Thousands of protesters out on streets of Algiers

Demonstrators march with Algerian national flags during a protest to denounce President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s bid for a fifth term in Algiers, Algeria, Sunday, March 3, 2019. (File/AP/Fateh Guidoum )
Updated 08 March 2019
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Thousands of protesters out on streets of Algiers

  • The president has not spoken in public since suffering a stroke in 2013, and is currently in hospital in Geneva
  • Algerians have been urged to stage a “March of 20 Million” by an anonymous party on social media

ALGIERS: Thousands of protesters gathered Friday in the centre of the Algerian capital chanting slogans against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's re-election bid, AFP journalists said.
Waving Algeria's green-white-red flag, waves of men and women converged on the city's landmark Grand Post Office square, as youths staged a peaceful march. 

Earlier, Algerian authorities halted train and metro services in the capital Algiers amid heavy security ahead of expected protests against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
Mass demonstrations now entering their third week have posed the biggest challenge to the ailing 82-year-old president, who has ruled for 20 years and is standing for re-election on April 18.
Tens of thousands of Algerians, tired of the dominance of elderly veterans of the 1954-1962 war of independence against France, have been demanding that Bouteflika step down, but despite ill health, he has submitted his candidacy papers.
Mass protests are expected to start in the afternoon.
On Thursday, Bouteflika issued his first warning to protesters, saying the unrest — the biggest since the 2011 “Arab Spring” — could destabilize Algeria, a major oil and gas producer.
The president has not spoken in public since suffering a stroke in 2013, and is currently in hospital in Geneva.
Algerians have been urged to stage a “March of 20 Million” by an anonymous party on social media, and hundreds of protesters gathered in Algiers ahead of what could be the biggest demonstrations yet in the capital and other cities.
Riot police have been deployed in growing numbers in recent days, but the military has so far stayed in its barracks.
“Today will be a decisive day,” said Mohamed, a teacher in Algiers.


Saudi Arabia enjoy more golden success at Special Olympics

Updated 1 min 8 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia enjoy more golden success at Special Olympics

  • Kingdom's athletes claim three golds, one silver and three bronzes on day four in Abu Dhabi.
  • Saudi Arabia medal tally now up to an impressive 25.

LONDON: Saudi Arabia enjoyed another good day at the Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi winning three golds, one silver and three bronzes to take their medal tally to an impressive 25 after four days.
Abdulaziz Alharthi got the day off to a great start in the pool, the 17-year-old from Jeddah picking up gold in the men’s 25m freestyle.
That was then followed up with the second gold of the day as Mohammed Alolayan powered home in the 5,000m. It was his second medal of the Games after he took home a bronze in the triathlon.
Moayed Aldarwish completed the hat-trick of golds coming home first in the 400m.
That was not the end of the success for the Kingdom as Fares Almateq and Naif Alshammari won silver in the men’s doubles table tennis. This was Fares’ second win of the week, having impressively won gold in the men’s singles event earlier.
Heba Shawli then became another multiple-medal winner when she took home the bronze in the softball throw event — she having won gold in the 25m run event.
Faisal Algosaibi and Faris Khouj, also part of the 4x100m freestyle relay team, each won bronze in their division of the 25m freestyle swimming.
Other winners of multiple medals include Hassan Alhadhariti, who won three golds and one silver in powerlifting; Sara Felemban and Jana Albeshri, who both won silver in bocce women’s singles and women’s team events, and Shahad Sunbul, who won silver in the bocce women’s team event and bronze in the bocce women’s singles event.