, an image that’s become an embodiment of the role women are playing in Sudan’s peaceful uprising.

Gosh led the regime’s crackdown on protesters. Days after Albaih published his cartoon, the intelligence official resigned.

But Albaih can’t say whether his work has the impact he hopes for. Too often, temporary concern hasn’t translated into long-term results, he said.

I’ve seen so many powerful images � but nothing, no action, Albaih said.

He’s also hesitant to compare his efforts to people on the ground who have put their well-being at stake for a greater cause.

It’s very hard when people are, you know, sacrificing their lives to say that my cartoons had an impact.

Source: Voice of America

Masses Return to Algeria’s Streets, Demanding Radical Reform

ALGIERS Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators returned to Algeria’s streets Friday to press demands for sweeping democratic change well beyond former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s resignation, chanting, “This is our country and we do what we want!” witnesses said.

The march was peaceful, like most of the demonstrations in the country over the last two months.

But an 18-year old who was hurt when clashes broke out during last week’s protest in Algiers died Friday of head injuries, Ennahar TV said. It said police were investigating the death, adding that he could have been beaten or fallen from a truck.

Parliament named an interim president and a July 4 election date was set in a transition endorsed by Algeria’s powerful military. But Bouteflika’s exit on April 2 failed to satisfy many Algerians who want to topple the entire elite that has dominated the country since independence from France in 1962.

Protesters gathered anew in city centers around Algeria demanding root-and-branch reforms � including political pluralism and crackdowns on corruption and cronyism, witnesses said. Numbers later surged after Friday prayers.

There was no official count but Reuters reporters at the scene estimated the number of demonstrators in the hundreds of thousands as on previous Fridays since the extraordinary mass dissent erupted on Feb. 22.

“We will not give up our demands,” said Mourad Hamini, standing outside his coffee shop, where thousands of protesters were waving Algerian flags.

‘They must go’

Protesters also called for Abdelkader Bensalah, head of the upper house of parliament, to quit as caretaker president and for Noureddine Bedoui to stand down as interim prime minister.

“They must go. The B’s must go,” one banner read, referring to Bensalah, Bedoui and Moad Bouchareb, head of the ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) party.

Tayib Belaiz, chairman of Algeria’s Constitutional Council and a fourth senior “B” official, resigned earlier this week.

On Tuesday, armed forces chief Lt. Gen. Ahmed Gaed Salah said the military was considering all options to resolve the national political crisis and warned that “time is running out.”

It was a hint the military is losing patience with the popular upheaval shaking Algeria, a major oil and natural gas exporter and an important security partner for the West against Islamist militants in north and west Africa.

Salah did not specify what measures the army could take but added: “We have no ambition but to protect our nation.”

The army has so far patiently monitored the mostly peaceful protests that at times have swelled to hundreds of thousands of people. It remains the most powerful institution in Algeria, having swayed politics from the shadows for decades.

Protesters want a clean break with “le pouvoir” (the power) � the secretive establishment composed of veterans of the war of independence against France, senior FLN figures and associated oligarchs � and sweeping reforms.

“The ninth Friday is a vote against the gang,” read a banner held up by protesters on Friday.

“The system will go sooner or later,” said Mohamed Dali, who was selling sweets to protesters.

Another banner read: “The country is ours and the army is ours.”

Source: Voice of America

Sudan’s Protest Leaders to Announce Civilian Council

KHARTOUM Leaders of Sudan’s ongoing protest have stepped up pressure on the transitional military council that this month replaced ousted President Omar al-Bashir. The protesters have announced plans to form their own civilian council to persuade Sudan’s military to give up power.

As thousands more protesters joined a sit-in Friday outside Sudan’s Defense Ministry, the main protest group � the Sudanese Professionals Association � said it would form a civilian council to replace the military one.

The SPA, which began collecting names of suggested council members on Thursday, issued a written statement saying nominees would be announced in coming days.

The statement added that a civilian presidential council would be formed and a transitional legislative council would include 40% women.

As Friday prayers were held at the protest site, an imam called for no foreign interference in Sudan and for the military council to preserve the country’s prestige.

Protesters at the sit-in said they were determined to bring about a civilian leadership promptly � not by the military’s declared two-year transition.

Protester Ibrahim Nogod said the upcoming announcement could mean a new government, but worries persist. Some fear the chosen government won’t be accepted by the military council, Nogod said, or that the government would end up simply a new front for a group of ruling parties.

Protester Mahmoud Assan said the people are waiting for a smooth transfer of power.

“Today we had Friday prayers and all speakers agree that the government must be a qualified government,” he said.

South Sudan’s offer

Reuters news agency on Wednesday reported that South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, had traveled to Khartoum to meet the new leadership. Kiir’s office said he offered to mediate talks between Sudan’s military and the protesters.

It was not clear if Sudan’s military leaders were prepared to accept the offer from their former adversary. South Sudan split from Sudan after decades of civil war, taking with it almost all of Khartoum’s oil wealth.

U.S. support

The U.S. on Thursday backed the protesters’ demands, urging Sudan’s military to step aside and allow a transition to a civilian-led government.

State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said the will of the Sudanese people is clear, and it is time to move toward a transitional government that is inclusive and respectful of human rights and the rule of law.

A senior State Department official said U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Makila James will visit Khartoum this weekend to meet with Sudanese leaders.

The U.S. labels Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism, but a State Department official said none of the members of the military council were under U.S. sanctions.

Sudan’s protests began in December because of fuel and food shortages, which led to price hikes and calls for Bashir to step down. A military coup then removed Bashir, who had been in power for three decades.

The protesters have staged a sit-in at army headquarters since April 6, refusing to leave even after the military ousted Bashir.

The International Criminal Court has warrants for Bashir on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity in Sudan’s Darfur region.The former president’s family and Sudanese officials say he was moved this week to a federal prison, and two of his brothers were also detained.

Source: Voice of America