Author Archive for Tadias

New York City in the Coronavirus Pandemic

The spectacle of New York without New Yorkers is the result of a communal pact. We know that life now depends on our withdrawal from the city. (Illustration by João Fazenda)

The New Yorker

The streets of New York City are so desolate now that you half expect tumbleweed to blow along the pavement where cars and cabs once clustered. There is barely a plane in the sky. You hear the wheeze of an empty bus rounding a corner, the flutter of pigeons on a fire escape, the wail of an ambulance. The sirens are unnervingly frequent. But even on these sunny, early-spring days there are few people in sight. For weeks, as the distancing rules of the pandemic took hold, a gifted saxophone player who stakes his corner outside a dress shop on Broadway every morning was still there, playing “My Favorite Things” and “All the Things You Are.” Now he is gone, too.

The spectacle of New York without New Yorkers is the result of a communal pact. We have absented ourselves from the schools and the playgrounds, the ballparks and the bars, the places where we work, because we know that life now depends on our withdrawal from life. The vacancy of our public spaces, though antithetical to the purpose of a great city, which is defined by the constancy and the poetry of its encounters, is needed for its preservation.

Read more »


Related:

1st COVID-19 Death Confirmed in Ethiopia (LATEST UPDATE)

Ethio-American Tech Company PhantomALERT Offers Free App to Track & Map COVID-19 Outbreak

‘Your Safety is Our Priority’: How Ethiopian Airlines is Navigating the Global Virus Crisis

Inspiring Amharic Poetry: A Reflection by Shimelis Amare (YouTube)

Getting Through COVID 19: ECMAA Shares Resources With Ethiopian Community

Maryland Issues COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for Ethiopian Community

Art in the Time of Coronavirus: Guide to Virtual Exhibitions from Ethiopia to U.S.

We Need Seismic Change, Right Now: by Marcus Samuelsson

City Sleeps: A Look At The Empty NYC Streets Amid The Virus – In Pictures

Ethiopia enforces 14-day quarantine for all travelers

Diaspora-based Tech Professionals Launch Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Task Force

Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Hopeful & Inspiring Stories Shared by Obama

Pleas to Diaspora to Assist Coronavirus First Responders in Ethiopia

Coronavirus Sparks an Epidemic of People Helping People in Seattle

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

1st COVID-19 Death Confirmed in Ethiopia

Ethiopia has confirmed its first coronavirus death on Sunday. Health Minister Dr. Lia Tadesse said on Twitter that a 60-year-old woman who contracted the disease died of the virus, adding that the deceased was among the 42 coronavirus cases Ethiopia has so far confirmed. (AA)

THE LATEST UPDATE:

Updated: April 6th, 2020

  • U.S. hospitals facing ‘severe shortages’ as death toll soars
  • Ethio-American Tech Company PhantomALERT Offers Free App to Track & Map COVID-19 Outbreak
  • 1st COVID-19 death confirmed in Ethiopia
  • The Next Coronavirus Test Will Tell You If You Are Now Immune. And It’s Fast.
  • New York City mayor calls for national enlistment of health-care workers
  • ‘Your Safety is Our Priority’: How Ethiopian Airlines is Navigating the Global Virus Crisis
  • Ethiopia races to bolster ventilator stockpile for coronavirus fight
  • Potential COVID-19 Vaccine Shows Promise
  • Over 10 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in March as economy collapsed
  • U.N. Chief Calls Pandemic Biggest Global Challenge Since World War II
  • US death toll eclipses China’s as reinforcements head to NYC
  • Getting Through COVID 19: ECMAA Shares Timely Resources With Ethiopian Community
  • 2020 Ethiopia Election Canceled Due to COVID-19
  • DC Metro Area Goes on Lockdown
  • U.S. Approves Malaria Drug to Treat Coronavirus Patients
  • U.S. Deaths Could Reach 200,000
  • The Curious Case of Ethiopian Traditional Medicine Covid-19 Treatment & Need for Caution
  • Ethiopia: PM Abiy spoke with Dr. Tedros regarding the Coronavirus response in Africa
  • COVID-19: Fire brigades disinfect Ethiopian capital
  • The Doctor Who Helped Defeat Smallpox Explains What’s Coming
  • In Tunisia Factory Workers Making 50k Masks a Day While in Voluntary Lockdown
  • Virus infections top 600,000 globally with long fight ahead
  • Maryland Issues COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for Ethiopian Community
  • Gouged prices, middlemen and medical supply chaos: Why governors are so upset with Trump
  • Worshippers in Ethiopia Defy Ban on Large Gatherings Despite Coronavirus
  • A record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits as the coronavirus slams economy
  • Ethiopia: Parents fear for missing students as universities close over Covid-19
  • Ethiopia pardons more than 4,000 prisoners to help prevent coronavirus spread

    U.S. hospitals facing ‘severe shortages’ of equipment and staff, watchdog says

    By The Washington Post

    As the official U.S. death toll approached 10,000, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams warned that this will be “the hardest and saddest week of most Americans’ lives.”

    Read more »

    Ethio-American Tech Company PhantomALERT Offers Free App to Track & Map COVID-19 Outbreak

    By Tadias Staff

    PhantomALERT, a Washington D.C.-based technology company announced, that it’s offering a free application service to track, report and map COVID-19 outbreak hotspots in real time. In a recent letter to the DC government as well as the Ethiopian Embassy in the U.S. the Ethiopian-American owned business, which was launched in 2007, explained that over the past few days, they have redesigned their application to be “a dedicated coronavirus mapping, reporting and tracking application.” The letter to the Ethiopian Embassy, shared with Tadias, noted that PhantomALERT’s technology “will enable the Ethiopian government (and all other countries across the world) to locate symptomatic patients, provide medical assistance and alert communities of hotspots for the purpose of slowing down the spread of the Coronavirus.”

    Read more »

    1st COVID-19 death confirmed in Ethiopia

    By Addis Getachew | AA

    Ethiopia has confirmed its first coronavirus death on Sunday.

    Health Minister Dr. Lia Tadesse said on Twitter that a 60-year-old woman who contracted the disease died of the virus.

    “The deceased was in an intensive care unit for the last five days,” the minister said, adding that the deceased was among the 42 coronavirus cases Ethiopia has so far confirmed.

    Earlier, Mayor of the Addis Ababa City Administration Takele Uma told journalists that his administration would refrain from totally shut businesses down in view of the crippling effect total closure would have on the economy.

    “Total closure,” he said, “may be declared as a last resort, and not now.”

    The virus is taking a milestone in Ethiopia as two of six people diagnosed positive to COVID-19 have neither had travel history or contacts with patients who came from abroad; indicating a possible community spread.

    Read more »

    The Next Coronavirus Test Will Tell You If You Are Now Immune. And It’s Fast.


    People line up in their cars at the COVID-19 testing area at Roseland Community Hospital on April 3, 2020, in Chicago. (E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune)

    By Chicago Tribune

    A new, different type of coronavirus test is coming that will help significantly in the fight to quell the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors and scientists say. The first so-called serology test, which detects antibodies to the virus rather than the virus itself, was given emergency approval Thursday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. And several more are nearly ready, said Dr. Elizabeth McNally, director of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Center for Genetic Medicine.

    Read more »

    ‘Your Safety is Our Priority’: How Ethiopian Airlines is Navigating the Global Virus Crisis

    By Tadias Staff

    Lately Ethiopian Airlines has been busy delivering much-needed medical supplies across Africa and emerging at the forefront of the continent’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic even as it has suspended most of its international passenger flights.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia races to bolster ventilator stockpile for coronavirus fight

    By AFP

    Ethiopia’s government — like others in Africa — is confronting a stark ventilator shortage that could hobble its COVID-19 response. In a country of more than 100 million people, just 54 ventilators — out of around 450 total — had been set aside for COVID-19 patients as of this week, said Yakob Seman, director general of medical services at the health ministry.

    Read more »

    New York City mayor calls for national enlistment of health-care workers


    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. (AP photo)

    By The Washington Post

    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday called for a national enlistment of health-care workers organized by the U.S. military.

    Speaking on CNN’s New Day, he lamented that there has been no effort to mobilize doctors and nurses across the country and bring them to “the front” — first New York City and then other areas that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

    “If there’s not action by the president and the military literally in a matter of days to put in motion this vast mobilization,” de Blasio said, “then you’re going to see first hundreds and later thousands of Americans die who did not need to die.”

    He said he expects his city to be stretched for medical personnel starting Sunday, which he called “D-Day.” Many workers are out sick with the disease, he added, while others are “just stretched to the limit.”

    The mayor said he has told national leaders that they need to get on “wartime footing.”

    “The nation is in a peacetime stance while were actually in the middle of a war,” de Blasio said. “And if they don’t do something different in the next few days, they’re going to lose the window.”

    Read more »

    Over 10 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in March as economy collapsed

    By The Washington Post

    More than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week — a new record — as political and public health leaders put the economy in a deep freeze, keeping people at home and trying to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus. The past two weeks have seen more people file for unemployed claims than during the first six months of the Great Recession, a sign of how rapid, deep and painful the economic shutdown has been on many American families who are struggling to pay rent and health insurance costs in the midst of a pandemic. Job losses have skyrocketed as restaurants, hotel, gyms, and travel have shut down across the nation, but layoffs are also rising in manufacturing, warehousing and transportation, a sign of how widespread the pain of the coronavirus recession is. In March alone, 10.4 million Americans lost their jobs and applied for government aid, according to the latest Labor Department data, which includes claims filed through March 28. Many economists say the real number of people out work is likely even higher, since a lot of newly unemployed Americans haven’t been able to fill out a claim yet.

    Read more »

    U.N. Chief Calls Pandemic Biggest Global Challenge Since World War II

    By The Washington Post

    The coronavirus outbreak sickening hundreds of thousands around the world and devastating the global economy is creating a challenge for the world not seen since World War II, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said late Tuesday. Speaking in a virtual news conference, Guterres said the world needs to show more solidarity and cooperation in fighting not only the medical aspects of the crisis but the economic fallout. The International Monetary Fund is predicting an economic recession worse than in 2008.

    Read more »

    US death toll eclipses China’s as reinforcements head to NYC

    By The Associated Press

    The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus climbed past 3,800 Tuesday, eclipsing China’s official count, as hard-hit New York City rushed to bring in more medical professionals and ambulances and parked refrigerated morgue trucks on the streets to collect the dead.

    Read more »

    Getting Through COVID 19: ECMAA Shares Timely Resources With Ethiopian Community

    By Tadias Staff

    The Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association (ECMAA) in the New York tri-state area has shared timely resources including COVID-19 safety information as well as national sources of financial support for families and small business owners.

    Read more »

    2020 Ethiopia Election Canceled Due to COVID-19

    By Tadias Staff

    The highly anticipated 2020 national election in Ethiopia has been canceled for now due to the coronavirus outbreak. The National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) announced that it has shelved its plans to hold the upcoming nationwide parliamentary polls on August 29th after an internal evaluation of the possible negative effect of the virus pandemic on its official activities.

    Read more »

    Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia on lockdown as coronavirus cases grow

    By The Washington Post

    Maryland, Virginia and the District issued “stay-at-home” orders on Monday, joining a growing list of states and cities mandating broad, enforceable restrictions on where residents can go in an effort to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

    Read more »

    U.S. Approves Malaria Drug to Treat Coronavirus Patients

    By The Washington Post

    The Food and Drug Administration has given emergency approval to a Trump administration plan to distribute millions of doses of anti-malarial drugs to hospitals across the country, saying it is worth the risk of trying unproven treatments to slow the progression of the disease in seriously ill coronavirus patients.

    Read more »

    U.S. Deaths Could Reach 200,000

    By Bloomberg News

    A top U.S. infectious disease scientist said U.S. deaths could reach 200,000, but called it a moving target. New York’s fatalities neared 1,000, more than a third of the U.S. total.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia: PM, WHO Director Discuss Coronavirus Response


    @fanatelevision/twitter

    By Tadias Staff

    Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed spoke with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, over the weekend regarding the Coronavirus response in Ethiopia and Africa in general.

    Read more »

    Virus infections top 600,000 globally with long fight ahead

    By The Associated Press

    The number of confirmed coronavirus infections worldwide topped 600,000 on Saturday as new cases stacked up quickly in Europe and the United States and officials dug in for a long fight against the pandemic. The latest landmark came only two days after the world passed half a million infections, according to a tally by John Hopkins University, showing that much work remains to be done to slow the spread of the virus. It showed more than 607,000 cases and over 28,000 deaths. While the U.S. now leads the world in reported infections — with more than 104,000 cases — five countries exceed its roughly 1,700 deaths: Italy, Spain, China, Iran and France.

    Read more »

    Maryland Issues COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for Ethiopian Community

    By Tadias Staff

    The state of Maryland Department of Health has issued a COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for its large Ethiopian community.

    Read more »

    Gouged prices, middlemen and medical supply chaos: Why governors are so upset with Trump

    By The Washington Post

    Masks that used to cost pennies now cost several dollars. Companies outside the traditional supply chain offer wildly varying levels of price and quality. Health authorities say they have few other choices to meet their needs in a ‘dog-eat-dog’ battle.

    Read more »

    Worshippers in Ethiopia Defy Ban on Large Gatherings Despite Coronavirus

    By VOA

    ADDIS ABABA – Health experts in Ethiopia are raising concern, as some religious leaders continue to host large gatherings despite government orders not to do so in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Earlier this week, Ethiopia’s government ordered security forces to enforce a ban on large gatherings aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. Ethiopia has seen only 12 cases and no deaths from the virus, and authorities would like to keep it that way. But enforcing the orders has proven difficult as religious groups continue to meet and, according to religious leaders, fail to treat the risks seriously.

    Read more »

    U.S. deaths from coronavirus top 1,000

    By The Washington Post

    It began as a mysterious disease with frightening potential. Now, just two months after America’s first confirmed case, the country is grappling with a lethal reality: The novel coronavirus has killed more than 1,000 people in the United States, a toll that is increasing at an alarming rate.

    Read more »

    A record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits as the coronavirus slams economy

    By The Washington Post

    A record 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, as restaurants, hotels, barber shops, gyms and more shut down in a nationwide effort to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

    Last week saw the biggest jump in new jobless claims in history, surpassing the record of 695,000 set in 1982. Many economists say this is the beginning of a massive spike in unemployment that could result in over 40 million Americans losing their jobs by April.

    Laid off workers say they waited hours on the phone to apply for help. Websites in several states, including New York and Oregon, crashed because so many people were trying to apply at once.

    “The most terrifying part about this is this is likely just the beginning of the layoffs,” said Martha Gimbel, a labor economist at Schmidt Futures. The nation’s unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in February, a half-century low, but that has likely risen already to 5.5 percent, according to calculations by Gimbel. The nation hasn’t seen that level of unemployment since 2015.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia: Parents fear for missing students as universities close over Covid-19


    Photo via amnesty.org

    As universities across Ethiopia close to avert spread of the COVID-19 virus, Amnesty International is calling on the Ethiopian authorities to disclose measures they have taken to rescue 17 Amhara students from Dembi Dolo University in Western Oromia, who were abducted by unidentified people in November 2019 and have been missing since.

    The anguish of the students’ families is exacerbated by a phone and internet shutdown implemented in January across the western Oromia region further hampering their efforts to get information about their missing loved ones.

    “The sense of fear and uncertainty spreading across Ethiopia because of COVID-19 is exacerbating the anguish of these students’ families, who are desperate for information on the whereabouts of their loved ones four months after they were abducted,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa.

    “The Ethiopian authorities’ move to close universities in order to protect the lives of university students is commendable, but they must also take similarly concrete actions to locate and rescue the 17 missing students so that they too are reunited with their families.”

    Read more »

    UPDATE: New York City is now reporting 26,697 COVID-19 cases and 450 deaths.

    BY ABC7 NY

    Temporary hospital space in New York City will begin opening on Monday and more supplies are on the way as an already overwhelmed medical community anticipates even more coronavirus patients in the coming days. Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted 20 trucks were on the road delivering protective equipment to hospitals, including surgical masks, N95 masks, and hundreds more ventilators.

    Governor Cuomo added the temporary hospital in the Javits Center will open on Monday the same day that the USNS Comfort will arrive in New York City.

    Read more »

    Related: New York sees some signs of progress against coronavirus as New Orleans hit hard (REUTERS)

    L.A. mayor says residents may have to shelter at home for two months or more

    By Business Insider

    Los Angeles residents will be confined to their homes until May at the earliest, Mayor Eric Garcetti told Insider on Wednesday.

    “I think this is at least two months,” he said. “And be prepared for longer.”

    In an interview with Insider, Garcetti pushed back against “premature optimism” in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying leaders who suggest we are on the verge of business as usual are putting lives at risk.

    “I can’t say that strongly enough,” the mayor said. Optimism, he said, has to be grounded in data. And right now the data is not good.

    “Giving people false hope will crush their spirits and will kill more people,” Garcetti said, adding it would change their actions by instilling a sense of normality at the most abnormal time in a generation.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia pardons more than 4,000 prisoners to help prevent coronavirus spread

    By CNN

    Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde has granted pardon to more than 4,000 prisoners in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus.

    Sahle-Work Zewde announced the order in a tweet on Wednesday and said it would help prevent overcrowding in prisons.

    The directive only covers those given a maximum sentence of three years for minor crimes and those who were about to be released from jail, she said.

    There are 12 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ethiopia, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.
    Authorities in the nation have put in place a raft of measures, including the closure of all borders except to those bringing in essential goods to contain the virus. The government has directed security officials to monitor and enforce a ban on large gatherings and overcrowded public transport to ensure social distancing.

    Read more »


    U.S. House passes $2 trillion coronavirus emergency spending bill


    Watch: Senator Chuck Schumer of New York breaks down massive coronavirus aid package (MSNBC Video)

    By The Washington Post

    The House of Representatives voted Friday [March 27th] to approve a massive $2 trillion stimulus bill that policy makers hope will blunt the economic destruction of the coronavirus pandemic, sending the legislation to President Trump for enactment. The legislation passed in dramatic fashion, approved on an overwhelming voice vote by lawmakers who’d been forced to return to Washington by a GOP colleague who had insisted on a quorum being present. Some lawmakers came from New York and other places where residents are supposed to be sheltering at home.

    Read more »

    In Ethiopia, Abiy seeks $150b for African virus response

    By AFP

    Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Tuesday urged G20 leaders to help Africa cope with the coronavirus crisis by facilitating debt relief and providing $150 billion in emergency funding.
    The pandemic “poses an existential threat to the economies of African countries,” Abiy’s office said in a statement, adding that Ethiopia was “working closely with other African countries” in preparing the aid request.

    The heavy debt burdens of many African countries leave them ill-equipped to respond to pandemic-related economic shocks, as the cost of servicing debt exceeds many countries’ health budgets, the statement said.

    Read more »

    Worried Ethiopians Want Partial Internet Shutdown Ended (AP)


    Ethiopians have their temperature checked for symptoms of the new coronavirus, at the Zewditu Memorial Hospital in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Wednesday, March 18, 2020. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough and the vast majority recover in 2-6 weeks but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health issues, the virus that causes COVID-19 can result in more severe illness, including pneumonia. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

    By Elias Meseret | AP

    March 24, 2020

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Rights groups and citizens are calling on Ethiopia’s government to lift the internet shutdown in parts of the country that is leaving millions of people without important updates on the coronavirus.

    The months-long shutdown of internet and phone lines in Western Oromia and parts of the Benishangul Gumuz region is occurring during military operations against rebel forces.

    “Residents of these areas are getting very limited information about the coronavirus,” Jawar Mohammed, an activist-turned-politician, told The Associated Press.

    Ethiopia reported its first coronavirus case on March 13 and now has a dozen. Officials have been releasing updates mostly online. Land borders have closed and national carrier Ethiopian Airlines has stopped flying to some 30 destinations around the world.

    Read more »

    In Global Fight vs. Virus, Over 1.5 Billion Told: Stay Home


    A flier urging customers to remain home hangs at a turnstile as an MTA employee sanitizes surfaces at a subway station with bleach solutions due to COVID-19 concerns, Friday, March 20, 2020, in New York. (AP)

    The Associated Press

    NEW YORK (AP) — With masks, ventilators and political goodwill in desperately short supply, more than one-fifth of the world’s population was ordered or urged to stay in their homes Monday at the start of what could be a pivotal week in the battle to contain the coronavirus in the U.S. and Europe.

    Partisan divisions stalled efforts to pass a colossal aid package in Congress, and stocks fell again on Wall Street even after the Federal Reserve said it will lend to small and large businesses and local governments to help them through the crisis.

    Warning that the outbreak is accelerating, the head of the World Health Organization called on countries to take strong, coordinated action.

    “We are not helpless bystanders,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, noting that it took 67 days to reach 100,000 cases worldwide but just four days to go from 200,000 to 300,000. “We can change the trajectory of this pandemic.”

    Read more »

    China’s Coronavirus Donation to Africa Arrives in Ethiopia (Reuters)


    An Ethiopian Airlines worker transports a consignment of medical donation from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundation to Africa for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing, upon arrival at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, March 22, 2020. (REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri)

    The first batch of protective and medical equipment donated by Chinese billionaire and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma was flown into the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday, as coronavirus cases in Africa rose above 1,100.

    The virus has spread more slowly in Africa than in Asia or Europe but has a foothold in 41 African nations and two territories. So far it has claimed 37 lives across the continent of 1.3 billion people.

    The shipment is a much-needed boost to African healthcare systems that were already stretched before the coronavirus crisis, but nations will still need to ration supplies at a time of global scarcity.

    Only patients showing symptoms will be tested, the regional Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Sunday.

    “The flight carried 5.4 million face masks, kits for 1.08 million detection tests, 40,000 sets of protective clothing and 60,000 sets of protective face shields,” Ma’s foundation said in a statement.

    “The faster we move, the earlier we can help.”

    The shipment had a sign attached with the slogan, “when people are determined they can overcome anything”.

    Read more »


    Related:

    We Need Seismic Change, Right Now: by Marcus Samuelsson

    City Sleeps: A Look At The Empty NYC Streets Amid The Virus – In Pictures

    Ethiopia enforces 14-day quarantine for all travelers

    Diaspora-based Tech Professionals Launch Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Task Force

    Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Hopeful & Inspiring Stories Shared by Obama

    Pleas to Diaspora to Assist Coronavirus First Responders in Ethiopia

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

  • Ethio-American Tech Company PhantomALERT Offers Free App to Track & Map COVID-19 Outbreak in Real Time

    PhantomALERT, which was launched in 2007, says it has redesigned its application to be a dedicated coronavirus mapping, reporting and tracking application. (Courtesy image)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: April 4th, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) — PhantomALERT, a Washington D.C.-based technology company announced, that it’s offering a free application service to track, report and map COVID-19 outbreak hotspots in real time.

    In a recent letter to the DC government as well as the Ethiopian Embassy in the U.S. the Ethiopian-American owned business, which was launched in 2007, explained that over the past few days, they have redesigned their application to be “a dedicated coronavirus mapping, reporting and tracking application.” The letter to the Ethiopian Embassy, shared with Tadias, noted that PhantomALERT’s technology “will enable the Ethiopian government (and all other countries across the world) to locate symptomatic patients, provide medical assistance and alert communities of hotspots for the purpose of slowing down the spread of the Coronavirus.”

    “The US Embassy facilitated communication with government agencies in Ethiopia and both the Health Minister as well as the Innovation and Technology Minister and others are reviewing our tech solution” Yoseph Seyoum, CEO of PhantomALERT, told Tadias. “I am pleasantly surprised to see that the Ethiopian Government is taking the COVID-19 threat very seriously and open to accepting and facilitating tech solutions.”

    The mobile app uses GPS to “identify symptomatic patients, detect potential infection clusters and hotspots before they spread. It also includes the ability to contact, screen, assist and isolate symptomatic patients as well as report & share verified hotspots with media, authorities and communities to raise awareness, encourage social distancing and promote self-quarantining.”

    Inevitably, the use of such technology to collect personal data raises the issues of privacy and security. “As a US-based company, we are very well aware of the sensitivity, controversy and possible misuse regarding collecting sensitive user-generated medical content,” Yoseph said. “However, in times of a global pandemic emergency, we believe patients, society, and governments should allow the collection of personal data as long as the user-generated content is opt-in.” He added: “Users are willingly reporting personal information. They are giving us permission to share data to save lives and contain COVID-19. PhantomALERT user-generated content regarding COVID-19 does not get published to the live map or made available to the general public until reviewed and approved by a moderator. Moderators have authorized government agencies and international agencies such as the Ministry of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and World Health Organization (WHO).“


    Yoseph Seyoum, CEO of PhantomALERT. (Courtesy photo)

    Yoseph also reiterated that the PhantomALERT platform, website, apps, and database are secured using industry-standard security protocols and software. “Data security and platform integrity is a priority at PhantomALERT,” Yoseph said.

    Watch: New Coronavirus map, report & view hotspots in realtime by PhantomALERT

    Watch: Demo PhantomALERT Coronavirus Reporting, Tracking, Mapping Android application CDC, WHO Presentation

    Watch: PhantomALERT Public

    You can learn more about PhantomALERT at phantomalert.com, iOS App and Android App.

    Related:

    1st COVID-19 Death Confirmed in Ethiopia (LATEST UPDATE)

    ‘Your Safety is Our Priority’: How Ethiopian Airlines is Navigating the Global Virus Crisis

    Inspiring Amharic Poetry: A Reflection by Shimelis Amare (YouTube)

    Getting Through COVID 19: ECMAA Shares Resources With Ethiopian Community

    Maryland Issues COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for Ethiopian Community

    Art in the Time of Coronavirus: Guide to Virtual Exhibitions from Ethiopia to U.S.

    We Need Seismic Change, Right Now: by Marcus Samuelsson

    City Sleeps: A Look At The Empty NYC Streets Amid The Virus – In Pictures

    Ethiopia enforces 14-day quarantine for all travelers

    Diaspora-based Tech Professionals Launch Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Task Force

    Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Hopeful & Inspiring Stories Shared by Obama

    Pleas to Diaspora to Assist Coronavirus First Responders in Ethiopia

    Coronavirus Sparks an Epidemic of People Helping People in Seattle

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    EDTF Launches Emergency COVID19 Fund

    Image courtesy of the Ethiopia Diaspora Trust Fund (EDTF) Advisory Council.

    Press Release

    The Ethiopia Diaspora Trust Fund (EDTF) Advisory Council has established an “EDTF Emergency COVID-19 Mitigation” effort

    Addis Ababa: 04 April 2020

    The Ethiopia Diaspora Trust Fund (EDTF) Advisory Council is pleased to announce it has established an “EDTF Emergency COVID-19 Mitigation” effort committing USD 1 million start-up fund to assist the national COVID-19 mitigation efforts in Ethiopia.

    Responding to the health care needs of disadvantaged Ethiopians is one of the core missions of the Ethiopian Diaspora Trust Fund. A description of EDTF’s response is attached to this press release.

    The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa has recently warned, “Africa is two to three weeks away from the worst of the coronavirus storm and needs an emergency economic stimulus of $100 billion to bolster preventative measures and support its fragile healthcare systems.”

    At the present time, there are 38 reported cases of COVID-19 infection, no deaths and 3 recoveries. While the current low infection and mortality rate is encouraging, we must not be lulled into complacency or underestimate the severe health threats given the exponential growth of the virus in a given population and lag time between infection and manifestation of symptoms.

    EDTF’s commitment is targeted to addressing the specific needs for medical supplies (attached to this press release) identified by the Ministry of Health under the coordination of the COVID-19 Ministerial Committee chaired by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to respond directly to the COVID-19 threat.

    Prof. Alemayehu G. Mariam, EDTF Advisory Council Chairman said, “Ethiopia and indeed the human race today faces an existential threat as COVID-19 continues to spread like wildfire to all corners of the globe. There is no more critical and urgent health care need facing all Ethiopians today than the prevention, treatment and mitigation of COVID-19.”

    Dr. Bisrat Aklilu, EDTF Advisory Council Treasurer explained, “EDTF Emergency COVID-19 support will be guided primarily by the priority items identified by the Ethiopian Ministry of Health and will closely coordinate with the Prime Minister’s National COVID-19 Resource Mobilization Committee, the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Task Force and collaborate with other Ethiopian diaspora organizations working to address the COVID-19 threat in Ethiopia. EDTF will provide periodic reports on funding allocations and expenditures consistent with its commitment to maximum transparency and accountability.”

    In response to requests by EDTF Diaspora donors and others, the EDTF website (https://www.ethiopiatrustfund.org/) now has a separate window for COVID-19 donations to be held in a special account created for COVID-19. Donors are encouraged to use that window to support the fundraising effort.

    The EDTF COVID-19 effort in Ethiopia will be coordinated by EDTF Board Chairman Zafu Eyesuswork and Vice Chairperson Dr. Mehret Mandefro, and the EDTF Secretariat.

    Background paper:

    ETHIOPIA DIASPORA TRUST FUND (EDTF) EMERGENCY CORONAVIRUS DISEASE (COVID-19) MITIGATION

    Purpose

    The Ethiopia Diaspora Trust Fund (EDTF) Emergency COVID-19 (EDTF Emergency COVID-19 or EDTF COVID-19) is established by the EDTF Advisory Council in recognition of the new challenge and existential threat that coronavirus (i.e. SARS-COV-2) represents to the wellbeing and livelihood of the Ethiopian people and in particular the most disadvantaged segments of the population. This initiative will support the national campaign launched by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmad to prevent, detect, and mitigate the COVID pandemic emerging in Ethiopia that is raging across the globe. EDTF COVID-19 conforms with the EDTF objective of meeting the critical needs of disadvantaged peoples and communities in the social sectors like health, as detailed in EDTF’s Terms of Reference.

    Operational Modality

    The campaign against COVID-19, particularly in countries like Ethiopia that face institutional and financial resource challenges, requires effective national coordination of the activities to be undertaken. As a result, the EDTF Emergency COVID-19 support will be primarily guided by the priority items identified by the Ethiopian Ministry of Health. The Ministry has already issued the attached first list of priority items (un-costed) that are required to mitigate and address the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been distributed to.

    EDTF also recognizes that there are other organizations that have already initiated activities to support the national COVID-19 campaign through medical advisory and financial support. Whenever the opportunity exists, EDTF COVID-19 will work in partnership with such organizations while ensuring the transparent and accountable reporting of the funds contributed by its Ethiopian Diaspora and other donors. At present, some of the collaborating organizations include the Prime Minister’s National COVID-19 Resource Mobilization Committee, the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Task Force, and in the US, the Ethiopian Diaspora High-Level Advisory Council on the COVID-19 Pandemic in Ethiopia, the Global Alliance For the Rights of Ethiopians, …etc.

    EDTF COVID-19 will be established as a separate window in the EDTF donation portal so as to enable EDTF’s donors in 93 countries to contribute specifically to the COVID-19 campaign. The separate window will also facilitate separate and identifiable transparent reporting of donations received in the EDTF COVID-19 account and the amount used out of it.

    Approval Process

    The EDTF Emergency COVID-19 operation is not a project-based intervention similar to the regular EDTF donations. The EDTF regular donations are utilized following a “Project Call for Proposals” to eligible Implementing Organizations and the submitted projects are reviewed and vetted by the Secretariat (along with independent Project Review Teams and consultants) and are finally approved by the Board.

    As speed is essential in a COVID-19 operation, the EDTF Advisory Council Executive Committee Council will allocate the available funds in the Emergency COVID-19 window to items already requested by the Ministry of Health for coronavirus prevention, detection or (response). The EC approval will be sent to the full Advisory Council and EDTF Board requesting a one-day approval or objection. The approved amount will be used to directly pay suppliers that have been engaged by the Ministry of Health or other organizations for the procurement of similar items through an international competitive solicitation.

    Items Delivery and Reporting

    The EDTF Secretariat and EDTF Board will be responsible for required follow-up with the Ministry of Health about the delivery and reporting of the EDTF Emergency COVID-19 funded items. To the extent possible, they will seek the Ministry of Health’s commitment the items funded by EDTF will benefit the relatively more disadvantaged communities in recognition of the mission and objectives of EDTF.

    US$ 1 million Start-up EDTF Emergency COVID-19

    There is a continuous wide call from EDTF’s Ethiopian Diaspora donors, requesting a portion of the already deposited funds in the regular EDTF account to be allocated to respond to the national campaign against COVID-19. Taking into account the US$6 million available in the Friends of EDTF Inc. and the EDTF CBE Accounts and the potential maximum $5 million obligation that EDTF may have to fund the 5 approved and 17 conditionally approved projects. For that reason, it is proposed that a transfer $1 million to the new EDTF Emergency COVID-19 Account will be necessary. This amount will not only enable EDTF to make a speedy and a significant contribution to the priority items requested by the Ministry of Health to address the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the action will reassure EDTF donors the importance the need for their continued contributions.

    Based on the initial start-up allocation, major effort will be made to mobilize additional matching-contributions from Friends of Ethiopia – development partners, governments, non-governmental organizations and philanthropic foundations to further up-scale its support.

    Lessons from COVID-19 causalities in New York, Italy and other countries indicate the paramount need to safeguard the well-being of the COVID first-line defenders, frontline practitioners, healthcare providers and healthcare institutions. It is essential to provide these critical hospital staff and their intensive care units (ICUs) with urgent personal protection equipment (PPE) such as surgical face masks, face shields, gowns, gloves and ICU beds to fight this raging viral war before they become overwhelmed and the health system collapses.

    Duration of the EDTF Emergency COVID-19

    The EDTF Emergency COVID-19 will be open for the duration of the time COVID-19 continues to be an existential threat to the Ethiopian people.


    You can learn more at https://www.ethiopiatrustfund.org/

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    The Next Coronavirus Test Will Tell You If You Are Now Immune. And It’s Fast.

    People line up in their cars at the COVID-19 testing area at Roseland Community Hospital on April 3, 2020, in Chicago. (Chicago Tribune)

    Chicago Tribune

    A new, different type of coronavirus test is coming that will help significantly in the fight to quell the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors and scientists say.

    The first so-called serology test, which detects antibodies to the virus rather than the virus itself, was given emergency approval Thursday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. And several more are nearly ready, said Dr. Elizabeth McNally, director of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Center for Genetic Medicine.

    “You’ll see many of these roll out in the next couple of weeks, and it’s great, and it will really help a lot,” said McNally, noting doctors and scientists will be able to use it to determine just how widespread the disease is, who can safely return to work and possibly how to develop new treatments for those who are ill.

    The serology test involves taking a blood sample and determining if it contains the antibodies that fight the virus. A positive result indicates the person had the virus in the past and is currently immune.

    That kind of test will be far easier to roll out and use than the complex nasal swab tests now being used to detect the active virus that causes COVID-19, she added, saying it’s possible that the antibody tests could be conducted in the confines of one’s own home, much like a pregnancy test.

    “They will come in a variety of shapes and sizes,” McNally said. “The simplest would be one that you do at home, that you would poke your finger and squeeze out a little blood and put it on a little strip, and it’ll be the plus-minus whether you’ve developed antibodies or not.”

    There are several benefits to having the test, including:

    Determining how much of the population is infected.

    “One of the questions we are going to be asking … is, ‘How widespread was this virus?’ ” McNally said. “I think we have a lot of indication that it’s much more widespread than we know, because most of the younger people who get this get it relatively mildly, recover and do OK. And we’re not tracking any of those people right now.”

    Interestingly, the more people who have had it, the safer everyone is, under the concept of “herd immunity.”

    “The people who are already covered can actually provide protection to the people around them, just because it’s hard for the virus to spread,” McNally said. “The virus can’t spread anymore, so people are less likely to get it.”

    Figuring out who can go back to work, particularly sidelined doctors and nurses, police officers and firefighters.

    If a person is positive for antibodies, which likely show up two to six weeks after infection, they’re not going to get sick or spread the virus, because their bodies are killing it off. “Once the antibodies come up in your system, that means your body fought it off, and you don’t have active virus,” McNally said.

    Read more »


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    Coronavirus: Potential vaccine generates enough antibodies to fight off virus, first peer-reviewed study suggests

    Social Distancing Works. The Earlier the Better, California & Washington Data Show.

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    2020 Olympics Rescheduled for July 2021

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    Art in the Time of Coronavirus: Guide to Virtual Exhibitions from Ethiopia to U.S.

    We Need Seismic Change, Right Now: by Marcus Samuelsson

    City Sleeps: A Look At The Empty NYC Streets Amid The Virus – In Pictures

    Ethiopia enforces 14-day quarantine for all travelers

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    Pleas to Diaspora to Assist Coronavirus First Responders in Ethiopia

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    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    ‘Your Safety is Our Priority’: How Ethiopian Airlines is Navigating Global Virus Crisis

    Photo courtesy of Ethiopian Airlines. (@flyethiopian/Twitter)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: April 3rd, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) — Lately Ethiopian Airlines has been busy delivering much-needed medical supplies across Africa and emerging at the forefront of the continent’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic even as it has suspended most of its international passenger flights.

    In March the airline flew to China and returned home fully loaded with medical supplies donated to Africa courtesy of the Jack Ma Foundation, which entrusted Ethiopia to distribute the material to the rest of the continent.

    “Ethiopian Airlines, always true to its Pan-African creed, in good and bad times!” tweeted Henok Teferra Shawl, Ethiopia’s Ambassador to France, Spain, Portugal & Holy See – he is also a former Vice-President at the airline. “Covid-19: Ethiopian Airlines to carry medical shipments to be distributed to all African countries from Guangzhou to Addis Ababa.”

    According to the Office of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed the cargo included over one million testing kits, 6 million masks and 60,000 protective suits that Ethiopian Airlines has since rushed to Djibouti, Eritrea, Egypt, Sudan, Niger, Senegal, Benin, Gambia, and Burkina Faso among other nations.

    “I am quite pleased to share that since receiving #COVID19 supplies from @JackMa and @AlibabaGroup a week ago, we have successfully finalized the distribution task within the continent in six days through our national pride @flyethiopian,” Prime Minister Abiy shared via Twitter last weekend.

    Two Ethiopian Airlines Boeing planes were even spotted in Miami, Florida a few days ago transporting stranded crew members of cruise ships due to COVID-19 cases identified on board. An online report noted that “cruise lines have been chartering several planes out of Miami, including these two Ethiopian Airlines 777s.” “The final destination for these passengers [was] the Philippines. The Ethiopian Airlines flights, they operated from Miami to Addis Ababa to Manila.” The report added that both planes flew to Miami on March 30th from Washington and Chicago.

    Ethiopian Airlines’ emergency medical supply run has also included some European stops such as Lisbon, Portugal where the country’s head of state expressed his gratitude in a recent social media post. “H.E Antonio Costa, Portuguese Prime Minister expressed his profound delight upon the Ethiopian aircraft unloading in Portugal thousands of personal COVID 19 protective equipment, suits and masks,” Ethiopian replied via Twitter: “Thank you your Excellency for your kind words.”

    Meanwhile, in a letter to its customers Ethiopian Airlines emphasized that it’s woking with World Health Organization (WHO), the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Ethiopian Ministry of Health to assure employee and customer safety.

    “We are regularly providing the highest standards of hygiene on all our aircrafts and terminals to make your travel experience seamless and safe,” the letter said. “We are making frequent disinfection of the work area, passenger terminal, cargo terminal, maintenance hangars, all airplanes on every departure and conducting regular measurement of body temperature of passengers and employees…All the time we are maintaining social distancing of employees and passengers specially when they line up to get some services.”

    The letter stated:

    In six days’ time, we have also delivered much needed testing kits, masks and other medical supplies to 51 African countries and some European countries. We are helping to save lives and this is one of the greatest intrinsic satisfaction in life for which we all are proud of.

    We have made all of our aircrafts equipped with biohazard kits and we have gloves, hand sanitizer and face masks to keep our passengers and employees safe.

    Our passengers whose travel date falls between 01 March- 30 June 2020 are eligible to re-book their tickets for travels until 31 December 2020 or opt to receive a voucher (credit note) for future travel which will be valid for one year from date of issuance.

    Related:

    LATEST UPDATE: Coronavirus Pandemic

    Inspiring Amharic Poetry: A Reflection by Shimelis Amare (YouTube)

    Maryland Issues COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for Ethiopian Community

    Art in the Time of Coronavirus: Guide to Virtual Exhibitions from Ethiopia to U.S.

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    City Sleeps: A Look At The Empty NYC Streets Amid The Virus – In Pictures

    Ethiopia enforces 14-day quarantine for all travelers

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    Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Hopeful & Inspiring Stories Shared by Obama

    Pleas to Diaspora to Assist Coronavirus First Responders in Ethiopia

    Coronavirus Sparks an Epidemic of People Helping People in Seattle

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Inspiring Amharic Poetry: A Reflection by Shimelis Amare (YouTube)

    Poem and Music shared on YouTube by Shimelis Amare. (Screen shot)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Published: April 2nd, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) — There are glimmers of hope amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that’s wrecking havoc around the world. Today, U.S. scientists announced that they have developed a potential COVID-19 vaccine that could prevent infection, and which they hope to start testing on individuals in clinical trials in the coming months. In addition, recent data collected from California & Washington states — the first two states in the country to implement a stay at home policy — show that social distancing is working in reducing the infection rate.

    In the meantime people from around the world are using the universal language of art, music and literature to connect and keep spirits up during these tumultuous and uncertain times that the United Nations Secretary General described as the “biggest global challenge since World War II.”

    In the following video shared with us by one of our readers, Ethiopian Poet and Engineer Shimelis Amare reflects on these testing times, reminding us that in the end we will win through cooperation. Shimelis recites his beautiful poem accompanied by the distinct sound of the Ethiopian flute as featured on Yohannes Afewerk’s album Washint Melodies.

    Shimelis introduces his video on YouTube with the following quote from the late African American Poet and Civil Rights Activist Maya Angelou:

    “During bad circumstances, which is human inheritance, you must decide not to be reduced. You have your humanity, and you must not allow anything to reduce that. We are obliged to know we are global citizens. Disaster remind us we are world citizens, whether we like it or not.”

    Audio: Amharic poem- “Just a reflection” by Shimelis Amare

    Related:

    LATEST UPDATE: Coronavirus Pandemic

    Maryland Issues COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for Ethiopian Community

    Art in the Time of Coronavirus: Guide to Virtual Exhibitions from Ethiopia to U.S.

    We Need Seismic Change, Right Now: by Marcus Samuelsson

    City Sleeps: A Look At The Empty NYC Streets Amid The Virus – In Pictures

    Ethiopia enforces 14-day quarantine for all travelers

    Diaspora-based Tech Professionals Launch Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Task Force

    Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Hopeful & Inspiring Stories Shared by Obama

    Pleas to Diaspora to Assist Coronavirus First Responders in Ethiopia

    Coronavirus Sparks an Epidemic of People Helping People in Seattle

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ethiopia Races to Bolster Ventilator Stockpile for Coronavirus Fight (UPDATE)

    Habtamu Kehali gives doctors a refresher course in how to use the ventilators, which are used for patients whose lungs have been immpaired by coronavirus infection. (AFP Photo/Michael Tewelde)

    THE LATEST UPDATE:

    Updated: April 4th, 2020

  • New York City mayor calls for national enlistment of health-care workers
  • Ethiopia races to bolster ventilator stockpile for coronavirus fight
  • Potential COVID-19 Vaccine Shows Promise
  • Over 10 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in March as economy collapsed
  • U.N. Chief Calls Pandemic Biggest Global Challenge Since World War II
  • US death toll eclipses China’s as reinforcements head to NYC
  • Getting Through COVID 19: ECMAA Shares Timely Resources With Ethiopian Community
  • 2020 Ethiopia Election Canceled Due to COVID-19
  • DC Metro Area Goes on Lockdown
  • U.S. Approves Malaria Drug to Treat Coronavirus Patients
  • U.S. Deaths Could Reach 200,000
  • The Curious Case of Ethiopian Traditional Medicine Covid-19 Treatment & Need for Caution
  • Ethiopia: PM Abiy spoke with Dr. Tedros regarding the Coronavirus response in Africa
  • COVID-19: Fire brigades disinfect Ethiopian capital
  • The Doctor Who Helped Defeat Smallpox Explains What’s Coming
  • In Tunisia Factory Workers Making 50k Masks a Day While in Voluntary Lockdown
  • Virus infections top 600,000 globally with long fight ahead
  • Maryland Issues COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for Ethiopian Community
  • Gouged prices, middlemen and medical supply chaos: Why governors are so upset with Trump
  • Worshippers in Ethiopia Defy Ban on Large Gatherings Despite Coronavirus
  • A record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits as the coronavirus slams economy
  • Ethiopia: Parents fear for missing students as universities close over Covid-19
  • Ethiopia pardons more than 4,000 prisoners to help prevent coronavirus spread

    New York City mayor calls for national enlistment of health-care workers

    By The Washington Post

    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday called for a national enlistment of health-care workers organized by the U.S. military.

