The Latest Sudanese protesters take heart from Algeria

ALGIERS, Algeria — The Latest on the change of power in Algeria (all times local):10:45 a.m.The organizers behind months of anti-government demonstrations in Sudan are welcoming the resignation of Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in response to mass protests, and are expressing hope that Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir will do the same.Sarah Abdel-Jaleel, a spokeswoman for the Sudanese Professionals Association, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Bouteflika’s resignation is “a very positive achievement,” showing the “success of peaceful resistance within Africa.”She says it “definitely gives us all hope and reassurance that we must continue.”The group of independent professional unions has spearheaded demonstrations since December calling for al-Bashir to resign after nearly three decades in power.Al-Bashir has refused to step down and has launched a heavy crackdown on dissent.___9:40 a.m.Algeria is facing a new era after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s resignation — and questions about what happens next for this gas-rich country and ally to the West in fighting terrorism.Algeria’s 12-member constitutional Council is expected to meet Wednesday to confirm the departure. National television showed a frail Bouteflika handing his resignation letter to constitutional Council president Tayeb Belaiz.Algeria’s Constitution says that when a president dies or resigns, the constitutional Council confirms the leader’s absence and both houses of parliament convene. The president of the upper house is named as interim leader for 90 days while a presidential election is organized.The current upper house president is Abdelkader Bensalah, a Bouteflika ally — as is the prime minister. The protesters who drove Bouteflika out want a drastic change of Algeria’s political elite, seen as corrupt and secretive.The Associated Press read more

Death toll reaches 30 over 14 missing

The DMC said that as of today 48,883 people have been displaced around the country from floods and landslides. The Puttalam district is so far the worst affected with 28,682 people displaced. In total over 200,000 people have been affected by the bad weather with the department of meteorology warning of more rain over the next few hours. The death toll from the extreme weather experienced in the country over the past few days reached 30 by today with over 14 still missing, the Disaster Management Center said.In the latest incident, a boat carrying 22 people capsized at Tissa wewa in Tissamaharama during bad weather this afternoon and at least 5 of them had drowned. read more