Author Archive for Tadias

In Pictures: Ethiopia Hosts Hub of Africa Fashion Week 2014

The 3rd Hub of Africa Fashion Week was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on October 23rd and 24th, 2014. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Saturday, November 1st, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – The 2014 Hub of Africa Fashion Week took place at Galani Coffee and Gallery in Addis Ababa last week. Organizers note that the international runway show dubbed the “Editorial Edition” included a special event at Monarch Hotel on October 25th targeting “buyers” and fashion “industry players.” The participating Designers were Modanik (DRC); Ruald Rheeder (South Africa); Katungulu (Kenya) Yohannes Sisters (Ethiopia); Abugida (Ethiopia); Cepha Maina (Kenya); Mela (Ethiopia); Sandstorm (Kenya), Assi’s Collection (Ethiopia) Rooi (Nigeria/London): and Mataano (Somalia).

Below are photos from the event courtesy of the organizers:



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Britain Axes Aid to Ethiopian Police Amid Human Rights Outcry

Britain has given £1 billion in aid, including around £70 million for “governance and security” projects, to the Ethiopia over three years. (Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP)

The Telegraph

By Matthew Holehouse

Britain has suspended most of a £27 million aid programme to support Ethiopia’s police force, The Telegraph has learnt, amid mounting allegations of torture, rape and murder by the regime.

Ministers pulled the plug on a scheme intended to improve criminal investigations, help Ethiopian police “interact with communities on local safety” and help women access the justice system.

The cancellation coincides with an Amnesty International report that documents how the Ethiopian security forces have conducted a campaign of torture, mutilation, rape and murder in order to suppress political opposition.

Britain has given £1 billion in aid, including around £70 million for “governance and security” projects, to the country over three years. Critics of the ruling regime have disappeared, and Amnesty International found allegations of men being blinded and women being gang raped and burnt with hot coals by regime officials.

There are mounting fears for the safety of Andy Tsege, a British national and critic of the regime, who was abducted in Yemen before being tortured and sentenced to death.

Read more at The Telegraph »

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Buzunesh Deba Greets Nike NYC Runners at Queen of Sheba Restaurant

Ethiopian-born long distance runner Buzunesh Deba of New York with Coach Knox Robinson of Nike + NYC at Queen of Sheba Restaurant in New York City on Thursday, October 30th, 2014. (Photograph: Tadias)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Friday, October 31st, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – “I usually ask a question about pizza because it’s New York,” said Knox Robinson, Coach for Nike + NYC, speaking at a gathering at Queen of Sheba Restaurant on Thursday evening after their local run. But tonight Buzunesh Deba had joined them in a surprise visit and Robinson modified his question amid cheers on her arrival: “What do you eat before and after a race?”

“Before the race.. one bagel and one banana,” The Bronx-based, Ethiopian-born athlete answered. “After the race spaghetti with chicken.. and of course especially Injera.”

“We are overjoyed, honored and humbled to be joined tonight by Buzunesh Deba who, as we know, is not only one of the greatest marathoners in the world, but also a New Yorker.” Robinson said. “She is one of us, so we are excited to surprise the runners with her presence.”

The gathering at Queen of Sheba Restaurant in Manhattan featuring Buzunesh Deba was sponsored by Nike and preceded by a 4-mile local run. Buzunesh, who finished second in the 2011 and 2013 New York City marathons, told her fans that this year, God willing, she’ll win, and posed for photos with the runners, some of whom will be joining her at the 2014 NYC Marathon on Sunday, November 2nd. Buzunesh also posed with the restaurant owners who had welcomed her into their home when she had first arrived in the U.S. to build her career. “This is truly a family gathering” Robinson told the audience.

Coach Robinson told Tadias Magazine that the group chose to stop by Queen of Sheba after their local run because “this is where the world’s best marathoners come to celebrate their victories.”