    Speaking on CNN’s New Day, he lamented that there has been no effort to mobilize doctors and nurses across the country and bring them to “the front” — first New York City and then other areas that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

    “If there’s not action by the president and the military literally in a matter of days to put in motion this vast mobilization,” de Blasio said, “then you’re going to see first hundreds and later thousands of Americans die who did not need to die.”

    He said he expects his city to be stretched for medical personnel starting Sunday, which he called “D-Day.” Many workers are out sick with the disease, he added, while others are “just stretched to the limit.”

    The mayor said he has told national leaders that they need to get on “wartime footing.”

    “The nation is in a peacetime stance while were actually in the middle of a war,” de Blasio said. “And if they don’t do something different in the next few days, they’re going to lose the window.”

    Read more »

    Ethiopia races to bolster ventilator stockpile for coronavirus fight

    By AFP

    Ethiopia’s government — like others in Africa — is confronting a stark ventilator shortage that could hobble its COVID-19 response. In a country of more than 100 million people, just 54 ventilators — out of around 450 total — had been set aside for COVID-19 patients as of this week, said Yakob Seman, director general of medical services at the health ministry.

    Read more »

    Over 10 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in March as economy collapsed

    By The Washington Post

    More than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week — a new record — as political and public health leaders put the economy in a deep freeze, keeping people at home and trying to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus. The past two weeks have seen more people file for unemployed claims than during the first six months of the Great Recession, a sign of how rapid, deep and painful the economic shutdown has been on many American families who are struggling to pay rent and health insurance costs in the midst of a pandemic. Job losses have skyrocketed as restaurants, hotel, gyms, and travel have shut down across the nation, but layoffs are also rising in manufacturing, warehousing and transportation, a sign of how widespread the pain of the coronavirus recession is. In March alone, 10.4 million Americans lost their jobs and applied for government aid, according to the latest Labor Department data, which includes claims filed through March 28. Many economists say the real number of people out work is likely even higher, since a lot of newly unemployed Americans haven’t been able to fill out a claim yet.

    Read more »

    U.N. Chief Calls Pandemic Biggest Global Challenge Since World War II

    By The Washington Post

    The coronavirus outbreak sickening hundreds of thousands around the world and devastating the global economy is creating a challenge for the world not seen since World War II, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said late Tuesday. Speaking in a virtual news conference, Guterres said the world needs to show more solidarity and cooperation in fighting not only the medical aspects of the crisis but the economic fallout. The International Monetary Fund is predicting an economic recession worse than in 2008.

    Read more »

    US death toll eclipses China’s as reinforcements head to NYC

    By The Associated Press

    The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus climbed past 3,800 Tuesday, eclipsing China’s official count, as hard-hit New York City rushed to bring in more medical professionals and ambulances and parked refrigerated morgue trucks on the streets to collect the dead.

    Read more »

    Getting Through COVID 19: ECMAA Shares Timely Resources With Ethiopian Community

    By Tadias Staff

    The Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association (ECMAA) in the New York tri-state area has shared timely resources including COVID-19 safety information as well as national sources of financial support for families and small business owners.

    Read more »

    2020 Ethiopia Election Canceled Due to COVID-19

    By Tadias Staff

    The highly anticipated 2020 national election in Ethiopia has been canceled for now due to the coronavirus outbreak. The National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) announced that it has shelved its plans to hold the upcoming nationwide parliamentary polls on August 29th after an internal evaluation of the possible negative effect of the virus pandemic on its official activities.

    Read more »

    Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia on lockdown as coronavirus cases grow

    By The Washington Post

    Maryland, Virginia and the District issued “stay-at-home” orders on Monday, joining a growing list of states and cities mandating broad, enforceable restrictions on where residents can go in an effort to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

    Read more »

    U.S. Approves Malaria Drug to Treat Coronavirus Patients

    By The Washington Post

    The Food and Drug Administration has given emergency approval to a Trump administration plan to distribute millions of doses of anti-malarial drugs to hospitals across the country, saying it is worth the risk of trying unproven treatments to slow the progression of the disease in seriously ill coronavirus patients.

    Read more »

    U.S. Deaths Could Reach 200,000

    By Bloomberg News

    A top U.S. infectious disease scientist said U.S. deaths could reach 200,000, but called it a moving target. New York’s fatalities neared 1,000, more than a third of the U.S. total.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia: PM, WHO Director Discuss Coronavirus Response


    @fanatelevision/twitter

    By Tadias Staff

    Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed spoke with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, over the weekend regarding the Coronavirus response in Ethiopia and Africa in general.

    Read more »

    Virus infections top 600,000 globally with long fight ahead

    By The Associated Press

    The number of confirmed coronavirus infections worldwide topped 600,000 on Saturday as new cases stacked up quickly in Europe and the United States and officials dug in for a long fight against the pandemic. The latest landmark came only two days after the world passed half a million infections, according to a tally by John Hopkins University, showing that much work remains to be done to slow the spread of the virus. It showed more than 607,000 cases and over 28,000 deaths. While the U.S. now leads the world in reported infections — with more than 104,000 cases — five countries exceed its roughly 1,700 deaths: Italy, Spain, China, Iran and France.

    Read more »

    Maryland Issues COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for Ethiopian Community

    By Tadias Staff

    The state of Maryland Department of Health has issued a COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for its large Ethiopian community.

    Read more »

    Gouged prices, middlemen and medical supply chaos: Why governors are so upset with Trump

    By The Washington Post

    Masks that used to cost pennies now cost several dollars. Companies outside the traditional supply chain offer wildly varying levels of price and quality. Health authorities say they have few other choices to meet their needs in a ‘dog-eat-dog’ battle.

    Read more »

    Worshippers in Ethiopia Defy Ban on Large Gatherings Despite Coronavirus

    By VOA

    ADDIS ABABA – Health experts in Ethiopia are raising concern, as some religious leaders continue to host large gatherings despite government orders not to do so in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Earlier this week, Ethiopia’s government ordered security forces to enforce a ban on large gatherings aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. Ethiopia has seen only 12 cases and no deaths from the virus, and authorities would like to keep it that way. But enforcing the orders has proven difficult as religious groups continue to meet and, according to religious leaders, fail to treat the risks seriously.

    Read more »

    U.S. deaths from coronavirus top 1,000

    By The Washington Post

    It began as a mysterious disease with frightening potential. Now, just two months after America’s first confirmed case, the country is grappling with a lethal reality: The novel coronavirus has killed more than 1,000 people in the United States, a toll that is increasing at an alarming rate.

    Read more »

    A record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits as the coronavirus slams economy

    By The Washington Post

    A record 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, as restaurants, hotels, barber shops, gyms and more shut down in a nationwide effort to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

    Last week saw the biggest jump in new jobless claims in history, surpassing the record of 695,000 set in 1982. Many economists say this is the beginning of a massive spike in unemployment that could result in over 40 million Americans losing their jobs by April.

    Laid off workers say they waited hours on the phone to apply for help. Websites in several states, including New York and Oregon, crashed because so many people were trying to apply at once.

    “The most terrifying part about this is this is likely just the beginning of the layoffs,” said Martha Gimbel, a labor economist at Schmidt Futures. The nation’s unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in February, a half-century low, but that has likely risen already to 5.5 percent, according to calculations by Gimbel. The nation hasn’t seen that level of unemployment since 2015.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia: Parents fear for missing students as universities close over Covid-19


    Photo via amnesty.org

    As universities across Ethiopia close to avert spread of the COVID-19 virus, Amnesty International is calling on the Ethiopian authorities to disclose measures they have taken to rescue 17 Amhara students from Dembi Dolo University in Western Oromia, who were abducted by unidentified people in November 2019 and have been missing since.

    The anguish of the students’ families is exacerbated by a phone and internet shutdown implemented in January across the western Oromia region further hampering their efforts to get information about their missing loved ones.

    “The sense of fear and uncertainty spreading across Ethiopia because of COVID-19 is exacerbating the anguish of these students’ families, who are desperate for information on the whereabouts of their loved ones four months after they were abducted,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa.

    “The Ethiopian authorities’ move to close universities in order to protect the lives of university students is commendable, but they must also take similarly concrete actions to locate and rescue the 17 missing students so that they too are reunited with their families.”

    Read more »

    UPDATE: New York City is now reporting 26,697 COVID-19 cases and 450 deaths.

    BY ABC7 NY

    Temporary hospital space in New York City will begin opening on Monday and more supplies are on the way as an already overwhelmed medical community anticipates even more coronavirus patients in the coming days. Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted 20 trucks were on the road delivering protective equipment to hospitals, including surgical masks, N95 masks, and hundreds more ventilators.

    Governor Cuomo added the temporary hospital in the Javits Center will open on Monday the same day that the USNS Comfort will arrive in New York City.

    Read more »

    Related: New York sees some signs of progress against coronavirus as New Orleans hit hard (REUTERS)

    L.A. mayor says residents may have to shelter at home for two months or more

    By Business Insider

    Los Angeles residents will be confined to their homes until May at the earliest, Mayor Eric Garcetti told Insider on Wednesday.

    “I think this is at least two months,” he said. “And be prepared for longer.”

    In an interview with Insider, Garcetti pushed back against “premature optimism” in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying leaders who suggest we are on the verge of business as usual are putting lives at risk.

    “I can’t say that strongly enough,” the mayor said. Optimism, he said, has to be grounded in data. And right now the data is not good.

    “Giving people false hope will crush their spirits and will kill more people,” Garcetti said, adding it would change their actions by instilling a sense of normality at the most abnormal time in a generation.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia pardons more than 4,000 prisoners to help prevent coronavirus spread

    By CNN

    Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde has granted pardon to more than 4,000 prisoners in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus.

    Sahle-Work Zewde announced the order in a tweet on Wednesday and said it would help prevent overcrowding in prisons.

    The directive only covers those given a maximum sentence of three years for minor crimes and those who were about to be released from jail, she said.

    There are 12 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ethiopia, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.
    Authorities in the nation have put in place a raft of measures, including the closure of all borders except to those bringing in essential goods to contain the virus. The government has directed security officials to monitor and enforce a ban on large gatherings and overcrowded public transport to ensure social distancing.

    Read more »


    U.S. House passes $2 trillion coronavirus emergency spending bill


    Watch: Senator Chuck Schumer of New York breaks down massive coronavirus aid package (MSNBC Video)

    By The Washington Post

    The House of Representatives voted Friday [March 27th] to approve a massive $2 trillion stimulus bill that policy makers hope will blunt the economic destruction of the coronavirus pandemic, sending the legislation to President Trump for enactment. The legislation passed in dramatic fashion, approved on an overwhelming voice vote by lawmakers who’d been forced to return to Washington by a GOP colleague who had insisted on a quorum being present. Some lawmakers came from New York and other places where residents are supposed to be sheltering at home.

    Read more »

    In Ethiopia, Abiy seeks $150b for African virus response

    By AFP

    Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Tuesday urged G20 leaders to help Africa cope with the coronavirus crisis by facilitating debt relief and providing $150 billion in emergency funding.
    The pandemic “poses an existential threat to the economies of African countries,” Abiy’s office said in a statement, adding that Ethiopia was “working closely with other African countries” in preparing the aid request.

    The heavy debt burdens of many African countries leave them ill-equipped to respond to pandemic-related economic shocks, as the cost of servicing debt exceeds many countries’ health budgets, the statement said.

    Read more »

    Worried Ethiopians Want Partial Internet Shutdown Ended (AP)


    Ethiopians have their temperature checked for symptoms of the new coronavirus, at the Zewditu Memorial Hospital in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Wednesday, March 18, 2020. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough and the vast majority recover in 2-6 weeks but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health issues, the virus that causes COVID-19 can result in more severe illness, including pneumonia. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

    By Elias Meseret | AP

    March 24, 2020

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Rights groups and citizens are calling on Ethiopia’s government to lift the internet shutdown in parts of the country that is leaving millions of people without important updates on the coronavirus.

    The months-long shutdown of internet and phone lines in Western Oromia and parts of the Benishangul Gumuz region is occurring during military operations against rebel forces.

    “Residents of these areas are getting very limited information about the coronavirus,” Jawar Mohammed, an activist-turned-politician, told The Associated Press.

    Ethiopia reported its first coronavirus case on March 13 and now has a dozen. Officials have been releasing updates mostly online. Land borders have closed and national carrier Ethiopian Airlines has stopped flying to some 30 destinations around the world.

    Read more »

    In Global Fight vs. Virus, Over 1.5 Billion Told: Stay Home


    A flier urging customers to remain home hangs at a turnstile as an MTA employee sanitizes surfaces at a subway station with bleach solutions due to COVID-19 concerns, Friday, March 20, 2020, in New York. (AP)

    The Associated Press

    NEW YORK (AP) — With masks, ventilators and political goodwill in desperately short supply, more than one-fifth of the world’s population was ordered or urged to stay in their homes Monday at the start of what could be a pivotal week in the battle to contain the coronavirus in the U.S. and Europe.

    Partisan divisions stalled efforts to pass a colossal aid package in Congress, and stocks fell again on Wall Street even after the Federal Reserve said it will lend to small and large businesses and local governments to help them through the crisis.

    Warning that the outbreak is accelerating, the head of the World Health Organization called on countries to take strong, coordinated action.

    “We are not helpless bystanders,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, noting that it took 67 days to reach 100,000 cases worldwide but just four days to go from 200,000 to 300,000. “We can change the trajectory of this pandemic.”

    Read more »

    China’s Coronavirus Donation to Africa Arrives in Ethiopia (Reuters)


    An Ethiopian Airlines worker transports a consignment of medical donation from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundation to Africa for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing, upon arrival at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, March 22, 2020. (REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri)

    The first batch of protective and medical equipment donated by Chinese billionaire and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma was flown into the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday, as coronavirus cases in Africa rose above 1,100.

    The virus has spread more slowly in Africa than in Asia or Europe but has a foothold in 41 African nations and two territories. So far it has claimed 37 lives across the continent of 1.3 billion people.

    The shipment is a much-needed boost to African healthcare systems that were already stretched before the coronavirus crisis, but nations will still need to ration supplies at a time of global scarcity.

    Only patients showing symptoms will be tested, the regional Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Sunday.

    “The flight carried 5.4 million face masks, kits for 1.08 million detection tests, 40,000 sets of protective clothing and 60,000 sets of protective face shields,” Ma’s foundation said in a statement.

    “The faster we move, the earlier we can help.”

    The shipment had a sign attached with the slogan, “when people are determined they can overcome anything”.

    Read more »


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  • Potential COVID19 Vaccine Shows Promise

    A team at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the United States said they were able to move quickly in developing a potential COVID-19 vaccine. (Reuters)

    By Reuters

    April 2, 2020

    Potential COVID-19 Vaccine Shows Promise in Mouse Study

    LONDON — Initial tests in mice of a potential COVID-19 vaccine delivered via a fingertip-sized patch have shown it can induce an immune response against the new coronavirus at levels that might prevent infection, U.S. scientists said on Thursday.

    Researchers around the world are working to develop potential treatments or vaccines against the respiratory disease that has killed nearly 47,000 people and infected almost a million in just a few months.

    A team at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the United States said they were able to move quickly in developing a potential COVID-19 vaccine after working on other coronaviruses that cause Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

    “These two viruses, which are closely related to SARS-CoV-2 (the new coronavirus causing the COVID-19 pandemic), teach us that a particular protein, called a spike protein, is important for inducing immunity against the virus,” said Andrea Gambotto, an associate professor at Pittsburgh.

    “We knew exactly where to fight this new virus.”

    When tested in mice, the prototype vaccine – which the researchers have called PittCoVacc – generated what they described as “a surge of antibodies” against the new coronavirus within two weeks.

    The Pittsburgh researchers cautioned that because the animals have not been tracked for very long as yet, it is too early to say whether and for how long the immune response against COVID-19 lasts.

    But they said that in comparable tests in mice with their MERS experimental vaccine, a sufficient level of antibodies was produced to neutralize the virus for at least a year.

    So far, the antibody levels of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccinated animals seem to be following the same trend, they said in peer-reviewed study in the journal EBioMedicine.

    The team said they hope to start testing the vaccine candidate on people in clinical trials in the next few months.

    The potential vaccine uses a needle patch design, called a microneedle array, to increase its potential potency.

    This array is a fingertip-sized patch of 400 tiny needles made out of sugar and the spike protein, Gambotto explained. It is designed to deliver the spike protein pieces into the skin, where the immune reaction is strongest.


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    Social Distancing Works, Data Show

    Two weeks into mandatory stay-at-home orders in the San Francisco Bay area and Washington state, there’s evidence the curve of infections is flattening compared with other U.S. metro areas. (Photo: People wait at a bus stop in the Union Square neighborhood of San Francisco/The Washington Post)

    The Washington Post

    Social Distancing Works. The Earlier the Better, California & Washington Data Show.

    SAN FRANCISCO — Mandatory social distancing works. The earlier the better, preliminary data from two weeks of stay-at-home orders in California and Washington show.

    Those states were the first to report community cases of covid-19 and also the first in the nation to mandate residents stay at home to keep physically apart. Analyses from academics and federal and local officials indicate those moves bought those communities precious time — and also may have “flattened the curve” of infections for the long haul.

    While insufficient testing limits the full picture, it’s clear the disease is spreading at different speeds in different places in the United States. California and Washington continue to see new cases and deaths, but so far they haven’t come in the spikes seen in parts of the East Coast. Social distancing efforts need to continue for several more weeks to be effective, experts say.

    The data give “great hope and understanding about what is possible,” said Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, during a Tuesday briefing. “In New Orleans, and Detroit, and Chicago and Boston right now, [we’re] trying to make sure that each of those cities work more like California than the New York metro area.”

    It has been 16 days since counties in the San Francisco Bay area told some 6 million residents to stay at home, and 13 days since the order extended to all of California. As of Tuesday, the number of confirmed infections per capita in densely populated New York City was 15 times that of the Bay Area. In New York City, a flood of coronavirus patients has overwhelmed local hospitals and 1,096 people have died. New York state ordered people to stay home 11 days ago.

    Read more »


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    U.S. Judge Declines to Postpone Election

    Brenda Jones checks over her ballot as she votes absentee during drive-up early voting in Milwauke on Saturday. Preparations for Wisconsin's April 7 presidential primary and spring election continue, even in the face of a growing number of COVID-19 cases statewide and lawsuits seeking a delay. (AP photo)

    The Washington Post

    Federal judge declines to postpone April 7 presidential primaries in Wisconsin

    A federal judge on Thursday declined to postpone Wisconsin’s scheduled April 7 presidential primaries amid widespread worries that holding elections during the coronavirus pandemic could risk public health and curtail access to the polls.

    The ruling from U.S. District Judge William M. Conley means Wisconsin will remain the only one of 11 states originally scheduled to hold contests in April that has not postponed or dramatically altered voting amid the pandemic.

    However, in a 53-page ruling, Conley extended the deadline for absentee ballots to be received by local election officials by one week: from 8 p.m. on April 7 to 4 p.m. on April 13.

    His decision came after Conley told lawyers during an hours-long hearing Wednesday that he was disinclined to postpone the election without evidence that hundreds of thousands would see their voting rights curtailed — evidence that won’t be available until Election Day, he said.

    At the same time, Conley rebuked lawyers for the Republican-controlled General Assembly, making clear that lawmakers and Gov. Tony Evers (D) are the ones who should have canceled the April 7 contests.

    “Let’s assume that this is a bad decision from the perspective of public health — and it could be excruciatingly bad,” Conley said. “I don’t think it’s the job of a federal district judge to act as a super health department for the state of Wisconsin.”

    Voting-rights activists and local election administrators in Wisconsin painted a dire portrait of the risk of infection to poll workers and voters, saying how difficult it would be to administer elections under those circumstances.

    More than 100 municipalities reported not having enough poll workers to open a single voting location. State officials predicted that tens of thousands of voters who have flooded election offices with mail-ballot requests in recent days were at risk of not receiving them on time.

    Democrats and voting activists have accused GOP lawmakers of trying to suppress voter turnout intentionally to help an incumbent candidate for the state Supreme Court, conservative Justice Daniel Kelly, win reelection.

    Leaders in the Republican-controlled legislature argued that moving the voting date so late in the process would sow confusion and create a leadership vacuum in cities and towns holding contests for municipal posts that will be vacant as early as mid-April.

    Read more »


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    U.N. Chief Calls Pandemic Biggest Global Challenge Since World War II

    U.N. Secretary General António Guterres attends the opening of the U.N. Human Rights Council's main annual session in Geneva on Feb. 24, 2020 . (Getty Images)

    The Washington Post

    April 1st, 2020

    The coronavirus outbreak sickening hundreds of thousands around the world and devastating the global economy is creating a challenge for the world not seen since World War II, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said late Tuesday.

    Speaking in a virtual news conference, Guterres said the world needs to show more solidarity and cooperation in fighting not only the medical aspects of the crisis but the economic fallout. The International Monetary Fund is predicting an economic recession worse than in 2008.

    “It is a combination, on one hand, of a disease that represents a threat to everybody in the world and, second, because it has an economic impact that will bring a recession that probably has no parallel in the recent past,” he said. “This is, indeed, the most challenging crisis we have faced since the Second World War.”

    While acknowledging that wealthier developed countries have been hard hit by the crisis, Guterres emphasized a need for them to bolster the health-care systems of poorer nations that could buckle under the weight of the crisis.

    “Let us remember that we are only as strong as the weakest health system in our interconnected world,” he said. He warned that if the virus is left unchecked in the developing world, it would soon spread all over again.

    He added that these countries’ economies will need to be assisted as well in the face of the coming global recession.

    “We must massively increase the resources available to the developing world by expanding the capacity of the International Monetary Fund,” he said, calling for further debt alleviation for developing countries.

    He also recommended that once the crisis has passed, the global socioeconomic order should not return to how it has been.

    “Everything we do during and after this crisis must be with a strong focus on building more equal, inclusive and sustainable economies and societies that are more resilient in the face of pandemics, climate change and the many other global challenges we face,” he said.


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    2020 Ethiopia Election Canceled Due to COVID-19

    Photo Courtesy: @NEBEthiopia

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: March 31st, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) — The highly anticipated 2020 national election in Ethiopia has been canceled for now due to the coronavirus outbreak.

    The National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) announced that it has shelved its plans to hold the upcoming nationwide parliamentary polls on August 29th after an internal evaluation of the possible negative effect of the virus pandemic on its official activities.

    “After conducting detail assessment of the impact COVID-19 would have on its operation, NEBE decided to cancel the current electoral calendar and suspend elections operations of the coming national elections planned to be conducted in August 2020,” the Board said.

    The 2020 national election was widely expected to be the first formal measure of public approval for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration.

    In its announcement NEBE did not provide an alternative date, nor is it clear how opposition parties will react given that the election is constitutionally required in order to renew the ruling party’s governing mandate.

    Ethiopians around the world were hoping that 2020 would be the first transparent and credible election in the country’s history. During the last election in 2015 the incumbent party claimed to have won 100% of the vote.

    This is a developing story and will continue to be updated.


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    DC Metro Area Goes on Lockdown

    Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia announced “stay at home” orders on Monday in response to the growing COVID-19 outbreak in the region. (AP photo)

    The Washington Post

    Stay-at-home’ orders have been issued for the D.C. region. Here is what that means.

    Maryland, Virginia and the District issued “stay-at-home” orders on Monday, joining a growing list of states and cities mandating broad, enforceable restrictions on where residents can go in an effort to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

    For weeks, officials in the Washington region have escalated social distancing measures, closing schools and businesses deemed nonessential, cutting down on public transport and banning large gatherings. Storefronts have been boarded up and streets emptied.

    So what do these new stay-at-home orders actually do? And how will they affect the day-to-day lives of residents?

    First, it’s important to note that these orders — known variously as “stay-at-home,” “shelter-in-place” and lockdown orders — are not all the same.

    The most stringent, happening in Italy and France, mean residents who leave their homes must carry a document explaining why they are doing so.

    In the greater Washington region and in most parts of the United States, such orders do not go that far.

    Monday’s stay-at-home directives do not significantly expand existing rules on who can or cannot leave the house; they mostly make the rules enforceable. So while before, a person may have been frowned upon for playing basketball with friends or having brunch with people who are not part of their household, now — in Maryland and in the District, at least — they may be detained, fined or even given jail time.

    As Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said Monday: “We are no longer asking or suggesting Marylanders to stay home. We are directing them.”

    Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

    Read more »


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    Getting Through COVID 19: ECMAA Shares Resources With Ethiopian Community

    Board Members of the Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association. (Photo: courtesy of ECMAA)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Published: March 31st, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) — The Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association (ECMAA) in the New York tri-state area has shared timely resources including COVID-19 safety information as well as national sources of financial support for families and small business owners.

    In its message titled “Getting Through COVID 19 – While Helping Each Other” the ECMAA Board of Directors shared not only advise to adhere to the public health measures already being implemented across the United Sates but also some vital resources to the hardest hit segments of the Diaspora community including healthcare workers, business and other professionals.

    “These are challenging times,” the organization acknowledges. “It’s also the time for us to practice how to be there for each other. It’s where we thrive as a community.”

    The announcement added: “ECMAA is proud and thankful of the courageous Ethiopian and Ethiopian American health care workers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut who are on the front line of the coronavirus fight. In addition to serving people in crisis, many are taking the time to provide professional guidance to the community online in English and Amharic. We appreciate you and we care about you. Please stay safe. As a show of gratitude, let each of us make sure we speak up at every opportunity to ensure they have the protective gear they need to stay safe. Let’s also take personal responsibility to slow the spread of the virus. Thanks also go to essential workers who’re getting out and ensuring our community keeps going. Many are sharing a tremendous amount of resources through social media, starting with our own Tezeta Roro, Hilina Nunu, Bethlehem Bekele, Tsion Firew, Mahedere Endale.”

    ECMAA also shares “lessons learned to our families and friends in Ethiopia,” while planning on “how we can be more of a financial resource to Ethiopia in the coming days.”

    Below is the rest of the announcement and links to important resources courtesy of ECMAA Board:

    Surviving during the Crisis:

    If you are sick: Find out more about what to do. Whether or not you have insurance, it’s important to get the assistance you need. The link above has details about where to to and what to do. Apple has created application to provide up to date information.

    If you’ve Lost Income or Employment: On March 27, a new law (CARES Act) was passed to help those affected by COVID 19. One of its features is expanded unemployment benefits. You can apply based on where you live, New York, New Jersey or Connecticut. Under the law those who are part-time and self-employed are more likely to receive benefits. They may also receive $600 more weekly. Each website/state may have differences in how to complete the forms and when. You can email us if you need help navigating the website.

    If you have small business: Abbreviated below from “What About the Little Guys? What Small-Businesses & Self-Employed Workers Need To Know About the Corona virus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) & Other COVID-19 Stimulus Resources”, by Helen Solomon

    Paycheck Protection Program, for a small business You can apply for forgivable loans to keep your employees and maintain payroll. This is a loan of up to two and half times monthly payroll but no more than $10 Million to help retain employees, make mortgage payments, lease payments, and utility payments. The loans can be retroactive for expenses dating back to February 15, 2020. This is for businesses and non-profit organizations with fewer than 500 employees. You can get more information and apply through your bank.

    Economic Injury Disaster Loans & Emergency EIDL Grants. If a small business applies for an EIDL Loan (up to $2 million) from the Small Business Administration (SBA), they can also ask for a more immediate Emergency EIDL Grant (up to $10,000 that you don’t have to pay back). The emergency grant will be distributed within 3 days of applying for the loan.

    1. The first part is a loan for up to $2 Million for a long-term, low-interest loan.

    2. The second part is an emergency advance of up to $10,000 so they can get immediate funding while their larger EIDL Loan application is being processed. These grants should be distributed within 3 days of the SBA receiving the EIDL Loan application. Funds can be used for any of the above in addition to Providing paid sick leave to employees unable to work due to the direct effect of the COVID–19 Meeting increased costs to obtain materials unavailable from the applicant’s original source due to interrupted supply chains. Repaying obligations that cannot be met due to revenue losses. The $10,000 may be forgiven and issued as a grant. You can find out how to apply https://www.sba.gov/disaster/apply-for-disaster-loan/index.html

    If you own a home: you may be eligible for Mortgage Forbearance – If you have a mortgage and it’s backed by the government (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD, VA and USDA) you may be able to request up to a 360-day payment forbearance without proof of hardship. The law says that no additional fees, interest, or penalties can be assessed for the forbearance. Except for abandoned or vacant property, there may be no foreclosure actions for 60 days from 3/18/2020.

    If you rent your home: You should be aware that there is a Moratorium on eviction filings, or fees or penalties for tenants for nonpayment of rent for 120 days on properties insured by the government.

    If you have a student loan: federal loan forbearance, payments will be suspended for 6 months. During this time, interest will not be accrued and there will be no negative credit reporting or debt collection.

    If you need help, please let us know how by completing the seeking assistance form or email us, particularly if you need basic supplies and need help getting them. If you’re able to offer support, please sign up to help. Finally, please raise your voice and speak up or donate protective gear for our dedicated medical professionals.

    Follow us on facebook (ECMAA) and to to our website (www.ecmaany.org) for more up-to-date and detailed information. Stay safe, take care of yourself, stay home and let’s take care of each other.

    Please let us know if you need help or want to talk we’ll do our best to be a resource.

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    US Approves Malaria Drug for Coronavirus

    A pack of hydroxychloroquine sulfate medication. (Getty Images)

    The Washington Post

    FDA authorizes widespread use of unproven drugs to treat coronavirus, saying possible benefit outweighs risk

    Millions of doses of the anti-malarial drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine will be distributed to hospitals across the country to try to slow the disease in seriously ill patients.

    The Food and Drug Administration has given emergency approval to a Trump administration plan to distribute millions of doses of anti-malarial drugs to hospitals across the country, saying it is worth the risk of trying unproven treatments to slow the progression of the disease in seriously ill coronavirus patients.

    There have only been a few, very small anecdotal studies that show a possible benefit of the drugs, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, to relieve the acute respiratory symptoms of Covid-19 and clear the virus from infected patients.

    And health experts warn the drugs’ well-known side effects could become more commonplace with much wider use. In particular, they say, patients with existing heart problems or taking certain drugs, such as anti-depressants that affect heart rhythm, are at risk of a fatal episode. Experts recommend screening before the drugs are prescribed to prevent drug-related deaths.

    “The concern really is if we’re talking millions of patients, then this issue of drug-induced sudden cardiac death is absolutely going to rear its ugly head,’’ said Michael Ackerman, a pediatric cardiologist and professor at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, who last week co-authored a key paper about the risks in response to the surge in drugs’ use.

    Long-term use of the drugs also is associated with a chance of developing a form of vision loss called retinopathy, but the use of the drugs to fight virus in an infected patient is only for a few days.

    The FDA’s emergency authorization does not cover longer-term use of the drugs to prevent the coronavirus infection, a practice that has become more commonplace as doctors have prescribed the drugs “off label” in response to the pandemic.

    Read more »


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    The Curious Case of Ethiopian Traditional Medicine Covid19 Treatment & Need for Caution

    2020 Olympics Rescheduled for July 2021

    Haile Gebrselassie Donates to Ethiopia Covid-19 Fund

    Maryland Issues COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for Ethiopian Community

    Art in the Time of Coronavirus: Guide to Virtual Exhibitions from Ethiopia to U.S.

    We Need Seismic Change, Right Now: by Marcus Samuelsson

    City Sleeps: A Look At The Empty NYC Streets Amid The Virus – In Pictures

    Ethiopia enforces 14-day quarantine for all travelers

    Diaspora-based Tech Professionals Launch Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Task Force

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    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    LATEST UPDATE: Coronavirus Pandemic

    Habtamu Kehali gives doctors a refresher course in how to use the ventilators, which are used for patients whose lungs have been immpaired by coronavirus infection. (AFP Photo/Michael Tewelde)

    THE LATEST UPDATE:

    Updated: April 4th, 2020

  • New York City mayor calls for national enlistment of health-care workers
  • Ethiopia races to bolster ventilator stockpile for coronavirus fight
  • Potential COVID-19 Vaccine Shows Promise
  • Over 10 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in March as economy collapsed
  • U.N. Chief Calls Pandemic Biggest Global Challenge Since World War II
  • US death toll eclipses China’s as reinforcements head to NYC
  • Getting Through COVID 19: ECMAA Shares Timely Resources With Ethiopian Community
  • 2020 Ethiopia Election Canceled Due to COVID-19
  • DC Metro Area Goes on Lockdown
  • U.S. Approves Malaria Drug to Treat Coronavirus Patients
  • U.S. Deaths Could Reach 200,000
  • The Curious Case of Ethiopian Traditional Medicine Covid-19 Treatment & Need for Caution
  • Ethiopia: PM Abiy spoke with Dr. Tedros regarding the Coronavirus response in Africa
  • COVID-19: Fire brigades disinfect Ethiopian capital
  • The Doctor Who Helped Defeat Smallpox Explains What’s Coming
  • In Tunisia Factory Workers Making 50k Masks a Day While in Voluntary Lockdown
  • Virus infections top 600,000 globally with long fight ahead
  • Maryland Issues COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for Ethiopian Community
  • Gouged prices, middlemen and medical supply chaos: Why governors are so upset with Trump
  • Worshippers in Ethiopia Defy Ban on Large Gatherings Despite Coronavirus
  • A record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits as the coronavirus slams economy
  • Ethiopia: Parents fear for missing students as universities close over Covid-19
  • Ethiopia pardons more than 4,000 prisoners to help prevent coronavirus spread

    New York City mayor calls for national enlistment of health-care workers

    By The Washington Post

    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday called for a national enlistment of health-care workers organized by the U.S. military.

    Speaking on CNN’s New Day, he lamented that there has been no effort to mobilize doctors and nurses across the country and bring them to “the front” — first New York City and then other areas that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

    “If there’s not action by the president and the military literally in a matter of days to put in motion this vast mobilization,” de Blasio said, “then you’re going to see first hundreds and later thousands of Americans die who did not need to die.”

    He said he expects his city to be stretched for medical personnel starting Sunday, which he called “D-Day.” Many workers are out sick with the disease, he added, while others are “just stretched to the limit.”

    The mayor said he has told national leaders that they need to get on “wartime footing.”

    “The nation is in a peacetime stance while were actually in the middle of a war,” de Blasio said. “And if they don’t do something different in the next few days, they’re going to lose the window.”

    Read more »

    Ethiopia races to bolster ventilator stockpile for coronavirus fight

    By AFP

    Ethiopia’s government — like others in Africa — is confronting a stark ventilator shortage that could hobble its COVID-19 response. In a country of more than 100 million people, just 54 ventilators — out of around 450 total — had been set aside for COVID-19 patients as of this week, said Yakob Seman, director general of medical services at the health ministry.

    Read more »

    Over 10 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in March as economy collapsed

    By The Washington Post

    More than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week — a new record — as political and public health leaders put the economy in a deep freeze, keeping people at home and trying to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus. The past two weeks have seen more people file for unemployed claims than during the first six months of the Great Recession, a sign of how rapid, deep and painful the economic shutdown has been on many American families who are struggling to pay rent and health insurance costs in the midst of a pandemic. Job losses have skyrocketed as restaurants, hotel, gyms, and travel have shut down across the nation, but layoffs are also rising in manufacturing, warehousing and transportation, a sign of how widespread the pain of the coronavirus recession is. In March alone, 10.4 million Americans lost their jobs and applied for government aid, according to the latest Labor Department data, which includes claims filed through March 28. Many economists say the real number of people out work is likely even higher, since a lot of newly unemployed Americans haven’t been able to fill out a claim yet.

    Read more »

    U.N. Chief Calls Pandemic Biggest Global Challenge Since World War II

    By The Washington Post

    The coronavirus outbreak sickening hundreds of thousands around the world and devastating the global economy is creating a challenge for the world not seen since World War II, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said late Tuesday. Speaking in a virtual news conference, Guterres said the world needs to show more solidarity and cooperation in fighting not only the medical aspects of the crisis but the economic fallout. The International Monetary Fund is predicting an economic recession worse than in 2008.

    Read more »

    US death toll eclipses China’s as reinforcements head to NYC

    By The Associated Press

    The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus climbed past 3,800 Tuesday, eclipsing China’s official count, as hard-hit New York City rushed to bring in more medical professionals and ambulances and parked refrigerated morgue trucks on the streets to collect the dead.

    Read more »

    Getting Through COVID 19: ECMAA Shares Timely Resources With Ethiopian Community

    By Tadias Staff

    The Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association (ECMAA) in the New York tri-state area has shared timely resources including COVID-19 safety information as well as national sources of financial support for families and small business owners.

    Read more »

    2020 Ethiopia Election Canceled Due to COVID-19

    By Tadias Staff

    The highly anticipated 2020 national election in Ethiopia has been canceled for now due to the coronavirus outbreak. The National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) announced that it has shelved its plans to hold the upcoming nationwide parliamentary polls on August 29th after an internal evaluation of the possible negative effect of the virus pandemic on its official activities.

    Read more »

    Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia on lockdown as coronavirus cases grow

    By The Washington Post

    Maryland, Virginia and the District issued “stay-at-home” orders on Monday, joining a growing list of states and cities mandating broad, enforceable restrictions on where residents can go in an effort to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

    Read more »

    U.S. Approves Malaria Drug to Treat Coronavirus Patients

    By The Washington Post

    The Food and Drug Administration has given emergency approval to a Trump administration plan to distribute millions of doses of anti-malarial drugs to hospitals across the country, saying it is worth the risk of trying unproven treatments to slow the progression of the disease in seriously ill coronavirus patients.

    Read more »

    U.S. Deaths Could Reach 200,000

    By Bloomberg News

    A top U.S. infectious disease scientist said U.S. deaths could reach 200,000, but called it a moving target. New York’s fatalities neared 1,000, more than a third of the U.S. total.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia: PM, WHO Director Discuss Coronavirus Response


    @fanatelevision/twitter

    By Tadias Staff

    Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed spoke with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, over the weekend regarding the Coronavirus response in Ethiopia and Africa in general.

    Read more »

    Virus infections top 600,000 globally with long fight ahead

    By The Associated Press

    The number of confirmed coronavirus infections worldwide topped 600,000 on Saturday as new cases stacked up quickly in Europe and the United States and officials dug in for a long fight against the pandemic. The latest landmark came only two days after the world passed half a million infections, according to a tally by John Hopkins University, showing that much work remains to be done to slow the spread of the virus. It showed more than 607,000 cases and over 28,000 deaths. While the U.S. now leads the world in reported infections — with more than 104,000 cases — five countries exceed its roughly 1,700 deaths: Italy, Spain, China, Iran and France.

    Read more »

    Maryland Issues COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for Ethiopian Community

    By Tadias Staff

    The state of Maryland Department of Health has issued a COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for its large Ethiopian community.

    Read more »

    Gouged prices, middlemen and medical supply chaos: Why governors are so upset with Trump

    By The Washington Post

    Masks that used to cost pennies now cost several dollars. Companies outside the traditional supply chain offer wildly varying levels of price and quality. Health authorities say they have few other choices to meet their needs in a ‘dog-eat-dog’ battle.

    Read more »

    Worshippers in Ethiopia Defy Ban on Large Gatherings Despite Coronavirus

    By VOA

    ADDIS ABABA – Health experts in Ethiopia are raising concern, as some religious leaders continue to host large gatherings despite government orders not to do so in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Earlier this week, Ethiopia’s government ordered security forces to enforce a ban on large gatherings aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. Ethiopia has seen only 12 cases and no deaths from the virus, and authorities would like to keep it that way. But enforcing the orders has proven difficult as religious groups continue to meet and, according to religious leaders, fail to treat the risks seriously.

    Read more »

    U.S. deaths from coronavirus top 1,000

    By The Washington Post

    It began as a mysterious disease with frightening potential. Now, just two months after America’s first confirmed case, the country is grappling with a lethal reality: The novel coronavirus has killed more than 1,000 people in the United States, a toll that is increasing at an alarming rate.

    Read more »

    A record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits as the coronavirus slams economy

    By The Washington Post

    A record 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, as restaurants, hotels, barber shops, gyms and more shut down in a nationwide effort to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

    Last week saw the biggest jump in new jobless claims in history, surpassing the record of 695,000 set in 1982. Many economists say this is the beginning of a massive spike in unemployment that could result in over 40 million Americans losing their jobs by April.

    Laid off workers say they waited hours on the phone to apply for help. Websites in several states, including New York and Oregon, crashed because so many people were trying to apply at once.

    “The most terrifying part about this is this is likely just the beginning of the layoffs,” said Martha Gimbel, a labor economist at Schmidt Futures. The nation’s unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in February, a half-century low, but that has likely risen already to 5.5 percent, according to calculations by Gimbel. The nation hasn’t seen that level of unemployment since 2015.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia: Parents fear for missing students as universities close over Covid-19


    Photo via amnesty.org

    As universities across Ethiopia close to avert spread of the COVID-19 virus, Amnesty International is calling on the Ethiopian authorities to disclose measures they have taken to rescue 17 Amhara students from Dembi Dolo University in Western Oromia, who were abducted by unidentified people in November 2019 and have been missing since.

    The anguish of the students’ families is exacerbated by a phone and internet shutdown implemented in January across the western Oromia region further hampering their efforts to get information about their missing loved ones.

    “The sense of fear and uncertainty spreading across Ethiopia because of COVID-19 is exacerbating the anguish of these students’ families, who are desperate for information on the whereabouts of their loved ones four months after they were abducted,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa.

    “The Ethiopian authorities’ move to close universities in order to protect the lives of university students is commendable, but they must also take similarly concrete actions to locate and rescue the 17 missing students so that they too are reunited with their families.”

    Read more »

    UPDATE: New York City is now reporting 26,697 COVID-19 cases and 450 deaths.

    BY ABC7 NY

    Temporary hospital space in New York City will begin opening on Monday and more supplies are on the way as an already overwhelmed medical community anticipates even more coronavirus patients in the coming days. Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted 20 trucks were on the road delivering protective equipment to hospitals, including surgical masks, N95 masks, and hundreds more ventilators.

    Governor Cuomo added the temporary hospital in the Javits Center will open on Monday the same day that the USNS Comfort will arrive in New York City.

    Read more »

    Related: New York sees some signs of progress against coronavirus as New Orleans hit hard (REUTERS)

    L.A. mayor says residents may have to shelter at home for two months or more

    By Business Insider

    Los Angeles residents will be confined to their homes until May at the earliest, Mayor Eric Garcetti told Insider on Wednesday.

    “I think this is at least two months,” he said. “And be prepared for longer.”

    In an interview with Insider, Garcetti pushed back against “premature optimism” in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying leaders who suggest we are on the verge of business as usual are putting lives at risk.

    “I can’t say that strongly enough,” the mayor said. Optimism, he said, has to be grounded in data. And right now the data is not good.

    “Giving people false hope will crush their spirits and will kill more people,” Garcetti said, adding it would change their actions by instilling a sense of normality at the most abnormal time in a generation.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia pardons more than 4,000 prisoners to help prevent coronavirus spread

    By CNN

    Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde has granted pardon to more than 4,000 prisoners in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus.

    Sahle-Work Zewde announced the order in a tweet on Wednesday and said it would help prevent overcrowding in prisons.

    The directive only covers those given a maximum sentence of three years for minor crimes and those who were about to be released from jail, she said.

    There are 12 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ethiopia, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.
    Authorities in the nation have put in place a raft of measures, including the closure of all borders except to those bringing in essential goods to contain the virus. The government has directed security officials to monitor and enforce a ban on large gatherings and overcrowded public transport to ensure social distancing.

    Read more »


    U.S. House passes $2 trillion coronavirus emergency spending bill


    Watch: Senator Chuck Schumer of New York breaks down massive coronavirus aid package (MSNBC Video)

    By The Washington Post

    The House of Representatives voted Friday [March 27th] to approve a massive $2 trillion stimulus bill that policy makers hope will blunt the economic destruction of the coronavirus pandemic, sending the legislation to President Trump for enactment. The legislation passed in dramatic fashion, approved on an overwhelming voice vote by lawmakers who’d been forced to return to Washington by a GOP colleague who had insisted on a quorum being present. Some lawmakers came from New York and other places where residents are supposed to be sheltering at home.

    Read more »

    In Ethiopia, Abiy seeks $150b for African virus response

    By AFP

    Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Tuesday urged G20 leaders to help Africa cope with the coronavirus crisis by facilitating debt relief and providing $150 billion in emergency funding.
    The pandemic “poses an existential threat to the economies of African countries,” Abiy’s office said in a statement, adding that Ethiopia was “working closely with other African countries” in preparing the aid request.

    The heavy debt burdens of many African countries leave them ill-equipped to respond to pandemic-related economic shocks, as the cost of servicing debt exceeds many countries’ health budgets, the statement said.

    Read more »

    Worried Ethiopians Want Partial Internet Shutdown Ended (AP)


    Ethiopians have their temperature checked for symptoms of the new coronavirus, at the Zewditu Memorial Hospital in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Wednesday, March 18, 2020. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough and the vast majority recover in 2-6 weeks but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health issues, the virus that causes COVID-19 can result in more severe illness, including pneumonia. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

    By Elias Meseret | AP

    March 24, 2020

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Rights groups and citizens are calling on Ethiopia’s government to lift the internet shutdown in parts of the country that is leaving millions of people without important updates on the coronavirus.

    The months-long shutdown of internet and phone lines in Western Oromia and parts of the Benishangul Gumuz region is occurring during military operations against rebel forces.

    “Residents of these areas are getting very limited information about the coronavirus,” Jawar Mohammed, an activist-turned-politician, told The Associated Press.

    Ethiopia reported its first coronavirus case on March 13 and now has a dozen. Officials have been releasing updates mostly online. Land borders have closed and national carrier Ethiopian Airlines has stopped flying to some 30 destinations around the world.

    Read more »

    In Global Fight vs. Virus, Over 1.5 Billion Told: Stay Home


    A flier urging customers to remain home hangs at a turnstile as an MTA employee sanitizes surfaces at a subway station with bleach solutions due to COVID-19 concerns, Friday, March 20, 2020, in New York. (AP)

    The Associated Press

    NEW YORK (AP) — With masks, ventilators and political goodwill in desperately short supply, more than one-fifth of the world’s population was ordered or urged to stay in their homes Monday at the start of what could be a pivotal week in the battle to contain the coronavirus in the U.S. and Europe.

    Partisan divisions stalled efforts to pass a colossal aid package in Congress, and stocks fell again on Wall Street even after the Federal Reserve said it will lend to small and large businesses and local governments to help them through the crisis.

    Warning that the outbreak is accelerating, the head of the World Health Organization called on countries to take strong, coordinated action.

    “We are not helpless bystanders,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, noting that it took 67 days to reach 100,000 cases worldwide but just four days to go from 200,000 to 300,000. “We can change the trajectory of this pandemic.”

    Read more »

    China’s Coronavirus Donation to Africa Arrives in Ethiopia (Reuters)


    An Ethiopian Airlines worker transports a consignment of medical donation from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundation to Africa for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing, upon arrival at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, March 22, 2020. (REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri)

    The first batch of protective and medical equipment donated by Chinese billionaire and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma was flown into the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday, as coronavirus cases in Africa rose above 1,100.

    The virus has spread more slowly in Africa than in Asia or Europe but has a foothold in 41 African nations and two territories. So far it has claimed 37 lives across the continent of 1.3 billion people.

    The shipment is a much-needed boost to African healthcare systems that were already stretched before the coronavirus crisis, but nations will still need to ration supplies at a time of global scarcity.

    Only patients showing symptoms will be tested, the regional Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Sunday.

    “The flight carried 5.4 million face masks, kits for 1.08 million detection tests, 40,000 sets of protective clothing and 60,000 sets of protective face shields,” Ma’s foundation said in a statement.

    “The faster we move, the earlier we can help.”

    The shipment had a sign attached with the slogan, “when people are determined they can overcome anything”.

    Read more »


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    City Sleeps: A Look At The Empty NYC Streets Amid The Virus – In Pictures

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  • 2020 Olympics Rescheduled for July 2021

    The IOC postponed the Olympics until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Tokyo Olympics will open next year in the same time slot scheduled for this year's games. Tokyo organizers said Monday the opening ceremony will take place on July 23, 2021. (AP Photo)

    The Associated Press

    Tokyo Olympics rescheduled for July 23-Aug. 8 in 2021

    TOKYO (AP) — The Tokyo Olympics will open next year in the same time slot scheduled for this year’s games.

    Tokyo organizers said Monday the opening ceremony will take place on July 23, 2021 — almost exactly one year after the games were due to start this year.

    “The schedule for the games is key to preparing for the games,” Tokyo organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori said. “This will only accelerate our progress.”

    Last week, the IOC and Japanese organizers postponed the Olympics until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    This year’s games were scheduled to open on July 24 and close on Aug. 9. But the near exact one-year delay will see the rescheduled closing ceremony on Aug. 8.

    There had been talk of switching the Olympics to spring, a move that would coincide with the blooming of Japan’s famous cherry blossoms. But it would also clash with European soccer and North American sports leagues.

    Mori said a spring Olympics was considered but holding the games later gives more space to complete the many qualifying events that have been postponed by the virus outbreak.

    “We wanted to have more room for the athletes to qualify,” Mori said.

    After holding out for weeks, local organizers and the IOC last week postponed the Tokyo Games under pressure from athletes, national Olympic bodies and sports federations. It’s the first postponement in Olympic history, though there were several cancellations during wartime.

    The Paralympics were rescheduled to Aug. 24-Sept. 5.

    The new Olympic dates would conflict with the scheduled world championships in track and swimming, but those events are now expected to also be pushed back.

    “The IOC has had close discussions with the relevant international federations,” organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said. “I believe the IFs have accepted the games being held in the summer.”

    Muto said the decision was made Monday and the IOC said it was supported by all the international sports federations and was based on three main considerations: to protect the health of athletes, to safeguard the interests of the athletes and Olympic sport, and the international sports calendar.

    “These new dates give the health authorities and all involved in the organisation of the Games the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the IOC said. “The new dates … also have the added benefit that any disruption that the postponement will cause to the international sports calendar can be kept to a minimum, in the interests of the athletes and the IFs.”

    Both Mori and Muto have said the cost of rescheduling the Olympics will be “massive” — local reports estimate billions of dollars — with most of the expenses borne by Japanese taxpayers.

    Muto promised transparency in calculating the costs, and testing times deciding how they are divided up.

    “Since it (the Olympics) were scheduled for this summer, all the venues had given up hosting any other events during this time, so how do we approach that?” Muto asked. “In addition, there will need to be guarantees when we book the new dates, and there is a possibility this will incur rent payments. So there will be costs incurred and we will need to consider them one by one. I think that will be the tougher process.”

    Katsuhiro Miyamoto, an emeritus professor of sports economics at Kansai University, puts the costs as high as $4 billion. That would cover the price of maintaining stadiums, refitting them, paying rentals, penalties and other expenses.

    Japan is officially spending $12.6 billion to organize the Olympics. However, an audit bureau of the Japanese government says the costs are twice that much. All of the spending is public money except $5.6 billion from a privately funded operating budget.

    The Switzerland-based International Olympic Committee is contributing $1.3 billion, according to organizing committee documents. The IOC’s contribution goes into the operating budget.

    IOC President Thomas Bach has repeatedly called the Tokyo Olympics the best prepared in history. However, Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso also termed them “cursed.” Aso competed in shooting in the 1976 Olympics, and was born in 1940.

    The Olympics planned for 1940 in Tokyo were canceled because of World War II.

    The run-up to the Olympics also saw IOC member Tsunekazu Takeda, who also headed the Japanese Olympic Committee, forced to resign last year amid a bribery scandal.


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    Haile Donates to Ethiopia Covid-19 Fund

    Haile Gebrselassie is one of Ethiopia's best-known figures. (BBC)

    BBC Sport Africa

    Ethiopian athletics legend Haile Gebrselassie has donated nearly $50,000 to a committee set up to fight the spread of coronavirus in his homeland.

    The Covid-19 National Resource Mobilisation Committee was launched by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Wednesday in Ethiopia, where there are currently 21 reported cases.

    “It’s not time to profit but to save lives,” said Haile. “We need to support the government at this crucial time and support one another.”

    “This is a very different time we are win. Everything’s locked down and sporting events have been cancelled all over the world, so we have to be able to support our community.”

    Haile donated one million Ethiopian birr ($30,213) from a range of his businesses while half a million birr (USD 15,106) came from the Great Ethiopian Run, which was founded by the two-time Olympic champion.

    The Mobilisation Committee is tasked with gathering funds and materials to assist with emergency preparations to fight the pandemic in Africa’s second most populous nation, with over 100m inhabitants.

    “Such periods require the effort and contribution of each individual,” Prime Minister Abiy, who has donated a month of his own salary to the committee, stated earlier in the week.

    “Our collective and concerted efforts to help one another in times of great need will be the only way we overcome.”

    Read more »


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    The Doctor Who Helped Defeat Smallpox Explains What’s Coming

    Epidemiologist Larry Brilliant, who warned of pandemic in 2006, says we can beat the novel coronavirus—but first, we need lots more testing. (GETTY IMAGES)

    WIRED

    LARRY BRILLIANT SAYS he doesn’t have a crystal ball. But 14 years ago, Brilliant, the epidemiologist who helped eradicate smallpox, spoke to a TED audience and described what the next pandemic would look like. At the time, it sounded almost too horrible to take seriously. “A billion people would get sick,” he said. “As many as 165 million people would die. There would be a global recession and depression, and the cost to our economy of $1 to $3 trillion would be far worse for everyone than merely 100 million people dying, because so many more people would lose their jobs and their health care benefits, that the consequences are almost unthinkable.”

    Now the unthinkable is here, and Brilliant, the Chairman of the board of Ending Pandemics, is sharing expertise with those on the front lines. We are a long way from 100 million deaths due to the novel coronavirus, but it has turned our world upside down. Brilliant is trying not to say “I told you so” too often. But he did tell us so, not only in talks and writings, but as the senior technical advisor for the pandemic horror film Contagion, now a top streaming selection for the homebound. Besides working with the World Health Organization in the effort to end smallpox, Brilliant, who is now 75, has fought flu, polio, and blindness; once led Google’s nonprofit wing, Google.org; co-founded the conferencing system the Well; and has traveled with the Grateful Dead.

    We talked by phone on Tuesday. At the time, President Donald Trump’s response to the crisis had started to change from “no worries at all” to finally taking more significant steps to stem the pandemic. Brilliant lives in one of the six Bay Area counties where residents were ordered to shelter in place. When we began the conversation, he’d just gotten off the phone with someone he described as high government official, who asked Brilliant “How the fuck did we get here?” I wanted to hear how we’ll get out of here. The conversation has been edited and condensed.

    Read the Q&A at wired.com »

    Watch: Dr. Larry Brilliant delivers warning about a pandemic at the 2006 TED conference


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    In Tunisia Factory Workers Making 50k Masks a Day While in Voluntary Lockdown

    The factory workers opted to isolate themselves to better guarantee their ability to keep making protective gear. (Image: CONSOMED/AFP)

    BBC

    Coronavirus: 150 Tunisians self-isolate in factory to make masks

    Employees at a Tunisian factory are churning out 50,000 face masks a day and other protective medical gear after opting to go into lockdown at work.

    The 150 workers, mainly women, have isolated themselves at the Consomed factory for a month.

    They were spurred on by patriotism as the country battles coronavirus, their manager Hamza Alouini told the BBC.

    Employee Khawla Rebhi said she greatly missed her family, but her colleagues’ good cheer provided some compensation.

    “My husband and 16-year-old daughter supported and encouraged me to do this,” Ms Rebhi, who is in charge of the production line, told the BBC.

    The factory usually exports its protective gear, but its focus now is to produce enough for the health sector at home.

    The North African nation, which went into lockdown on Sunday, has 227 confirmed cases of coronavirus and six patients have died in the last week.

    Among those who moved into the factory, which is in a rural area south of the capital, Tunis, a week ago are cooks, a doctor and pharmacist.

    There are separate dormitories for 110 women and 40 men – and enough stocks to last a month.

    Read more »


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    Maryland Issues COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for Ethiopian Community

    The Maryland Department of Health has published coronavirus directive in Amharic for its Ethiopian residents. (Photo: WMDT)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Published: March 27th, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) — The state of Maryland Department of Health has issued a COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for its large Ethiopian community.

    You can read the directive below or view the PDF here.

    Maryland Department of Health:

    ኮሮና ቫይረስ በሽታ 2019 (COVID-19)
    በተደጋጋሚ የሚጠየቁ ጥያቄዎች
    መጨረሻ አርትኦት የተደረገው ማርች 6 2020

    ሀገረ ገዢው ላሪ ሆጋን በሰጡት በመመሪያ መሰረት ወኪሎች ሁሉን አቀፍ እና የተቀናጀ የመከላከል እና ምላሽ የመስጠት እቅዳቸውን ለ ኮሮና ቫየረስ 2019 (COVID-19) መስጠታቸውን ቀጥለዋል።

    የሜሪላንድ ጤና ዲፓርትመንት (MDH) ከህዝቡ ጋር ግንኙነት ማድረግ የሚቀጥል ሲሆን ይህ ሁኔታ ያለበት ደረጃ በማሳወቅ እና ትክክለኛ የሆኑ መረጃዎችን በመስጠት ሲሆን ይህም ራስዎን እና ቤተሰብዎን እንዴት መጠበቅ እንደሚችሉ እንዲያውቁ የሚያደርገ ነው።

    COVID-19 ምንድን ነው?

    COVID-19 የመተንፈሻ አካላትን በሚያጠቃ ቫይረስ የሚከሰት ሲሆን መጀመሪያ ላይ የተከሰተው ዉሀን፣ ሁቤ ወረዳ ቻይና ውስጥ በዲሴምበር 2019 ነው። COVID-19 አዲስ እና በሰዎች ላይ ህመም ፈጥሮ የማያውቅ በሽታ ነው። በመላው አለም COVID-19 በሺዎች የሚቆጠር በሰዎች ላይ ኢንፌክሽን እና ህመም እንዲፈጠር እና በአንዳንድ ሁኔታዎች ደግሞ ሞት እንዲፈጠር ምክንያት ሆኗል። በሽታው በመላው አለም የተዛመተ ሲሆን በየቀኑ አዳዲስ የመበከል ሪፖርቶች ይወጣሉ።

    COVID-19 አሜርካ ውስጥ ተፈጥሯል?

    COVID-19 አሜርካ ውስጥ የተሰራጨ ሲሆን አንዳንድ ሰዎች እንዲታመሙ አድርጓል፣ በአንዳንድ ከባድ ሁኔታዎች ውስጥ ደግሞ ሞት እንዲፈጠር አድርጓል።

    አብዛኛዎቹ የተረጋገጡ ህመሞች ብዙ የ COVID-19 ታማሚዎች ወዳሉበት ሀገር በአለም አቀፍ ደረጃ ጉዞ ካደረጉ ሰዎች ሲሆን፣ አሜርካ ውስጥ አንዳንድ የስርጭት ሪፖርቶች ተደርገዋል። “የማህበረሰብ ስርጭት” ማለት በአንድ አካባቢ ላይ ሰዎች በቫይረሱ ተይዘዋል ማለት ሲሆን፣ ይህም እንዴት ወይም ከየት እንደተያዙ የማያውቁ ሰዎችንም የሚያካትት ነው።

    በህዝቡ ላይ ያለው ስጋት ምንድን ነው?

    በአንድ ነጥብ ላይ COVID-19 በከባድ ሁኔታ አሜርካ ውስጥ ሊሰራጭ የሚችልበት እድል አለ። ባለሞያዎች በሚመጡት ሳምንታት እና ወራት ውስጥ አሜርካ ውስጥ እና በመላው አለም ተጨማሪ የኮሮኖ ቫይረስ ክስተቶችን መጠበቅ እንዳለብን አሳውቀዋል።

    ጉንፋን እን ኢንፍሉዌንዛ የሚተላለፉት በማህበረሰብ ስርጭት ሲሆን – ይህም ማለት ሰዎች እለታዊ ሕይወታቸውን በሚመሩበት ወቅት ከአንድ ሰው ወደሌላው ይተላለፋል ማለት ነው ሪፖርት የተደረገ የ COVID19 ማህበረሰባዊ ስርጭት ተጽኖ ስር ያሉ ማህበረሰቦችን ወዲያው ሊደርስባቸው የሚችለውን ስጋት ከፍ ያደርገዋል።

    አሁን ሜሪላንድ ውስጥ በዚህ አዲስ ቫይረስ የተያዘ ሰው አለ?

    በማርች 5 2020 ላይ ሜሪላንድ ወስጥ ሶሰት የተረጋገጡ የ COVID-19 ክስተቶች እንደነበሩ ሪፖርት ተደርጓል። ታካሚዎቹ በቫይረሱ የተጠቁት ከሀገር ውጨ ባደረጉት ጉዞ ወቅት ሲሆን፣ አሁን በመልካም ሁኔታ ላይ እና አሁን ለይቶ በማያቆያ ውስጥ በየቤቶቻቸው ይገኛሉ።

    ማርች 5 ላይ ሀገረ ገዢው ሆጋን የአስቸኳይ ጊዜ አዋጅ ተጨማሪ በክልሉ ውስጥ ያሉ ግብአቶችን ለመሰባሰብ አውጀዋል። The declaration officially authorized and directed the አዋጁ ለ MDH እና ለሜሪላንድ ድንገተኛ ጊዜ አስተዳደር ወኪል (MEMA) በሁሉም የክልል እና አካባቢ ወኪሎች መካከል ያለውን ትብብር እንዲያሳልጥ ስልጣን እና ትዛዝ የሰጠ ነው። በተጨማሪም አዋጁ MDH እና MEMA በክልላችን እና በአካባቢያዊ ጤና ክፍሎች እንዲሁም ድንገተኛ አስተዳደር ክፍሎች ውስጥ ያለውን ትብብር ያሳልጥ ዘንድ ያስችለዋል።

    ትክክለኛ መረጃዎች ስለ ምርመራ እና የክስተት ቁጥሮች በ health.maryland.gov/coronavirus ላይ ይገኛል። ገጹ በየቀኑ አዳዲስ መረጃዎችን ያወጣል።

    በዚህ ሰአት ስጋት ላይ ያለው ማን ነው?

    በአሁን ሰአት የሚከተሉት ሰዎች ስጋት ውስጥ ናቸው፡
    • ስጋት ወዳለባቸው ቦታዎች ጉዞ ያደረጉ
    • COVID-19 ካለበት ሰው ጋር የቅርብ የሆነ የግል ግንኙነት ያላቸው
    • COVID-19 ያለባቸውን ሰዎች የሚንከባከቡ

    COVID-19 የሚሰራጨው እንዴት ነው?

    COVID-19 ልክ እንደጉንፋን ወይም ኢንፍሉዌንዛ በሚከተሉት መንገዶች ሊሰራጭ እንደሚችል ይታሰባል፡

    • ማሳል እና ማስነጠስ፣ ይህም የትንፋሽ ጥቃቅን ነጠብጣቦችን ይፈጥራል
    • የቅርብ የሆነ አካላዊ ግንኙነት ይህም እንደመንካት እና እጅ መጨባበጥ
    • ቫይረሱ ያለበትን ቁስ ወይም እቃ መንካት

    የ COVID-19 ምልክቶች ምንድን ናቸው?

    • ትኩሳት
    • ማሳል
    • የትንፋሽ ማጠር
    • በጣም ከባድ በሆኑ ሁኔታዎች ውስጥ፣ ኒውሞኒያ (የሳምባ ምች)

    COVID-19 አለብኝ ብዬ የማስብ እንደሆነ ምን ማድረግ አለብኝ?

    የ COVID-19 ሰጋት ወዳለበት ማንኛውም አካባቢ ጉዞ አድርገው የሆነ እንደሆነ ወይም COVID-19 ካለበት ሰው ጋር ግንኙነት አድርገው የነበር እንደሆነ በተጨማሪም ትኩሳት ሳል ወይም የመተንፈስ ሁኔታ አዳጋች ከሆነብዎ፣ ወዲያውኑ የጤና ምርመራ ያድርጉ። የሚከተሉትን እርምጃዎች ይውሰዱ፡

    • ከመሄድዎ በፊት ለሀኪምዎ ወይም የድንገተኛ አገልግሎት ሰጪዎ ይደውሉ
    • በቅርብ ስላደረጉት ጉዞ እና የቅርብ ንክኪዎትን (ይህም ቤት ውስጥ ያሉትን ሰዎች ጨምሮ ማለት ነው) ምን እንደነበሩ ያሳውቁ
    • ማግኘት የሚችሉ እንደሆነ ጭምብል ያድርጉ

    አንድ ሰው COVID-19 ከያዘው ምን ይፈጠራል?

    አብዛኛዎቹ ሰዎች ከዚህ ኢንፌክሽን ይፈወሳሉ። አብዛኛዎቹ ሰዎች ዝቅተኛ ወይም ከበድ ያለ ምልክት ያሳያሉ። አንዳንድ ሰዎች ራሳቸውን ቤት ውስጥ ለይተው እንዲያገግሙ ሊመከሩ ይችላሉ። እነዚህ ሰዎች ምልክቶቻቸው እየተባባሱ ከመጡ ለሀኪሞቻቸው ወይም የጤና አገልግሎት ሰጪዎቻቸው መደወል አለባቸው።

    አንዳንድ የ COVID-19 ኢንፌክሽኖች ከባድ ህመም ወይም በአንዳንድ ሁኔታዎች ውስጥ ደግሞ ሞትን ያስክትላሉ። አንድ ሰው ከባድ የሆነ ህመም በ COVID-19 ምክንያት ካጋጠመው ሆስፒታል ውስጥ እንዲተኛ ይደረጋል። አረጋውያንን እና ቀድሞ ሌላ የጤና ችግር የነበረባቸው ሰዎች ከባድ ህመም ለመታመም ይበልጥ ተጋላጭ ናቸው። ቀድመው የነበሩ የጤና ስጋት ምሳሌዎች የሚከተሉት ናቸው፡ ካንሰር፣ ስኳር፣ የልብ በሽታ ወይም ሌሎች በሽታ የመከላከል እና ጀርሞችን የመዋጋት አቅምን የሚጎዱ በሽታዎች።

    ወደ ውጨ ሀገር የመሄድ እቅዴን ማቆም አለብኝ?

    የበሽታ ቁጥጥር እና መከላከል ማእከል (CDC) የጉዞ አማካሪዎችን ማስጠንቀቂያዎች እያደሰ ነው። CDC የግድ አስፈላጊ ያልሆኑ ጉዞዎችን ወደ አንዳንድ ቦታዎች ከማድግ እንዲቆጡ ይመክራል። የጤና ሁኔታዎች አስተማማኝ ያልሆነ ሰዎች የግዴታ ያልሆኑ ጉዞዎችን ወደ አንዳንድ ቦታዎች ከማድረግ እንዲቆጠቡ ይመከራል።

    የ CDC ን የጉዞ ማማከር ድረገጽ በመጎብኘት ወደውጪ ሀገር የጉዞ እቅድ እያደረጉ ከሆነ ማስጠንቀቂያዎችን ማየት ይችላሉ፡ https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.

    ከቤት ወጥቼ ማህበረሰቡን የምቀላቀል ከሆነ ከሆነ የፊት ጭምብል ማድረግ አለብኝ?

    የለብዎትም። ከቤት የሚወጡ ከሆነ የፊት ጭምብሎች አይመከሩም ነገር ግን በአንዳንደ መቼቶች ውስጥ የፊት ጭምብሎች ይጠቅማሉ – ይህም እንደ ሆስፒታል ወይም የክሊኒክ መቆያ ክፍል – ሲሆን የመተንፈሻ አካላት በሽታ ከአንድ ሰው ወደሌላኛው አንዳይተላለፍ ማለት ነው።

    COVID-19ን ጨምሮ ከመተንፈሻ አካላት በሽታ ሰዎች ራሳቸውን መከላከል ይችሉ ዘንድ የፊት ጭምብል እንዲያደርጉ CDC አይመክርም። የፊት ጭምብል ማድረግ ያለብዎ የጤና ባለሞያ የሚመክርዎ ከሆነ ብቻ ነው። COVID-19 ያለባቸው እና ምልክቱ ያለባቸው ሰዎች የፊት ጭምብል መጠቀም አለባቸው። ይህም ሌሎች ሰዎች አንዲያዙ የሚያደርጋቸውን እድል ለመቀነስ ነው። COVID-19 ያለበትን ሰው በቅርብ ሆነው የሚንከባከቡ ሰዎችም የፊት ጭምብል በቅርብ ርቅት ውስጥ ከሆኑ ማድረግ አለባቸው (ይህም በቤት ወይም በጤና እንክብካቤ ማእከል ወስጥ ሊሆን ይችላል)።

    ራሴን እና ሌሎችን ለመጠበቅ ምን ማድረግ እችላለሁ?

    እንደ ኢንፍሉዌንዛ እና ጉንፋን አይነት በሽታዎችን ስርጭት ለመከላከል ያስችል ዘንድ በየእለቱ መደረግ ያለባቸውን የመከላከል እርምጃዎችን ይውሰዱ፡

    • በሳሙና እና ትኩስ ውሀ ቢያንስ ለ 2 ሰከንዶች እጅዎትን ይታጠቡ
    • ቢያንስ 60 በመቶ አልኮል ያለባቸውን የእጅ ጽዳት ምርቶች ሳሙና እና ውሀ የሌለ ከሆነ ይጠቀሙ
    • ሳል እና ማስነጠስዎን በእጅዎ በሶፍት ወረቀት ወይም በእጅዎ ክርን ይከልሉ
    • አይንዎን አፍንጫዎን እና አፍዎን አይንኩ
    • ብዙ ጊዜ በእጅ የሚነኩ እቃዎችን ያጽዱ ወይም መስፈርት የሆኑ የጽዳት ደረጃዎችን በመጠቀም ኢንፌክሽን ያስወግዱ
    • ከታመሙ ሰዎች ጋር የቅርብ የሆነን ግንኙነት ያስወግዱ
    • ከታመሙ እቤት ይቆዩ፣ ይህም የጤና አገልግሎት ለመፈለግ ከመውጣት ውጪ ማለት ነው

    ለ COVID-19 ማግኘት የምችለው ክትባት ወይም መድሀኒት አለ?

    የለም ምክንያቱም COVID-19 አዲስ በሽታ ስለሆነ ነው። ነገር ግን፣ ብዙ ባለሞያዎች ለመፈብረክ እየሰሩ ነው። እንደማንኛውም ክትባት ደህንነቱ አስተማማኝ እና ውጤታማ መሆኑን ለመፈተሽ መሞከር አለበት። የ COVID19 ክትባት ዝግጁ እስከሚሆን ድረስ ከአንድ አመት በላይ ሊፈጅ ይችላል።

    COVID-19ን የሚፈውስ ምንም አይነት መድሀኒት በዚህ ሰአት የለም። ነገር ግን COVID-19 ያለባቸው ሰዎች የምልክታቸውን ከባድነት ለማስቀነስ የጤና እንክብካቤ ያስፈልጋቸዋል።

    ለ COVID-19 እንዴት ዝግጁ ልሆን እችላለሁ?

    • በቂ የሆኑ በትዛዝ የማይገዙ መድኒቶችን እና ሌሎች የጤና ግብአቶችን ይህም እንደ ህመም ማስወገጃ፣ የሆድ፣ ሳል እና ጉንፋን መድሀኒቶችን በበቂ መጠን በእጅዎ ላይ አድርገው ያቆዩ
    • የተለመዱ በትዛዝ የሚሰቱ መድሀኒቶችን በቂ የሆነ መድሀኒት በእጅዎ ላይ እንዳለ ለማረጋገጥ እርምጃዎችን ይውሰዱ፤ አስፈላጊ የሆነ እንደሆነ እንደገማ መድሀኒቶችዎን ይሙሉ
    • የሙቀት መለኪያ፣ ሶፍት እና የእጅ ማጽጃ ከታመሙ እና ቤት ሆነት ማገገም ሊያሰፈልግዎ የሚለች ከሆነ ይያዙ
    • ከሚወዷቸው እና ከቤተሰብ አባላት ጋር እነዚህ ሰዎች ቢታመሙ ምን አይነት እንክብካቤ ሊያገኙ እንደሚችሉ እና ቤት ውስጥ እነርሱን ለመንከባከብ ምን ሊያስፈልግ እንደሚችል ይነጋገሩ
    • ቤት ውስጥ ለሁለት ሳምንት የሚበቃ ውሀ እና ምግብ መቀመጡን ያረጋግጡ

    ሌላ ላውቅ የሚያስፈልግ ነገር አለ?

    • ማንኛውንም ሰው ከዘር እና የዘር የጀርባ ታሪክ ጋር ግንኙነት ባለው መልኩ አያግሉ። ቫይረሶች ሰዎችን በዘር፣ የህዝብ መገኛ እና የዘር የጀርባ ታሪክ መርጠው አያጠቁም።
    • ሁልጊዜም መረጃ ይኑርዎ እንዲሁም ከአስተማማኝ ምንጭ መረጃዎችን መጠቀም ይቀጥሉ። ትክክለኛ ያልሆኑ መረጃዎችን ኦንላይን እና ከሌላም ቦታ ቢሆን ይጠንቀቁ። በማህበራዊ ሚዲያዎችን የሚጋሩ የጤና መረጃዎች አብዛኛውን ጊዜ ትክክል ያልሆኑ ሲሆን፣ ይህም ከባለስልጣን፣ አስተማማኝ እንደ CDC፣ MDH ወይም አካባቢያዎ ዲፓርትመንት የሚመጣ ካልሆነ ነው።

    ለሌሎች ቡድኖች ማለትም ለንግዶች የሚሆኑ ሌሎች ግብአቶች አሉ?

    CDC ስለ COVID-19 ትክክለኛ የሆኑ መረጃዎችን በ cdc.gov ላይ ያቀርባል

    ንግዶች

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

    እርጉዝ ሴቶች፣ የሚያጠቡ እና ልጆች

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/pregnant-women.html

    ትምህርት ቤቶች

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/guidance-forschools.html

    ተጓዦች

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/faqs.html

    ሳምንታዊ እደሳዎች

    ሳምንታዊ ኢሜይሎችን ስለ COVID-19 ለመግኘት ኢሜይልዎን ያሰገቡ እና “COVID-19” ብለው በ መተየቢያው ሳጥን ውስጥ ይጻፉ

    https://tools.cdc.gov/campaignproxyservice/subscriptions.aspx?topic_id=USCDC_2067

    Related:

    LATEST UPDATE: Coronavirus Pandemic

    Art in the Time of Coronavirus: Guide to Virtual Exhibitions from Ethiopia to U.S.

    We Need Seismic Change, Right Now: by Marcus Samuelsson

    City Sleeps: A Look At The Empty NYC Streets Amid The Virus – In Pictures

    Ethiopia enforces 14-day quarantine for all travelers

    Diaspora-based Tech Professionals Launch Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Task Force

    Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Hopeful & Inspiring Stories Shared by Obama

    Pleas to Diaspora to Assist Coronavirus First Responders in Ethiopia

    Coronavirus Sparks an Epidemic of People Helping People in Seattle

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Art in the Time of Coronavirus: Guide to Virtual Exhibitions from Ethiopia to U.S.

    Photo: Addis Fine Art Gallery

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Published: March 26th, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) — Since the Coronavirus became a global health hazard, grounding billions of people around the world, most current and upcoming art exhibitions that we had featured on our website have either been scrapped or indefinitely postponed, but some have fortunately been converted into virtual shows.

    “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many forthcoming art fairs we had planned to attend have been canceled or postponed,” Addis Fine Art gallery said in a statement announcing its online presentation of Art Dubai 2020. The virtual show features works by artists Tadesse Mesfin, Addis Gezehagn, Adiskidan Ambaye, Tesfaye Urgessa & Tizta Berhanu. The gallery added: “During these uncertain times we remain committed to showcasing our artist’s work, we will pursue our programme via our digital platforms on our website, Artsy, and Instagram, beginning this week with our online presentation for Art Dubai 2020.”

    The Africa Center in New York City that was presenting a new installation by Ezra Wube called Project Junction is closed until further notice due to COVID-19.

    The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) that was featuring Julie Mehretu’s Mid-Career Survey until last week has been temporarily closed. However, the gallery announced that it is active online through its redesigned homepage with “links to free enriching and inspiring content for you to watch.. and browse at home.”

    Addis Fine Art is not alone in making the transition to a virtual gallery tour. According to The Guardian, which highlighted “10 of the world’s best virtual museum and art gallery tours” this month, “art lovers can view thousands of paintings, sculptures, installations and new work online – many in minute detail – as well as explore the museums themselves. There are various platforms: from interactive, 360-degree videos and full “walk-around” tours with voiceover descriptions to slideshows with zoomable photos of the world’s greatest artworks. And many allow viewers to get closer to the art than they could do in real life.”

    Artnet News notes that “luckily, many galleries across the country can still be visited virtually, and at your work-from-home leisure. If you’re in need of an art break, here are 13 favorite exhibitions, from New York to California, that you can gallery hop through your laptop.”

    Artnet News also shares “5 pro tips on how to pull off an effective virtual studio visit” for artists who seek to continue sharing their work while supporting social distancing efforts to combat COVID-19.

    Related:

    ‘I Had to Fight to Show What I Could Do’: How Elias Sime Emerged as One of Africa’s Leading Contemporary Artists

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    Colonial-era Nile Treaties Are to Blame for Unresolved Dispute Over Ethiopia’s Dam

    Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam (Photo: REUTERS/TIKSA NEGERI)

    Quartz Africa

    By Mahemud Tekuya (JSD/Ph.D candidate, University of the Pacific)

    Published on March 28th, 2020

    Disputes over the filling and operation of Ethiopia’s Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam have, once again, threatened security in North-East Africa.

    The dam—a huge project on one of the River Nile’s main tributaries, the Blue Nile in Ethiopia—is designed to generate 6,000 megawatts of electricity. Its reservoir can hold more than 70 billion cubic meters of water. That’s nearly equal to half of the Nile’s annual flow. Filling the immense reservoir will diminish the flow of the Nile.

    Tensions have been particularly acute between Egypt and Ethiopia because more than 80% of the water reaching Egypt comes from the Blue Nile.

    During the Scramble for Africa, controlling the source of the Nile was a major colonial goal for the British.

    Ethiopia is planning to start filling the reservoir in the coming wet season, July 2020. Since November 2019, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt have held dozens of trilateral talks – on the filling of the reservoir and operation of the dam – which were supported and attended by the US and the World Bank as “observers.” In the latest round of talks, Ethiopia pulled out of the meeting. Diplomatic spats between Addis Ababa and Cairo are not new. Since the early 1990s, the two countries have held various talks on the Nile but these usually end in a stalemate and the threat of military recourse by Egypt.

    Why? Because of the Nile Water Treaties.

    During the Scramble for Africa, controlling the source of the Nile was a major colonial goal for the British. Various agreements—including the Nile Treaties – where established to do this.

    The Nile Water Treaties were agreements between the British (on behalf of its colonies, Sudan, Kenyan, Tanzania and Uganda) and Egypt. They effectively prevent upstream countries from using the Nile’s water without the consent of those downstream. This resulted in a strong Egyptian bias and Egypt continues to try to enforce the treaties today.

    Things need to change so that the Nile can benefit all in the region. For instance, Ethiopia has not been able to use the Nile and has relied on rain-fed agriculture which leaves millions of Ethiopians vulnerable to hunger.

    Based on my research which looks into how the status quo can be changed, I believe that getting rid of the Nile Water Treaties is necessary to resolve the disputes over the Nile’s waters and find an amicable way forward in the dam negotiations.

    Read more »


    Related:

    The United States Must Not Pick Sides in the Nile River Dispute: BY ADDISU LASHITEW

    Ethiopia Won’t be Forced by US on Dam, Foreign Minister Says (The Associated Press)

    Ethiopia says Trump got inaccurate information on Nile dam (AP)

    Nile Dam: Ethiopia Calls US View “Totally Unacceptable (BBC)

    Ethiopia Skips Nile Talks in DC (AP)

    Ethiopia asks U.S. to postpone final talks on Blue Nile dam (Reuters)

    Why Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan should ditch a rushed, Washington-brokered Nile Treaty (Brookings)

    Ethiopia says US plans ‘substantial financial support’ (AP)

    U.S. to offer financial support for Ethiopia political reforms -PM (Reuters)

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    64 Ethiopians Found Dead in Mozambique

    Police talk to some of the survivors found in the cargo container. (Photograph: EPA)

    The Guardian

    Sixty-four Ethiopians Found Dead in Truck in Mozambique (Guardian)

    Sixty-four people from Ethiopia have been found dead crammed inside a freight container in north-west Mozambique, a senior hospital official has said.

    The victims were discovered on Tuesday in a blue cargo container loaded on to a truck in the province of Tete. They were surrounded by survivors. Daily temperature highs in Tete are currently about 34C (93F).

    “A truck transporting illegal immigrants from Malawi, suspected to be Ethiopians, was stopped at the Mussacana weight bridge in Tete, and 64 people were found dead. Only 14 survived,” said the official, who asked not be named as he did not have the authority to speak to the media. “The cause of death is presumed to be asphyxiation.”

    A picture showed a few survivors sitting surrounded by corpses, and another showed hospital workers with white plastic aprons and blue face masks, preparing to offer first aid to survivors and offload the bodies, which were taken to a local morgue.

    Amélia Direito, a provincial immigration spokeswoman, said all 78 people in the container were Ethiopian men, of whom 64 suffocated.

    “The truck driver and his assistant (both Mozambicans) have been arrested by the police,” said Direito.

    She said the driver told police he had been promised 30,000 meticais (about £385) to transport the men. Police have launched a manhunt for “the intermediary who facilitated the illegal entry of the Ethiopians into the country”, she said.

    The foreign ministry in Addis Ababa said it had “confirmed through the Ethiopian embassy in South Africa that many Ethiopians travelling inside a vehicle from Malawi to Mozambique have died”. It said it was working to establish the numbers of the dead and their identities.

    “The ministry expresses deep sadness at the tragedy and extends a message of strength to the family and friends of the deceased,” it said.

    Mozambique is generally seen as a smuggling corridor for migrants seeking to make their way to South Africa. The continent’s most industrialised country is a magnet for poor migrants not only from neighbouring countries such as Lesotho and Zimbabwe, but nations further afield, such as Ethiopia.


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    SEED Awards Postponed to 2021 (UPDATE)

    Photo courtesy of Society of Ethiopians Established in the Diaspora (SEED)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: March 25th, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) — The Society of Ethiopians Established in the Diaspora (SEED) has announced that due to the coronavirus pandemic its 28th annual Recognition & Awards dinner — originally scheduled to take pace on May 24th at College Park Marriott Hotel in Hyattsville, Maryland — has been postponed to May 2021.

    “Within a short period of time, our world is threatened and changed by this novel coronavirus a/k/a Covid-19,” said Ephraim Kaba, Chairman of the association, in a statement emailed to Tadias. “In response to the current announcements from the Federal Government, state and local authorities, on how to deal with the spread of this virus, we decided to postpone our May 24, 2020 Award dinner to the following year.” He added: “There is no higher priority for us than the safety of you and your family. We wish everyone safety and encourage you to practice good judgment in the weeks ahead.”

    Established in 1993, SEED is one of the oldest Ethiopian Diaspora organizations in the United States.

    The nonprofit had planned to recognize seven individuals this year for “professional excellence” in various fields including business, law, technology, art, and humanitarian work. The honorees included Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, Mr. Tekalign Gedamu, Mrs. Freweini Mebrahtu, Ms. Bethlehem Dessie, Artist Tadesse Worku, Sister Zebedir Zewdie, and Mrs. Meaza Birru. The announcement had also noted that “SEED will also honor exceptional high school seniors who excelled in their academic pursuits, stood out in humanitarian efforts, and exhibited exemplary community services.”

    Photo courtesy of The Society of Ethiopians Established in the Diaspora (SEED)

    Last year SEED honored women leaders and pioneers including Meaza Ashenafi, President of the Supreme Court of Ethiopia; physician Senait Fisseha, a reproductive endocrinology and infertility academic at the University of Michigan and Director of International Programs at the Susan Buffet Foundation; Captain Amsale Gualu, the first female captain at Ethiopian Airlines; Artist Julie Mehretu; Dr. Yalemtsehay Mekonnen, the first female Professor in Ethiopia, Talk Show Host Helen Mesfin; Ledet Muleta, Senior Psychiatric Research Nurse at the National Institute of Health and a dedicated advocate for mental health research; Yetnebersh Nigussie, Lawyer and Disability Rights Activist from Ethiopia; and legendary athlete Derartu Tulu, the first African woman to win an Olympic gold medal.

    Previous SEED honorees include Musicians Mahamoud Ahmed and Teddy Afro as well as Poet and Author Lemn Sissay, Playwright and Actor Alemtsehay Wodajo, and Economist Dr. Lemma W. Senbet who is the William E. Mayer Chair Professor of Finance at the University of Maryland, College Park and a member of the Ethiopian Diaspora Trust Fund’s Advisory Council.

    More info at www.ethioseed.org.

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    LATEST UPDATE: Coronavirus Pandemic

    Ethiopian fire brigades on Sunday cleaned and disinfected public spaces in the country's capital, Addis Ababa to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. (Photo: AA)

    The Latest:

    Updated: March 29th, 2020

  • As U.S. coronavirus death toll surpasses 2,000, CDC issues travel advisory for New York tri-state region
  • COVID-19: Fire brigades disinfect Ethiopian capital
  • In Tunisia Factory Workers Making 50k Masks a Day While in Voluntary Lockdown
  • The Doctor Who Helped Defeat Smallpox Explains What’s Coming
  • Virus infections top 600,000 globally with long fight ahead
  • Maryland Issues COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for Ethiopian Community
  • Gouged prices, middlemen and medical supply chaos: Why governors are so upset with Trump
  • Worshippers in Ethiopia Defy Ban on Large Gatherings Despite Coronavirus
  • A record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits as the coronavirus slams economy
  • Ethiopia: Parents fear for missing students as universities close over Covid-19
  • Ethiopia pardons more than 4,000 prisoners to help prevent coronavirus spread
  • New York City reports 26,697 COVID-19 cases, 450 deaths
  • In California, L.A. mayor says residents may have to shelter at home for two months or more

    As U.S. coronavirus death toll surpasses 2,000, CDC issues travel advisory for hard-hit New York tri-state region

    By The Washington Post

    The United States reached a grim milestone Saturday, doubling the number of coronavirus-related deaths over two days to more than 2,000. New York remained the hardest hit, a devastating toll compounded Saturday by President Trump’s day-long dance over whether he would order a federal quarantine of the New York City metro region — a proposal he ultimately retracted… New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) called the idea “preposterous” and equated it to imprisonment and “a declaration of war.”…instead, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would issue a “strong travel advisory” for the New York tri-state area. The CDC advisory urged residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to “refrain from nonessential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately,” though the three states issued stay-home orders to the same effect March 20.