Below are photos from the event:



Related:
Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa to Challenge Historic Men’s Field at 2014 NYC Marathon

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U.S. Deeply Concerned by Sentence of Ethiopian Journalist Temesghen Desalegn

Jailed Ethiopian journalist Temesghen Desalegn. (Photo credit: CPJ)

U.S. State Department

Press Statement
Jen Psaki
Department Spokesperson

Washington, DC – The United States is deeply concerned by the October 27 sentencing of Ethiopian journalist Temesgen Desalegn to three years in prison for “provocation and dissemination of inaccurate information.” Freedom of expression and freedom of the press are fundamental elements of a democratic society, and the promotion and protection of these rights and freedoms are basic responsibilities of democratic governments.

As President Obama stated during his meeting in September with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam, it is important that Ethiopia’s progress and positive example on economic development and regional conflict resolution extends to civil society as well. We urge Ethiopia to make similar progress with regard to respect for press freedom and the free flow of ideas and reiterate our call for the Ethiopian government to release journalists imprisoned for exercising their right to freedom of expression.

Related:
Journalist Temesghen Desalegn Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

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Don’t Let Ebola Dehumanize Africa

The following article is written by Angélique Kidjo (pictured above), a Grammy Award–winning singer-songwriter and activist from Benin. (Photo: Pierre Marie Zimmerman via Amsterdam News)

The New York Times | OP-ED

By ANGELIQUE KIDJO

A few days ago, I posted a note on Facebook about my scheduled concert next week at Carnegie Hall honoring the late South African singer Miriam Makeba, who was known widely as Mama Africa. I was saddened to see the following comments appear: “Instead of mama africa it should be mama ebola” and “I wonder if she is bringing aby Ebloa [sic] with her?”

Overnight it seems that all the naïve and evil preconceptions about Africa have surfaced again. Ebola has brought back the fears and fantasies of Africa as the Heart of Darkness and the fearmongering about the disease threatens to reverse decades of progress for Africa’s image.

I’ll always remember the night Mama Africa entered my life. I was about 9 years old and there was an old turntable standing in the corner of the dining room of our house in Benin.

I was browsing through my brother’s vinyl-record collection and discovered a Makeba album called “Pata Pata.” On the cover, Miriam’s shoulders were bare; she had a gentle but determined smile. I carefully dropped the needle and an irresistible groove literally jumped out at me. I couldn’t help dancing.

Ms. Makeba became my role model. Every night I dreamed that one day I would be like her, travel the world, meet powerful people and address the United Nations like she did in 1963, when she denounced the South African apartheid regime in front of the whole world.

That an African person — a woman — could accomplish all this and could stand up for her people even though her life had been defined by hardship was amazing to me. She was exiled twice: first from South Africa by the racist apartheid regime, and then from America while she was married to Stokely Carmichael, the Black Panther activist.

Ms. Makeba managed to transform, in the eyes of the world, the image of the African woman. She gave us a human face — a strong face that went beyond all the clichés carried by movies and TV shows. As I kept singing her songs throughout my career, I always felt that my mission was to keep her legacy alive — especially today.

Read more at NYT »

Related:
5,000 Ebola Health Care Workers Needed In West Africa: WHO
Ethiopia to Deploy 210 Health Workers in Ebola-Hit West Africa
In first case, Doctor in New York City is Diagnosed With Ebola
Cuba’s Impressive Role on Ebola
Ebola: Africa’s Image Takes a Hit
U.S. Embassy: No Confirmed or Suspected Cases of Ebola in Ethiopia
Ethiopia Launches Ebola Testing Lab to Combat Epidemic

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UPDATE: Burkina Faso’s President Resigns, Army Chief Takes Over

Anti-government protesters gather in the Place de la Nation in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, Oct. 31, 2014. (Photo: Reuters)

VOA News

October 31, 2014

Burkina Faso’s army chief has taken power in the country following the resignation of longtime President Blaise Compaore.

General Honore Traore told reporters Friday in Ouagadougou that he was taking on “the responsibilities as head of state.”

Traore said his administration would begin talks with political stakeholders immediately with a view to restoring “normal constitutional order.”