    Read more »

    Virus infections top 600,000 globally with long fight ahead

    By The Associated Press

    The number of confirmed coronavirus infections worldwide topped 600,000 on Saturday as new cases stacked up quickly in Europe and the United States and officials dug in for a long fight against the pandemic. The latest landmark came only two days after the world passed half a million infections, according to a tally by John Hopkins University, showing that much work remains to be done to slow the spread of the virus. It showed more than 607,000 cases and over 28,000 deaths. While the U.S. now leads the world in reported infections — with more than 104,000 cases — five countries exceed its roughly 1,700 deaths: Italy, Spain, China, Iran and France.

    Read more »

    Maryland Issues COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for Ethiopian Community

    By Tadias Staff

    The state of Maryland Department of Health has issued a COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for its large Ethiopian community.

    Read more »

    Gouged prices, middlemen and medical supply chaos: Why governors are so upset with Trump

    By The Washington Post

    Masks that used to cost pennies now cost several dollars. Companies outside the traditional supply chain offer wildly varying levels of price and quality. Health authorities say they have few other choices to meet their needs in a ‘dog-eat-dog’ battle.

    Read more »

    Worshippers in Ethiopia Defy Ban on Large Gatherings Despite Coronavirus

    By VOA

    ADDIS ABABA – Health experts in Ethiopia are raising concern, as some religious leaders continue to host large gatherings despite government orders not to do so in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Earlier this week, Ethiopia’s government ordered security forces to enforce a ban on large gatherings aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. Ethiopia has seen only 12 cases and no deaths from the virus, and authorities would like to keep it that way. But enforcing the orders has proven difficult as religious groups continue to meet and, according to religious leaders, fail to treat the risks seriously.

    Read more »

    U.S. deaths from coronavirus top 1,000

    By The Washington Post

    It began as a mysterious disease with frightening potential. Now, just two months after America’s first confirmed case, the country is grappling with a lethal reality: The novel coronavirus has killed more than 1,000 people in the United States, a toll that is increasing at an alarming rate.

    Read more »

    A record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits as the coronavirus slams economy

    By The Washington Post

    A record 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, as restaurants, hotels, barber shops, gyms and more shut down in a nationwide effort to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

    Last week saw the biggest jump in new jobless claims in history, surpassing the record of 695,000 set in 1982. Many economists say this is the beginning of a massive spike in unemployment that could result in over 40 million Americans losing their jobs by April.

    Laid off workers say they waited hours on the phone to apply for help. Websites in several states, including New York and Oregon, crashed because so many people were trying to apply at once.

    “The most terrifying part about this is this is likely just the beginning of the layoffs,” said Martha Gimbel, a labor economist at Schmidt Futures. The nation’s unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in February, a half-century low, but that has likely risen already to 5.5 percent, according to calculations by Gimbel. The nation hasn’t seen that level of unemployment since 2015.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia: Parents fear for missing students as universities close over Covid-19


    Photo via amnesty.org

    As universities across Ethiopia close to avert spread of the COVID-19 virus, Amnesty International is calling on the Ethiopian authorities to disclose measures they have taken to rescue 17 Amhara students from Dembi Dolo University in Western Oromia, who were abducted by unidentified people in November 2019 and have been missing since.

    The anguish of the students’ families is exacerbated by a phone and internet shutdown implemented in January across the western Oromia region further hampering their efforts to get information about their missing loved ones.

    “The sense of fear and uncertainty spreading across Ethiopia because of COVID-19 is exacerbating the anguish of these students’ families, who are desperate for information on the whereabouts of their loved ones four months after they were abducted,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa.

    “The Ethiopian authorities’ move to close universities in order to protect the lives of university students is commendable, but they must also take similarly concrete actions to locate and rescue the 17 missing students so that they too are reunited with their families.”

    Read more »

    UPDATE: New York City is now reporting 26,697 COVID-19 cases and 450 deaths.

    BY ABC7 NY

    Temporary hospital space in New York City will begin opening on Monday and more supplies are on the way as an already overwhelmed medical community anticipates even more coronavirus patients in the coming days. Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted 20 trucks were on the road delivering protective equipment to hospitals, including surgical masks, N95 masks, and hundreds more ventilators.

    Governor Cuomo added the temporary hospital in the Javits Center will open on Monday the same day that the USNS Comfort will arrive in New York City.

    Read more »

    Related: New York sees some signs of progress against coronavirus as New Orleans hit hard (REUTERS)

    L.A. mayor says residents may have to shelter at home for two months or more

    By Business Insider

    Los Angeles residents will be confined to their homes until May at the earliest, Mayor Eric Garcetti told Insider on Wednesday.

    “I think this is at least two months,” he said. “And be prepared for longer.”

    In an interview with Insider, Garcetti pushed back against “premature optimism” in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying leaders who suggest we are on the verge of business as usual are putting lives at risk.

    “I can’t say that strongly enough,” the mayor said. Optimism, he said, has to be grounded in data. And right now the data is not good.

    “Giving people false hope will crush their spirits and will kill more people,” Garcetti said, adding it would change their actions by instilling a sense of normality at the most abnormal time in a generation.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia pardons more than 4,000 prisoners to help prevent coronavirus spread

    By CNN

    Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde has granted pardon to more than 4,000 prisoners in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus.

    Sahle-Work Zewde announced the order in a tweet on Wednesday and said it would help prevent overcrowding in prisons.

    The directive only covers those given a maximum sentence of three years for minor crimes and those who were about to be released from jail, she said.

    There are 12 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ethiopia, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.
    Authorities in the nation have put in place a raft of measures, including the closure of all borders except to those bringing in essential goods to contain the virus. The government has directed security officials to monitor and enforce a ban on large gatherings and overcrowded public transport to ensure social distancing.

    Read more »


    U.S. House passes $2 trillion coronavirus emergency spending bill


    Watch: Senator Chuck Schumer of New York breaks down massive coronavirus aid package (MSNBC Video)

    By The Washington Post

    The House of Representatives voted Friday [March 27th] to approve a massive $2 trillion stimulus bill that policy makers hope will blunt the economic destruction of the coronavirus pandemic, sending the legislation to President Trump for enactment. The legislation passed in dramatic fashion, approved on an overwhelming voice vote by lawmakers who’d been forced to return to Washington by a GOP colleague who had insisted on a quorum being present. Some lawmakers came from New York and other places where residents are supposed to be sheltering at home.

    Read more »

    In Ethiopia, Abiy seeks $150b for African virus response

    By AFP

    Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Tuesday urged G20 leaders to help Africa cope with the coronavirus crisis by facilitating debt relief and providing $150 billion in emergency funding.
    The pandemic “poses an existential threat to the economies of African countries,” Abiy’s office said in a statement, adding that Ethiopia was “working closely with other African countries” in preparing the aid request.

    The heavy debt burdens of many African countries leave them ill-equipped to respond to pandemic-related economic shocks, as the cost of servicing debt exceeds many countries’ health budgets, the statement said.

    Read more »

    Worried Ethiopians Want Partial Internet Shutdown Ended (AP)


    Ethiopians have their temperature checked for symptoms of the new coronavirus, at the Zewditu Memorial Hospital in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Wednesday, March 18, 2020. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough and the vast majority recover in 2-6 weeks but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health issues, the virus that causes COVID-19 can result in more severe illness, including pneumonia. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

    By Elias Meseret | AP

    March 24, 2020

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Rights groups and citizens are calling on Ethiopia’s government to lift the internet shutdown in parts of the country that is leaving millions of people without important updates on the coronavirus.

    The months-long shutdown of internet and phone lines in Western Oromia and parts of the Benishangul Gumuz region is occurring during military operations against rebel forces.

    “Residents of these areas are getting very limited information about the coronavirus,” Jawar Mohammed, an activist-turned-politician, told The Associated Press.

    Ethiopia reported its first coronavirus case on March 13 and now has a dozen. Officials have been releasing updates mostly online. Land borders have closed and national carrier Ethiopian Airlines has stopped flying to some 30 destinations around the world.

    Read more »

    In Global Fight vs. Virus, Over 1.5 Billion Told: Stay Home


    A flier urging customers to remain home hangs at a turnstile as an MTA employee sanitizes surfaces at a subway station with bleach solutions due to COVID-19 concerns, Friday, March 20, 2020, in New York. (AP)

    The Associated Press

    NEW YORK (AP) — With masks, ventilators and political goodwill in desperately short supply, more than one-fifth of the world’s population was ordered or urged to stay in their homes Monday at the start of what could be a pivotal week in the battle to contain the coronavirus in the U.S. and Europe.

    Partisan divisions stalled efforts to pass a colossal aid package in Congress, and stocks fell again on Wall Street even after the Federal Reserve said it will lend to small and large businesses and local governments to help them through the crisis.

    Warning that the outbreak is accelerating, the head of the World Health Organization called on countries to take strong, coordinated action.

    “We are not helpless bystanders,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, noting that it took 67 days to reach 100,000 cases worldwide but just four days to go from 200,000 to 300,000. “We can change the trajectory of this pandemic.”

    Read more »

    China’s Coronavirus Donation to Africa Arrives in Ethiopia (Reuters)


    An Ethiopian Airlines worker transports a consignment of medical donation from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundation to Africa for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing, upon arrival at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, March 22, 2020. (REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri)

    The first batch of protective and medical equipment donated by Chinese billionaire and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma was flown into the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday, as coronavirus cases in Africa rose above 1,100.

    The virus has spread more slowly in Africa than in Asia or Europe but has a foothold in 41 African nations and two territories. So far it has claimed 37 lives across the continent of 1.3 billion people.

    The shipment is a much-needed boost to African healthcare systems that were already stretched before the coronavirus crisis, but nations will still need to ration supplies at a time of global scarcity.

    Only patients showing symptoms will be tested, the regional Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Sunday.

    “The flight carried 5.4 million face masks, kits for 1.08 million detection tests, 40,000 sets of protective clothing and 60,000 sets of protective face shields,” Ma’s foundation said in a statement.

    “The faster we move, the earlier we can help.”

    The shipment had a sign attached with the slogan, “when people are determined they can overcome anything”.

    Read more »


    Related:

    We Need Seismic Change, Right Now: by Marcus Samuelsson

    City Sleeps: A Look At The Empty NYC Streets Amid The Virus – In Pictures

    Ethiopia enforces 14-day quarantine for all travelers

    Diaspora-based Tech Professionals Launch Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Task Force

    Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Hopeful & Inspiring Stories Shared by Obama

    Pleas to Diaspora to Assist Coronavirus First Responders in Ethiopia

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

  • We Need Seismic Change, Right Now: by Marcus Samuelsson

    Editor's Note: Marcus Samuelsson [owner of Red Rooster Harlem] is the author of multiple books, including "Yes, Chef" and "The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem." (CNN)

    CNN

    By Marcus Samuelsson

    (CNN) - This past week has been the toughest of my career, as I’m sure is true for many of you. My city, New York, is under siege by this cruel and relentless virus. Most of my restaurants are now closed, other than the few mostly serving limited takeout and delivery. Millions of people in my industry are suddenly out of work, and no one knows when — or whether — relief will come.

    I am a chef by training, and certainly not a policy expert, but I can share insights from three unique vantage points: 1) as someone who works and lives in the economically disadvantaged neighborhood of Harlem; 2) as a small-business owner who employs and works alongside the residents of my community; and 3) as an émigré who grew up in Sweden, which taught me valuable lessons in how a government can and should care for its own.

    Let’s start with the first point. During this crisis, we need to be especially concerned about our nation’s food-insecure population — and think about nutrition the same way we think about health care. Food is as vital a resource as medicine. It’s clear that this virus is going to have a devastating impact on urban communities like mine. We have to ensure we’re not compounding that with the unnecessary deaths of our food-insecure neighbors.

    For the past five years, through our Harlem EatUp! festival, we’ve partnered with Citymeals, which was already serving weekend, holiday and emergency meals to more than 18,000 homebound residents of Harlem and beyond, and now face a rapid increase in demand. Having joined on these meal deliveries with my friend and Citymeals board co-President Daniel Boulud, I can tell you that the recipients literally will not survive without those services.

    We know the ranks of the food-insecure will grow exponentially in the weeks and months ahead. That’s why we’ve partnered with organizations such as José Andres’ World Central Kitchen to turn our restaurants into community kitchens.

    But non-profits and restaurateurs can’t do this work alone. We need federal, state and local governments to support these efforts, in the same way they’re ramping up medical systems. My peers across the restaurant industry are clamoring for ways to help — and we need federal and local guidelines as well as funding to ensure our help is delivered safely, legally and effectively. All levels of government must step up, not just with money but with strategic assistance and direction.

    To the second point: As a business owner with restaurants in eight different countries, I’m in the heartbreaking position of seeing thousands of employees forced to go on unemployment across the globe. In the United States, however, the benefits are far too low and don’t last nearly long enough. The American unemployment system is built to “tide you over” while you quickly find another job — it’s not designed to support you if no jobs are available because your industry no longer exists.

    In this time of crisis, the federal government should immediately act to double the unemployment benefit for every affected American, extending the term from a length of varying weeks (most states offer 26 but some offer more or much less) to a standard of 200+ days (which, by the way, is what Sweden covers). Benefits should also be expanded to cover unemployed workers’ health coverage, be it COBRA payments or premiums. We must begin decoupling health care from our jobs — especially now that many of those jobs don’t exist.

    Finally, we now have critical industries asking low-paid workers to continue working under dangerous circumstances. Not just our heroic health workers and first responders, but also the tireless grocery workers, the restaurant workers still handling takeout and delivery, the truck drivers hauling produce and countless others in the food industry. Without these critical links, our supply chain would fall apart, and the nation’s food system would collapse.

    For this reason, the federal government must step in to protect our vulnerable food industry workers, by providing safety equipment, setting guidelines to ensure a safe and healthy work environment, and, most of all, by matching (i.e. doubling) wages to give our critical workers the financial support they desperately need and deserve. That family-run corner deli on my block? They don’t make a lot of money, but they’re a vital lifeline for our community — and in neighborhoods like ours, their value is a hundred times what they’re earning.

    As you may have noticed, most of my proposed solutions call for more government action. That’s partly because I grew up in Sweden, where I learned the value of a government that offers help directly to its citizens — through smart, sustainable, sensible state-run programs — not just indirectly through banks and corporations, or relying on charities and non-governmental organizations to step in and fill the void. I chose long ago to become a US citizen and love this country dearly. But I can’t wonder how things might work if the wealthiest, most technologically advanced country in the world were a little more like Sweden.

    The fact is, the same old fixes won’t work this time, if they ever really did. There’s no point in offering a restaurant a no-interest small-business loan when the restaurant industry may not survive in the first place. We need seismic change, and we need it right now. I know our politicians are working through the weekend to formulate another stimulus plan. Let’s make sure they don’t leave out the most important ingredient — helping the people who are truly in need.

    Join me in reaching out to your elected officials to demand action. You can find them here.


    Related:

    City Sleeps: A Look At The Empty NYC Streets Amid The Virus – In Pictures

    In Global Fight vs. Virus, Over 1.5 Billion Told: Stay Home

    Ethiopia enforces 14-day quarantine for all travelers

    Diaspora-based Tech Professionals Launch Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Task Force

    Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Hopeful & Inspiring Stories Shared by Obama

    Pleas to Diaspora to Assist Coronavirus First Responders in Ethiopia

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Worried Ethiopians Want Partial Internet Shutdown Ended (AP)

    Ethiopians have their temperature checked for symptoms of the new coronavirus, at the Zewditu Memorial Hospital in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Wednesday, March 18, 2020. (Photo: Mulugeta Ayene, AP)

    By Elias Meseret | AP

    March 24, 2020

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Rights groups and citizens are calling on Ethiopia’s government to lift the internet shutdown in parts of the country that is leaving millions of people without important updates on the coronavirus.

    The months-long shutdown of internet and phone lines in Western Oromia and parts of the Benishangul Gumuz region is occurring during military operations against rebel forces.

    “Residents of these areas are getting very limited information about the coronavirus,” Jawar Mohammed, an activist-turned-politician, told The Associated Press.

    Ethiopia reported its first coronavirus case on March 13 and now has a dozen. Officials have been releasing updates mostly online. Land borders have closed and national carrier Ethiopian Airlines has stopped flying to some 30 destinations around the world.

    A ruling party official in the Oromia region, Taye Dendea, on Sunday posted on Facebook saying that “tourists and other foreigners are not travelling to these areas because of the security problem that exists there, so there’s little chance that the virus will get there.”

    Human Rights Watch has said millions of Ethiopians are not getting access to timely and accurate information.

    “It is laudable that (Ethiopia’s prime minister) Abiy is taking charge of managing a coronavirus prevention effort on the African continent, but he should not ignore the needs of those within his own country.”

    Yohannes Tessema, a political figure from the Benishangul Gumuz region, said both internet and phones lines are cut in some locations and that it’s difficult to disseminate information about the pandemic to residents.

    “We have never experienced such lengthy cuts in the past. People in these areas are not getting badly needed updates, and that is dangerous,” he said.


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    Ethiopia Enforces 14-Day Quarantine

    People arriving at the Bole International Airport in the capital Addis Ababa will be quarantined for two weeks at two designated hotels, Skylight and Ghion. Ethiopia has 11 confirmed COVID-19 cases so far. (AA)

    AA

    By Addis Getachew

    Ethiopia enforces 14-day quarantine for all travelers

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – Ethiopia on Monday enforced a 14-day mandatory quarantine period for all travelers to the country.

    People arriving at the Bole International Airport in the capital Addis Ababa will be quarantined for two weeks at two designated hotels, Skylight and Ghion.

    Diplomats will be required to remain in quarantine at their respective embassies.

    The decision was among a host of measures announced by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to curb the coronavirus outbreak, including closing all schools and banning public gatherings and sports events for 15 days.

    Ethiopia has 11 confirmed COVID-19 cases — six Ethiopians, four Japanese citizens, and one British person — so far but authorities fear a rise in numbers over the coming days.

    On Sunday, 1.1 million coronavirus test kits, six million masks, and 60,000 protective suits arrived in Addis Ababa for distribution across Africa.

    The donation came from Chinese tech tycoon Jack Ma on a request by premier Ahmed.

    The COVID-19 outbreak that started in Wuhan, China, has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).

    Data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University shows the virus has now spread to 167 countries and regions.

    Over 343,400 cases and 14,750 deaths have been reported worldwide since last December, while more than 98,890 people have recovered.


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    In Pictures: A Look At Empty NYC Streets

    A police officer walks across an empty 7th Avenue in a sparsely populated Times Square due to COVID-19 concerns, Friday, March 20, 2020, in New York. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ordering all workers in non-essential businesses to stay home and banning gatherings statewide. Nonessential gatherings of individuals of any size or for any reason are canceled or postponed. (AP Photo)

    By The Associated Press

    City Sleeps: A look at the empty NYC streets amid the virus

    A desolate Times Square still lit up with no one on the streets. The usually bustling Grand Central Terminal empty, except for a lone traveler. Only a few people snapping selfies on the Brooklyn Bridge, instead of the horde of commuters and tourists that usually venture across the iconic span.

    Efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus have completely altered the usual New Yorker way of life, grinding the “city that never sleeps” to a halt in the last week after it became one of the nation’s epicenters for the fast-spreading virus.

    Nearly 2,000 people have been hospitalized in the state with the virus and 114 have died, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday. More than 15,000 have tested positive statewide, including 9,000 in New York City.


    A lone pedestrian walks down Broadway past the Charging Bull statue as COVID-19 concerns empty a typically bustling downtown area, in New York. (AP Photo)


    A traveler stands at the information desk at Grand Central Terminal, in New York. (AP Photo)


    Subway riders wear protective masks and gloves on a sparsely populated car during morning hours due to COVID-19 concerns that are driving down ridership in New York. (AP Photo)


    A woman walks through a lightly trafficked Times Square in New York. (AP Photo)


    The Minskoff Theatre is shuttered in New York, near Times Square after Broadway theaters closed following New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s banning of gatherings of more than 500 people over concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo)

    You can view the rest of the photos at apnews.com »


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    China Reopens More Than 500 Cinemas

    CGTN reported that 486 theaters were open for business on Friday. On Monday, financial publication Caixin said the number had risen to 507, representing less than 5% of all cinemas in commercial operation prior to the virus outbreak. (CREDIT: COURTESY OF HENGYE PICTURES)

    Variety

    China Reopens More Than 500 Cinemas as Coronavirus Threat Recedes

    More than 500 cinema screens have reopened in China, where the coronavirus outbreak is seen to be receding, though box office takings remain minimal as the public is mostly staying away.

    State media CGTN reported that 486 theaters were open for business on Friday. On Monday, financial publication Caixin said the number had risen to 507, representing less than 5% of all cinemas in commercial operation prior to the virus outbreak.

    Data from private-sector ticketing firm Maoyan showed that venues had opened in five provinces: far-flung Xinjiang; Shangdong, a coastal province that lies between Beijing and Shanghai; southern, landlocked province Sichuan; and two populous coastal regions, Fujian and Guangdong, which border Hong Kong.

    The data showed that nationwide revenue on Friday totalled less than $2,000. In Fujian and Guangdong, not a single ticket was sold.

    On Monday, China reported no new local cases of the virus, but confirmed 39 infections brought in from overseas, and nine more deaths, all in Wuhan, where the virus had its epicenter. Wuhan has not registered any new cases of Covid-19 for five consecutive days.

    Read more »


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    China’s Coronavirus Donation to Africa Arrives in Ethiopia (Reuters)

    An Ethiopian Airlines worker transports a consignment of medical donation from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundation to Africa for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing, upon arrival at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, March 22, 2020. (REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri)

    Reuters

    By Dawit Endeshaw & Giulia Paravicini

    ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – The first batch of protective and medical equipment donated by Chinese billionaire and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma was flown into the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday, as coronavirus cases in Africa rose above 1,100.

    The virus has spread more slowly in Africa than in Asia or Europe but has a foothold in 41 African nations and two territories. So far it has claimed 37 lives across the continent of 1.3 billion people.

    The shipment is a much-needed boost to African healthcare systems that were already stretched before the coronavirus crisis, but nations will still need to ration supplies at a time of global scarcity.

    Only patients showing symptoms will be tested, the regional Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Sunday.

    “The flight carried 5.4 million face masks, kits for 1.08 million detection tests, 40,000 sets of protective clothing and 60,000 sets of protective face shields,” Ma’s foundation said in a statement.

    “The faster we move, the earlier we can help.”

    The shipment had a sign attached with the slogan, “when people are determined they can overcome anything”.

    The supplies will be distributed across Africa, with countries particularly “vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic” to receive theirs first, the statement said, adding that more supplies will be sent to Ethiopia in the coming weeks.

    Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Twitter that the distribution of supplies will start on Monday.

    The ability to test for the virus is one of the key strategies to control the outbreak, Ethiopia health minister Lia Tadesse told reporters, hailing the aid initiative at a ceremony to receive the supplies.

    Africa CDC warned that some coronavirus cases may be slipping through undetected.

    “More kits does not necessarily mean more tests. Tests are conducted on persons suspected to be infected,” Africa CDC spokesman James Ayodele told Reuters.


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    Diaspora-based Tech Professionals Launch Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Task Force

    A cleaning staff wears protective gear to disinfect a metro carriage against the spreading of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, March 20, 2020. (Photo: AFP)

    VOA

    Recruiting Tech Volunteers to Fight COVID-19 in Ethiopia  

    WASHINGTON – A Washington-based software developer is recruiting other techies to combat the spread of the new coronavirus in his native Ethiopia, following the lead of countries such as China and South Korea with early experience in what is now a global pandemic.

    “We need an army of tech volunteers to help the Ethiopian Ministry of Health collect, analyze and report to the agency so that we can assist them in the time of need,” Mike Endale wrote in his online solicitation.

     “The better data collection/analysis/reporting there is, the better the response and the more effective the mitigation strategies will be.”

    Since he began recruiting Tuesday on social media, Endale has enlisted more than 500 volunteers with various skills in software programing, project management, design and more, he said in a phone interview Friday.  

    By then, nine cases of novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, had been confirmed but no deaths had been reported in the Horn of Africa country.  

    Poverty and internal displacement from armed conflict have weakened the health safety net in Africa’s second most populous country, home to 114 million. And Human Rights Watch reported Friday that “[m]illions of Ethiopians living under a monthslong government-imposed shutdown of internet and phone services in western Oromia are being left in the dark.”    

    The 38-year-old Endale came to the United States in 2000 and is a principal in BlenCorp, a small information technology firm in Washington. Its portfolio includes projects for the District of Columbia and federal governments, business, industry and advisory groups.

    Endale said the volunteers, mostly from the United States, Canada and Europe, are writing open-source code to create tools that could be used to raise public awareness of coronavirus risks and for contact tracing.

    “How do you push information out to the public? Things need to be built,” he said, citing social media messenger bots for Facebook, WhatsApp and other platforms. He added that some volunteers are working on an emergency response for contact tracing, which identifies an infected person and follows up with those who might have been near that person.

    Software’s role in the coronavirus public health emergency has bumped up against privacy concerns. In China, South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong, governments are using GPS phone tracking software to track people’s movement, retrace the movement of an infected person before diagnosis or to make sure a patient does not break quarantine, according to the Morning Brew business newsletter.

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit watchdog for civil liberties in the digital world, last week laid out principles for “data collection and digital monitoring of potential carriers of COVID-19.” It said data collection “privacy intrusions” should be proportionate, science-based, transparent and finite, ending after the crisis has been contained.

    Endale acknowledged privacy concerns in gathering information for Ethiopia’s government. But, he said, “the data collection part is administered by the folks in the health ministry. … They house the data. We’re just building the tools.”

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    Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Hopeful & Inspiring Stories Shared by Obama

    All around the world, health professionals are at the front lines of this pandemic, giving all they have to selflessly care for their communities. One of our #ObamaLeaders wanted to make sure they were recognized for their bravery—and motivated to keep going. (@ObamaFoundation)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: March 21st, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) – Here at Tadias as we continue covering news among the Ethiopian Diaspora community, amid the COVID-19 pandemic from our lockdown in New York City, we’re reassured of the indomitable human spirit through simple acts of kindness and people helping each other.

    It was heartening to read this last week as Seattle Times highlighted the efforts of Ethiopian American Yadesa Bojia — an artist who has been actively involved in community work for a long time, and whom we first featured on our magazine 13 years ago. To improve health literacy during the COVID-19 pandemic Bojia launched a social media-based public service announcement campaign in Amharic to provide accurate and “scientifically grounded” information to the Ethiopian Community. More recently, People to People, Inc. (P2P), a U.S.-based network of Ethiopian healthcare professionals, also launched an online fundraising campaign for first responders in Ethiopia – a critical step to curb the pandemic in a nation that only had 10 physicians per 100,000 individuals (as reported by the World Bank in 2017).

    It is likewise heartwarming to see the inspiring stories shared online by former President Barack Obama urging Americans to “stay hopeful” amid the viral outbreak. “Even in this uncertain time, we can still find reasons for hope,” Obama announced. “We’ve gathered stories of people from every corner of the globe carrying out selfless acts in this time of need.” He added: “Think of it as the virtual hug you (maybe) didn’t know you needed. Our team will continue to add to this steady stream of global hope, but we’d like your help. Tell us about the stories—big and small—that are lifting your spirits.

    Among the stories shared by Obama include this Washington Post article featuring “neighborhood groups across the Washington area [that] are forming militias of caring and help.” President Obama also gave a shoutout to the NBA players who are donating money to cover salaries of hourly workers amid suspended season. In addition the former president spotlighted a tweet from the American musician Yo-Yo Ma, who had posted a video with the following note: “In these days of anxiety, I wanted to find a way to continue to share some of the music that gives me comfort. The first of my #SongsOfComfort: Dvořák – ‘Going Home.’” The encouraging stories are not limited to the U.S. as he also features people like the Singapore-based, Vivian Lim, who “organized a response for migrants in her community and coordinated volunteers to distribute masks, hand sanitizers, bar soaps, and personal hygiene awareness messages.”

    As Obama noted: “We face a long road ahead – stay hopeful.”

    You can read more and contribute at www.obama.org »

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    Ethiopia Confirms More COVID19 Cases

    Dr. Lia Tadesse, Ethiopia's Minister of Health. (Photo via Facebook/Public Health Officers Association of Ethiopia)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: March 20th, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) — Among the latest COVID-19 infected individuals in Ethiopia are a 39-year-old Austrian who arrived in Addis Ababa on March 15th, a 44-year-old Japanese national, and an 85-year-old Ethiopian who returned from abroad on March 2nd, raising the country’s total confirmed cases to 9.

    According to a statement by Ethiopian Health Minister Dr. Lia Tadesse, the 85-year-old patient “has a severe form of illness and under close medical care” while the rest are reported to be in stable condition.

    The Ministry of Health also urged travelers from affected countries to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

    Responding to reported incidents of xenophobia fueled by Coronavirus fears, Dr. Lia said: “#COVID19 is not related to any country or nationality. It is a test against all humanity. We should fight it together and defeat it. I call upon all my fellow Ethiopians to join hands with the world to fight this global challenge.”


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    In U.S., 70 Million in Lockdown (UPDATE)

    Hikers maintain distance as they mingle at Vista View Point in Griffith Park in Los Angeles on Friday, March 20th, 2020. California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide stay-at-home order Thursday for residents to venture outside only for essential jobs, errands and some exercise, due to coronavirus concerns. (AP Photo)

    The Associated Press

    Updated: March 20th, 2020

    Illinois and New York state joined California on Friday in ordering all residents to stay in their homes unless they have vital reasons to go out, restricting the movement of more than 70 million Americans in the most sweeping measures undertaken yet in the U.S. to contain the coronavirus.

    The states’ governors acted in a bid to fend off the kind of onslaught that has caused the health system in southern Europe to buckle. The lockdowns encompass the three biggest cities in America — New York, Los Angeles and Chicago — as well as No. 8 San Diego and No. 14 San Francisco.

    “No, this is not life as usual,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said as the death toll in the U.S. topped 200, with at least 35 in his state. “Accept it and realize it and deal with it.”

    Cuomo said that starting Sunday, all workers in nonessential businesses must stay home as much as possible, and gatherings of any size will be banned in the state of over 19 million people. California likewise all but confined its 40 million residents on Friday, and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a similar order set to take effect on Saturday for the state’s 12.6 million people. The governor of Connecticut, New York’s neighboring state, said he also was poised to issue a comparable directive.

    Exceptions were made for essential jobs and errands, such as buying groceries and medicine, as well as for exercise.

    The lockdowns sent another shudder through the markets, where many fear a recession is a near certainty. Stocks tumbled on Wall Street, closing out their worst week since the 2008 financial crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 900 points, ending the week with a 17% loss.

    The increasingly drastic measures in the U.S. came as gasping patients filled the wards of hospitals in Spain and Italy, and the global death toll surpassed 11,000, with the virus gaining footholds in new corners of the world. Over a quarter-million people worldwide have been infected, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University, though close to 90,000 of them have recovered.

    Italy, the hardest-hit country in Europe, reported 627 new deaths, its biggest day-to-day rise since the outbreak began, and said new cases also shot up. Italy now has seen over 4,000 deaths — more even than China — and 47,000 infections. The soaring numbers came despite a nationwide lockdown.

    The World Health Organization highlighted the epidemic’s dramatic speed, noting it took more than three months to reach the first 100,000 confirmed cases but only 12 days to reach the next 100,000. Among those infected was a member of Vice President Mike Pence’s staff. The White House said that staffer did not appear to have “close contact” with either Pence or Trump.

    Across the U.S., where the number of infected topped 17,000, governors and public health officials watched the crisis in Europe with mounting alarm and warned of critical shortages of ventilators, masks and other gear at home.

    In New York City, health officials told medical providers to stop testing patients for the virus, except for people sick enough to require hospitalization, saying testing is exhausting supplies of protective equipment.

    As promised earlier in the week, President Donald Trump officially invoked emergency wartime authority to try to speed production of such equipment.

    Countries frantically prepared for a deluge of patients in the coming weeks.

    In Britain, the government asked 65,000 retired nurses and doctors to return to work. A convention center and hotels in Madrid were being turned into field hospitals for nearly 10,000 patients. France’s military worked to build a makeshift medical center in the hard-hit town of Mulhouse. The U.S. readied military hospitals for civilian use.

    Trump also announced the closing of the Mexican border to most travel but not trade. That brings it in line with the restrictions on the Canadian border earlier this week. The federal government also moved the income tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15.

    “We’re about to enter into a new way of living here in Los Angeles,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said as California went into lockdown. “What we do and how we do it and if we get this right will determine how long this crisis lasts.”

    The streets of America’s cities were quieter than normal, even in many communities not under lockdown.

    In New York, Edjo Wheeler said he knew two people very sick with flu-like symptoms, which can indicate the coronavirus.

    “That makes me walk around with my hands in my pocket to make sure I’m not touching things,′ said Wheeler, 49, who runs a nonprofit art center. He added: “If everyone doesn’t cooperate, it’s not going to be effective.”

    At the Paramount Drive-in near Los Angeles, Forrest and Erin McBride figured a drive-in movie was one of the few ways they could responsibly celebrate their anniversary.

    “We were like, what can we do? Everything’s closed,” Forrest said before a showing of “Onward.” “We were like, ‘Well, a drive-in theater is kind of like a self-quarantined movie date.’”

    The virus has struck at the very identities of many countries: closing down cafes, restaurants and boulevard life in France, ending la dolce vita in Italy, shutting down England’s pubs and the ceremonial changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, damaging sales of tulips from Holland and shuttering the Statue of Liberty in the U.S.

    Governments are trying to balance locking down residents with the need to keep food, medicine and other essentials flowing.

    In Britain, the category of vital workers includes doctors, nurses and paramedics — and also vicars, truckers, garbage collectors and journalists. In New York, people venturing outside will have to stay at least 6 feet apart. And while they will be free to get some exercise to keep their sanity, there will be no “playing basketball with five other people,” Cuomo said.

    “These provisions will be enforced,” the governor said. “These are not helpful hints.”

    In Bergamo, the epicenter of the Italian outbreak, cemeteries were overwhelmed. Patients at the city’s main hospital lined up in a narrow ward, struggling for breath as doctors and nurses moved swiftly from one beeping machine to the next.

    “When the virus arrived here, there was no containment, and it spread through the valleys very quickly. … Some said it was the normal flu. We doctors knew it was not,” said Dr. Luca Lorini, head of intensive care at the hospital, where nearly 500 beds were dedicated to people suffering severe symptoms. Eighty patients were in intensive care.

    While the illness is mild in most people, the elderly are particularly susceptible to serious symptoms. Italy has the world’s second-oldest population, and the vast majority of its dead — 87% — were over 70.

    Still, even younger people are at risk.

    “You’re not invincible,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned them. He noted that many countries are reporting that people under 50 make up a “significant proportion” of patients needing to be hospitalized.

    Some of the only good news came from Wuhan, the Chinese city where the outbreak began and where hospitals were struggling just weeks ago. For the second day in a row, no new infections were reported and only 39 cases were recorded nationwide, all brought from the outside, the government said.

    With the crisis waning there, China has begun sending medical supplies to Europe.

    The shutdown of whole swaths of the world economy took its toll, from millions of unsold flowers rotting in piles in Kenya to the slow emptying of the world’s skies. Canada received 500,000 applications for unemployment benefits, versus 27,000 for the same week last year.

    In the U.S., lawmakers and the White House sought to put together a $1 trillion economic rescue plan that would include the dispensing of relief checks of $1,200 for adults and $500 per child. The British government likewise unveiled a huge package under which the country for the time in its history would help pay the wages of those in the private sector.

    Iran’s official toll of more than 1,400 dead was rising quickly as well amid fears it is underreporting its cases.

    As the virus strengthened its foothold in Africa, the continent’s busiest airport, in Johannesburg, announced that foreigners will no longer be allowed to disembark.


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    In Loving Memory: Dr Catherine Hamlin 1924 – 2020

    Dr Catherine Hamlin passed away at her home in Addis Ababa on Wednesday March 18th, 2020. (Photo: The Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: March 19th, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) – Dr. Catherine Hamlin — who along with her late husband Dr. Reginald Hamlin had founded Ethiopia’s first fistula hospital — passed away on Wednesday at the age of 96.

    When the Hamlins had moved to Addis Ababa in 1959 they had never seen a fistula patient before. In a 2003 interview Dr. Catherine had told Tadias that fistula “is the oldest medical cause in the world. There is currency dug out of pyramids containing images of fistula, yet in the 21st century it is the most neglected cause.”

    Since it was launched in 1974 the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital has treated over 60,000 women, the majority of whom have been cured and have returned to their homes to live healthy, normal lives. While the Australian-born Dr. Hamlin had received honorary Ethiopian citizenship in April 2012, she was presented by PM Abiy Ahmed with the prestigious Eminent Citizen Award in May 2019 along with the unveiling of a statue of her and Dr. Reginald Hamlin in recognition of their more than six decades of service in Ethiopia.

    Ethiopian Health Minister Lia Tadesse noted on Twitter: “Very sad to hear the loss of Dr. Catherine Hamlin, a symbol of empathy & compassion with extraordinary contributions that changed the lives of thousands of women with obstetric fistula. She will always remain in our hearts.”

    Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed also took to social media to express his condolences. “Ethiopia lost a true gem who dedicated more than sixty years to restoring the dignity of thousands of women,” he tweeted. “I wish her loved ones, friends and colleagues comfort. May she Rest In Peace.”

    Below is the official obituary of Dr Catherine Hamlin courtesy of the Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation:

    Dr Catherine Hamlin 1924 – 2020


    (Photo: The Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation)

    “When I die, this place will go on for many, many years until we have eradicated fistula altogether – until every woman in Ethiopia is assured of a safe delivery and a live baby.” – Dr Catherine Hamlin

    “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” – Matthew 25:40

    The world is mourning the death of Australia’s most renowned obstetrician and gynecologist, Dr Catherine Hamlin AC, who died, age 96 at her home in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Wednesday March 18th, 2020.

    Catherine, together with her late husband Dr Reginald Hamlin OBE, co-founded Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia, a healthcare network treating women who suffer from the debilitating effects of an obstetric fistula – a horrific childbirth injury.

    To say Catherine was a remarkable woman is an understatement. In our eyes, she is a saint. She was much-admired for her work in Australia and globally. She was twice nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, and has been recognized by the United Nations as a pioneer in fistula surgery. In 1995 Catherine was awarded Australia’s highest honor – the Companion of the Order of Australia, and in 2018 she was named NSW Senior Australian of the Year. In 2012, the Ethiopian Government awarded Catherine Honorary Ethiopian Citizenship and in 2019 the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed presented her with Eminent Citizen Award in recognition of her lifetime of service to the women of Ethiopia.

    In 2020 Catherine celebrated her 61st year in Ethiopia. She lived most of her life there, in her original house on the grounds of her Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, adored by her patients, staff and the Ethiopian people. She was often referred to as “Emaye” meaning Mother. Catherine was not just committed to spending her life treating thousands of women, she spent her whole adult life changing lives – for the better.

    Women and girls who suffer from obstetric fistula have been described as our modern-day lepers. Obstetric fistula is a horrific childbirth injury, that leaves women incontinent. It is caused by long, unrelieved obstructed labour. Tragically, 93% of obstetric fistula survivors give birth to a stillborn baby. Women with obstetric fistulas live with a constant stream of leaking urine and, in some cases, feces. These women and girls are often ostracized from their communities and rejected by their husbands.

    Catherine Hamlin lived to give these women their life back.

    Elinor Catherine Nicholson was born on January 24th, 1924 in Sydney. One of six children to Elinor and Theodore Nicholson, the family lived in the Sydney suburb of Ryde, and Catherine completed her schooling at Frensham School, Mittagong, in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. Following an innate desire to help women and children, she enrolled in medicine, graduating from the University of Sydney’s Medical School in 1946. After completing internships at two Sydney hospitals; St Joseph’s Hospital, Auburn and St George Hospital, Kogarah, Catherine accepted a residency in obstetrics at Sydney’s highly regarded Crown Street Women’s Hospital. It was at Crown Street that she met and fell in love with Dr. Reginald (Reg) Hamlin. They married in 1950 and had a son, Richard, in 1952.

    In 1958, the Hamlins answered an advertisement in The Lancet Medical Journal for gynecologists to set up a school of midwifery in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Together with their six-year-old son, Richard, they travelled to Ethiopia to take up the contract. What had been intended as a three-year stay in Addis Ababa turned into a lifetime of service to the Ethiopian people.

    Once Catherine and Reg started work at the Princess Tsehai Memorial Hospital, they found themselves treating women suffering obstetric complications on a scale unimaginable in a Western hospital. Before the Hamlins arrived in Ethiopia, patients with obstetric fistulas who sought medical help at the Princess Tsehai Memorial Hospital were turned away as they had no cure for their humiliating condition. The Hamlins had limited knowledge about obstetric fistulas as they had never had to deal with one before. Confronted by the tragic plight of women with obstetric fistula, and never having seen this condition in Australia, Catherine and Reg had to draw on medical literature from the 1850s to develop their own surgical technique. The technique they perfected is still used today.

    As news of the Hamlins’ work spread, more and more women came to them for help. At first, they built a 10-bed fistula clinic in the grounds of the Princess Tsehai Memorial Hospital. Then, amidst the communist revolution, they built their Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital which opened on May 24th, 1975. There are now six Hamlin Fistula Hospitals across Ethiopia. Over the past 61 years, more than 60,000 Ethiopian women suffering with an obstetric fistula have received life-changing reconstructive surgery and care, thanks to the Hamlins’ vision.

    Catherine’s strength and passion to offer free fistula surgery wavered only once in her lifetime, following the death of her beloved Reg in 1993. Days after his funeral, Catherine felt overwhelming fear at the prospect of running the hospital by herself. In this moment of grief, her long-time gardener Birru knelt by her chair, “He took my hand in his, kissed the back of it and said, ‘Don’t leave us; we’ll all help you.’” A deeply religious woman, Catherine felt these words were an enormous blessing and from that moment Catherine knew that she would be “quite alright.”

    Her initial goal of training midwives became a reality in 2007 when she founded the Hamlin College of Midwives. High school graduates are trained in a four-year degree, then deployed to rural midwifery clinics, where they are most needed, breaking the cycle of unrelieved obstructed labour and thereby preventing obstetric fistula from occurring in the first place.

    In 1983, Catherine was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) and in 1995 appointed to the higher rank in the Order, a Companion (AC) for ‘service to gynecology in developing countries particularly in the field of fistula surgery and for humanitarian service to improving the health dignity and self-esteem of women in Ethiopia’. In 2001, the Australian Government recognized Catherine’s ‘long and outstanding service to international development in Africa’ by awarding her the Australian Centenary Medal. In recognition of her humanitarian work in Ethiopia she was included on the Australian Living Legends list in 2004. In 2009, Catherine was awarded the Right Livelihood Award, sometimes referred to as the Alternate Nobel Prize. In 2011 she was among 50 prominent Australians invited by Her Excellency the Governor-General Quentin Bryce to lunch with the Queen. In 2015, Catherine received the Australian Medical Association’s President’s Award. In 2017, a Sydney Ferries Emerald-class ferry was named the ‘Catherine Hamlin’ after thousands of Australian supporters voted for her.

    Despite all these tributes, Catherine was always humbled in the extreme by all the media attention and awards. Drawing on the courage of Ethiopian women is what inspired her to accept such accolades, and awards were always an opportunity to promote the heartbreaking plight of the fistula patients and the needs of the hospitals treating them.

    Catherine was most proud of her Hamlin Model of Care – holistic healing that is part of every patient’s treatment. “We don’t just treat the hole in the bladder, we treat the whole patient with love and tender care, literacy and numeracy classes, a brand-new dress and money to travel home.”

    Today, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia is a healthcare network of over 550 Ethiopian staff – many trained by Catherine – servicing six hospitals, Desta Mender rehabilitation centre, the Hamlin College of Midwives and 80 Hamlin supported Midwifery Clinics. Hamlin is the reference organization and leader in the fight to eradicate obstetric fistula around the world, blazing a trail for holistic treatment and care that empowers women to reassert their humanity, secure their health and well-being, and regain their roles in their families and communities.

    Catherine published her autobiography, co-written with Australian journalist and author John Little, The Hospital by the River: A Story of Hope in 2001. In the book, Catherine makes clear that she and Reg saw their work as one of Christian compassion for the suffering. Then in 2004, she was profiled internationally on the Oprah Winfrey Show giving the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital the kind of worldwide publicity that Reg could never have imagined.

    During the last years of her life, Catherine was confident that her legacy would live on, “When I die, this place will go on for many, many years until we have eradicated fistula altogether – until every woman in Ethiopia is assured of a safe delivery and a live baby.”

    Catherine will be buried alongside Reg in the British War Graves Cemetery in Addis Ababa, her home for 61 years. At the 60th anniversary celebrations in 2019, Catherine said “I love Ethiopia and I have loved every day here. Ethiopia is my home.”

    Catherine is survived by her only son Richard and his four adult children: Sarah, Paul, Catherine and Stephanie, her sister Ailsa Pottie and brothers Donald and Jock Nicholson.

    “Catherine lived an incredible life having made an enormous difference to the lives and health of thousands upon thousands of women in Ethiopia. Her passionate commitment to women and maternal health through her trust and belief in fulfilling God’s work with love and devotion to others is something that we are all in awe of,” said Julie White, Chair of Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation.

    “Most of her 96 years were generously given to help the poor women of our country with traumatic birth injuries. We are all thankful for Catherine’s lifelong dedication. We promise to continue her legacy and realize her dream to eradicate fistula from Ethiopia. Forever,” said Tesfaye Mamo, Chief Executive Officer of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia.

    We are all committed to ensuring Catherine’s dream to eradicate obstetric fistula in Ethiopia becomes a reality.


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Pleas to Diaspora to Assist Coronavirus First Responders in Ethiopia

    Photo courtesy of People to People, Inc. (P2P)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: March 19th, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) — As the global Coronavirus infection toll surpassed 218,000 — doubling in less than 15 days and placing unprecedented stress to medical systems worldwide — Ethiopia also reported its first cases this week along with aggressive, precautionary measures including the closure of schools and banning of large public events and gatherings.

    In order to support frontline medical workers combatting COVID-19 in Ethiopia, efforts are also being made by People to People, Inc. (P2P), a U.S.-based network of Ethiopian healthcare professionals who announced the launch of an online fundraising campaign for first responders.

    Adequate provision of healthcare resources are needed to prevent further spread of COVID-19 and P2P shared that it “is once again working closely with government officials and health care providers, as well as in the process of partnering with Arts TV (http://artstv.tv) to set up a local call center to inform and answer any questions the public may have.” As a Diaspora-based organization, P2P has an extensive and successful history of advocating and working with both government health agencies as well as physicians and health care workers in Ethiopia.

    “With your help, P2P wants to make sure that our first responders are protected from the possibility of catching the virus,” the organization stated as it launched its current efforts. “We are asking the Diaspora community to help us raise funds so that the first responders are well-equipped with the necessary tools to stay safe – including masks, sanitizers and soap. Together, we will be providing our first responders with the help they need as we navigate this uncertain and constantly evolving situation. A donation of any amount can provide a lot of support and is greatly appreciated.”

    Ethiopia’s Ambassador to the U.S., Fitsum Arega, has also shared a videoconference via Facebook on the Coronavirus pandemic response in Ethiopia in collaboration with P2P and 16 infectious disease medical doctors and professors based in the United States.


    Photo via Fitsum Arega Facebook.


    Photo via Fitsum Arega Facebook.

    “Appreciating the efforts so far they underlined the importance of further containment strategies,” Fitsum said. “They also vowed to advise & provide support.”


    You can learn more and support P2P’s efforts at www.gofundme.com.

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    COVID-19: U.S. Warns Citizens in Ethiopia of Xenophobic Attacks

    Image courtesy of U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: March 18th, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) — The U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia is warning American citizens about growing incidents of xenophobic attacks fueled by news of coronavirus spread.

    According to media reports so far the majority of reported COVID-19 patients in Africa have been foreign nationals including a British diplomat and Japanese citizens in Ethiopia. “Nearly all the continent’s confirmed cases have come from travelers from European or east Asian countries,” notes the online news publication, The Intercept. “Though that looks likely to change soon as cases rise rapidly across the continent and community transmission becomes more likely.”

    “The Embassy continues to receive reports regarding a rise in anti-foreigner sentiment revolving around the announcement of COVID-19 in Ethiopia,” the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa said in a press release. “Typical derogatory comments directed at foreigners, the terms “China” and “Ferengi” (foreigner), have been reportedly coupled with the label “Corona,” indicating a disparaging view on the link between the outbreak of COVID-19 and foreigners in Ethiopia.”

    The press release added: “Incidents of harassment and assault directly related to COVID-19 have been reported by other foreigners living within Addis Ababa and other cities throughout the country. Reports indicate that foreigners have been attacked with stones, denied transportation services (taxis, Ride, etc.), being spat on, chased on foot, and been accused of being infected with COVID-19.”

    The Intercept report points out that several African countries “have moved swiftly to control arrivals from European countries. Ghana and Kenya announced new measures prohibiting travelers from countries affected by Covid-19, the first two African nations to put in place blanket travel bans. The Democratic Republic of Congo imposed quarantine measures on travelers from Italy, France, China and Germany. Rwanda, Uganda, Mali, and others have imposed similar quarantine measure for European travelers, while across the continent, passengers are screened for their temperature at international airports.”

    Meanwhile in its latest security alert the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia shared with American citizens the following warning:

    Avoid walking/hiking/biking alone. Do not walk throughout the city or residential areas, especially after dark. If yelled at or spat upon, do not engage or otherwise escalate the encounter. Do your best to immediately leave the situation/area. Maintain situational awareness. Avoid wearing headphones or using handheld electronic devices in public area. If you think you are being followed, do not go home. Go to the closet major establishment, hotel or police station. If you are in a vehicle, lock your doors and keep your window rolled up.


    Related:

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    WHO Says Some Nations Aren’t Running Enough Coronavirus Tests

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    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    WHO: ‘Test every suspected case’

    World Health Organisation head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says there has not been an urgent enough escalation in testing, isolation and contact tracing, which should be the "backbone" of the global response. He said it is not possible to "fight a fire blindfolded." (Image via BBC)

    CNBC

    Updated: March 18, 2020

    The World Health Organization’s top official criticized some nations for not doing enough to detect and contain the deadly coronavirus that’s infected more than 174,000 people across the world.

    There’s been a rapid escalation of COVID-19 cases over the past week, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters at a virtual press conference Monday. “But we have not seen an urgent enough escalation in testing, isolation and contact tracing, which is the backbone of the response,” he said.

    “We have a simple message for all countries: Test, test, test. Test every suspected case. If they test positive, isolate them and find out who they have been in contact with two days before they developed symptoms and test those people, too,” Tedros said.

    Tedros didn’t single out any one country, but state and local leaders in the U.S. have heavily criticized the Trump administration and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for delaying and limiting who could get tested in the U.S.

    At the beginning of the outbreak, the CDC limited testing to people who had recently traveled to China and showed symptoms, or people who were symptomatic and exposed to someone with a confirmed case. The agency has since expanded its guidelines to include people showing symptoms who are already in the hospital or with underlying health conditions.

    “For any country, one of the most important things is the political commitment at the highest level,” Tedros said. “All countries should be able to test all suspected cases. They cannot fight this pandemic blindfolded; they should know where the cases are.”

    On Friday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state was ramping up its testing, having just received federal approval to allow 28 labs across the state to begin running coronavirus tests. He said the state should be able to process 6,000 a day starting next week. The state had been able to run a total of just 3,000 tests so far, he said.

    Federal regulators gave private labs, including LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics, approval on Feb. 28 to start running coronavirus tests, and Vice President Mike Pence announced expanded testing capabilities across the U.S. over the weekend.

    “There’s no doubt that we are missing cases. I think we need to be realistic about this,” said Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit.

    In treating patients, Tedros said, countries should first treat people who have underlying conditions. Some countries have converted stadiums and gyms to care for mild cases to free up hospitals for severe and critical cases, he said.

    In Korea, where the virus spread rapidly last month, health officials rolled out an aggressive testing regime that processed tests for more than 259,000 people and confirmed more than 8,000 infections, according to the Korean CDC. In the U.S. more than 22,000 people have been tested at CDC and public health labs, according to the U.S. CDC. That does not include tests run by commercial labs, some of which were authorized last week to begin automated testing.

    “Once again, our key message is: Test, test, test. This is a serious disease. Also the evidence we have suggests that those over 60 are at highest risk. Young people, including children, have died,” Tedros said.

    UPDATE: Ethiopia Closes Schools, Bans Public Events

    AA

    By Addis Getachew

    UPDATEd: March 16th, 2020

    ADDIS ABABA — Ethiopia on Monday closed schools across the country and banned all public gatherings, including sports events, for 15 days.

    The decision was announced by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed after consultations with top officials on measures to avert a COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

    In a televised message, the premier said the steps were necessary after four new cases were confirmed in Ethiopia over the past 24 hours, raising the total to five.

    Among the new cases are two Japanese and an Ethiopian national who had been in contact with the country’s first patient, a 48-year-old Japanese citizen.

    The fourth case was an Ethiopian man who recently returned from Dubai.


    Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed says steps necessary after new coronavirus cases rise. (AA)

    Ahmed said his government was making efforts to provide protective face masks, medical kits, and disinfectants, including sanitizers, for the public.

    He announced that government vehicles would be used for public transport to ease the burden on the existing system.

    With only primary and secondary schools being closed for now, Abiy said that university students would be provided all essential care at their respective campuses.

    After emerging in Wuhan, China, last December, the coronavirus has now spread to at least 146 countries and territories, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

    The global death toll is nearly 6,500, with around 165,000 confirmed cases.

    While the WHO recently declared the global outbreak a pandemic, its head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the situation was controllable.

    In his remarks at a March 3 briefing on COVID-19, Tedros also pointed out that the mortality rate from the virus was around 3.4%.


    Africa Turns The Tables: Restricts Travel from U.S. & Europe to Halt COVID-19


    Ethiopian health workers prepare to screen passengers for COVID-19 at the Addis Ababa airport. Most cases of COVID-19 in Africa have so far been imported by travelers. (Photo: Michael Tewelde /Getty Images)

    The Intercept

    March 15 2020

    AS THE NOVEL coronavirus rages through the world and spreads rapidly in the U.S., Africa is the least-affected continent at the moment, with less than 300 reported cases in roughly half of its 54 countries so far. A number of media outlets have reacted with a confounded tone, surprised that Africa does not have more cases and wondering if the low numbers are due to a lack of testing.

    Health officials say that the main reason the continent has thus far been spared major outbreaks is due to the infrastructure set up during the Ebola epidemic that is still in place, and lower overall international air travel rates. At the same time, they acknowledge that the picture is not all sunny — the virus in some countries is likely spreading unchecked. But in Nigeria, the continent’s largest country by population, investments in lab capacity and coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO) for testing have paid dividends. “Over the last three years, we have strengthened capacity at our National Reference Laboratory to provide molecular diagnosis for all epidemic prone diseases and highly infectious pathogens,” Chikwe Ihekweazu, the director of Nigeria’s Center for Disease Control, told The Conversation.

    The pandemic is exposing major flaws in higher income countries’ health systems and turning the tables on decades of travel restrictions targeting Africans. When West Africa suffered from the Ebola crisis from 2014-2016, the region was often painted as a weak link in the global health system, and many airlines cut flights to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Four years later, Africa is at risk of contamination primarily from Europe, China, and the U.S. Besides Egypt, nearly all the continent’s confirmed cases have come from travelers from European or east Asian countries, though that looks likely to change soon as cases rise rapidly across the continent and community transmission becomes more likely.

    In a dramatic shift in fortunes, African countries — whose citizens often have to prove their health status to even get a visa to travel to Europe — have moved swiftly to control arrivals from European countries. Ghana and Kenya announced new measures prohibiting travelers from countries affected by Covid-19, the first two African nations to put in place blanket travel bans, while Senegal and Kenya also announced school closures. The Democratic Republic of Congo imposed quarantine measures on travelers from Italy, France, China and Germany. After restricting travelers from high-risk countries to quarantine, Mauritania deported 15 Italian tourists and Tunisia deported 30 other Italians for violating theirs. Rwanda, Uganda, Mali, and others have imposed similar quarantine measure for European travelers, while across the continent, passengers are screened for their temperature at international airports. A Cameroonian news outlet reported higher arrivals from Italy due to people trying escape their coronavirus-infected country.

    Dr. Craig Spencer, the American doctor who contracted the Ebola virus while providing emergency medical relief in Guinea in 2014, agrees the Ebola experience left many African countries better prepared. “There’s been a substantial increase in both the human resource capacity, the financial investment, and really, the logistical strengthening of public health and epidemic response capacity in sub-Saharan Africa,” Dr. Spencer, who is the Director of Global Health in Emergency Medicine at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, told The Intercept.

    Read more »

    WATCH: Coronavirus education through song | South African choir sings about COVID-19


    List of African Countries with Coronavirus Grows as Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan Report Cases


    Dr Lia Tadesse, Minister of Health of Ethiopia, addresses a press conference after the first case of Covid-19 coronavirus was detected in Ethiopia, in Addis Ababa on March 13, 2020. (Photo: AFP)

    France24

    Africa had until now largely been spared the rapid spread of COVID-19, which has infected at least 135,000 people and killed around 5,000 worldwide.

    Most of Africa’s reported cases were foreigners or people who had travelled abroad. Rapid testing and quarantines have been put in place to limit transmission.

    But concerns are growing about the continent’s ability to handle the disease.

    Cases have been reported in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Senegal, Togo, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia.

    Mauritania’s health ministry said late on Friday that its first coronavirus patient is a European man – nationality not specified – who had returned to Nouakchott on March 9 and had since been in quarantine.

    The numbers of cases in most of the countries are still in single figures…

    Read more »

    WHO Declares Coronavirus a Pandemic


    Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organization’s director-general, on Wednesday. He called for countries to help protect one another against a common threat. (Getty Images)

    The New York Times

    Updated: March 11, 2020

    Coronavirus Has Become a Pandemic, W.H.O. Says

    The spread of the coronavirus is now a pandemic, officials at the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.

    “We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the W.H.O.’s director-general.

    Dr. Tedros called for countries to learn from one another’s successes, act in unison and help protect one another against a common threat.

    “Find, isolate, test and treat every case, and trace every contact,” Dr. Tedros said. “Ready your hospitals. Protect and train your health care workers.”

    “Let’s all look out for each other, because we’re in this together to do the right things with calm and to protect the citizens of the world.”

    Although this is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus, “we also believe that this is the first pandemic that is able to be controlled,” Dr. Tedros added.

    He pointed several times to the success of China, which has cut new infections from over 3,500 a day in late January to a mere 24 in the most recent daily count. The world is watching to see whether China can keep its numbers down as it gradually releases millions of city dwellers from quarantine and lets them go back to work.

    South Korea and Singapore have also begun to see cases drop. But the rest of the world is seeing alarmingly rapid rises.

    The W.H.O. is emphatically not suggesting that the world should give up on containment, Dr. Tedros said.

    “We are suggesting a blended strategy,” he said, referring to a blend of containment and mitigation. “We should double down. We should be more aggressive.”

    Read more »


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    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    The United States Must Not Pick Sides in the Nile River Dispute: BY ADDISU LASHITEW

    The writer of the following article, Addisu Lashitew, is a research fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. (Photo: A general view of the Blue Nile river as it passes through the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), near Guba in Ethiopia, on Dec. 26, 2019/GETTY IMAGES)

    Foreign Policy Magazine

    BY ADDISU LASHITEW

    Ethiopia and Egypt are at odds over a Nile dam. Washington should be helping them compromise, rather than doing Cairo’s bidding.

    Egypt and Ethiopia have once again locked horns over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile. On Feb. 26, Ethiopia temporarily suspended its participation in the U.S.-mediated negotiations over the filling and operation of the GERD, requesting more time to deliberate on the draft agreement. With the dam 70 percent complete and its reservoir expected to start being filled in July, the time for reaching an agreement is ticking away. Ethiopia and Egypt should be ready to make significant concessions to avoid a catastrophic escalation in this seemingly intractable dispute.

    The longest river in the world, the Nile stretches across 11 countries in its journey of 4,000 miles from the equatorial rivers that feed Lake Victoria to its final destination in the Mediterranean Sea. Among the countries that share the Nile, two have the most at stake. Egypt, a desert nation of 100 million people, is literally the creation of the Nile, relying on the river for 90 percent of its freshwater needs.

    Ethiopia, an East African country of 112 million, contributes the lion’s share of the Nile waters, with its three tributaries—the Blue Nile, Sobat, and Atbara—carrying about 84 percent of the total runoff in the Nile. With a growing but otherwise resource-poor economy, Ethiopia is keen to develop its vast potential for hydroelectricity generationWith a growing but otherwise resource-poor economy, Ethiopia is keen to develop its vast potential for hydroelectricity generation in the Nile basin to become a regional hub of electric power exports.

    The GERD, a $5 billion project that will be the largest hydroelectric dam in Africa, is a part of that ambition. The dam is located on Ethiopia’s flank of the Blue Nile, just 12 miles from its border with Sudan. It will have paramount economic value to Ethiopia, doubling the country’s electricity generation capacity and earning as much as a billion dollars annually from energy exports to Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti, Kenya, and potentially Egypt. The GERD’s massive reservoir will store 74 billion cubic meters (BCM) of water, roughly equal to a year-and-half’s worth of the Blue Nile’s flow, which will be gradually filled upon the dam’s completion.

    The Blue Nile is highly seasonal, with 80 percent of its discharge occurring from July to October during the short rainy season on the Ethiopian highlands. This makes it prone to heavy flooding, while the heavy sedimentation it carries reduces hydropower production in dams with small reservoirs. The GERD will help mitigate this, leading to a regulated, steady flow that will improve navigation, irrigation, and hydropower generation downstream. Sudan, which does not have a major dam on the Nile, will enjoy most of these benefits, which explains its decision to side with Ethiopia for the first time in the history of Nile politics.

    Egypt, however, has less to gain from these changes as it regulates the flow of the Nile using the massive reservoir of the Aswan High Dam, which has a capacity of 169 BCM. Egypt worries that an upstream dam on the Blue Nile, which contributes about 60 percent of the flow of the Nile, will reduce water supply and power generation at Aswan.Egypt worries that an upstream dam on the Blue Nile, which contributes about 60 percent of the flow of the Nile, will reduce water supply and power generation at Aswan. As a hydropower project, the GERD will not directly consume water once its reservoir is filled. It could, however, reduce the amount of water Egypt receives if it leads to a significant increase of irrigation in Sudan, which adds to Egypt’s worry.

    In 2015, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt agreed on a Declaration of Principles that stipulated an “equitable and reasonable” utilization of the Nile that will not cause “significant harm” to other riparian countries. In spite of years of negotiations, however, they have made little progress in specifying the technical details on the filling and operating of the dam.

    To safeguard its reservoir at Aswan, Egypt wants to secure an agreement that binds Ethiopia to releasing a fixed amount of the river’s flow and a process for monitoring Ethiopia’s compliance. Ethiopia, on the other hand, seeks to avoid a permanent commitment for a water quota that extends beyond the GERD’s filling period and demands a flexible agreement with a provision for periodic reviews. Behind the facade of legal wrangling, the scope for a future Nile project is at stake. Ethiopia wants to avoid an agreement that restricts its capacity to harness its massive hydropower potential of about 45,000 megawatts; Egypt wants exactly such a restriction.

    The negotiations gained momentum in November 2019 after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called on U.S. President Donald Trump to help broker an agreement. The foreign and water ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan have held a series of meetings in Washington since December and met Trump at the White House. What the United States wants to accomplish through its involvement, however, is not clear and appears to be inspired more by Trump’s desire to broker a deal than by a foreign policy imperative.

    In a recent speech on the campaign trail, Trump implied that he deserved a Nobel Peace Prize for his brokering role in the Nile dispute. The negotiations were also coordinated by the Department of the Treasury, sidelining the State Department, which possesses the appropriate expertise for this kind of engagement. The Treasury Department serves as the U.S. governor to the International Monetary Fund, which, along with the World Bank, has committed significant resources to aid Ethiopia’s reform efforts under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The intent behind the involvement of the Treasury and the World Bank, therefore, seems to be stepping up pressure on Ethiopia by signaling the financial costs of recalcitrance.

    Ethiopia’s withdrawal has left the negotiations in limbo at a critical time. The country’s foreign ministry has expressed its disapproval of the draft agreement, characterizing it as “unacceptable & highly partisan,” while Egypt has noted that it signed the agreement at a meeting where Ethiopia was not present. Instead of helping resolve these differences, the U.S. Treasury released a statement that argued that the draft agreement “addresses all issues in a balanced and equitable manner” and warned Ethiopia that “final testing and filling [of the GERD] should not take place without an agreement.”

    To Ethiopia, this seemed to confirm the longstanding fear that the United States has been a biased mediator. David Shinn, a former U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia, argues that “the United States seems to be putting its thumb on the scale in favor of Egypt.”David Shinn, a former U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia, argues that “the United States seems to be putting its thumb on the scale in favor of Egypt.” Ethiopian analysts interpret U.S. overreach in the Nile negotiations as an overture to appease Egypt in the context of Trump’s Middle East peace plan, which has been roundly rejected by Arab nations. While there is no hard evidence, a backroom deal of this sort would not be inconceivable considering Trump’s closeness with Sisi, whom he was overheard calling his “favorite dictator” during the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France. After the Nile negotiations stalled, Trump reportedly made a phone call to reassure Sisi that he would continue with his mediation effort.

    Read more »


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    Ethiopia Won’t be Forced by US on Dam, Foreign Minister Says (Associated Press)

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    Ethiopia’s Missing Students: Families’ Pain and the Unsolved Mystery (BBC News)

    Belaynesh has been missing since December. (BBC News, Amharic)

    BBC News

    By Firehiwot Kassa

    Ethiopia’s Missing Students: Families’ Pain and the Unsolved Mystery

    “We are grieving. I can’t stop thinking about her. The entire family can’t eat,” a visibly pained Mare Abebe told the BBC.

    She is worried about Belaynesh Mekonnen, a first-year economics student at Ethiopia’s Dembi Dolo University, who was kidnapped last December, along with 17 of her colleagues.

    As Belaynesh’s guardian, Ms Mare is distraught for the girl, whom she said she had raised despite many challenges.

    “We are in pain. She is a good girl, so caring, but now we don’t know where she is. We don’t know whether she is alive.

    “I never thought this could happen to her, even in my dreams,” she said, her voice cracking.

    On 4 December last year, an unknown group of people blocked a bus and kidnapped students on board who were leaving for home from Dembi Dolo University in western Ethiopia.

    The students, mostly ethnic Amharas, were fleeing ethnic violence and threats in the university that is located in Oromia region.

    A total of 18 students – 14 women and four men – were ordered out of the vehicle at Sudi near Gambela city, about 100km (60 miles) from Dembi Dolo.

    Belaynesh was among the 17 who had been reported missing, after one of the students, Asmira Shumiye, managed to escape.

    Read more »


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    Coronavirus Sparks an Epidemic of People Helping People in Seattle

    Ethiopian American Yadesa Bojia is a Seattle artist who was concerned about the lack of information about the coronavirus reaching the Ethiopian community, so he did a Facebook live video in Amharic over the weekend to get accurate information out to the community. (The Seattle Times)

    The Seattle Times

    By Naomi Ishisaka

    In my last column I wrote that the novel coronavirus outbreak showed us the gaps in our social safety net and the systems that we urgently need to fix.

    But what this crisis has also exposed in the past week is the way in which people, guided by their hearts, are stepping up to support each other in extraordinary ways.

    People like Yadesa Bojia, who is a Seattle-based artist and University of Washington graphic designer. Bojia recently became alarmed after talking with other Ethiopian American community members in his first language, Amharic, and realizing there was a lack of solid, scientifically grounded information about the coronavirus getting out to the community. Some people he talked to thought the disease was airborne, others thought it could be cured or prevented with traditional herbal medicine or stopped with vitamin C. Bojia knew that Public Health – Seattle & King County created coronavirus fact sheets in multiple languages, but didn’t think people in his immigrant community would know where to find them.

    So on March 7, Bojia decided to do something about it. Armed with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s public health guidance, he started a Facebook live video to read recommendations for the community in Amharic. To his surprise, the video has been viewed 2,000 times and counting. Getting this information out, Bojia said, is “a matter of life and death,” for not just the nearly 25% of King County that are immigrants but the entire community.

    Bojia is just one of many across the region who have lent their resources to help others during this unprecedented time. This pandemic has upended every part of our daily lives and sent social, economic and political shock waves throughout our society. Fear might bring out some of our worst instincts, but crises bring out the best in humanity as well.

    In the days since the Seattle area became the epicenter of the outbreak, the outpouring of support has been moving and inspiring. On an individual level, people have offered free babysitting, cooking and food delivery for harried parents and medically vulnerable older adults.

    After racist coronavirus fears drove down business in Seattle’s Chinatown International District, Bill Tashima, a board member for the local Japanese American Citizens League, created a Facebook group on Sunday to share ways to support small restaurants. Within days, the group had nearly 5,000 members, sharing ideas for restaurant takeout to boost business in the struggling district and creating a virtual “tip jar” that one member was using to collect donations for restaurant workers.

    The artistic community, which already experiences economic insecurity in good times due to unpredictable contract-based work, saw all public events canceled like dominoes in the past week. Seattle-area author Ijeoma Oluo quickly set up a GoFundMe on Monday to raise and distribute funds for artists. Within days, the fund raised $80,000 and distributed $10,000 and was in the process of distributing another $30,000 to artists directly impacted by loss of income due to the coronavirus. Another group of people started a live-performance streaming site on Facebook called “The Quarantine Sessions,” where artists can perform and the audience can tip the band before their performance starts.

    Read more »


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    Coronavirus: Americans Told to ‘Hunker Down’

    Tourists wear face masks as news about the coronavirus is seen in a reflection off a glass surface in Time Square in New York on Sunday, March 15, 2020. (AP Photo)

    AP

    UPDATE: March 17th, 2020

    US life with COVID-19: A state-by-state patchwork of rules

    As the nation struggles to reconcile itself to a new and spreading peril, it also struggles with a patchwork of rules that vary dizzyingly from place to place: For now, your life and lockdown in the shadow of COVID-19 depends on where you live.

    In some places, many ordinary Americans are making public health choices, searching their own conscience and deciding for themselves what risk they’re willing to endure. In others, government has made at least some of those decisions.

    Ohio canceled its presidential primary to avoid crowds, but the polls opened Tuesday morning in Florida, Illinois and Arizona. Bars in some states prepared for hordes of St. Patrick’s Day revelers, while elsewhere others are stacking the stools up on tables and locking the doors.

    Casinos in some states have shut down, yet others remain open, where hundreds or even thousands of people touch the same slot machines and gambling chips. Spring breakers are partying by the hundreds on some beaches, while police are sweeping others, ordering people away through loud speakers.

    The federal government on Monday urged Americans not to gather in groups of 10 or more and asked older people to stay home, as the number of infections in the U.S. climbed to more than 4,500, with at least 88 deaths. But hard rules have been left up to the states, creating what New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo derided as a “hodgepodge.”

    Jennifer Dykstra, the owner of a restaurant called Kitchen House in rural Michigan, cried all weekend, paralyzed to choose which prospect seemed more terrifying.

    She could close her restaurant, potentially putting herself out of business and rendering her 25 employees unemployed. Or she could stay open, risking their health and that of their customers, many of them old friends and regulars, who’d suddenly stopped shaking hands on their way in and started instead making nervous jokes about preferring tables in the virus-free section.

    “It’s been lurking in the room, weighing heavily on us: what is the right answer, what is the right thing to do?” she said. Then Michigan announced Monday afternoon that all bars and restaurants must close to dine-in customers: “I’m relieved that the decision was made for us,” Dykstra said.

    Even as some states made stunning announcements — 7 million people in the San Francisco area were put on a near-total lock-down — life carried on in others.

    Read more »


    How it spreads, infects: Coronavirus impact comes into focus

    The Associated Press

    The medical impact of the new coronavirus is coming into sharper focus as it continues its spread in what is now officially recognized as a pandemic.

    Its true fatality rate isn’t yet known, but it seems 10 times higher than the flu, which kills hundreds of thousands around the world each year, the United States’ top infectious disease expert told lawmakers last week.

    Most people have had mild to moderate illness and recovered, but the virus is more serious for those who are older or have other health problems.

    That’s a huge number, said Dr. Tom Frieden, a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who now heads a global health organization. In the U.S., 60% of adults have at least one underlying health condition and 42% have two or more.

    “There’s still a lot that we don’t know” about the virus and disease it causes, COVID-19, he said.

    HOW IT SPREADS

    Most spread is from droplets produced when an infected person coughs, which are inhaled by people nearby. Transmission from touching contaminated surfaces hasn’t been shown yet, though recent tests by U.S. scientists suggest it’s possible — one reason they recommend washing your hands and not touching your face.

    The virus can live in the air for several hours, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. Cleaning surfaces with solutions containing diluted bleach should kill it.

    “While we are still learning about the biology of this virus, it does not appear that there is a major risk of spread through sweat,” said Julie Fischer, a Georgetown University microbiologist. The biggest concern about going to the gym is infected people coughing on others, or contaminating shared surfaces or equipment, she said. Consider avoiding large classes and peak hours and don’t go if you’re coughing or feverish, she suggests.

    The risk of virus transmission from food servers is the same risk as transmission from other infected people, but “one of the concerns in that food servers, like others facing stark choices about insurance and paychecks, may be pressured to work even if they are sick,” she said.

    HOW FAST DOES IT SPREAD?

    Each infected person spreads to two or three others on average, researchers estimate. It spreads more easily than flu but less than measles, tuberculosis or some other respiratory diseases. It is not known if it spreads less easily among children, but fewer of them have been diagnosed with the disease. A study of 1,099 patients in China found that 0.9% of the cases were younger than 15.

    WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

    Most people get fever and cough, sometimes fatigue or shortness of breath, and recover after about two weeks. About 15% develop severe disease, including pneumonia, Chinese scientists reported from 45,000 cases there. Symptoms usually start slowly and often worsen as the illness goes on.

    In a report last week on the first 12 patients in the U.S., seven were hospitalized; most had underlying health problems and got worse during the second week of illness.

    In China, slightly more males have been diagnosed with COVID-19 than females, which might be because roughly half of Chinese men smoke but only 5% of females do, Frieden said.

    Children seem to get less sick — a report on 10 in China found that fevers tended to be milder and they lacked clear signs of pneumonia.

    WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE?

    Some cruise ship passengers described symptoms similar to the common cold or flu.

    “It’s been a 2 on a scale of 10,” said Carl Goldman, who was hospitalized in Omaha, Nebraska, after flying home.

    However, a Chinese postgraduate student described going to the hospital twice after her symptoms worsened, and feeling “a heavy head while walking, unable to breathe, and nauseous.”

    WHAT’S THE TEST LIKE?

    The CDC recommends at least two swabs — nose and throat. Samples are sent to labs that look for bits of viral genetic material, which takes roughly 4 to 6 hours. Altogether, it can take several days to ship a sample and get results back.

    It’s been taking two to three days, and “we are working really hard to see if we can shorten that time” by developing an in-house test, Dr. Aimee Moulin of the University of California, Davis said Thursday in a conference call held by the American College of Emergency Physicians.

    Some areas have opened drive-thru sites for testing, which could reduce exposure to health workers and other patients or the public.

    WHEN IS THE VIRUS MOST CONTAGIOUS?

    The average time from exposure to developing symptoms is five to six days, but can be up to two weeks. Tests have found high amounts of virus in the throats and noses of people a couple days before they show symptoms.

    Signs of virus also have been found in stool weeks after patients recover, but that doesn’t mean it’s capable of causing illness, scientists warn.

    “The virus can be degraded,” said Robert Webster, a St. Jude Children’s Research Center virus expert. “It’s not necessarily infectious virus at all.”

    HOW DEADLY IS IT?

    That won’t be known until large studies are done to test big groups of people to see how many have been infected and with or without symptoms.

    Scientists have estimated the fatality rate from less than 1% to as high as 4% among cases diagnosed so far, depending on location.

    Flu kills about 0.1% of those it infects, so the new virus seems about 10 times more lethal, the National Institutes of Health’s Dr. Anthony Fauci told Congress last week.

    The death rate has been higher among people with other health problems — more than 10% for those with heart disease, for example. In the U.S., 30 million have diabetes, more than 70 million are obese and nearly 80 million have high blood pressure.

    CAN INFECTED PEOPLE WHO RECOVER GET IT AGAIN?

    It’s not known. A few reports from China say some people had COVID-19, recovered and then fell ill again. It’s unclear if that’s a relapse, a new infection, or a case where the person never fully recovered in the first place.

    Scientists at the at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle say the 30,000-letter genetic code of the virus changes by one letter every 15 days. It’s not known how many of these changes would be needed for the virus to seem different enough to the immune system of someone who had a previous version of it for it to cause a fresh infection.

    Fauci told Congress on Thursday that it was unlikely that someone could get reinfected.

    “We haven’t formally proved it, but it is strongly likely that that’s the case,” he said. “Because if this acts like any other virus, once you recover, you won’t get reinfected.”

    WILL IT GO AWAY IN THE SUMMER?

    Flu fades each spring and the new virus may do the same, Fauci said last week in a podcast with a journal editor.

    “I am hoping that as we get into the warmer weather we will see a decline that will give us a chance to get our preparedness up to speed,” Fauci said.

    But that, too, is far from certain. “We have to assume that the virus will continue to have the capacity to spread, and it’s a false hope to say yes, it will just disappear in the summertime like influenza,” said Dr. Michael Ryan, the World Health Organization’s emergencies chief.

    Flu viruses also mutate quickly, requiring new vaccines to be made each year. If the coronavirus follows suit, Frieden said, “It could become a virus that circulates around the world for many years to come.”


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    WHO Declares Coronavirus a Pandemic

    Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: The Ethiopian at the Heart of the Coronavirus Fight

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    COVID-19: Ethiopia Closes Schools, Bans Public Events

    Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed says steps necessary after new coronavirus cases rise. (AA)

    AA

    By Addis Getachew

    UPDATEd: March 16th, 2020

    Ethiopia Closes Schools, Bans Public Events

    ADDIS ABABA — Ethiopia on Monday closed schools across the country and banned all public gatherings, including sports events, for 15 days.

    The decision was announced by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed after consultations with top officials on measures to avert a COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

    In a televised message, the premier said the steps were necessary after four new cases were confirmed in Ethiopia over the past 24 hours, raising the total to five.

    Among the new cases are two Japanese and an Ethiopian national who had been in contact with the country’s first patient, a 48-year-old Japanese citizen.

    The fourth case was an Ethiopian man who recently returned from Dubai.

    Ahmed said his government was making efforts to provide protective face masks, medical kits, and disinfectants, including sanitizers, for the public.

    He announced that government vehicles would be used for public transport to ease the burden on the existing system.

    With only primary and secondary schools being closed for now, Abiy said that university students would be provided all essential care at their respective campuses.

    After emerging in Wuhan, China, last December, the coronavirus has now spread to at least 146 countries and territories, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

    The global death toll is nearly 6,500, with around 165,000 confirmed cases.

    While the WHO recently declared the global outbreak a pandemic, its head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the situation was controllable.

    In his remarks at a March 3 briefing on COVID-19, Tedros also pointed out that the mortality rate from the virus was around 3.4%.


    List of African Countries with Coronavirus Grows as Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan Report Cases


    Dr Lia Tadesse, Minister of Health of Ethiopia, addresses a press conference after the first case of Covid-19 coronavirus was detected in Ethiopia, in Addis Ababa on March 13, 2020. (Photo: AFP)

    France24

    Africa had until now largely been spared the rapid spread of COVID-19, which has infected at least 135,000 people and killed around 5,000 worldwide.

    Most of Africa’s reported cases were foreigners or people who had travelled abroad. Rapid testing and quarantines have been put in place to limit transmission.

    But concerns are growing about the continent’s ability to handle the disease.

    Cases have been reported in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Senegal, Togo, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia.

    Mauritania’s health ministry said late on Friday that its first coronavirus patient is a European man – nationality not specified – who had returned to Nouakchott on March 9 and had since been in quarantine.

    The numbers of cases in most of the countries are still in single figures…

    Read more »

    WHO Declares Coronavirus a Pandemic


    Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organization’s director-general, on Wednesday. He called for countries to help protect one another against a common threat. (Getty Images)

    The New York Times

    Updated: March 11, 2020

    Coronavirus Has Become a Pandemic, W.H.O. Says

    The spread of the coronavirus is now a pandemic, officials at the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.

    “We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the W.H.O.’s director-general.

    Dr. Tedros called for countries to learn from one another’s successes, act in unison and help protect one another against a common threat.

    “Find, isolate, test and treat every case, and trace every contact,” Dr. Tedros said. “Ready your hospitals. Protect and train your health care workers.”

    “Let’s all look out for each other, because we’re in this together to do the right things with calm and to protect the citizens of the world.”

    Although this is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus, “we also believe that this is the first pandemic that is able to be controlled,” Dr. Tedros added.

    He pointed several times to the success of China, which has cut new infections from over 3,500 a day in late January to a mere 24 in the most recent daily count. The world is watching to see whether China can keep its numbers down as it gradually releases millions of city dwellers from quarantine and lets them go back to work.

    South Korea and Singapore have also begun to see cases drop. But the rest of the world is seeing alarmingly rapid rises.

    The W.H.O. is emphatically not suggesting that the world should give up on containment, Dr. Tedros said.

    “We are suggesting a blended strategy,” he said, referring to a blend of containment and mitigation. “We should double down. We should be more aggressive.”

    Read more »


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    Ethiopian Crown Council Honors Aklilu Demessie With Knight Grand Cross Award

    Mr. Aklilu Demessie received the prestigious Knight Grand Cross from Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie during the annual Victory of Adwa Commemoration dinner & award ceremony held at the Army & Navy Club in Washington, D.C. on February 29th, 2020. (Courtesy photo)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Published: March 13th, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) — Mr. Aklilu Demessie, a Board member and Vice President of the Menelik Foundation in Cleveland, and one of the founders of the Society of Ethiopians Established in the Diaspora (SEED), has been honored by Ethiopian Crown Council for his lifetime achievements in community service. The announcement notes that Mr. Demessie is “an active member of the core group that has helped establish a Sister Cities agreement between the city of Cleveland and Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.”

    Mr. Demessie received the prestigious Knight Grand Cross from Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie, who is the grandson of Emperor Haile Selassie, during the annual Victory of Adwa Commemoration dinner & award ceremony held at the Army and Navy Club in Washington, D.C. on February 29th.

    Mr. Demessie is “one of the select group of holders of the Knight Grand Cross of the Imperial Order of the Star of Ethiopia — one of the most venerated decorations of the Solomonic gift,” the announcement stated. “The honor is one of the highest Ethiopian rankings and included the formality of a dubbing with Imperial Court Sword on both shoulders by Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie.”

    The press release added that Mr. Demessie is also “a member and Vice President of the board of the International Community Council and Worldwide International Network (ICC-WIN) of Cleveland Ohio in which 121 countries are represented. He has served as the President of the Northeast Ohio Ethiopian Community Association (NEOECA) as well as President of the Ethiopian Cleveland Connection (ECC) in the 1990s. Mr. Demessie is one of the founding Board members of The Society of Ethiopians Established in the Diaspora (SEED) which gives scholarships to outstanding high school graduates and identifies future leaders among American-born kids of Ethiopian heritage, and encourages good citizenship and community service in addition to honoring and awarding their adult role models on the same stage annually.”


    Mr. Aklilu Demessie holding his award after the ceremony at the Army and Navy Club in Washington, D.C. on February 29th, 2020. (Courtesy photo)


    Mr. Demessie as featured in the award program. (Courtesy photo)


    Mr. Aklilu Demessie pictured with with legendary singer Mahmoud Ahmed at the annual Victory of Adwa Commemoration dinner & award ceremony at the Army and Navy Club in Washington, D.C. on February 29th, 2020. (Courtesy photo)

    Aklilu Demessie holds an M.S in Engineering Mechanics and B.S in Civil Engineering from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Prior to that he spent a year as an American Field Service, AFS scholar in the USA and graduated from Oberlin High School in Oberlin, Ohio in 1971.

    Per the announcement Mr. Demessie “started his professional career at Cleveland Pneumatic Company as a Stress Analyst and progressed to a Supervisory position in the Engineering Department over the years. Mr. Demessie worked as a Senior Engineer/Group Leader at the former Goodrich Landing Gear with over 40 years of experience as a professional in this area. Currently, he is retired, but works part time at Collins Aerospace in the Landing Gear Division in Independence, Ohio.”

    Mr. Demessie, who lives in Hudson, Ohio is married and has two adult children, Menna Demessie, Ph.D., Nebyat Demessie, MHSA (both graduates of WRA) and his wife of 42 years, Zufan L. Demessie, RN, B.Acy.

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    Ethiopia Won’t be Forced by US on Dam, Foreign Minister Says

    In an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday March 12, 2020, Ethiopia's foreign minister said his country is refusing to be pressured by the U.S. into signing a deal with Egypt and Sudan over Ethiopia's controversial dam on the Nile River. (Pool Photo via AP)

    The Associated Press

    By ELIAS MESERET

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Ethiopia refuses to be pressured by the United States into signing a deal with Egypt and Sudan over its controversial dam on the Nile River, says Ethiopia’s foreign minister.

    In an interview with The Associated Press, Gedu Andargachew said the three countries need to resolve their differences without outside pressure.

    “In the talks held in Washington, D.C., around mid- February, we were pressured to quickly reach an agreement and sign a deal before resolving outstanding issues,” Gedu said, adding that his delegation told U.S. officials at the time that Ethiopia would not sign an accord under such duress.

    “Then U.S. officials drafted and sent us an agreement, which we also opposed because the U.S. only has an observer status,” he said. “We are of the opinion that an agreement reached under pressure is not in the best interest of anyone party to the talks.”

    Tensions are rising over the impasse between Ethiopia and Egypt over the $4.6 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam that Ethiopia is building on the Nile River, Africa’s longest river. The stresses escalated after Addis Ababa did not attend the latest round of talks held in Washington on Feb. 26, citing the need for further domestic consultations.

    When Ethiopia did not attend the Washington meeting, Egypt’s foreign ministry criticized what it called “Ethiopia’s unjustifiable absence … at this critical stage in the negotiations” and added “Egypt will use all available means to defend the interests of its people.”

    Following the unsuccessful Washington meeting, U.S. President Donald Trump phoned Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and “expressed hope that an agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam would be finalized soon,” according to a statement issued by the White House. This prompted speculation that Trump is favoring Egypt in the dispute.

    Ethiopia is now drafting its own proposal on how to resolve the standoff and it will be presented to Egypt and Sudan soon, said Gedu.

    “We won’t subscribe to an agreement just because the U.S. and the World Bank came forward with it. We need to take time and sort out sticking points,” he stressed.

    The deadlock over the dam is getting increasingly bitter. Ethiopia’s top military officers visited the site of the dam Thursday and issued a statement in which they vowed to “retaliate if there are any attacks on the dam,” a veiled warning to Egypt not to try to sabotage the dam.

    Ethiopia’s construction of the mega-dam, which will be Africa’s largest and produce 6.4 gigawatts of power and is now around 71% complete, has been contentious for years. Ethiopia says the power from the dam is crucially needed to help to pull many of its 100 million people out of poverty, while Egypt warns that filling the dam’s reservoir too rapidly in the coming years will threaten its fair share of Nile River waters.

    Ethiopia seeks to fill the dam in seven years, but Egypt proposes it should be done more slowly, over a period of 12 to 21 years, to minimize the reduction of the flow of Nile waters. Egypt relies on the Nile River for agricultural irrigation and water for its population of about 100 million.

    The U.S. and the World Bank were brought in to the talks after Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi last year pleaded with Washington and the international community to help find a solution to the long-running dispute.

    “Egyptian water experts and politicians know too well that our dam will not harm their interests. It will only generate electricity and won’t consume any water,” said Gedu.

    “We are building this dam inside our territory, with our water resource and using our own money,” said the foreign minister in Addis Ababa. “More than 65 million Ethiopians don’t have access to electricity. This is not acceptable. We are trying to pull them out of darkness using the power generated from this dam.”

    Gedu said the main disagreement “stems from Egypt’s refusal to accept the rights other countries have on the river. There are attempts to enforce colonial agreements but that will never be accepted by Ethiopia. I know the Nile River is God’s gift for Egypt. The same is true for Ethiopia and Sudan. Egyptians should come to terms with that.”


    Related:

    Ethiopia says Trump got inaccurate information on Nile dam (AP)

    Nile Dam: Ethiopia Calls US View “Totally Unacceptable (BBC)

    Ethiopia Skips Nile Talks in DC (AP)

    Ethiopia asks U.S. to postpone final talks on Blue Nile dam (Reuters)

    Why Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan should ditch a rushed, Washington-brokered Nile Treaty (Brookings)

    Ethiopia says US plans ‘substantial financial support’ (AP)

    U.S. to offer financial support for Ethiopia political reforms -PM (Reuters)

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    Biden Hits Trump on Coronavirus (Update)

    Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks about the coronavirus Thursday, March 12, 2020, in Wilmington, De. (AP Photo)

    The Associated Press

    Biden Pivots Focus to Trump Amid Coronavirus Concerns

    WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Joe Biden blasted President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus outbreak on Thursday and outlined how he would combat the threat differently by relying more heavily on global alliances and listening more closely to the recommendations of scientists.

    “This administration has left us woefully unprepared for the exact crisis we now face,” Biden said from his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.

    The new coronavirus has upended the presidential campaign at a crucial moment. Just as Biden is beginning to pull away with the delegates needed to win the Democratic presidential nomination, in-person campaign activities are virtually ground to a halt. And many Americans who would otherwise be tuned into politics are instead preparing for what might happen if they become infected or asked to remain home for weeks at a time.

    As financial markets spiraled, Biden sought to look past the turbulent Democratic primary and portray himself as a soothing counter to the chaos of the Trump era. Standing before a bank of American flags, he mixed indictments of Trump with his own policy proposals and the kind of national cheerleading and encouragement that he sees as critical aspects of the presidency.

    “No president can promise to prevent future outbreaks, but I can promise you this: When I’m president we will be better prepared, respond better and recover better,” Biden declared. “We will lead with science, listen to the experts, will heed their advice. We’ll build American leadership and rebuild it to rally the world to meet the global threats that we are likely to face again.”

    Biden touted “the ingenuity of our scientists and the resourcefulness of our people,” and he hailed the nation’s “decency” and “spirit.” But he coldly exempted Trump from such praise: “I’ll always tell you the truth,” Biden said. “This is the responsibility of a president. That’s what is owed the American people.”

    But Biden faces limits in presenting himself as Trump’s alternative. The former vice president hasn’t yet won the Democratic nomination. After Biden’s plans were announced, his top Democratic rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, also scheduled remarks.

    “If there ever was a time in the modern history of our country when we were all in this together, this is the moment,” Sanders said in Burlington, Vermont, as he said the current White House was characterized by “incompetence and recklessness” that threatens “the lives of many, many people.”

    For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus.

    Sanders led voting in the first three nominating contests, only to watch Biden score a blowout in South Carolina that has carried over to more than a dozen primaries in March.

    Both Democratic candidates used their remarks to recommend specific policies. Sanders, nodding to his signature demand for universal health care, pressed the need for all Americans to have access to the care they need, and he called for Trump to declare a national emergency. Biden paired his speech with the release of a litany of proposals and promises, including a call for Congress to enact paid medical leave, that are a staple of labor law in other major Western economies.

    Yet it was the former vice president who most conspicuously postured as an almost-shadow president, willingly assuming the unofficial mantle of Democratic Party leader as he not-so-subtly emphasized one of his fundamental arguments: that he’d be ready on Inauguration Day for whatever challenges make their way to the Oval Office.

    Tim Miller, a Republican consultant who’s part of a movement to defeat Trump, said that’s exactly the tack Biden should take.

    “He needs to be out there reinforcing his main message of stability and trust,” said Miller, who worked for Trump rival Jeb Bush in 2016. “He’s got to have a presence and use this as a leadership opportunity.”

    In some ways, the dynamics recall the financial crisis that mushroomed late in the summer of 2008. The meltdown further damaged outgoing President George W. Bush and his Republican Party, dealing GOP nominee John McCain a new setback and granting a wider opening for Democratic nominee Barack Obama and his running mate, Biden. But that unfolded weeks before the election — Biden must keep making his case for nearly eight months.

    Separate from his coronavirus speech, Biden is making other tactical moves toward a general election. He and Sanders have canceled upcoming rallies amid the coronavirus outbreak, but Biden has launched plans for virtual town halls that could become a staple of his campaign going forward.

    He announced on Thursday a leadership shuffle atop his campaign, hiring longtime Democratic operative Jen O’Malley Dillon as campaign manager. The former campaign aide to Obama and Hillary Clinton quietly joined the campaign as an adviser ahead of the critical Nevada caucuses, where Biden’s second-place finish to Sanders, even though distant, was the first step of his resurgence.

    O’Malley Dillon and other top brass at Biden’s Philadelphia headquarters have been busy interviewing former staffers to Biden’s vanquished primary rivals as they build out a campaign staff befitting a would-be nominee – something they’d been unable to do because of Biden’s lackluster fundraising throughout the first 10 months of his campaign. And on Thursday, Biden’s campaign formally requested Secret Service protection, a decision rooted in security concerns but also a symbolic step for serious contenders.

    Yet amid the clear pivot, Biden and his aides have signaled their awareness of a potential roadblock in a general election campaign: Sanders’ supporters. The Vermont senator has said in many forums, and again after Biden’s wins on Tuesday, that he’ll back the nominee and work to defeat Trump regardless of his own fortunes. But four years ago, after another bitter primary fight against the Democratic establishment, many of Sanders’ supporters did not willingly follow his lead in backing Clinton.

    Biden, in his post-primary remarks on Tuesday, praised Sanders and promoted his own agenda as “progressive” and “bold” in a seeming plea to his party’s left flank. On Thursday, with a broadened audience, he steered clear of those primary dynamics altogether.

    The Republican president, meanwhile, after having spent a heady few weeks gearing up to face Sanders, appeared ready Thursday to accept a challenge from Biden. “One of the reasons I ran for president was because of Joe and the job they did,” Trump said at the White House, referring to Biden’s time as Obama’s vice president. “It’s maybe the way it should be.”


    Related:

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    Biden Wins Big Again in 4 More States

    Biden Wins Big on Super Tuesday

    Biden Wins South Carolina

    Bernie Wins Nevada

    Ethiopian Americans Voting Early in Nevada (UPDATE)

    The presidential contest turns to African American and Latino voters

    Bernie Sanders Wins New Hampshire Primary (Update)

    Ethiopian Meatpackers Go for Bernie in Iowa (2020 U.S. Election Update)

    Joe Biden Officially Announces He is Running for U.S President in 2020

    Addisu Demissie to Manage Cory Booker’s 2020 U.S. Presidential Campaign

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Maaza Mengiste Wins 2020 Literature Prize from American Academy of Arts & Letters

    Ethiopian-American author Maaza Mengiste is among 19 writers who will receive the 2020 awards in literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (Photo: CUNY)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Published: March 12th, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) — Maaza Mengiste has won the 2020 Literature prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The Academy announced that Mengiste is among 19 writers who will receive this year’s awards in literature, which will be presented in New York at the organization’s annual Ceremonial in May.

    “The literature prizes, totaling $350,000, honor both established and emerging writers of fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry,” the press release said. “The Academy’s 250 members propose candidates, and a rotating committee of writers selects winners.”

    Maaza Mengiste — who is the author of the critically acclaimed novels The Shadow King and Beneath the Lion’s Gaze — was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University. Maaza is also the “writer for the Ethiopia segment of Girl Rising,” a feature film that tells the stories of 10 extraordinary girls from 10 developing countries around the world. Maaza’s work has likewise appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Guardian, BBC Radio, The Granta Anthology of the African Short Story, and Lettre International.

    “The American Academy of Arts and Letters was founded in 1898 as an honor society of the country’s leading architects, artists, composers, and writers,” the announcement states. The press release added: “The Academy’s 250 members are elected for life and pay no dues. In addition to electing new members as vacancies occur, the Academy seeks to foster and sustain an interest in Literature, Music, and the Fine Arts by administering over 70 awards and prizes, exhibiting art and manuscripts, funding performances of new works of musical theater, and purchasing artwork for donation to museums across the country.”

    You can read the full list of winners at artsandletters.org »


    Related:

    Tadias 10 Arts & Culture Stories of 2019

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    Ethiopia in the Korean War: Book Review

    This quarto-sized volume, by Ethiopian-American Dagmawi Abebe recounts the story of the Ethiopian contribution to the war. (StrategyPage)

    StrategyPage

    StrategyPage reviews are published in cooperation with The New York Military Affairs Symposium

    Ethiopia in the Korean War

    Given that the Republic of Korea and the United States provided by far the largest number of troops to the U.N. command during the Korean War, most accounts of the conflict necessarily concentrate on their role in the fighting, although some American treatments slight the role of the ROKs. But nearly a score of other nations sent ground troops, aircraft, warships, and medical teams, and aside from the British and the Turks, their role in the war has generally been neglected in the literature and largely forgotten outside of their countries. One of those contingents was from Ethiopia. This quarto-sized volume, by Ethiopian-American Abebe recounts the story of the Ethiopian contribution to the war.

    Abebe opens with some background on the recent military history of Ethiopia. He particularly concentrates on the Italian invasion and occupation (1935-1941), which signaled the failure of League of Nations “collective security”. This prompted the Ethiopian Imperial government to send troops, to help secure that principal which had been embedded in the United Nations charter.

    Abebe outlines the experience of the Ethiopian contingent. It comprised four specially trained battalions, recruited from the Imperial Guard, which served with the U.S. 7th Infantry Division. Each battalion served about a year in Korea, and was then rotated home to be replaced by another. Altogether three battalions saw combat, and the fourth served during the initial year or so after the armistice of 1953.

    Abebe spends some time discussing the recruiting, training, and equipping of the troops, and their service in the field. Despite some initial misgivings by American commanders, some of whom were could hardly conceal their racism, the Ethiopians did well in combat, even in winter (their homeland may be in Africa, but it’s also mostly highlands), and they were generally accepted as comrades by American troops. He concludes the book with some material on the subsequent military history of Ethiopia and biographical profiles of various soldiers and other persons prominent in the country’s Korean war experience

    Emperor’s Own is a useful work for anyone interested in the Korean War or the role of smaller nations in collective defense.


    Related:

    Emperor’s Own: Ethiopians in the Korean War (Amazon)

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    WHO Declares Coronavirus a Pandemic

    Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organization’s director-general, on Wednesday. He called for countries to help protect one another against a common threat. (Getty Images)

    The New York Times

    Updated: March 11, 2020

    Coronavirus Has Become a Pandemic, W.H.O. Says

    The spread of the coronavirus is now a pandemic, officials at the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.

    “We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the W.H.O.’s director-general.

    Dr. Tedros called for countries to learn from one another’s successes, act in unison and help protect one another against a common threat.

    “Find, isolate, test and treat every case, and trace every contact,” Dr. Tedros said. “Ready your hospitals. Protect and train your health care workers.”

    “Let’s all look out for each other, because we’re in this together to do the right things with calm and to protect the citizens of the world.”

    Although this is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus, “we also believe that this is the first pandemic that is able to be controlled,” Dr. Tedros added.

    He pointed several times to the success of China, which has cut new infections from over 3,500 a day in late January to a mere 24 in the most recent daily count. The world is watching to see whether China can keep its numbers down as it gradually releases millions of city dwellers from quarantine and lets them go back to work.

    South Korea and Singapore have also begun to see cases drop. But the rest of the world is seeing alarmingly rapid rises.

    The W.H.O. is emphatically not suggesting that the world should give up on containment, Dr. Tedros said.

    “We are suggesting a blended strategy,” he said, referring to a blend of containment and mitigation. “We should double down. We should be more aggressive.”

    Read more »


    In U.S., Efforts to Contain Coronavirus Show Signs of Faltering (UPDATE)


    D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser spoke to reporters March 7 in Northwest D.C., saying a man in his 50s was admitted to a D.C. hospital on March 5. (DC Mayor’s Office)

    The Washington Post

    Updated: March 7, 2020

    Efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak showed signs of faltering over the weekend, as Washington, D.C., confirmed its first case Saturday and Italian leaders announced a plan early Sunday to lock down an entire region including Venice and Milan after reporting 1,000 new cases in 24 hours.

    The virus’s exact reach remains unknown. Late Saturday, the American Conservative Union announced that an individual who attended the Conservative Political Action Conference less than two weeks ago had tested positive. President Trump, Vice President Pence and a number of other top White House officials had appeared at the four-day event in Maryland.

    White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said neither Trump nor Pence was in “close proximity to the attendee,” but ACU chairman Matt Schlapp told The Washington Post on Saturday that he himself interacted with the infected person at the event. The precise chronology could not be learned, but Schlapp did shake Trump’s hand on the stage on the last day of the conference.

    “I think we have to be calm and see what occurs here and hope our friend gets better,” Schlapp said.

    White House officials appeared to minimize the risk but said they were taking precautions. Trump told reporters at his personal resort in southern Florida that he wasn’t worried.

    “I’m not concerned at all,” Trump said as he met with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for dinner. He also indicated that his campaign rallies, which draws thousands of supporters to large venues nationwide, will continue, saying: “We’ll hold tremendous rallies.”

    The virus has now spread to more than 30 U.S. states and 99 countries, according to a Washington Post analysis. At least six U.S. governors have declared states of emergency. There are now more than 100,000 infected people in the world and more than 400 confirmed cases in the United States, where there have been at least 19 deaths. This includes the addition Saturday of two in Washington state. Florida officials announced two deaths on Friday night. Officials said they had not known one of the two people was infected until after the death.

    Read more »


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    Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: The Ethiopian at the Heart of the Coronavirus Fight

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Biden Wins Big Again in 4 More States

    Joe Biden won Michigan’s Democratic primary on Tuesday, seizing a key battleground state. It’s a dramatic reversal of fortune for Biden, whose campaign appeared on the brink of collapse just two weeks ago. The former Vice President also won the votes in Missouri, Mississippi and Idaho. (AP photo)

    The Associated Press

    Biden victorious in 4 more primary states

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden decisively won Michigan’s Democratic presidential primary, seizing a key battleground state that helped propel Bernie Sanders’ insurgent candidacy four years ago. The former vice president’s victory there, as well as in Missouri, Mississippi and Idaho, dealt a serious blow to Sanders and substantially widened Biden’s path to the nomination.

    Biden again showed strength Tuesday with working-class voters and African Americans, who are vital to winning the Democratic nomination.

    Sanders won North Dakota and awaited results from Washington state. Washington’s primary was too early to call, and because all votes there are cast by mail or by dropping them off in a ballot box, many ballots were marked for candidates who have since dropped out of the race.

    The six-state contest Tuesday marked the first time voters weighed in on the primary since it effectively narrowed to a two-person race between Sanders and Biden. And the first four states on Tuesday went to Biden, a dramatic reversal for a campaign that appeared on the brink of collapse just two weeks ago. Now it is Sanders, whose candidacy was ascendant so recently, who must contemplate a path forward.

    Addressing supporters in Philadelphia, Biden noted that many had “declared that this candidacy was dead” only days ago, but “now we’re very much alive.” He also asked Sanders supporters to back him going forward.

    “We need you, we want you, and there’s a place in our campaign for each of you. I want to thank Bernie Sanders and his supporters for their tireless energy and their passion,” Biden said. “We share a common goal, and together we’ll beat Donald Trump.”

    It marked a high point for the former vice president’s staff. They sipped beer and broke into an impromptu dance party after his speech, which was held close to his Philadelphia headquarters.


    Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, right, speaks with Deaunte Bell Jr., 11, of Columbus, Ohio, at a campaign event in Columbus, Ohio, Tuesday, March 10, 2020. (AP Photo)

    Even as the contours of the race came into shape, however, new uncertainty was sparked by fears of the spreading coronavirus. Both candidates abruptly canceled rallies in Ohio that were scheduled for Tuesday night. That set the stage for Biden’s remarks in Philadelphia, while Sanders flew home to Vermont and didn’t plan to address the public.

    Sanders’ campaign also said all future events would be decided on a case-by-case basis given public health concerns, while Biden called off a scheduled upcoming Florida stop. Still, the former vice president said Tuesday night that he’d be announcing plans to combat the coronavirus later this week.

    The Democratic National Committee also said that Sunday’s debate between Sanders and Biden would be conducted without an audience.

    Among former White House hopefuls and leaders of powerful liberal groups, however, Biden’s momentum is now undeniable.

    Bradley Beychok, president and co-founder of American Bridge 21st Century, a liberal super PAC, said his group “will be ALL IN to elect @JoeBiden as our next president.” The organization is spending millions of dollars trying to win over people who backed President Donald Trump in key states in 2016.

    Guy Cecil, chairman of the flagship Democratic outside political organization Priorities USA, tweeted: “The math is now clear. Joe Biden is going to be the Democratic nominee for President and @prioritiesUSA is going to do everything we can to help him defeat Donald Trump in November.”

    There were other major warning signs for Sanders on Tuesday. He again struggled to win support from black voters. About 70% of Mississippi’s Democratic primary voters were African American, and 86% of them supported Biden, according to an AP VoteCast survey of the electorate.

    After Sanders upset Hillary Clinton in Michigan four years ago, his loss there Tuesday was particularly sobering. It undermined his argument that he could appeal to working-class voters and that he could expand the electorate with new young voters.

    One of the few bright notes for Sanders was his strength among young voters, but even that has a downside because they didn’t turn out enough to keep him competitive. Sanders won 72% of those under 30 in Missouri and 65% in Michigan, according to AP VoteCast. The senator was also about even with Biden among voters ages 30 to 44.

    “There’s no sugarcoating it. Tonight’s a tough night,” New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of Sanders’ highest-profile supporters, said on Instagram. “Tonight’s a tough night for the movement overall. Tonight’s a tough night electorally.”

    Another top Sanders backer, Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, tweeted: “Yes we are a family, united in restoring our democracy and committed to defeating Trump, but that doesn’t mean we should stop fighting for the candidate that best represents our policy priorities in this Primary.”

    According to an Associated Press analysis, Biden had picked up at least 176 new delegates: 71 in Michigan, 40 in Missouri, 31 in Mississippi, six in North Dakota, 17 in Washington and 11 in Idaho on Tuesday. Sanders got 110: 51 in Michigan, 23 in Missouri, two in Mississippi, nine in Idaho, eight in North Dakota and 17 in Washington.

    Read more »


    Related:

    Biden Wins Big on Super Tuesday

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    Ethiopian Americans Voting Early in Nevada (UPDATE)

    The presidential contest turns to African American and Latino voters

    Bernie Sanders Wins New Hampshire Primary (Update)

    Ethiopian Meatpackers Go for Bernie in Iowa (2020 U.S. Election Update)

    Joe Biden Officially Announces He is Running for U.S President in 2020

    Addisu Demissie to Manage Cory Booker’s 2020 U.S. Presidential Campaign

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ethiopia says Trump got inaccurate Information on Nile Dam (AP)

    Ethiopia's Minister for Water and Energy, Sileshi Bekele, says Trump “was given inadequate and inaccurate information on some issues regarding our dam." (AP photo)

    The Associated Press

    By ELIAS MESERET

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — An Ethiopian Cabinet minister says that U.S. President Donald Trump was provided with “inaccurate and inadequate” information about the dam the country is building on the Nile River.

    The remarks came amid a public disagreement with Egypt after Ethiopia did not attend the latest round of talks over the dam on Feb. 26 in Washington, D.C.

    Following the breakdown in the talks, which are being mediated by the U.S. and the World Bank, Trump phoned Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and “expressed hope that an agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam would be finalized soon,” according to a statement issued by the White House. This prompted speculation that Trump is favoring Egypt in the dispute.

    Trump “was given inadequate and inaccurate information on some issues regarding our dam,” Sileshi Bekele, Ethiopia’s water and energy minister, said on a popular Ethiopian late night show.

    “For example, there was an understanding that Ethiopia’s dam will block all the water flowing to other countries. President Trump said this could lead to a war,” said Sileshi. “But we have told him the facts and presented the opportunities the dam will bring not only for Ethiopia but to other countries in the region.”

    The construction of the $4.6 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile, which is about 71% complete and promises to provide much-needed electricity to Ethiopia’s more than 100 million people, has been controversial for years.

    Ethiopia says the dam is needed to help pull many of its people out of poverty, while Egypt warns that if the dam is filled too rapidly in the coming years, then it will not get its fair share of river’s water during the filling process.

    Ethiopia has said it plans to start filling the dam in July this year, at the start of the rainy season, and that it would take up to seven years to fill the dam. Egypt has suggested that the dam should be filled more slowly over a period of 12 to 21 years.

    The U.S. and the World Bank are mediating the negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, the countries through which the Nile River flows. Ethiopia did not attend the latest meeting on Feb. 26 in the U.S. capital, citing ongoing consultations within the country.

    After the meeting, the U.S. Department of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on February 28 stated that “the final testing and filling should not take place without an agreement.”

    Ethiopia’s Foreign minister Gedu Andargachew responded to the U.S. statement saying it is “unacceptable and highly partisan.”

    Egypt’s foreign ministry said on February 29 it “regrets Ethiopia’s unjustifiable absence … at this critical stage in the negotiations” and added that “Egypt will use all available means to defend the interests of its people.”

    Concern is growing in Ethiopia over the disagreement over the dam.

    Ethiopia’s distance running legend, Haile Gebrselasse, weighed in the issue by saying both Ethiopia and Egypt should solve their differences over a negotiating table.

    “This is a country that doesn’t have electricity for more than 85% of its population,” Haile told The Associated Press on Monday. “I will be the first to object against the Ethiopian side if they block water flows to Sudan and Egypt. But I don’t think that’s the purpose of the Nile dam. The controversies should be resolve according to international law over a negotiating table.”


    Related:

    Nile Dam: Ethiopia Calls US View “Totally Unacceptable (BBC)

    Ethiopia Skips Nile Talks in DC (AP)

    Ethiopia asks U.S. to postpone final talks on Blue Nile dam (Reuters)

    Why Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan should ditch a rushed, Washington-brokered Nile Treaty (Brookings)

    Ethiopia says US plans ‘substantial financial support’ (AP)

    U.S. to offer financial support for Ethiopia political reforms -PM (Reuters)

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Society of Ethiopians Established in the Diaspora Honors Ethiopian Visionaries

    This event has been postponed to May 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. More info at www.ethioseed.org. (Photo courtesy of Society of Ethiopians Established in the Diaspora, SEED)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Published: March 9th, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) — The Society of Ethiopians Established in the Diaspora (SEED) has announced that it will hold its 28th annual Recognition & Awards dinner on Sunday May 24th at College Park Marriott Hotel in Hyattsville, Maryland.

    Established in 1993, SEED is one of the oldest Ethiopian Diaspora organizations in the United States.

    The nonprofit said that this year it will recognize seven individuals for professional excellence in various fields including business, law, technology, art, and humanitarian work. The 2020 honorees include Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, Mr. Tekalign Gedamu, Mrs. Freweini Mebrahtu, Ms. Bethlehem Dessie, Artist Tadesse Worku, Sister Zebedir Zewdie, and Mrs. Meaza Birru.

    The announcement added that “SEED will also honor exceptional high school seniors who excelled in their academic pursuits, stood out in humanitarian efforts, and exhibited exemplary community services.”


    Photo courtesy of The Society of Ethiopians Established in the Diaspora (SEED)

    Last year SEED honored women leaders and pioneers including Meaza Ashenafi, President of the Supreme Court of Ethiopia; physician Senait Fisseha, a reproductive endocrinology and infertility academic at the University of Michigan and Director of International Programs at the Susan Buffet Foundation; Captain Amsale Gualu, the first female captain at Ethiopian Airlines; Artist Julie Mehretu; Dr. Yalemtsehay Mekonnen, the first female Professor in Ethiopia, Talk Show Host Helen Mesfin; Ledet Muleta, Senior Psychiatric Research Nurse at the National Institute of Health and a dedicated advocate for mental health research; Yetnebersh Nigussie, Lawyer and Disability Rights Activist from Ethiopia; and legendary athlete Derartu Tulu, the first African woman to win an Olympic gold medal.

    Previous SEED honorees include Musicians Mahamoud Ahmed and Teddy Afro as well as Poet and Author Lemn Sissay, Playwright and Actor Alemtsehay Wodajo, and Economist Dr. Lemma W. Senbet who is the William E. Mayer Chair Professor of Finance at the University of Maryland, College Park and a member of the Ethiopian Diaspora Trust Fund’s Advisory Council.

    The guest speaker for the 2020 SEED awards dinner is Dr. Arvid Hogganvik, an Ethiopian-born Norwegian physician.


    If You Go:

    The event takes place on May 24, 2020 at College Park Marriott Hotel Conference Center 3501 University Boulevard E. Hyattsville, Maryland. More info at www.ethioseed.org.

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ethiopian Draft Report Blames Boeing for 737 MAX Plane Crash: Sources (Reuters)

    Ethiopia's transport minister Dagmawit Moges last year at a news conference in Addis Ababa. (REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri)

    Reuters

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A draft interim report from Ethiopian crash investigators circulated to U.S. government agencies concludes the March 2019 crash of a Boeing Co (BA.N) 737 MAX was caused by the plane’s design, two people briefed on the matter said Friday.

    FILE PHOTO: Grounded Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are seen parked in an aerial photo at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, U.S. July 1, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/File Photo
    Unlike most interim reports, this one includes a probable cause determination, conclusions and recommendations, which are typically not made until a final report is issued.

    The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has been given a chance to lodge concerns or propose changes, the people said, declining to be identified because the report is not yet public.

    NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss confirmed the agency had received the draft interim report, but declined to comment on whether the agency would suggest any changes. Boeing on Friday declined to comment to Reuters about the report.

    According to Bloomberg News, which first reported the contents of the interim draft, the conclusions say little or nothing about the performance of Ethiopian Airlines or its flight crew and that has raised concern with some participants in the investigation.

    The Ethiopian interim report contrasts with a final report into the Lion Air crash released last October by Indonesia which faulted Boeing’s design of cockpit software on the 737 MAX but also cited errors by the airline’s workers and crew.

    Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crashed in an open field six minutes after take-off from Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, killing 157 passengers and crew. The Boeing 737 MAX has been grounded worldwide for nearly a year after the two fatal crashes.

    Under rules overseen by the United Nations’ Montreal-based aviation agency, ICAO, Ethiopia should publish a final report by the first anniversary of the crash on March 10 but now looks set to release an interim report with elements that would normally be included in the final report.

    Ethiopian Airlines did not respond to a request for comment. Ethiopia’s Transport Ministry could not immediately be reached for comment.

    A preliminary accident report by the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority released in April last year said faulty sensor readings and multiple automatic commands to push down the nose of a Boeing plane contributed to the fatal crash and left the crew struggling to regain control.

    The U.S. House Transportation Committee on Friday released preliminary investigative findings into the two crashes which faulted the Federal Aviation Administration’s approval of the plane and Boeing’s design failures, saying the 737 MAX flights were “doomed”.

    Related:

    Boeing to Stop 737 Max Production (AP)

    Internal FAA review saw high risk of 737 MAX crashes

    Boeing Was Aware of 737 Max Problem Long Before Ethiopia Crash – Report

    Boeing CEO Apologizes to Victims of Ethiopia, Indonesia Crashes

    Ethiopian Airlines Slams Bloomberg’s Ex-Pilot Story as ‘Baseless & False Allegation’

    Read Excerpt From Ethiopia Crash Report

    Ethiopian Airlines Expresses Disappointment – Calls Out Media Outlets Eager to Blame Pilot

    Watch: Ethiopian CEO on The Future of Boeing 737 Max Planes — NBC Exclusive

    Watch: Ethiopia Releases 737 Max Preliminary Crash Report

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Alarming Video: Atlanta-area Students Pretend to Lynch Ethiopian Classmate

    Students at Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School mock lynch an Ethiopian student in the school bathroom. (Image: CBS 46)

    KTVZ-TV

    Atlanta-area private school students pretend to lynch Ethiopian student

    An alarming video shared with CBS46 by a concerned mother, showed a group of Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School students pretending to “lynch” a black student in one of the school’s bathrooms.

    In the video, several male students can be seen with their heads covered in white tissue, with holes around the eyes. Then you see a black student with tissue wrapped around his neck and tie to a bathroom stall, like a rope.

    The concerned parent said the video was taken by another student who walked in on the incident and shared the video with his parents. Since then, the video has been circulating through the hands of Cristo Rey parents and around social media.

    According to staff, the school is 56% Latino, 40% African American, 2% Asian and 2% Caucasian.

    “Very shocking and disheartening to know that somebody I sit next to in class, somebody I present my project to, who I talk to on a daily basis at lunch could you feel this way towards me,” said student Kenidee Barkley.

    Students told CBS46 Faculty held an assembly Thursday to discuss the issue and later held a meeting with parents.

    “I do know the school seems to be taking it very very seriously,” said one parent.

    However, many students said they’re worried conversations aren’t enough to prevent the discrimination they face daily.

    “I think that the racial discrimination that plays a part in this world definitely ,made its way into Cristo Rey you see that in the video and we see that walking up and down the stairs every day,” said student William Bradley.

    Cristo Rey’s President Bill Garrett, sent CBS46 this statement:

    We had an unfortunate and reprehensible incident this week that involved a number of our students. This type of behavior will not be tolerated. The students are on indefinite suspension as we do a comprehensive investigation of the situation and determine an appropriate course of action.

    While we have done cultural sensitivity training with our students, faculty, and staff, clearly we need to do more. We convened the entire student body the day after the incident, and one of our staff delivered a powerful message to our students. We are working closely with the National Center for Civil and Human Rights to develop a program appropriate for our community. In addition, Andrew Young will be speaking soon to our community.

    One of our students perhaps said it best: “This is the biggest opportunity to capitalize on restructuring the school community. Never before has the entire student body been so passionate and united on an issue. It would be a waste to not use this to bring us together. Rather than talk about how we’re divided, I want to do something about it.”

    We ask for your prayers for our students, parents, faculty, and staff. Thank you.


    Related:

    WATCH: Atlanta-area private school students pretend to lynch black student (CBS46)

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    Yelugnta & Gemena: NYC Workshop Aims to Break Taboo of Mental Illness in Ethiopian Community

    Yelugnta and Gemena workshop poster courtesy of ECMAA.

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: March 7th, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) — This weekend a timely public workshop is being held in New York City highlighting the taboo topics of mental health in the Ethiopian Community including intimate partner violence (IPV) as well as the growing prevalence of autism among young children.

    The event, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 7 at African Services Committee in Uptown Manhattan, is organized by ECMAA, African Services Committee, Ethiopian Edir Mutual Assistance Association, Habesha Health and the Medhanialem Tewahedo Church.

    “The Amharic word Yelugnta drives many decisions and feelings in our community. Yelugnta keeps everyone responsible for each other and helps guide people’s decisions,” the announcement states. “Literally, Yelugnta means “what will people say” and Gemena “my secret”.” It added: “Both Yelugnta and Gemena, more detrimentally keep people from asking for help, keep them alone and from talking about things that could be judged or talked about. It keeps everyone silent and suffering alone.”

    Organizers stress that the goal of the program is to break the silence and to “create a space to enable frank discussion in a way that is responsive to the community; provide a common language for open communication; and identify skills and resources needed to seek help and provide preliminary support.”

    The upcoming workshop will have two parts:

    “The first, an opening interactive session with Betty Bekele as a facilitator will cover the overarching goals for the day focusing on Yelugnta and Gemena. The first session will end with the sharing of lessons learned from the Thrive NYC First Aid Mental Health workshop. The second half of the day will consist of two consecutive sessions for more in-depth and practical discussion about topic specific challenges and resources including intimate partner violence – with Sanctuary for Families and African Services Committee; and Autism – with Azeb Araya from the Ethiopian and Eritrean Special Needs Community, Fana Said and Mulugeta Semework. At the end of the day, participants will leave with concrete resources and information about members of the community who will make themselves available as a contact for future questions/issues.

    Actions and Guidelines to Ensure Success:
    To create the safe place for open discussion, the following guidelines are critical:
    1. Focus is building space for open communication, not fixing specific problems.
    2. During the day and beyond, emphasize confidentiality and good intent as well as no judgement,
    3. Provide practical information and tools to manage communication and build confidence.

    Join ECMAA in planning this event and guiding its content to make it as specific to the community as possible. Contact them at ecmaany@gmail.com to learn about how you can participate.


    If You Go:
    Yelugnta, Gemena and Communication in Our Community Workshop
    March 7,2020
    from 10AM to 4PM
    African Services Committee
    429 West 127th Street
    New York, NY
    More info at www.www.ECMAANY.org.

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    US Ready to Investment $5bn in Ethiopia

    Ethiopia finance minister Ahmed Shide said US funding would depend on implementation of "reform measures" © Getty

    THE FINANCIAL TIMES

    US Ready to Back Ethiopian Reform With $5bn Investment

    The US is ready to invest $5bn in Ethiopia through its newly created International Development Finance Corporation in an effort to support private-sector reform and counter China’s influence in one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies.

    “More than $5bn is expected in the coming three to five years,” said Ahmed Shide, Ethiopia’s finance minister, adding that the US institution had expressed interest in investing in telecoms, geothermal energy, logistics and sugar, all sectors undergoing some degree of privatisation.

    Speaking in an interview in Addis Ababa, Mr Ahmed said the deployment of funds would depend on Ethiopia’s successful implementation of “certain reform measures”. Those changes are understood to be related to foreign investors’ ability to hold offshore accounts, repatriate foreign currency and settle disputes under New York arbitration rules.

    Washington is keen to encourage the expansion of the private sector in Ethiopia, a strategically located country of 110m people, which has historically followed a state-led development model, partly funded by infrastructure investment from China.

    “We are working in partnership with Ethiopia to undertake economic reforms that will further attract private sector capital,” Adam Boehler, chief executive officer of the DFC, told the Financial Times. “If adopted, these reforms could position Ethiopia for a significant DFC commitment that would catalyse billions in financing from the private sector.”

    The DFC replaced the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation in 2019 with an expanded lending capacity of $60bn and a remit to help Washington’s foreign policy aims, including countering the influence of China — and Russia — in Africa. Recommended AnalysisEM Squared Ethiopia seizes crown as fastest-growing country in the 2010s Premium

    The agency, which has received the backing of Donald Trump, the US president, can support American and other private companies investing in developing countries through loans, insurance and now equity, a tool used by European equivalents such as Britain’s CDC Group.

    Last month, Mike Pompeo, US secretary of state, told an audience in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, that Washington was offering an attractive investment alternative. Without naming China, he said that “authoritarian countries” came with “empty promises” and encouraged corruption and dependency.

    Mr Ahmed said the anticipated US investments would help Ethiopia’s efforts to correct the side-effects of a development model that had produced 15 years of near double-digit growth but had created what he called “macro imbalances”, including balance of payments problems and inflation.

    In December, Ethiopia clinched a $2.9bn IMF programme, one of the biggest in the fund’s history in Africa, in an endorsement of Ethiopia’s so-called Homegrown Economic Reform plan.

    Under Abiy Ahmed, prime minister since 2018, Ethiopia has committed to opening up its economy and is planning a series of privatisations, including the sale of a 49 per cent stake in Ethio Telecom, the world’s largest remaining telecoms monopoly, and the allocation, through a competitive auction, of two new telecoms licences.

    Mr Ahmed said he expected the telecoms sale to be completed in four to six months and to raise several billion dollars, though elections scheduled for August could delay the sales, according to some observers.

    Read more »


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    The Ethiopian at Heart of Coronavirus Fight

    Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is the first African to lead the World Health Organization. (Getty Images)

    BBC

    Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: The Ethiopian at the Heart of the Coronavirus Fight

    What a challenge to be the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the time of the coronavirus.

    The entire planet hanging on your every word, addressing daily press conferences at the headquarters in Geneva to detail an ever increasing number of cases in an ever increasing number of countries.

    This is the lot of Ethiopian Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the first African head of the WHO, who took office two-and-a-half years ago promising to reform the organisation, and to tackle the illnesses that kill millions each year: malaria, measles, childhood pneumonia, or HIV/Aids.

    And yet, while the WHO is undoubtedly working hard on those illnesses, Dr Tedros’ time in office has been dominated first by Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and now by Covid-19.

    Both have been declared Public Health Emergencies of International Concern, or PHEICs.

    ‘Charming and unassuming’

    That means they require 24-hour monitoring, deployment of medical staff, equipment and medicines, daily discussions with affected countries and countries who might be affected, and of course, a steady stream of reliable information for an anxious world desperate for immediate answers.

    “Charming” and “unassuming” are some of the words those who know him use to describe the 55-year-old.

    At his first press conference as WHO director general, the Geneva-based journalists were somewhat bemused by his manner.

    He strolled in smiling, sat down and chatted in a very relaxed way, his voice sometimes so quiet it was difficult to hear him. That was a very big change from his more formal predecessor, Margaret Chan.

    And yet behind that quiet manner there must lie a very determined man.

    Before becoming head of the WHO he climbed through the ranks of Ethiopia’s government, becoming health minister and then foreign minister. He could not have risen that far by being self-effacing.

    Brother died of suspected measles

    Dr Tedros was born in 1965 in Asmara, which became Eritrea’s capital after independence from Ethiopia in 1991, and grew up in northern Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

    One formative, and now motivating experience, was the death of a younger brother, who was around four years old at the time, he told Time magazine in November. Later, as a student, Dr Tedros came to suspect it was measles that killed him.

    “I didn’t accept it; I don’t accept it even now,” he was quoted as saying, adding that it was unfair that a child should die from a preventable disease just because he was born in the wrong place.

    “All roads should lead to universal health coverage. I will not rest until we have met this,” he told the World Health Assembly shortly before his election as WHO chief.

    Read more »


    Related:

    UPDATE: Tensions Rise as U.S. Death Toll From Coronavirus Reaches 9

    UN Health Agency Tackles Misinformation Over Virus Outbreak

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    Biden Wins Big on Super Tuesday – Update

    Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden in Oakland, California, Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (AP Photo)

    The Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A resurgent Joe Biden scored sweeping victories across the country on Super Tuesday, backed by a diverse coalition that helped revitalize a moderate presidential bid teetering on the edge of disaster just days earlier. But progressive rival Bernie Sanders seized the day’s biggest prize with a win in California that ensured he would drive the Democrats’ nomination fight for the foreseeable future.

    And suddenly, the Democratic Party’s presidential field, which featured more than a half dozen candidates a week ago, transformed into a two-man contest.

    The two Democrats, lifelong politicians with starkly different visions for America’s future, were battling for delegates as 14 states and one U.S. territory held a series of high-stakes elections that marked the most significant day of voting in the party’s 2020 presidential nomination fight. The winner will take on President Donald Trump in the November general election.

    The new contours of a nomination fight pitting Biden against Sanders, each leading coalitions of disparate demographics and political beliefs, crystallized as the former vice president and the three-term senator spoke to each other from dueling victory speeches delivered from opposite ends of the country Tuesday night.

    “People are talking about a revolution. We started a movement,” Biden said in Los Angeles, knocking one of Sanders’ signature lines.

    And without citing his surging rival by name, Sanders swiped at Biden from Burlington, Vermont.

    “You cannot beat Trump with the same-old, same-old kind of politics,” Sanders declared, ticking down a list of past policy differences with Biden on Social Security, trade and military force. “This will become a contrast in ideas.”

    Sanders and Biden remained locked in a tight race in delegate-rich Texas early Wednesday, with votes still being counted.

    Read more »


    Related:

    Biden Wins South Carolina

    Bernie Wins Nevada

    Ethiopian Americans Voting Early in Nevada (UPDATE)

    The presidential contest turns to African American and Latino voters

    Bernie Sanders Wins New Hampshire Primary (Update)

    Ethiopian Meatpackers Go for Bernie in Iowa (2020 U.S. Election Update)

    Joe Biden Officially Announces He is Running for U.S President in 2020

    Addisu Demissie to Manage Cory Booker’s 2020 U.S. Presidential Campaign

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Nile: Ethiopia Says US View ‘Unacceptable’

    85% of the Blue Nile's waters flow from Northern Ethiopia. (Getty Images)

    BBC News

    Nile Dam: Ethiopia Calls US View “Totally Unacceptable”

    Ethiopia has said the US position on the controversial Nile River mega-dam project is “totally unacceptable”.

    The US is negotiating between Ethiopia and Egypt in the ongoing dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam that some fear could lead to war.

    Ethiopia accused the US of overstepping its role as a neutral observer after the US said the dam should not be completed without an agreement.

    But its foreign minister said Ethiopia would continue to attend the talks.

    Upon completion, the dam will be Africa’s biggest hydroelectric power plant and provide Ethiopia and some neighbours with huge amounts of electricity and energy security.

    The country wants to start filling the dam in June, but countries downstream are concerned about the impact on their water supply.

    The trouble over a giant Nile dam
    Egypt has viewed the project as an existential threat since construction began in 2011.

    It relies on the Nile for 90% of its water, and a 1932 treaty gives Egypt and Sudan rights to almost all the Nile waters.

    Read more »


    Related:

    Ethiopia Skips Nile Talks in DC (AP)

    Ethiopia asks U.S. to postpone final talks on Blue Nile dam (Reuters)

    Why Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan should ditch a rushed, Washington-brokered Nile Treaty (Brookings)

    Ethiopia says US plans ‘substantial financial support’ (AP)

    U.S. to offer financial support for Ethiopia political reforms -PM (Reuters)

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    New York City’s Only Ethiopian Food Truck

    Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Eritrean parents, Eden G. Egziabher wanted to create a space where people can experience authentic Ethiopian cuisine on-the-go. (Instagram)

    Black Enterprise

    Food trucks are abundant in New York City, with nearly every type of international cuisine you can find driving through the crowded streets. For Eden G. Egziabher, she wanted people to experience the food from her home country and created the city’s first Ethiopian food truck.

    Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Eritrean parents, Egziabher wanted to create a space where people can experience authentic Ethiopian cuisine on-the-go. In 2017, she started the Makina Cafe, which featured a menu of her favorite dishes from her home country, including injera bread, gomen, and tasty sambusas. (The word “Makina” translates to “truck” in all three languages.) She wanted the food to reflect the mix of Ethiopian, Eritrean, and Italian cultures that define her childhood. Egziabher is the first Eritrean-American female entrepreneur in the city with a food truck serving Habesha food.

    It wasn’t an easy transition: Food trucks are notorious for being very competitive and a male-dominated space. “When you show up and you are expected to fail, you are going to work harder,” she told Vice’s Munchies. “The other food truckers did not welcome us at all. When they see a woman behind [the truck]…they take it as a joke.” Through word of mouth, her truck started to grow in popularity.

    To ensure the food she serves tastes like the food she grew up with, Egziabher travels to Queens and even as far as Washington D.C. (home to the largest Ethiopian community in the country) to buy the right ingredients to maintain the flavor of her dishes, including spices that aren’t available at most grocery stores.

    Read the full article at blackenterprise.com »


    Related:

    The New York Times Reviews Makina Cafe

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    BBC on Ethiopia’s Armenian Community

    Getty Images

    BBC

    Letter from Africa: Ethiopia’s lost Armenian community

    In our series of letters from African journalists, Ismail Einashe takes a trip to Ethiopia to find out about a lost community.

    My search for the last Armenians of Ethiopia began in Piassa, the bustling commercial centre of the old part of the capital, Addis Ababa.

    On previous visits to the city, I had always been intrigued by the snippets I had heard about the community and its history.

    There had long been a connection between Ethiopia and Armenia through the Orthodox Church. But this developed beyond priests, to bring in diplomats and traders.

    In the 19th Century, a handful of Armenians played a vital role in the court of Emperor Menelik II.

    And later, in the early 20th Century, a community settled that went on to have an economic and cultural impact in the country.

    On a sticky afternoon, I stood outside the gates of the exquisite St George Armenian Apostolic Holy Church that was built in the 1930s.

    It looked closed but I called out “selam” – “hello” in Amharic.

    A confused-looking elderly security guard came out and after I explained that I wanted to look around, he went to fetch Simon, the Armenian-Ethiopian caretaker.

    The quiet, dignified man came out and told me that they do not get many visitors.

    Haile Selassie’s influence

    The church is rarely open, as there is no priest these days, and the community, of no more than 100, is mostly elderly.

    Inside the church, the altar is ornately decorated and red Persian rugs cover the floor.

    This was the heart of the community that began to grow in numbers during the rule of Haile Selassie who, as Ras Tafari, became prince regent of Ethiopia in 1916 and Emperor from 1930 to 1974.

    Under his leadership, Ethiopia began to rapidly modernise and Armenian courtiers, businessmen and traders played an important role in this transition.

    In 1924, Ras Tafari visited the Armenian monastery in Jerusalem, where he met a group of 40 children who had been orphaned by the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War One.

    Moved by their plight, he asked the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem if he could take them to Ethiopia and look after them there.

    The 40 orphans, or arba lijoch in Amharic, were all trained in music and went on to form the imperial brass band of Ethiopia.

    Despite their small numbers the Armenian community had a crucial role in ushering Ethiopia into the modern world”

    They were led by an Armenian, Kevork Nalbandian, who composed the imperial anthem.

    The community reached its zenith in the 1960s when it numbered 1,200.

    Despite their small numbers they had a crucial role in ushering Ethiopia into the modern world – from helping to develop the distinctive Ethiopian jazz style to working as tailors, doctors, business people and serving in the imperial court.

    Read more »


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    Spotlight: Adiskidan Ambaye’s Sculptures ‘Liberty’ at Addis Fine Art

    Liberty, a solo exhibition by sculptor Adiskidan Ambaye opens on March 3rd, 2020 at Addis Fine Art gallery in Addis Ababa. (Photo: AFA)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Published: March 1st, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) — Addis Fine Art gallery in Addis Ababa announced that its latest exhibition features Sculptor, Painter and Designer Adiskidan Ambaye. Her show titled Liberty opens at the gallery on March 3rd and will be on display until April 25th, 2020.

    Adiskidan’s “wooden sculptures appear moulded from a single block of wood but are actually composed of as many as sixty handcrafted smaller slices of plywood,” Addis Fine Art noted in its announcement. “The ringed markings orbiting the surface of each segment represent an individual piece fused to form the whole.” The gallery added: “Ambaye has described this process as sculpting “from the inside out.” These cyclical markings also conjure images of the naturally occurring concentric circles found in trees, signifying age, and life and death, as they are only visible once the tree has been cut down.”

    Adiskidan is a graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. On Instagram she introduces herself as “an Ethiopian American artist based in Addis Ababa that does product design, furniture design, paintings [and] sculptures.” Adiskidan was born in Ethiopia in 1977. She relocated to Europe in her teen years, and after emigrating to the United States she has now returned to Ethiopia. According to jomofurniture.com, Adiskidan’s creativity is “influenced by the different cultural and contemporary artists of Ethiopia. Adiskidan (who goes by Adis) thoroughly incorporates her heritage in her work. Combining her cultural background with modern contemporary style is Adis’ ultimate goal.”


    Adiskidan Ambaye, Liberty, at Addis Fine Art 3 March – 25 April 2020. (Photo: AFA)


    (Photo: Addis Fine Art)

    Addis Fine Art shares that Adiskidan “has exhibited across the USA as a part of select group and solo shows, including African Women (2001), World Space Centre, Washington DC, Colour of Africa (2001), Portland, Maine, Chicago Museum of Industrial design (2007), Chicago, Africa by Design (2017), Ghana.”


    If You Go:
    ADISKIDAN AMBAYE | LIBERTY
    3 MARCH – 25 APRIL 2020
    Addis Fine Art
    ADDIS ABABA
    More info at addisfineart.com.

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    Kenenisa Bekele Breaks Mo Farah’s London Half-Marathon Record

    The three-time Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele won the London half-marathon on Sunday, March 1st, 2020. Kenenisa broke last year's course record held by British distance runner Mo Farah, finishing the race in one hour and 22 seconds. (Photo: @OfficialBigHalf/Twitter)

    AFP

    LONDON — Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele broke Mo Farah’s course record as he won the London half-marathon on Sunday in a time of one hour and 22 seconds.

    Bekele took 1min 18sec off the record set in 2019 by British distance great Farah, who missed this year’s edition with an Achilles injury.

    Britain’s Christopher Thompson finished second, with Jake Smith third.

    Sunday’s event served as a warm-up event for the full London Marathon on April 26. That race is set to see Bekele go up against Eliud Kipchoge, the reigning Olympic champion from Kenya, as the two fastest marathon runners of all time meet in the British capital.

    “The new course record is a great bonus. I wasn’t focused on time today, I just wanted to win,” Bekele, three times an Olympic gold medallist on the track, told the BBC.


    Related:

    The Vitality Big Half 2020: Kenenisa Bekele breaks Mo Farah’s course record (BBC)

    Kenenisa Bekele to face Eliud Kipchoge in London Marathon for the ages (The Guardian)

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    Biden Wins South Carolina (Update)

    The victory came at a crucial moment in Biden’s 2020 bid as the moderate Democrat bounced back from underwhelming performances in the first three contests...African American voters in South Carolina backed Biden over any other candidate by a significant margin, according to AP VoteCast. (AP Photo)

    The Associated Press

    Biden wins South Carolina, hopes for Super Tuesday momentum

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Joe Biden scored a convincing victory in South Carolina’s Democratic primary on Saturday, riding a wave of African American support and ending progressive rival Bernie Sanders’ winning streak.

    The victory came at a crucial moment in Biden’s 2020 bid as the moderate Democrat bounced back from underwhelming performances in the first three contests. The race now quickly shifts toward next week’s “Super Tuesday,” when voters in 14 states award one third of the total number of presidential delegates.

    Biden hopes the South Carolina victory will be enough to establish him as the clear alternative to Sanders as the race moves into a new phase. Standing in Biden’s way is former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, one of the world’s richest men, who has spent more than half a billion dollars courting voters in dozens of states yet to vote.

    The South Carolina primary was the first major test of the candidates’ appeal among black voters. And while it gave the 77-year-old Biden a win when he most needed it, he must still prove that he has the financial and organizational resources to dramatically expand his campaign in the next 72 hours. He will also be under pressure to rely on his decades-long relationships with party leaders to create a new sense of inevitability around his candidacy.

    Even before news of Biden’s win was declared, Bloomberg announced his own plan to deliver a three-minute prime-time address Sunday night on two television networks. He didn’t say how much he paid for the air time, which is unprecedented in recent decades.

    And Sanders was already peeking ahead to Super Tuesday, betting he can amass an insurmountable delegate lead at that point. After two consecutive victories and a tie for the lead in Iowa, the 78-year-old Vermont senator’s confidence is surging.

    Sanders was spending the lead-up to Super Tuesday campaigning in the home states of two major Democratic rivals, betting he can score a double knockout blow — or at least limit the size of their victories.

    In a power play, Sanders hosted a midday rally Saturday in downtown Boston, campaigning in the heart of liberal ally Elizabeth Warren’s political turf. Addressing a crowd of thousands on the Boston Common, Sanders said his success in the Democratic primary means “the establishment is getting very nervous” — but he never predicted victory in South Carolina.

    On the eve of Super Tuesday, Sanders will host a concert in Minnesota, where home-state Sen. Amy Klobuchar is looking for her first win.

    Sanders’ senior adviser Jeff Weaver was among the staffers dispatched to California on Saturday. He said Sanders is aggressively hunting for delegates, noting that their campaign’s experience during the 2016 primary against Hillary Clinton taught them that any candidate who finishes Super Tuesday with a significant delegate advantage will be difficult to catch.

    “I’m confident we’re going to do very, very well across the country,” Weaver said of the coming days. He also sought to downplay the importance of South Carolina, where Biden was “expected to win.”

    Moments after Biden’s victory was confirmed, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe formally endorsed the former vice president and encouraged the Democratic Party’s moderate wing to unite behind him. On CNN, he called on several candidates to get out of the race — “not after Tuesday, but tomorrow.”

    But the Democrats’ 2020 primary election isn’t yet a two-person race.

    In South Carolina, billionaire activist Tom Steyer spent more than $19 million on television advertising — more than all the other candidates combined — in his quest for his first top finish in four contests. At his state campaign headquarters on Saturday, Steyer said he felt optimistic going into the vote and was looking ahead to trips to Alabama and Texas, two Super Tuesday states.

    Not ceding anything, Pete Buttigieg is fighting to prove he can build a multiracial coalition. And with the help of super PACs, Warren and Klobuchar vowed to keep pushing forward no matter how they finished on Saturday.

    Still, Saturday was all about Biden and whether he might convince anxious establishment Democrats to rally behind him at last.

    Elected officials inclined to embrace his moderate politics had been reluctant to support him after bad finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire and a distant second place in Nevada last week. Yet fearing Sanders’ polarizing progressive priorities, they’re still searching for an alternative who’s viewed as a safer bet to defeat Trump in November.

    Senior Biden adviser Symone Sanders shifted away from calling South Carolina Biden’s “firewall” and instead called it a “springboard,” on par with how the state boosted the presidential aspirations of Barack Obama in 2008 and Clinton in 2016.

    That sentiment was echoed by former senior Obama adviser David Axelrod, who said a big Biden win in South Carolina could give him a Super Tuesday boost that might force several candidates to quickly consider whether to proceed, including Bloomberg.

    “If Biden wins by a big margin, it will translate into a bigger day for him on Tuesday,” Axelrod said. “And if he beats Bloomberg by a significant margin on Tuesday, Bloomberg is going to have to consider what he’s doing here.”

    Indeed, South Carolina represented much more than the fourth state on the Democrats’ months-long primary calendar.

    It serves as the first major test of the candidates’ strength with African American voters, who will be critical both in the general election and the rest of the primary season.

    African American voters in South Carolina backed Biden over any other candidate by a significant margin, according to AP VoteCast, a wide-ranging survey of the electorate. Close to half of black voters supported him, compared with 2 in 10 supporting Sanders and about the same for businessman Tom Steyer.

    There was also evidence that Biden’s status as former President Barack Obama’s two-term vice president helped him win over African Americans.

    VoteCast found that about 4 in 10 voters in South Carolina wanted to return to the politics of the past, compared to about a third in Iowa and New Hampshire. That includes the roughly 50% of African American voters who said they want a Democratic presidential nominee who would emulate the Obama’s presidency.

    By comparison, roughly two-thirds of white voters wanted a presidential candidate who would bring fundamental change to Washington.

    While voting technology was a concern in two of the last three primary contests, South Carolina uses a wide array of voting technology that presents unique challenges.

    Saturday’s election in South Carolina marks the first statewide test of its new fleet of electronic voting machines, a $50 million upgrade from an old and vulnerable system that lacked any paper record of individual votes. The new machines produce a paper record that can be verified by the voter and checked after the election to detect any malfunction or manipulation.


    Related:

    Bernie Wins Nevada

    Ethiopian Americans Voting Early in Nevada (UPDATE)

    The presidential contest turns to African American and Latino voters

    Bernie Sanders Wins New Hampshire Primary (Update)

    Ethiopian Meatpackers Go for Bernie in Iowa (2020 U.S. Election Update)

    Joe Biden Officially Announces He is Running for U.S President in 2020

    Addisu Demissie to Manage Cory Booker’s 2020 U.S. Presidential Campaign

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    Spotlight: Words Matter, An Exhibition by Wosene Kosrof at Skoto Gallery in NYC

    Sea of Words IV, 2018 by Wosene Worke Kosrof. (Courtesy of Skoto Gallery)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: February 28th, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) — Artist Wosene Worke Kosrof returns to New York City this March for his seventh solo exhibition at Skoto Gallery.

    Wosene’s new show titled Words Matter, Two will be on display from March 5th to April 18, 2020 with the artist present at the opening reception on Thursday, March 5th, 6-8pm.

    Skoto Gallery’s press release notes that Wosene’s recent work “continues his long-standing exploration of the interplay between language, identity, aesthetic beauty and material using the language symbols of Amharic – one of the few ancient written systems in Africa – as a core compositional element” adding that “his work is dense with visual complexity that reflects an awareness of a vast array of both formal and inherited traditions.”

    Wosene shares: “I am seeking the poetic or artistic value of the “fidel” or language symbols themselves, and I see my work as visual poetry. The writing in my painting does not tell a literal story, but rather a visual story. The Amharic “fiedel” are extremely beautiful and have rhythmic and dancing forms. I “choreograph” them on canvas, I cut them apart, turn them upside down, repeat sections of them to discover the beauty of written language and to think about how we communicate. I communicate with color, line and composition, rather than with sounds, conventional words and literal narratives”.

    Biography of Wosene Worke Kosrof courtesy of Skoto Gallery:

    Wosene (his professional name) was born 1950 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and received a BFA from The School of Fine Art, Addis Ababa and an MFA from Howard University, Washington DC in 1980. He is an artist of international reputation, widely exhibited in Africa, Europe, Japan, the US and the Caribbean. Selected museum exhibitions include: Keith Haring Museum of Japan, Kobuchizawa, Japan, 2017; Sharjah Museum Calligraphy Biennial, UAE, 2014; Transformations: Recent Contemporary African Art Acquisitions, Fowler Museum, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, 2009; Newark Museum, Newark, NJ 2004; National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC 2004; Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; and Seven Stories about Modern Art in Africa, Whitechapel Gallery, London 1995.

    Collections include the National Museum of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa; The National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA; The Newark Museum, NJ; The Neuberger Museum at Purchase, NY; Birmingham Museum of Art, AL; Indianapolis Museum of Art, IN; Keith Haring Museum of Japan, Kobuchizawa; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC; Fowler Museum, UCLA, CA; Samuel P. Harn Museum, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; and The Voelkerkunde Museum, Zurich, Switzerland as well as many international private and corporate collections.


    If You Go
    WOSENE WORKE KOSROF Words Matter, Two
    March 5 – April 18, 2020
    opening reception on Thursday, March 5th, 6-8pm.
    Skoto Gallery
    529 West 20th St, 5F
    New York, NY 10011
    212-352-8058
    info@skotogallery.com
    www.skotogallery.com

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    The Ethiopians Returning Home (BBC)

    About two million Ethiopians live in the diaspora, the government estimates. About half...have found new homes in the US, particularly in Washington DC, which boasts a huge, thriving Ethiopian community. (BBC)

    BBC

    The Ethiopians Returning Home to Start Businesses

    Hundreds of Ethiopians who have been living abroad are returning to the country, following reforms brought in by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

    Mr Abiy’s ambitious reforms include changing the law to enable more Ethiopians living abroad to come back and help rebuild the economy.

    For years, Ethiopia’s economy has been tightly controlled by the state and closed to many international investors.

    About two million Ethiopians live in the diaspora, the government estimates.

    About half of those displaced Ethiopians have found new homes in the US, particularly in Washington DC, which boasts a huge, thriving Ethiopian community.

    Abiy Bister owns an Ethiopian restaurant in Washington DC. He hasn’t seen his homeland in almost two decades, but now he is considering returning to Ethiopia to start a business there.

    “Everybody is positive. I remember days where people were not talking to each other…but now you see a lot of positive change, in that people are appreciating the positive vibe that is coming to the country,” he tells the BBC.

    Changing mindsets

    Aside from seeking to establish common ground between the 80 different ethnic groups in Ethiopia, the government has focused on economic reforms to help liberalise the economy and make the country an attractive business destination in Africa.


    Celebrity chef Yohannis Gebreyesus has his sights set on making Ethiopian food more popular internationally

    Ethiopia has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, but it also has a vast number of unemployed young people.

    According to the National Bank of Ethiopia, remittances to Ethiopia have risen dramatically in recent years and now total over $3bn (£2.3bn), as Ethiopians living abroad send money home to support family and invest in local businesses.

    Among those who are already reaping the benefits of that change is celebrity chef Yohannis Gebreyesus. After more than eight years studying and working in the US and France, he returned to Ethiopia and is now making his name in the food industry.

    “As we know, tourism is becoming big, so the hospitality industry is becoming crucial. Not only shaping what we eat, but the service as well, is an important part of my work,” he says.

    Mr Gebreyesus hosts a weekly TV programme showcasing the best of Ethiopian food and recently authored a book. He added that he has his sights set on making Ethiopian food recognised even further globally.

    Read more »


    Related:

    Spotlight: BBC Hosts ‘Icons of New York’ Interview with Marcus Samuelsson

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    Ethiopian Crown Council Honors TSEHAI & Loyola Marymount on Adwa Anniversary

    President of Loyola Marymount University Timothy Law Snyder, Founder of TSEHAI Elias Wondimu, Director of the Marymount Institute Professor Theresia de Vroom and Senior Vice-President for Student Affairs Elena (Lane) M. Bove. (Courtesy photos)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Published: February 27th, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) — This weekend in Washington D.C., the President of the Crown Council of Ethiopia, Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie, who is the grandson of Emperor Haile Selassie, will host the annual Victory of Adwa Commemoration dinner & award ceremony at the Army and Navy Club.

    Among those who will be recognized with the Victory of Adwa Centenary Medal at this year’s celebration include four individuals from Loyola Marymount University in California, which is home to Tsehai Publishers. The honorees include Founder of TSEHAI, Elias Wondimu; President Timothy Law Snyder; Senior Vice-President for Student Affairs, Elena (Lane) Bove; and Director of the Marymount Institute, Professor Theresia de Vroom.

    In a statement earlier this month the Crown Council said: “This year’s awardees are selected for their lifetime achievements and community service.”

    “The LMU delegation was chosen for their contributions in sustaining the publishing program of TSEHAI,” the university said in a press release. “Since 2007, TSEHAI has been affiliated with Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California.”

    The announcement added:

    “Under the direction of Dr. Theresia de Vroom, a professor of English, the Marymount Institute of Faith, Culture and the Arts developed a deep partnership with the publisher. Since then, TSEHAI, the Marymount Institute Press, and their two additional imprints have published more than 120 books.”

    Since the closure of Howard University Press, TSEHAI remains the only African-owned and operated publisher of books at any university outside of Africa. With this great responsibility, TSEHAI strives to publish works that fight against misinformation about Africa and Ethiopia in particular. In both English and Amharic, these publications range from prose and poetry to political texts, such as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s recent works Medemer and Fruit of the Lips. TSEHAI also publishes two academic journals focusing on Ethiopia — the International Journal of Ethiopian Studies and the Ethiopian Journal of Religious Studies.

    The first honoree, Elias Wondimu was previously recognized by the Crown Council in 2017, when he received the distinguished award of Grand Officer of the Imperial Order of Emperor Menelik II. Since then, Elias has continued his work in service of Ethiopia, returning to his home country for the first time in nearly twenty-five years in 2018.

    Timothy Law Snyder, serves as the sixteenth President of Loyola Marymount University and has been a professor and administrator for nearly thirty years in Catholic Jesuit education. One of his principal missions is “global imagination,” which acknowledges the role of the university as key in forming young people who are conscious of global cultures and issues.

    Lane Bove, began her career as Senior Vice President for Student Affairs at Loyola Marymount University in 1987. As the Board Chair of the Marymount Institute, Bove has played an instrumental role in bringing TSEHAI Publishers to Loyola Marymount University and sustaining it as a vital program at the university.

    Theresia de Vroom is Professor of English Literature, Director of the Marymount Institute for Faith, Culture and the Arts, and Editor of the Marymount Institute Press. As Director of the Marymount Institute, Professor de Vroom is responsible for bringing TSEHAI Publishers to Loyola Marymount University and plays an important role in its current global operations.

    The 9th Annual Victory of the Battle of Adwa Commemoration dinner will be hosted at the Army and Navy Club in Washington D.C by the President of the Crown Council of Ethiopia on February 29th, 2020. The Battle of Adwa was a monumental event in African history as it resulted in a victory of Ethiopia over the Italians.

    Related:

    MoA Anbessa Hosts ADWA Dinner in D.C.

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    Ethiopia Skips Nile Talks in DC (AP)

    The announcement came amid widespread concerns in Ethiopia that its delegation has been pressured by the U.S. to reach a deal on $4.6 billion dam that is nearing completion. The U.S. became involved in the talks after Egypt’s invitation. (Photo: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa on Tuesday Feb. 18, 2020/AP)

    The Associated Press

    By ELIAS MESERET

    Ethiopia skips latest US talks with Egypt over dam dispute

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Ethiopia will skip the latest round of U.S.-brokered talks this week on a disputed Nile dam project with Egypt and Sudan, the country’s water ministry announced Wednesday.

    A final deal on the massive Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam had been expected this month, but U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in his Ethiopia visit last week that an agreement now might take months as “a great deal of work remains.”

    The dispute over what will be Africa’s largest hydroelectric dam pits Ethiopia’s desire to pull millions out of poverty against Egypt’s concerns over a critical water supply.

    Ethiopia will skip the talks in Washington on Thursday and Friday “because the country’s delegation hasn’t concluded its consultation with relevant stakeholders,” the ministry of water, irrigation and energy said on its Facebook page. “The decision has been communicated with the U.S. Treasury secretary.”

    The announcement came amid widespread concerns in Ethiopia that its delegation has been pressured by the U.S. to reach a deal on $4.6 billion dam that is nearing completion. The U.S. became involved in the talks after Egypt’s invitation.

    “Ethiopia will never sign on an agreement that will surrender its right to use the Nile River,” the Ethiopian ambassador to the U.S., Fitsum Arega, said on Twitter.

    Responding to Ethiopia’s decision to sit out this week’s meeting, Egypt’s foreign ministry spokesman, Ahmed Hafez, asserted that Egypt remained “committed to the negotiation track … according to what was agreed upon by the three countries.” He said the Egyptian irrigation minister would attend the talks.

    Egypt wants the dam to be filled more slowly to reduce restrictions on the flow of the Nile.

    Ethiopia says the dam is needed to provide electricity for development. In January it announced that it will start filling the dam, now more than 70% complete, in July at the start of the rainy season.

    “There was lots of discomfort recently due to the behavior and changing role of the U.S. among policy makers in Ethiopia,” political analyst Abel Abate Demissie told The Associated Press.


    Related:

    Ethiopia asks U.S. to postpone final talks on Blue Nile dam (Reuters)

    Why Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan should ditch a rushed, Washington-brokered Nile Treaty (Brookings)

    Ethiopia says US plans ‘substantial financial support’ (AP)

    U.S. to offer financial support for Ethiopia political reforms -PM (Reuters)

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    Columbia University Names Julie Mehretu Artist-in-Residence Focusing on Brain Science & the Arts

    Artist Julie Mehretu is one of three trailblazers in visual arts, music and creative writing who have been named by Columbia University's Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute as the 2020 Artists-in-Residence. (Photo: Julie Mehretu in New York © Nathan Bajar/The New York Times/Redux/Eyevine)

    Columbia University

    Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute Announces Three Artists-in-Residence, Fostering Connections Between Brain Science and the Arts

    Year-long program embeds award-winning painter, jazz musician and author with scientists studying the mind, the brain and behavior

    NEW YORK — A trio of pioneers in the fields of visual arts, jazz and literature have been named as the 2020 Artists-in-Residence at Columbia’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute. Artist Julie Mehretu, musician Miguel Zenón and author Nicole Krauss will spend the next year collaborating with scientists at the Institute in an endeavor that immerses artists in the cutting-edge field of neuroscience.

    “Science and the arts have much to learn from each other, and the Artist-in-Residence program provides a concrete way to bridge these disciplines. I cannot think of a better group of artists to enrich our scientific community,” said Rui Costa, DVM, PhD, Director and CEO of Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute. “By building bridges between neuroscience and creative expression, while also strengthening our links to our neighboring communities, these artists-in-residence will inspire scientists, artists and the public to think creatively about their work, how each of us, using our own medium and expertise, can provide a positive impact on society.”

    During their residencies, each artist will work with Zuckerman Institute researchers and scientists across the University, as well as engage with the neighboring communities in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx. The artists-in-residence, each hosted by a Zuckerman Institute faculty member, will develop, participate and lead a variety of events, from formal lectures, seminars and performances, to informal workshops, collaborations and conversations. By the end of their residencies, each artist — as well as the scientists and members of the wider Columbia and neighboring communities — stands to benefit from access to new knowledge and perspectives…

    More about the 2020 Artists-in-Residence:

    Julie Mehretu, Alan Kanzer Artist-in-Residence

    Julie Mehretu is a world-renowned painter, born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, who lives and works in New York City and Berlin. Mehretu is a MacArthur Fellow and recipient of the US Department of State Medal of Arts Award. She has shown her work extensively in international and national solo and group exhibitions and is represented in public and private collections around the world. Projects include completing two large-scale paintings for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Atrium in September 2017. Recent exhibitions include Venice Biennale and a mid-career survey at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which travels to The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York in 2020.

    Read the full article at columbia.edu »


    Related:

    Julie Mehretu’s Mid-Career Survey at LA County Museum of Art

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    Spotlight: BBC Hosts ‘Icons of New York’ Interview with Marcus Samuelsson

    Marcus Samuelsson is one of the 'Icons of New York' featured in the upcoming BBC World Service program set for public taping in New York City on March 2nd, 2020. (Photo: @MarcusCooks/Twitter)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: March 1st, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) — The BBC World Service Radio is hosting a special recording of a program called Icons of New York featuring the internationally renowned Chef, Author and Entrepreneur Marcus Samuelsson as well as the legendary NYC-born Musician Darryl McDaniels best known by his stage name DMC and who is credited as one of the original artists behind global hip hop culture.

    The BBC session, which is open to the public, is set to take place on March 2nd at The Greene Space in downtown Manhattan. The broadcaster notes: “Icons of New York share their life stories and secrets of the city..Marcus is a leading light of New York cuisine running an international restaurant chain but with his heart firmly grounded in the stories of the place he now calls home – Harlem.”

    One of the major breakthroughs of Marcus Samuelsson’s professional success came in 2009 when he was invited by President Barack Obama to prepare their first White House State Dinner.

    “It was the highest honor. That was Barack Obama’s first State Dinner so it was extremely important for him,” Marcus told Tadias at the time. “And it was an honor for me not only to be asked but also to do it.” The White House State Dinner was in honor of the visiting Prime Minister of India. Marcus added: “Michelle wanted a vegetarian dinner as much as possible as Mr. Singh is vegetarian so we came with fresh but very humble ingredients. For me, when I did the State Dinner I wanted to show the best of America and the best of India. I also wanted to show the White House as someone’s home.”


    Marcus Samuelsson with President Barack Obama. (@MarcusCooks/Twitter)

    Marcus, who more than two decades ago became the youngest chef ever to receive two three-star ratings from the New York Times, is also the author of several books including the New American Table, The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa, Marcus Off Duty, The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem, and his acclaimed memoir Yes, Chef. More recently Marcus has been hosting a popular television show on PBS titled No Passport Required, which celebrates the food and arts of America’s vibrant immigrant neighborhoods. The show is now in its second season that kicked off last month in Los Angeles with the premiere episode exploring the city’s Armenian community and cuisine.

    At the BBC event on March 2nd, Marcus joins the legendary rap star DMC who “grew up in Hollis Queens and has more than a story or two to tell about a lifetime in New York,” the press release stated. “He was at the forefront of revolutionary change in the New York music scene with the arrival of hip hop. And whilst Run-DMC had huge success that came with some dramatic lows. The ‘Devastating Mic Controller’ talks us through the early years of hip hop, his struggles with alcohol and anxiety and his lifelong love affair with comic books.”


    If You Go:

    New York Stories with Joe Pascal on BBC World Service – come and be part of our studio audience

    Date And Time
    Mon, March 2, 2020
    12:00 PM – 3:30 PM EST
    The Greene Space
    44 Charlton Street
    New York, NY 10014
    Click here for more info.

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    Ethiopia Delays New Telecoms Licences

    Customers at an Ethio Telecom branch in Addis Ababa. (Reuters photo by Tiksa Negeri)

    Reuters

    By Dawit Endeshaw

    Ethiopia Delays Award of New Telecoms Licences

    ADDIS ABABA, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Ethiopia will delay beyond a March deadline the award of two telecoms licences to multinational mobile companies, responding to requests from interested bidders, State Minister of Finance Eyob Tekalign Tolina told Reuters on Wednesday.

    “The timeline is probably too aggressive for most operators,” Eyob said in an interview in his office in the capital Addis Ababa.

    “They have requested the government should … allow them enough amount of time to prepare and compete.” He said a new timeline will be announced in the next two weeks.

    Reuters reported last June that Ethiopia would issue the licences by the end of 2019, quoting Ethiopian officials and telecoms executives with direct knowledge of the process.

    Balch Reba, director general of the Ethiopian Communication Authority, then said in October that the government hoped to launch the bidding process early this year and award the licences by April 2020. Reba did not respond to requests for comments on the new timeline.


    Zimbabwe Billionaire to Bid for Ethiopian Telecoms License (Bloomberg)


    Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masiyiwa seeks to acquire a telecommunications license in Ethiopia. (Bloomberg)

    Bloomberg

    Econet Global Ltd., owned by Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masiyiwa, is keen to acquire a telecommunications license in Ethiopia, which is opening up the industry to foreign investment for the first time.

    The Horn of African nation has announced plans to sell as much as 49% of the state-owned monopoly, Ethiopian Telecommunications Corp., and issue two new spectrum licenses. Carriers including Orange SA, MTN Group Ltd. and Vodacom Group Ltd. have already shown interest in the nation of more than 100 million people, which has a relatively low level of data penetration and internet access.

    “Econet, through a number of its subsidiaries, is actively developing interests in Ethiopia,” a company spokesman said in an emailed response to questions. “Given that there is a competitive process on new licenses, it would not be appropriate at this stage to discuss our own positioning.”

    Econet has operations in Africa in Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Burundi, and investments in Europe and South America. Masiyiwa’s Liquid Telecoms, Africa’s biggest fiber company, has assets across the continent.

    The government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had scheduled the liberalization of the industry for early this year, but delayed the process because of elections to be held in August and also to give bidders for the new licenses more time to prepare. It has yet to provide guidance on the exercise, including any limits on foreign ownership.

    Read more »


    Related:

    Ethiopia Red Tape Is Barrier for Business as Country Opens Up (Bloomberg)

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    Berlin: Government Support Has Ethiopian Biz Ready to Boom (Variety)

    That was the takeaway from a presentation Sunday morning at the Berlinale Africa Hub, led by producer Mehret Mandefro (“Difret”) and director Abraham Gezahagne, who outlined the opportunities and challenges for the film and TV industry in Africa’s second-most populous nation. (CREDIT: EFM 2020)

    Variety

    For the past decade, Ethiopia has boasted the world’s fastest-growing economy, and its new reform-minded government seems determined to harness that growth to transform an already vibrant creative sector.

    That was the takeaway from a presentation Sunday morning at the Berlinale Africa Hub, led by producer Mehret Mandefro (“Difret”) and director Abraham Gezahagne, who outlined the opportunities and challenges for the film and TV industry in Africa’s second-most populous nation.

    Ethiopia’s production sector is booming, with roughly 175 films released in 2018 and fervid support from audiences hungry for local content. “A lot of our films don’t end up crossing over [into the international market], but it’s a really burgeoning scene,” said Mandefro.

    The industry has begun to look outward in recent years, following the festival success of films like “Difret,” the 2014 Sundance audience award winner executive produced by Angelina Jolie and directed by Zeresenay Berhane Mehari, and “Sweetness in the Belly,” the 2018 Toronto player also directed by Mehari.

    Those movies have helped the Ethiopian government, led since 2018 by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, to recognize the potential of the film industry as not only a cultural force but a prime driver of economic growth.

    Read more »


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    Ethiopia: 29 Injured at Pro-Abiy Rally (AFP)

    A rally in support of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came under attack in the town of Ambo, located roughly 100 kilometres (60 miles) west of the capital, Addis Ababa (AFP Photo)

    AFP

    Ethiopia: 29 Injured in ‘Bomb Attack’ at Pro-Abiy Rally (AFP)

    Addis Ababa (AFP) – A “bomb attack” on a rally in support of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed injured nearly 30 people Sunday, a police official said, in the latest sign of instability ahead of elections in August.

    The incident occurred in the town of Ambo, located roughly 100 kilometres (60 miles) west of the capital, Addis Ababa.

    “The bomb attack on a rally for Dr. Abiy has injured 29 people, of whom 28 have been treated and sent home,” Arasa Merdasa, the top police official in Ethiopia’s Oromia region, where Ambo is located, told the state-run Ethiopian News Agency.

    “Police have arrested six people who are suspected in the attack,” Arasa said.

    Ethiopia’s electoral board has scheduled landmark national polls for August 29.

    Opposition parties and civil society organisations have questioned whether the elections will be peaceful and credible, citing persistent ethnic violence since Abiy was appointed in 2018 following several years of anti-government protests.

    The formal campaign period begins in May.

    Abiy did not attend Sunday’s rally, which was organised by officials in Ambo.

    Abiy, the winner of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize, hopes the elections will secure him a mandate to continue with an ambitious agenda of political and economic reforms.

    Arasa said Sunday’s attack was believed to be the work of the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), the breakaway armed wing of the Oromo Liberation Front, an opposition party.

    Officials have also blamed the OLA for the assassination on Friday of the top security official in Burayu, another Oromia town located on the outskirts of Addis Ababa.

    That attack left three other people injured, and police “vowed to hunt down” those responsible, state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate reported.

    Arasa declined to answer questions about the latest violence in Oromia when contacted Sunday, referring an AFP reporter to the Ethiopian News Agency report.


    Related:

    Nearly 30 injured in bombing at rally for Ethiopian PM

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    Bernie Wins Nevada (US Election Update)

    Casino workers hold up presidential preference cards as they support Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., during a presidential caucus at the Bellagio hotel-casino, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo)

    The Associated Press

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Bernie Sanders scored a resounding victory in Nevada’s presidential caucuses on Saturday, cementing his status as the Democrats’ national front-runner amid escalating tensions over whether he’s too liberal to defeat President Donald Trump.

    The 78-year-old Vermont senator successfully rallied his fiercely loyal base and tapped into support from Nevada’s large Latino community as the Democratic contest moved for the first time into a state with a significant minority population.

    The win built on Sanders’ win earlier this month in the New Hampshire primary. He essentially tied for first place in the Iowa caucuses with Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who has sought to position himself as an ideological counter to Sanders’ unabashed progressive politics, but was fighting for a distant second place in Nevada.

    The victory, while encouraging for Sanders supporters, only deepens concern among establishment-minded Democratic leaders who fear that the self-described democratic socialist is too extreme to defeat Trump. Sanders for decades has been calling for transformative policies to address inequities in politics and the economy, none bigger than his signature “Medicare for All” health care plan that would replace the private insurance system with a government-run universal system.

    Despite establishment anxiety, moderates are struggling to unify behind a single candidate, and the vote on Saturday was again split between several centrists, including Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden.

    Also in the mix: Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who desperately needed a spark to revive her stalled bid; billionaire Tom Steyer, who spent more than $12 million on Nevada television, and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who hoped to prove her strong New Hampshire finish was no fluke.

    After the chaos of Iowa’s caucuses, there were concerns about Nevada’s similar setup. But no major problems were in sight.

    At noon, under sunny skies, dozens of uniformed housekeepers and casino workers cast ballots in the Bellagio, one of seven casino-resorts on the Las Vegas Strip among 200 locations statewide that hosted caucuses. Nevada is the third contest on a 2020 election calendar marked by chaos and uncertainty after the opening votes in Iowa and New Hampshire, overwhelmingly white, rural states.

    The first presidential contest in the West is testing the candidates’ strength with black and Latino voters for the first time in 2020. Nevada’s population aligns more with the U.S. as a whole, compared with Iowa and New Hampshire: 29% Latino, 10% black and 9% Asian American and Pacific Islander.

    Read more »


    Related:

    Why Bernie Sanders Is Winning Black and Brown Voters This Time (GQ)

    Ethiopian Americans Voting Early in Nevada (UPDATE)

    The presidential contest turns to African American and Latino voters

    Bernie Sanders Wins New Hampshire Primary (Update)

    Ethiopian Meatpackers Go for Bernie in Iowa (2020 U.S. Election Update)

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Video: Queen of England in Ethiopia 1965

    The Queen with Emperor Haile Selassie in Addis Ababa, 1965. (Getty Images)

    Daily Express

    Slow but extravagant – The unique way the Queen chose to travel Ethiopia

    THE QUEEN is one of the most well-travelled monarchs in history, having spanned the globe as part of her royal tours. Though its no surprise she often flew by private jet or a chauffeured car, a new documentary reveals the extravagant mode of transport she once opted for during tour in Ethiopia.

    As part of her royal duty, The Queen has travelled far and wide representing the United Kingdom. In fact, she has spanned the entire globe approximately 42 times during these travels.

    It’s no surprise to hear that she spent numerous journeys in private jets, onboard the royal train or in chauffeured cars, however on a royal tour in 1965, the Queen chose to travel her destination another way.

    As part of a new Channel 4 documentary exploring the secrets of the royal tour, insiders revealed the extravagant way the Queen travelled through Ethiopia.

    While her method of transport was certainly luxurious, it was slow too.

    “Progress was slow for the royal couple as they travelled in a state coach drawn by six white horses, flanked by 100 horsemen of the imperial bodyguard each of which wore a heavy lions main helmet.,” states the show’s narrator.

    Read more and watch the video »


    Related:

    Watch: British Royal Visit To Ethiopia (1965)

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    Little Ethiopia in Las Vegas: Interview with Assemblyman Alexander Assefa

    Assemblyman Alexander Assefa of the Nevada State Assembly. (@AlexAssefa4NV)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Published: February 21st, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) — The vibrant small businesses in central Las Vegas that are owned by Ethiopian entrepreneurs will likely get a boost when their neighborhood officially becomes designated as ‘Little Ethiopia’ in the next few months.

    “Little Ethiopia is literally located within less than two miles away from the tourist district,” Assemblyman Alexander Assefa said in a recent interview with Tadias.

    Assemblyman Alex (as he is popularly known within the Ethiopian community) added: “The byproduct of being known and exposed for the rest of the world is that you get to start solving problems within your own community. Especially intra-community issues and things that are challenging, particularly to the immigrant community and to the Ethiopian American community here in Las Vegas. This is part of a multi-faceted approach to getting long-term solutions for our people.”

    Little Ethiopia in Las Vegas will also become the first officially designated cultural neighborhood in Nevada, and only the second Little Ethiopia neighborhood in the United States.

    “Little Ethiopia is a very diverse place, a beautiful area,” Assemblyman Assefa enthused. “Everybody should visit Las Vegas and when you do make sure you stop by and experience the hospitality and the amazing people that we have here.” He added: “It’s truly an emblematic of who we are as Ethiopians: hospitable, kind, and fun to hang out with. It’s a very bright place to be.”

    Assefa shared that when he first came up with the idea, his state had never done such a thing before. “The whole concept was strange to them and they didn’t know what the hell to do with me,” he laughed. They said, “We don’t have legislation that allows us to do what you’re asking to do.” Alex told them: “Well, that is why as lawmakers we write the law and we make it happen.”

    Recalling the process Alex added: “We literally worked on what we call, the ‘Cultural District Designation Policy’ over the summer. And generally this is a policy that is an umbrella for everybody else, not just little Ethiopia.”

    The Cultural District Designation Policy “is a guidance for any other community that comes forward with a similar issue. They would have to fulfill the requirements of this policy and be compliant with the guidelines that are set forth in the policy.” The policy was officially adopted in September 2019 and Alex was able to introduce a resolution for Little Ethiopia.

    Assemblyman Assefa represents Nevada’s 42nd Assembly District, which includes the proposed Little Ethiopia enclave, and he is the first Ethiopian American to be elected into office in the Nevada Legislature. To our knowledge he is also the first Ethiopian American ever elected in the U.S. to a state-wide governing body.

    But before the Board of County Commissioners in Clark County, Nevada approves the Little Ethiopia resolution, however, the proposal must be presented before two town boards whose geographical locations encompass the neighborhood that boasts at least 60 Ethiopian small businesses including coffee shops, markets and 17 restaurants.

    “I have to show up before them and defend my proposal and answer their questions,” Assemblyman Assefa told Tadias. “Little Ethiopia, as proposed right now, crisscrosses two town boards jurisdictions, the Paradise Town Board and Spring Valley Town Board.”

    Assemblyman Assefa admits that the process has not been easy but he is optimistic of the final result. “There are people that support the resolution and there are people that oppose it; the conversation is ongoing,” he continued. “So the politics of it was pretty frustrating to say the least, but we’re in the final stages and have a solid idea of the size of the district and and where it will be.”


    Assemblyman Alexander Assefa and County Commissioner Michael Naft at a Coffee and Conversation event with residents of their district in Las Vegas, Aug 16, 2019. (@AlexAssefa4NV)


    Residents attend a Coffee and Conversation event in Las Vegas hosted by Assemblyman Alexander Assefa and Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft, Aug 16, 2019. (@AlexAssefa4NV)


    Assemblyman Alexander Assefa speaking at the 18th Anniversary of Little Ethiopia Los Angeles, Sep 10, 2019. (@AlexAssefa4NV)


    (@AlexAssefa4NV)


    Assemblyman Alexander Assefa attends Meskel 2019 celebration with Las Vegas Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Churches. (@AlexAssefa4NV)

    According to local media there are an estimated 40,000 to 60,000 Ethiopians in the Las Vegas area, but they also point out that this estimate is at odds with the official count that indicates a much lower number. “You hear all sorts of numbers as to how many of us exists here,” Assemblyman Assefa said. “I’ve lived here since 2006. I came to the United States in 2000, and my experience has been that I have seen an exponential increase of Ethiopians who have immigrated here or arrived from other states to Nevada, especially during the economic downturn and the recession that we had between 2008 and 2012.”

    In part, Assefa said, that’s because Nevada is a very affordable state to live in. “The cost of living is very low, we don’t have income tax here,” he said. “we have a service industry that is very fairly easy to get into and make decent money without having to spend a lot on your cost of living.” He noted that: “In return what that means is that you can aspire to be a small business owner. So we had a very large influx. But at the end of the day, we still don’t know how many people we have here who are descendants of Ethiopians.”

    Assemblyman Assefa also announced his re-election campaign this week, stating that Ethiopian Americans play a very important role in the makeup of Las Vegas, yet generally are not known to the larger community. “We are not seen because, in part, we don’t participate in the affairs of our communities, in the electoral process or in other activities. We generally keep to ourselves. The concept behind introducing Little Ethiopia is to change that and to allow the larger community to interact with the Ethiopian community.”

    Regarding his record so far as an Assemblyman in the Nevada Legislature, Assefa shared that in his first 120 days in office he was involved in about 64 different bills and legislations that he either introduced and worked on in the Legislature that impacts the healthcare sector, education, criminal justice, and affordable housing. “All of these are hot button issues that are important for our people. I was involved in and making sure that our voice was reflected in the policymaking process,” he said. “The vast majority of those bills are currently signed by our state governor and are state law.”

    “Now I’m asking the support of everybody to help me get re-elected and get back to the legislature to continue working on the progress that I started in 2019,” says Alex, “and to build on top of that to leave a better legacy and a better Nevada. So if you are not in Las Vegas specifically, you’re not in my district then obviously, you cannot vote for me. If you are here, I ask that you vote for me. But anybody who is a resident of the United States can also contribute to my campaign.”

    As the Little Ethiopia resolution goes towards the final stage in the approval process it includes taking recommendations of the town boards back to the seven-member county commission for a final vote.

    “The goal is to get seven out of seven votes in favor of the resolution,” Assemblyman Assefa shared. “You do have to have the majority of the county Board of Commissioners, that’s four votes out of seven. But we’re shooting for 7 out of 7.”


    Related:

    ‘Little Ethiopia’ district is now a step closer to becoming a reality

    ‘Little Ethiopia’ may find home in central Las Vegas

    You can learn more about Assemblyman Alexander Assefa at www.assefa4thepeople.com.

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    World Athletics: Ababel Yeshaneh Breaks Half Marathon Record

    Ababel Yeshaneh of Ethiopia smashed the world record by 20 seconds on Friday winning the 2020 Ras Al Khaimah half marathon at the World Athletics Gold Label road race in UAE. (Photo via worldathletics.org)

    Reuters

    Athletics: Ethiopia’s Yeshaneh smashes half marathon world record by 20 seconds

    Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh smashed the half marathon world record by 20 seconds on Friday to win the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) event in the United Arab Emirates on Friday.

    Yeshaneh crossed the finish line in one hour, four minutes and 31 seconds at the World Athletics Gold Label road race, eclipsing the previous record of 1:04:51 set by Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei in Valencia in 2017.

    Marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei finished second, and her time was also two seconds inside Jepkosgei’s mark.

    Both Yeshaneh and Kosgei were wearing a version of Nike’s Vaporfly shoes, which have featured in several other track and road records in the last three years.

    Some earlier models of the shoe were banned by World Athletics last month, but the latest one launched by Nike complies with the rules to limit carbon plate usage and sole thickness for elite races.

    “I didn’t imagine this result,” said Yeshaneh, whose previous best of 1:05:46 had stood as the Ethiopian record for five months between 2018 and 2019.


    Related:

    Yeshaneh breaks half marathon world record in Ras Al Khaimah (World Athletics)

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    Looted 18th Century Crown Returned to Ethiopia After Decades (AP)

    Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, right, receives with gloved hands during a ceremony to hand over a lost crown Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. The 18th Century Ethiopian crown has been returned home after being hidden in a Dutch flat for the past 21-years. (The Office of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed via AP)

    The Associated Press

    By ELIAS MESERET

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — A rare and looted crown from the 18th century was returned to Ethiopia on Thursday after it was discovered in the Netherlands two decades ago.

    The Dutch government facilitated the handover “with the belief that it has a duty to restitute this important artifact back to Ethiopia,” the office of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said, sharing photos of a smiling Abiy holding the ceremonial crown.

    “This is a historic day for us,” Hirut Kassaw, Ethiopia’s minister for culture and tourism, told The Associated Press.

    The religious crown went missing in 1993 and was discovered in Rotterdam in October. “I still don’t know how this crown and the other items were looted and taken out of Ethiopia,” the culture minister said, adding that several other items were stolen including a cross.

    Ethiopia, like many African nations, has been outspoken about seeing artifacts returned home from museums and private owners around the world. Last year the National Army Museum in Britain said it would return two locks of hair from the widely revered Ethiopian Emperor Tewodros.

    The Dutch government in a statement Thursday said the crown was the property of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. It said the crown went missing from the Holy Trinity Church in the village of Cheleqot.

    For years the crown was in the hands of Sirak Asfaw, a Dutch national of Ethiopian origin, the statement said. He reached out to the foreign ministry last year “through the mediation of art detective Arthur Brand, to discuss how to return this important cultural artifact.”

    “He told us someone gave him to look after it. But after realizing it was of Ethiopian origin, he refused to return it back to the owner and kept it for 21 years,” the culture minister said.

    The crown is on display at Ethiopia’s national museum in the capital, Addis Ababa, for a few days and then will be returned to its original place in the church in Cheleqot, the minister said.

    The Dutch minister for foreign trade, Sigrid Kaag, attended the handover ceremony.

    “We’re honored and delighted to have been able to facilitate the rightful return,” Kaag said.


    Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, right, with gloved hands as he officially hands over a crown to the country’s tourism minister, Hirut Kassaw, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (The Office of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed via AP)


    An ancient crown that was taken from Ethiopia many years ago is seen in this photo taken inside the office of Abiy Ahmed Ethiopian Prime Minister, Thursday Feb. 20, 2020. The 18th Century Ethiopian crown has been returned home after being hidden in a Dutch flat for the past 21-years. (The Office of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed via AP)


    Related:

    Ethiopian 18th Century Crown Returns Home From Netherlands (BBC)

    Ethiopia gets back Christian crown spirited away to Rotterdam decades ago (Reuters)

    Precious Ethiopian Crown Returned — After 21 Years Stashed In A Dutch Apartment (NPR)

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    Mystery Sickness in Eastern Ethiopia?

    As villagers in Somali region fall ill in unexplained circumstances, some locals fear gas exploration has tainted the local water supply. (Photo: A natural gas well at one of the Hilal gas fields in Ethiopia’s Somali region/The Guardian)

    The Guardian

    The mystery sickness bringing death and dismay to eastern Ethiopia

    At first, 23-year-old Khadar Abdi Abdullahi’s eyes began turning yellow. Then the palms of his hands did the same. Soon he was bleeding from his nose, and from his mouth, and his body was swelling all over. Eventually he collapsed with fever. He later died.

    A deadly sickness is spreading through villages near a Chinese natural gas project in Ethiopia’s Somali region, according to locals and officials who spoke to the Guardian. Many of Khadar’s neighbours have suffered the same symptoms. Like him, some died.

    It is not clear what is causing the sickness, and officials in the federal government in Addis Ababa firmly denied allegations both of a health and environmental crisis in the Somali region, or of any problems relating to large-scale energy projects there.

    Poly-GCL, a partly state-owned Chinese company, has been prospecting for oil and gas in the Ogaden Basin, as the vicinity is known, since 2014. Calub, roughly 500km south-east of Jigjiga and near neighbouring Somalia, is due to start commercial gas production soon.

    Khadar, like many from the area, is suspicious that the sickness is caused by hazardous chemical waste that has poisoned the water supply.

    “It is the toxins that flow in the rainfall from Calub [gas field] that are responsible for this epidemic,” said Khadar, as he sat outdoors in the eastern Ethiopian city of Jigjiga.

    He had recently been discharged from hospital; doctors there said there was nothing more they could do for him. He was weak and thin and his eyes were sinking into their sockets.

    “There are new diseases that have never been seen before in this area,” said an adviser to the Somali regional government, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    “Without any public health protection, it is very clear that Poly-GCL uses chemicals that are detrimental to human health.”

    It is an allegation the Guardian heard repeatedly during a recent visit to the thinly populated scrubland that surrounds Calub gas field, though it was not able to independently verify its veracity.

    Poly-GCL did not respond to requests to comment.

    Ketsela Tadesse, director of licensing at the federal ministry of mines and petroleum, said the government was not aware of any reports of spillages, adding that in any case there were “there are no permanent settlers” in the vicinity of the gas field.

    “We can emphatically state that all the gas wells at Calub and elsewhere in the Ogaden Basin, are sealed, safe and secured … according to international standards,” Tadesse said.

    What is clear, however, is that the mysterious sickness has caused deaths.

    Read more »


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    Two Ethiopian Movies at 2020 New African Film Festival in Silver Spring, Maryland

    Opening with acclaimed historical drama 'Enchained' from Ethiopia, this year's New African Film Festival in Silver Spring, Maryland features 39 films from 25 countries. (Courtesy photo)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: February 20th, 2020

    Two Ethiopian Movies – ‘Enchained’ & ‘Anbessa’ – at 2020 New African Film Festival in Silver Spring, Maryland

    New York (TADIAS) — The new historical drama Enchained (ቁራኛዬ), that won awards in Best Film, Best Actor and Best Actress categories at Ethiopia’s 2019 Leza Awards, will be screened during opening night of the 2020 New African Film Festival in Silver Spring, Maryland next month. The festival is scheduled to take place at the historic AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center from March 5th to 19th.

    In addition to Enchained the festival will also feature the documentary movie titled Anbessa, which highlights the underreported environmental and humanitarian issues related to Ethiopia’s booming housing and construction industry.

    “The New African Film Festival is presented by The American Film Institute (AFI), Africa World Now Project and afrikafé, and showcases the vibrancy of African filmmaking from all corners of the continent and across the diaspora,” organizers said in a press statement. “Now in its 16th year, the festival brings the best in contemporary African cinema to the Washington, DC, area.”

    Below are descriptions and trailers of the two Ethiopian films courtesy of AFI:

    ENCHAINED [QURAGNAYE] [ቁራኛዬ]
    Thurs, March 5, 7:15 p.m.; also screens Wed, March 11, 9:30 p.m.
    Q&A with director Moges Tafesse on March 5

    In this lush historical drama set in 1916 Ethiopia, Gobeze (Zerihun Mulatu) is a timid, peace-loving literature student who has dedicated his life to studying Sem Ina Werq — riddles with dual meaning. After spending years searching for his first love, Aleme (Yimisirach Girma), who was abducted seven years earlier, he finally finds her married to Gonite (Tesfaye Yiman), a wealthy judge and landlord. When Gonite catches the two reunited lovers, a fight ensues. Following tradition, the feuding men are bound together, and, side by side, must make the long journey to stand trial in the royal court. “Combining breathtaking landscapes with superb performances, filmmaker Moges Tafesse takes the audience on a tense and moving journey suffused with passion, jealousy and bitter anger toward the traditional Ethiopian establishment.” – Filmuforia. Winner, Best Film, Best Actor and Best Actress, 2019 Leza Awards. Official Selection, 2019 African Diaspora International Film Festival. DIR/SCR/PROD Moges Tafesse. Ethiopia, 2019, color, 97 min. In Amharic and Ge’ez with English subtitles. NOT RATED

    Watch: Enchained ቁራኛዬ | Official Trailer

    ANBESSA
    Co-presented by the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital
    Mon, March 16, 7:15 p.m.

    Ancient Ethiopian farmlands are increasingly being cleared for dense condo development. Ten-year-old Asalif and his mother have already been displaced from their homestead to the outskirts of sprawling capital Addis Ababa, and it seems looming cranes are closing in on them again. With little to do, Asalif scavenges wires and bulbs from sprawling construction sites to literally keep the lights on in their makeshift house. Pushed around by new kids in the neighborhood, the sensitive child retreats into his imagination — the only place where he can rage like a lion against the forces he can’t control. Old enough to sense impending realities but still innocent enough to play, Asalif provides an irresistibly tender foil for the city’s coming-of-age story. A rare and thoroughly beautiful docufiction hybrid, ANBESSA observes the ever-forward march of progress with true originality. (Note adapted from Hot Docs Film Festival.) Official Selection, 2019 Berlin, IDFA, Hot Docs and Durban film festivals. DIR/SCR/PROD Mo Scarpelli; PROD Caitlin Mae Burke. Ethiopia/Italy/U.S., 2019, color, 85 min. In Amharic with English subtitles. NOT RATED

    Watch: Anbessa | Trailer


    If you go:
    2020 NEW AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL
    MARCH 5–19, 2020
    AFI SILVER THEATRE AND CULTURAL CENTER
    8633 Colesville Road
    Silver Spring, MD 20910
    301.495.6700
    More info at www.afisilver.afi.com

    Related:

    Ethiopia Film ‘Enchained’ (Quragaye) Makes International Premiere in London

    Spotlight: Generation ‘Anbessa’ New Ethiopia Movie at Berlin Film Festival

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    Why Ethiopia & Egypt Shouldn’t be Coerced Into A Nile Dam Agreement in DC

    "America’s significant [financial] leverage over Ethiopia could provide U.S. President Trump with a chance to push for a treaty to prove his deal-making prowess...This proposal is likely to cause many years of delay in the filling period of the dam’s reservoir [small amount of water restricted to the Ethiopian winter months of July and August]. Moreover, this restriction could prevent Ethiopia from starting other projects along the Nile" (Reuters photo)

    Brookings

    By Addisu Lashitew

    Why Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan should ditch a rushed, Washington-brokered Nile Treaty

    The ambitious Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has been a point of contention among Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan in recent years. The GERD is now 70 percent complete, and its reservoir expected to start being filled in the rainy season of 2020. The three countries, however, have not yet reached an agreement on the process of filling and operating it in spite of years of negotiations.

    These tensions are not new: The Nile has been a cause of antagonism between Ethiopia and Egypt for centuries. The Blue Nile, which flows from the Ethiopian highlands, contributes to more than half of the annual flow of the Nile (the remaining coming from the White Nile, which flows from Lake Victoria, and Atbara/Tekeze, which also flows from Ethiopia). The rich sedimentation that is carried by the seasonal flow of the Blue Nile has been the mainstay of Egyptian agriculture for millennia. Since the times of the pharaohs, therefore, Egyptians have been wary of an upstream dam that would strangle the flow of the Nile.

    Modern Egypt has used legal, political, and military means to protect its access to the flow of the Nile, the only source of fresh water for its almost 100 million inhabitants. The fact that the former prime minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi, launched the GERD—which will be the largest hydroelectric dam in Africa—in 2011, when Egypt was internally fractured by a revolution, also attests to the lack of trust between the two major riparian countries.

    Egypt’s claims of a historical right to the waters of the Nile have been challenged by Ethiopia and other upstream countries that demand a more equitable utilization of the river. After extensive dialogue, 10 riparian countries formed the Nile Basin Initiative in 1999; however, this multilateral approach for developing the Nile has been stalled by Egypt’s insistence to maintain a veto power on future upstream projects, though it is a part of the initiative. It is in this context that Ethiopia unilaterally launched the GERD in 2011.

    THE CURRENT STATUS OF THE NEGOTIATIONS AROUND GERD

    As a hydro project, the GERD will not lead to additional water consumption in Ethiopia, but will reduce the flow of the Nile until its reservoir is filled. Thus, Ethiopia has been negotiating with the two downstream countries, Sudan and Egypt, on the pace of filling the reservoir. After failing to make progress for many years, the negotiations picked up momentum after Egypt’s President al-Sisi invited the U.S. to be a broker in November 2019. The foreign and water ministers of the three countries have held a series of meetings since December 2019 in Washington, D.C.— some of which were attended by the president of the World Bank, David Malpass, and the U.S. treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin. The latest of these meetings came to an end without an agreement on February 13 and is expected to be followed by another round.

    U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, who is visiting Ethiopia this week, is likely to make a final push to get Ethiopia to sign on to a proposed Nile Treaty. The U.S. is a major security and development ally of Ethiopia, dolling out more than a billion dollars’ worth of development assistance every year. America’s significant leverage over Ethiopia could provide U.S. President Trump with a chance to push for a treaty to prove his deal-making prowess once again. In the wake of his controversial peace plan for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, President Trump might be keen to strengthen his friendship with Egypt by resolving this thorny issue.

    Read more »


    Related:

    Ethiopia says US plans ‘substantial financial support’ (AP)

    U.S. to offer financial support for Ethiopia political reforms -PM (Reuters)

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    Early Voting Begins in Nevada (UPDATE)

    LA Times reports: "Many voters said they were just making up their minds. Alem Seghit, an immigrant from Ethiopia, said Steyer is her top choice because she saw him on TV every day. Antoniette Mcgrue, also an immigrant from Ethiopia, said Biden is her top choice and Sanders is her second, although she said she likes them equally." (Photo: Las Vegas Sun)

    Los Angeles Times

    LAS VEGAS — The Democratic presidential campaign turned west this weekend, with candidates barnstorming Nevada in the lead-up to the state’s caucuses on Saturday…

    More than 18,500 Nevadans cast ballots on the first day of early voting, according to the Nevada Democratic Party. Voters could rank up to five candidates on their ballot. There were reports of long lines that lasted hours, and Sanders led a march of hundreds of supporters to a polling place in East Las Vegas.

    Some voters found the lines and wait time daunting, but the state Democratic party said no major problems were reported.

    Though the presidential campaign has been underway for a year, many voters said they were just making up their minds.

    Sisters Alem Seghit, 57, and Antoniette Mcgrue, 74, members of the influential Culinary Workers Union, were focused on one priority when they cast their ballots on Saturday — picking the candidate they think has the best chance of beating President Trump in November.

    “I want a Democrat to win,” Mcgrue said when asked about what drove her to vote on the first day. “We want an honest candidate to win.”

    Seghit, an immigrant from Ethiopia, said Steyer is her top choice because she saw him on TV every day. Mcgrue, also an immigrant from Ethiopia, said Biden is her top choice and Sanders is her second, although she said she likes them equally.

    But some voters remained undecided with just days to go before the caucuses.

    Read the full article at www.latimes.com »


    Related:

    The presidential contest turns to African American and Latino voters

    Bernie Sanders Wins New Hampshire Primary (Update)

    Ethiopian Meatpackers Go for Bernie in Iowa (2020 U.S. Election Update)

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    Ethiopia Red Tape Is Barrier for Business as Country Opens Up (Bloomberg)

    Getty Images

    Bloomberg

    By Samuel Gebre

    Ethiopia Red Tape Is Barrier for Business as Country Opens Up

    Bureaucracy remains a stumbling block for businesses as Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed strives to roll back decades of tight controls and maintain one of the fastest rates of economic growth in Africa.

    The country’s World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking has been above 159 of 190 countries for the past five years, and the government wants to improve that to below 100 in 2021, according to the prime minister’s office. The government has introduced an online system to register businesses, a new import-export platform to simplify trade document processing and the state is amending policies and will introduce a new investment law.

    “Ethiopia has already identified what needs to be done,” Charles Robertson, Renaissance Capital’s global chief economist, said in an emailed response to questions. However, one of the major challenges for companies is access to credit and this won’t suddenly “be miraculously better,” he said.

    Ethiopia is among Africa’s fastest growing economies — the World Bank estimates 6.3% in the 2020 fiscal year — yet it remains one of the most state-controlled on the continent. Abiy, 43, is seeking to attract billions of dollars in foreign investment by selling state assets from the sugar industry, the phone system, railroads, and other infrastructure.

    Decades of state bureaucracy in the Horn of Africa nation of more than 100 million people make it difficult to fully benefit from the reforms.

    “Regulatory changes don’t mean ease of doing business,” said Getachew Alemu, an independent economist. “The bureaucrats are the same.”

    While there have been improvements in key offices at the federal level, especially the Ethiopian Investment Commission, this isn’t the case at the lower administrative levels, where manual filing is still the norm.

    “Launching a business in Ethiopia still requires considerable levels of courage and resilience,” said Addis Alemayehu, chief executive officer of Addis Ababa-based 251 Communications. The business reforms will trickle down and “contribute a fair share toward an investor confidence boost and slight decline in risk-aversion,” he said.

    Read more »


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    Several Ethiopian Artists Featured at UK Festival Directed by Lemn Sissay

    Lemn Sissay. (Photo: Tadias Magazine)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: February 17th, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) — Poet, Author and Motivational Speaker Lemn Sissay who is the guest director for this year’s Brighton Festival — the biggest annual multi-arts festival in England — has announced the 2020 program that’s set to take place from May 2nd to 24th.

    In addition to the British-Ethiopian poet as curator the festival program features several acclaimed Ethiopian and Ethiopian-American artists, musicians, and writers including Maaza Mengiste and Aida Edemariam as well as founder of Ethio-jazz Mulatu Astatke and pianist & composer Samuel Yirga. The lineup also includes British–Eritrean writer and journalist Hannah Azieb Pool.

    “With Lemn as this year’s guest director, the festival will feature more than 120 events taking place in 27 venues and locations across the region,” notes the Sussex Express newspaper. “At the heart of it all will be a focus on artists experimenting and creating new work. The Festival will feature 17 premieres, exclusives, commissions and co-productions, alongside many Festival debuts from international artists.”

    The paper adds: “Lemn’s personal passions flow throughout the 2020 programme, connected by a love of words and language across theatre, song, spoken word, art and poetry. Contemporary writers and poets are given a particular spotlight with several spoken word and book events.”

    The program also includes an art exhibition titled ‘The Young Americans’ highlighting a new generation of Indigenous American artists in conjunction with the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s journey. The show is produced in collaboration with the Phoenix, Arizona-based Gallery Rainmaker and “reveals what it means to grow up in the contemporary United States.”

    Lemn Sissay says the Festival is all encompassing. “There’s going to be something for you in this Festival,” he said. “Broaden your horizons, be open and maybe try something different. Welcome to the Imagine Nation, welcome to the whole world in one celebration here at Brighton Festival 2020.”


    Related:

    Brighton Festival 2020 promises togetherness in an era of “crazy tribalism.”

    Acclaimed writer kicks off Brighton Festival

    Brighton Festival 2020 programme unveiled

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    Ethiopia Vote Rescheduled for August 29

    Birtukan Mideksa, Chairperson of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), speaking at a NEBE conference in Addis Ababa on February 14, 2020. (Photo via Fana)

    Reuters

    By Dawit Endeshaw

    Ethiopia to hold parliamentary elections on Aug. 29

    ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopia’s election board on Friday set a date of Aug. 29 for parliamentary elections that will be a first test of voter support for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who has eased political restrictions since he took office in 2018.

    The date is two weeks later than the electoral board had previously indicated, on account of weather.

    “Looking at parts of the country which will be affected by the rainy season, pushing the schedule a little further will ease our burden,” board chairwoman Birtukan Mideksa said at a conference on election preparations taking place in Addis Ababa.

    Less areas will have rain compare at the end of the month, she said.

    Ethiopia’s 109 million people are experiencing unprecedented political and economic change, but Abiy’s reforms have also unleashed ethnic rivalries that have spilled into violence.

    Plans to hold the parliament and regional council elections in May were postponed as neither authorities nor parties would be ready, Mideksa said in January.

    Ethiopia has had regular parliamentary elections since the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) took power in 1991 but, with one exception, none were competitive.

    Abiy, who won the Nobel Peace Prize last year for his efforts at reconciliation with Ethiopia’s neighbour and longtime foe Eritrea, has promised that this year’s vote will be free and fair.


    Related:

    Ethiopia Elections Postponed to August

    2020 is Election Season Across Africa

    Ethiopia Election 2020 Campaign Update

    Ethiopia: Board commences election materials printing

    Electoral Board Making Preparations For 2020 Elections

    Efforts to End Ethiopia’s Ruling Party Draw Criticism from Within

    Ethiopia braces for highly-anticipated parliamentary election in May 2020

    Ruling Coalition Seeks to Further Unite Ahead of Vote

    Prominent Abiy Critic Says to Stand in Ethiopia Election (AFP)

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    In Minnesota, Artist Fayise Abrahim Mixes Ethiopian Music with Jazz and Soul

    Fayise Abrahim says that her art and her work both draw inspiration from her southwest Minnesota upbringing. She plays the krar in her unique blend of traditional Ethiopian music with jazz and soul. (Photo credit: Hector E. Roberts)

    The Globe

    Worthington native honors culture with music

    “Writing is so nurturing and life-giving that I can’t imagine not doing it,” Abrahim said.

    MINNEAPOLIS — Worthington High School graduate Fayise Abrahim will debut as a music artist next weekend at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis.

    Abrahim describes her music style as “traditional Ethiopian mixed with jazz and soul.” She sings and plays the krar… and leads a band that includes guitar, drums, bass and vocals.

    Abrahim didn’t enter the music scene formally until 2018, but she has been a poet for more than half her life. She began writing poetry in eighth grade.

    “The poetry writing has been part of the music writing,” Abrahim said.

    By college, Abrahim said, “My professors and friends told me I needed to start considering myself a writer.

    “Writing is so nurturing and life-giving that I can’t imagine not doing it,” she added.

    As a poet, Abrahim has completed a number of fellowships and been published in several places, including Yellow Medicine Review’s Spring 2019 issue and the Break Beat Poets Anthology Volume 2: Black Girl Magic. She is the first poet to have her work inscribed on a Minneapolis sidewalk; an Abrahim poem is found at the corner of 26th Street and East Franklin.

    Abrahim is working to complete a poetry manuscript for publication.

    A 2010 WHS graduate, Abrahim went to college for sociology and ethnic studies. Passion for her Ethiopian heritage brought Abrahim back to her parents’ native country, where she learned from village elders about music and traditions of her culture. She even visited Sisay Begena School of Music in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for instruction on the krar.

    “Now that I’m back, I’m trying to find more ways to stay involved,” she said.

    One of the ways she is involved with Ethiopian culture is by recording her parents’ memoirs of growing up in Ethiopia and immigrating to the United States as refugees.

    Read more »


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    Ethiopia Approves Controversial Law Curbing Hate Speech (AP)

    Ethiopian lawmakers on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020 approved a controversial law aimed at curbing hate speech and disinformation just months ahead of a major election but some worry the new law will restrict freedom of expression in a country that once jailed thousands of people, including journalists, over political views. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

    The Associated Press

    By ELIAS MESERET

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Ethiopian lawmakers on Thursday approved a controversial law aimed at curbing hate speech and disinformation, especially online, just months ahead of a major election.

    The law’s approval, with 23 lawmakers opposing and two abstaining, came amid concerns over widespread online false information and hate speech that some observers blame for ethnic tensions in the East African nation.

    Others worry the new law will restrict freedom of expression in a country that once jailed thousands of people, including journalists, over political views.

    The new law “will not meet its goal but will discourage free expression and may eventually target people who make innocent mistakes,” Befekadu Hailu, director of the Center for the Advancement of Rights and Democracy, told The Associated Press. “But most importantly, legal actions are usually used by the state to stifle dissent in the country. To say something positive … it may have a deterrence effect for irresponsible social media users.”

    Ethiopia has been experiencing sometimes deadly ethnic violence since June 2018, shortly after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced sweeping political reforms for which he later was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The loosening of restrictions on political space also led some in the country of more than 80 ethnic groups to air long-held grievances.

    Some government officials and observers have called for the need to regulate hate speech and disinformation online, citing the ethnic unrest.

    Lawmakers said the law is needed because existing legal provisions didn’t properly address hate speech and disinformation and said it will not affect citizens’ rights beyond protecting them.

    According to the new law, content with hate speech or disinformation that is broadcast, printed or disseminated on social media platforms with more than 5,000 followers is punishable with up to three years in prison and a fine of up to 100,000 birr ($3,000).

    The law, however, says “dissemination” doesn’t include liking or tagging such content on social media.

    Human Rights Watch said the law could “significantly curtail freedom of expression.”

    “The Ethiopian government is under increasing pressure to respond to rising communal violence that has at times been exacerbated by speeches and statements shared online,” Laetitia Bader, senior Africa researcher with the rights group, said in December. “But an ill-construed law that opens the door for law enforcement officials to violate rights to free expression is no solution.”


    Related:

    Ethiopia passes law imposing jail terms for internet posts that stir unrest (Reuters)

    Ethiopia’s Draft Proclamation: Comparative View on Hate Speech & Hate Crime (TADIAS)

    Narrow hate speech law will not broaden minds: by Girmachew Alemu

    Rights Group Calls New Law in Ethiopia a Threat to Freedom of Expression (VOA)

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Bernie Wins New Hampshire (Update)

    Adding to his strong showing in Iowa last week, Senator Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire primary vote on Tuesday solidifying his position as a front-runner in the Democratic nomination contest for the 2020 U.S. presidential election. (Photo: Cornel West meets with supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., at a primary night election rally in Manchester, N.H., Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020/AP)

    The Washington Post

    Sanders wins New Hampshire primary

    Sanders is the winner of the New Hampshire primary, with Buttigieg coming in second and Klobuchar in third.

    With more than 85 percent of precincts reporting, Sanders had 26 percent of the vote, Buttigieg had 24.4 percent and Klobuchar had 19.8 percent. Warren and Biden had 9.4 percent and 8.4 percent, respectively.

    It’s a repeat victory for Sanders, who beat Hillary Clinton by 20 in the state’s Democratic primary in 2016.

    Read more »


    Related:

    Ethiopian Meatpackers Go for Bernie in Iowa (2020 U.S. Election Update)

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    NYC: DA Re-Examines Killing Of Malcolm X

    Malcolm X was one of America's most famous activists of the civil rights era. (Getty Images)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Published: February 11th, 2020

    In New York, Prosecutors Re-Examine the Killing Of Malcolm X

    New York (TADIAS) — More than five decades after the African-American civil rights activist Malcolm X was assassinated at Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom in New York City on February 21st, 1965, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office announced this week that it is re-examining the case in light of new evidence brought forth through the new documentary film series on Netflix titled “Who Killed Malcolm X?”

    In a statement provided to New York television station Pix 11, the Manhattan DA’s office stated: “District Attorney Vance has met with representatives from the Innocence Project and associated counsel regarding this matter. He has determined that the district attorney’s office will begin a preliminary review of the matter, which will inform the office regarding what further investigative steps may be undertaken. District Attorney Vance has assigned Senior Trial Counsel Peter Casolaro and Conviction Integrity Deputy Chief Charles King to lead this preliminary review.”

    According to Essence magazine “the six-part docuseries, “Who Killed Malcolm X,” provides significant evidence to discredit the convictions of two men, Khalil Islam who died in 2009 and Muhammad Abdul Aziz. Both served more than two decades for the activist’s death. It also sheds light on four additional men from a mosque in Newark, New Jersey, who were named in the 1970’s as having been connected to the killing.”

    In a follow-up article The Washington Post adds:

    “Historians have long believed that police and prosecutors botched the investigation. Conspiracy theories about police misconduct and hidden evidence have festered. And some critics believe most of the assassins who fired at the civil rights leader managed to get away, leading to the wrongful convictions of two members of the Nation of Islam. “Who Killed Malcolm X?” largely follows the work of historian and Washington tour guide Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, who spent years piecing together declassified FBI documents, interviewing former members of Nation of Islam mosques in New Jersey and New York City, and tracking down four other potential assassins named by Hayer but never formally investigated by authorities.

    Previously known as the Audubon Ballroom, the historic location where Malcolm X was killed is now re-named as The Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center. Essence notes that “On Friday, Feb 21st, they will commemorate his life with a screening and discussion of the Netflix / Fusion TV docuseries.”

    In his autobiography Malcolm X had highlighted the history of ancient Ethiopia as one of his earliest memories that inspired his intellectual curiosity. “I can remember accurately the very first set of books that really impressed me,” Malcolm enthused, “J.A. Rogers’ three volumes told about Aesop; about the great Coptic Christian Empires; about Ethiopia, the earth’s oldest continuous black civilization.”

    Regarding the case’s reexamination, Barry Scheck, Co-Founder of the Innocence Project shared in a statement: “We are grateful that District Attorney Vance quickly agreed to conduct a review of the conviction.”


    Related:

    Manhattan DA Reexamining The Assassination Of Malcolm X (Essence)

    Malcolm X assassination may be reinvestigated as Netflix documentary, lawyers cast doubt on convictions (The Washington Post)

    Manhattan district attorney to review Malcolm X murder case (Pix 11)

    Watch the Documentary Film: Who Killed Malcolm X? (Netflix)

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    MoA Anbessa Hosts ADWA Dinner in D.C.

    Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie with his wife Princess Saba Kebede at last year’s Adwa Victory Awards Dinner in commemoration of the 123rd Anniversary of the Battle of Adwa at the Army & Navy Club in Washington DC. (Courtesy photo)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Published: February 8th, 2020

    MoA Anbessa Institute Hosts ADWA Dinner in Washington, D.C.

    New York (TADIAS) — The 124th anniversary of Ethiopia’s legendary victory at the Battle of Adwa is around the corner on March 1st, and here in the U.S. the Diaspora community is preparing to commemorate the historical event at the annual Adwa dinner and award ceremony hosted by the Ethiopian Royal family in Washington D.C.

    The MoA Anbessa Institute, a non-profit organization based in D.C. that is organizing the Adwa Dinner in partnership with the Crown Council of Ethiopia, announced that the 2020 event will be held on February 29th at the Army and Navy Club in Washington, D.C.

    “HIH Prince Ermias, as the leader of the Crown Council of Ethiopia, will recognize and honor the contributions of key members of the community for their distinguished services,” the press release said. “The Crown Council of Ethiopia understands that many should be acknowledged during the commemorative Victory of ADWA dinner.” It added: “This year’s awardees are selected for their lifetime achievements and community service.”


    If You Go:
    Organizers note that “given the limited seating, family and friends of awardees are given priority. If you are interested to purchase tickets to attend, please send an email to moaanbessaorg@gmail.com with your request for an invitation.


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    Poet Laureate Tsegaye Gebremedhin’s Play ’Petros at the Hour’ to be Performed in NYC

    Alemtsehay Wedajo is one of the actors featured in 'Petros at the Hour,' a play by Tsegaye Gebremedhin, which will be performed in New York City on Sunday, February 16th, 2020. (Image: Courtesy of ECMAA)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: February 8th, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) — Petros at the Hour, an Amharic play by Ethiopia’s Poet Laureate Tsegaye Gebremedhin, will be staged in New York City on Sunday, February 16th featuring actors Alemtsehay Wedajo, Tesfaye Sima and Abebayehu Tadesse.

    The play is a tribute to Ethiopian hero Aboune Petros (አቡነ ጴጥሮስ) who was a bishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and remembered in history as a martyr after he was executed by Italian forces in Addis Ababa for publicly refusing to accept the fascist occupation of his country.

    The event announcement notes that the program is being held in commemoration of “those who died on Yekatit 12 during the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935” and is being hosted by The Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association (ECMAA) and the Global Alliance for Justice.

    Organizers add: “The play is performed in Amharic by the talented cast from Tayitu Cultural and Education Center. Additionally, the Center will also present the comedy titled Yalteyaze. Join us for an afternoon filled with history and comedy.”


    If You Go:
    Petros at the Hour – by Tsegaye Gebremedhin and Yalteryaze – A Comedy Show
    Sun, February 16, 2020
    2:00 PM – 7:00 PM
    National Black Theater
    2031 5th Ave
    New York, NY 10035
    Click here for more info and tickets

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    Book Review of Maaza Mengiste’s Novel by Adom Getachew

    Maaza Mengiste’s novels reject grand narratives, instead offering uncommonly intimate glimpses of what it was like to live through the century of war and dictatorship that created today’s Ethiopian diaspora. - (Adom Getachew)

    Boston Review

    The Private History of Ethiopia’s Wars

    Adom Getachew

    The Shadow King
    Maaza Mengiste
    W.W. Norton, $26.95 (cloth)

    “We are the children of failed revolutionaries,” a friend ruefully concluded about our families’ paths from Ethiopia to the United States. The Ethiopian revolution, which quickly devolved to civil war, began in 1974 with an unlikely coalition of radicalized students, intellectuals, populists, and a disaffected army. At the center of this ferment was the “land question” and the “nationalities question.” First, in the midst of a famine in northern Ethiopia, and under the slogan of “Land to the Tiller!” their revolution aimed to replace Ethiopia’s sclerotic monarchy with a socialist state. Second, it sought to displace imperial centralization with a form of democratic self-government that reflected Ethiopia’s ethnic and religious pluralism. That dream was, however, quickly hijacked as the military junta—the Derg—seized power. Claiming to be Marxist-Leninist, in reality its violent authoritarianism soon turned against the socialists who had demanded democratization and redistribution. At the height of state repression during the Red Terror of 1975–77, the Derg massacred between 30,000 and 75,000 dissidents accused of being reactionaries. By the time the Derg’s rule came to an end in 1991, an estimated 1.5 million Ethiopians had died and an Ethiopian diaspora was born for the first time.

    Absent the neat divisions of ideology, Mengiste refuses moralization and captures the daily accrued trauma of living through war.

    The revolution and its aftermath continue, in Marx’s words, to “weigh like a nightmare on the brains of the living,” rendering it both ever-present and unspeakable. Within families, questions about the revolution and the Red Terror often illicit no more than elliptical memories and illusive fragments. One tries to reconstruct from these a narrative of what it was like to live through, but the plot slips away.

    For many Ethiopian Americans like myself, born in the last years of the Derg, Maaza Mengiste’s debut novel Beneath the Lion’s Gaze (2010) provided a narrative of the experience of the revolution that we had been seeking and never finding. As such, it was, at least for us, a kind of instant classic.

    Read more »


    Related:

    Tadias 10 Arts & Culture Stories of 2019

    Spotlight: The Shadow King is on Time’s 2019 List of 100 Must Read Books

    Atlas Acquires Maaza Mengiste’s Novel ‘The Shadow King’

    Spotlight: Three Great Reviews of Maaza Mengiste’s New Book by NYT, WSJ & NPR

    Maaza Mengiste’s Outstanding New Essay on Refugees

    Tadias Q & A With Maaza Mengiste


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    Model Ashley Graham Names Son Menelik

    The popular American model and TV presenter Ashley Graham has named her new born son Isaac Menelik Giovanni Ervin. Per the entertainment and lifestyle website PopSugar: "As for Menelik, Ashley shared that the couple was inspired when they went to Ethiopia with a friend, and that Menelik was the name of the first emperor of Ethiopia — it means "son of the wise." (Photo: @ashleygraham/Instagram)

    Popsugar

    Ashley Graham Just Revealed the Name of Her Newborn Son, and You’ll Love Her Choice!

    Ashley Graham is a mama! The new mom of one announced the Jan. 18 birth of her son with husband Justin Ervin on Instagram, and we love his name: Isaac Menelik Giovanni Ervin.

    Although Ashley didn’t share Isaac’s name in her initial birth announcement, she dedicated the Feb. 4 episode of her podcast show, Pretty Big Deal, to recounting her pregnancy and birth experiences, along with introducing her son alongside her husband. Upon bringing their newborn onto the set, Justin revealed the the idea for the name Isaac is actually one that came to him in high school, and has clearly stuck with him since.

    As for Menelik, Ashley shared that the couple was inspired when they went to Ethiopia with a friend, and that Menelik was the name of the first emperor of Ethiopia — it means “son of the wise.” And Giovanni, which is John in Italian, was suggested by a friend, but actually holds a lot of meaning for Ashley and Justin. “It kind of hit home for us because [Justin's] grandfather’s name is John, my grandfather’s name is John,” Ashley said. Justin added that John is also the name of a bishop at his parents’ church and that using Giovanni instead of John is a nod to his partial Italian roots.


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Eden Alene Represents Israel at Eurovision

    Eden Alene will represent Israel at Eurovision. (photo credit: ORTAL DAHAN / COURTESY OF KESHET)

    The Jerusalem Post

    Eden Alene, of Ethiopian Descent, Will Represent Israel at Eurovision

    Eden Alene became the first Israeli of Ethiopian descent chosen to represent the country at Eurovision when she won Hakokhav Haba (The Next Star) for Eurovision 2020 on Tuesday night.

    “I’m so happy and incredibly emotional, I wanted this so much,” she said in an interview with Channel 12’s Nadav Bornstein following her victory. “It is a great honor for me. This is my country, and it is amazing that an Ethiopian will represent the country for the first time.”

    Alene was raised in Jerusalem’s Katamon neighborhood by a single mother who immigrated from Ethiopia, and later moved with her family to Kiryat Gat.

    “My poor mother, she had a hard time taking it in. She collapsed in my arms,” Alene, 19, said on the Hadshot Haboker (The Morning News) show.

    Following a particularly competitive final round, Alene defeated Orr Amrami-Brockman, Gaya Shaki and Ella Lee Lahav. Eurovision, the international singing competition where Israel has won four times, will be held in Rotterdam in May. Israel’s last win came in 2018, when Netta Barzilai won with the song “Toy.”

    Read more »


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    A Peek into the Process Behind the Popular Obama Portraits (WaPo Book Review)

    The National Portrait Gallery welcomed more than 2 million visitors in 2018, nearly doubling its annual attendance record. (Paul Morigi)

    The Washington Post

    In the past two decades, it has become a rite of passage for soon-to-be-former presidents and first ladies to have their portraits commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery in Washington. Given the glamour of Barack and Michelle Obama and the historic nature of their tenure, gallery officials anticipated a healthy interest in their portraits. Little did they know. The two weeks after the paintings’ public unveiling in February 2018 saw more than 4,100 articles about them published in the domestic and international press. Annual attendance at the museum almost doubled over the next year.

    With copious photos, the book “The Obama Portraits” details the creation of the paintings while delving into the significance of their unprecedented popularity.

    The choice of artists, both African American, was leaked while the portraits were being executed. Kehinde Wiley, known for his large-scale depictions of African American men in poses and trappings inspired by famous paintings from art history, was painting the president. Amy Sherald had been commissioned to paint the first lady. Sherald had received attention for paintings of African Americans that included many she had met on the streets of her native Baltimore.

    Any portrait painter can expect to enter into a struggle with the sitter, as the artist’s vision is unlikely to match exactly the sitter’s self-image. Wiley initially intended to pose the president in a royal manner. In Obama’s comments at the unveiling ceremony — reprinted in the book in full — he explained that the artist’s plan was to “elevate me and put me in these settings with partridges and scepters and thrones and shift robes and mounting me on horses. And I had to explain that I’ve got enough political problems without you making me look like Napoleon. We’ve gotta bring it down just a touch.”


    Michelle Obama and Amy Sherald stand alongside the newly unveiled portrait of the former first lady at a ceremony on Feb. 12, 2018. (Pete Souza)

    Sherald chose to paint the first lady in a dress designed by Michelle Smith. The choice was a nod both to art history and African American heritage. The geometric designs, Sherald said, call to mind the paintings of Piet Mondrian and the patchwork creations of the now-famous quiltmakers of Gee’s Bend, Ala. Sherald aroused comment with the gray tones of the first lady’s skin in the portrait. She explained that the skin tones were reminiscent of and paid homage to the humble black-and-white photographs of African American women a century ago, women who were not the subjects of large-scale painted portraits.

    In an essay in the book, the Portrait Gallery’s director, Kim Sajet, writes that large crowds still make the trip specifically to see the Obama portraits.

    Read more »


    Related:

    The wildly popular Obama portraits are going on a year-long tour to museums across the country

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    World Athletics ‘Deeply Saddened’ by Death of Ethiopian Runner Abadi Hadis

    Distance runner Abadi Hadis in action at the World Championships London 2017. According to reports the 22-year-old athlete died on Tuesday from unspecified illness while being treated at Ayder hospital in Mekelle. (Getty Images)

    World Athletics

    Ethiopian Runner Abadi Hadis Dies at 22

    World Athletics is deeply saddened to hear that Ethiopian distance runner Abadi Hadis died on Tuesday at the age of 22.

    A regular competitor on the international track and road circuits, Hadis made his big breakthrough in 2016. Clocking PBs of 13:02.49 and 26:57.88, he was the fastest U20 athlete in the world that year at both 5000m and 10,000m. He also represented Ethiopia at the Olympic Games in Rio that year, finishing 15th in the 10,000m.

    In 2017, while still a teenager, he finished third in the senior men’s race at the World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, leading Ethiopia to the team gold medal. He went on to finish seventh in the 10,000m at the World Championships in London later that year.

    Hadis went on to record a 5000m PB of 12:56.27 in 2018 and followed it with a half marathon best of 58:44. He replicated that half marathon time at the start of 2019 and followed it with a 26:56.46 10,000m PB in Hengelo. His last competition was the World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, where he exited in the heats of the 5000m.

    He is one of just five men in history to have bettered 13 minutes for 5000m, 27 minutes for 10,000m and 59 minutes for the half marathon.


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    Ethiopian Meatpackers Go for Bernie in Iowa (2020 U.S. Election Update)

    We have not yet endorsed a candidate in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, but as we continue our coverage of Ethiopian American civic participation in the democratic process here is a report from Ottumwa, Iowa on how Ethiopian pork plant workers are voting for Sen. Bernie Sanders. (Photo: the intercept)

    The Intercept

    THE FIRST CAUCUS in Iowa was held at noon at a union hall in Ottumwa, about an hour and a half from Des Moines, where meatpackers and other workers unable to vote in the evening’s official caucuses were given the chance to cast ballots at a satellite caucus…

    The caucus in Ottumwa, population 24,550, on the banks of the Des Moines River, will net Sanders four delegates for their congressional district, according to caucus chair Frank Flanders, the political director for the UFCW Local 230…

    The turnout for Sanders among union members reflects the campaign’s strategy of mobilizing nontraditional voters. Many of the Ottumwa meatpackers are immigrants, largely of Ethiopian origin or descent — not the corn-fed farmers typically associated in the popular imagination with the Iowa caucuses.


    Pork plant workers cast their votes for Sen. Bernie Sanders during a satellite caucus in Ottumwa, Iowa, on Feb. 3, 2020. Photo: Elise Swain/The Intercept

    Read more »


    Related:

    First set of Iowa Democratic caucus results shows Bernie Sander leading

    Iowa Democrats release some caucus results after long delay

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