The general first exerted power Thursday when he announced plans for a transitional government and ordered a dusk-to-dawn curfew after violent protests in the capital against Compaore.

Compaore announced his resignation Friday and called for a 90-day transition leading to elections.

Stéphane Dujarric, a spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said the secretary-general was following Burkina Faso developments with “great concern” and was urging “calm, restraint and dialogue.”

Dujarric said the U.N. special envoy for West Africa, Mohammed Ibn Chambas, had arrived in Ouagadougou as part of a joint mission that includes the president of ECOWAS (the Economic Community of West African States) and the African Union commissioner for political affairs.

Chambas is expected to meet with all political stakeholders as well as religious and traditional leaders.

Former colonial power France quickly said it welcomed Compaore’s resignation. It called for calm in the West African nation and said it supported the “rapid holding of democratic elections.”

Burkina 24 television reported that the former president left his palace in a heavily armed convoy.

Compaore ruled Burkina Faso for 27 years after seizing power in a 1987 coup.

Unrest broke out Thursday as lawmakers prepared to vote on a constitutional amendment that would have allowed Compaore to run for another term. The government withdrew the amendment after hundreds of protesters stormed and set fire to the parliament building.

More protesters gathered in the streets of Ouagadougou on Friday, but there was no repeat of Thursday’s violence.

Some material for this report came from Reuters.

In Burkina Faso, Protesters Set Parliament Ablaze (Video & Photos)


Protesters angry at plans to allow Burkina Faso’s President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year-rule have set fire to parliament. (BBC News)

BBC News

Correspondents say the city hall and ruling party headquarters are also in flames in the capital, Ouagadougou.

A huge crowd is surging towards the presidential palace and the main airport has been shut.

MPs have suspended a vote on changing the constitution to allow Mr Compaore to stand for re-election next year.

Five people have been killed in the protests, among the most serious against Mr Compaore’s rule, reports BBC Afrique’s Yacouba Ouedraogo from the capital.

The military fired live bullets as protesters stormed parliament, our correspondent says.

Journalists are now gathered outside the defence ministry awaiting a statement from the military, he says.

Witnesses say dozens of soldiers have joined the protests, including a former defence minister, Gen Kouame Lougue.

The main opposition leader, Zephirin Diabre, has called on the military to side with “the people” and has demanded the resignation of the president.

Read more and watch video at BBC News »

Photos: Protesters Storm Burkina Faso Parliament (VOA)


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Regreening Program to Restore One-Sixth of Ethiopia’s Land

Bale Mountains, Ethiopia: Trees and shrubs can be seen growing on the steeper slopes along a ravine that was once plagued by erosion. (Photograph: Aaron Minnick/WRI)

The Guardian

Fifteen years years ago the villages around Abrha Weatsbha in northern Ethiopia were on the point of being abandoned. The hillsides were barren, the communities, plagued by floods and droughts, needed constant food aid, and the soil was being washed away.

Today, Abrha Weatsbha in the Tigray region is unrecognisable and an environmental catastrophe has been averted following the planting of many millions of tree and bush seedlings. Wells that were dry have been recharged, the soil is in better shape, fruit trees grow in the valleys and the hillsides are green again.

The “regreening” of the area, achieved in just a few years for little cost by farming communities working together to close off large areas to animals, save water and replant trees, is now to be replicated across one sixth of Ethiopia – an area the size of England and Wales. The most ambitious attempt yet to reduce soil erosion, increase food security and adapt to climate change is expected to vastly increase the amount of food grown in one of the most drought- and famine-prone areas of the world.

“Large areas of Ethiopia and the Sahel were devastated by successive droughts and overgrazing by animals in the 1960s and 1970s,” says Chris Reij, a researcher with the World Resources Institute in Washington.

“There was a significant drop in rainfall, people had to extend the land they cultivated and this led to massive destruction and an environmental crisis across the Sahel. But the experience of Tigray, where over 224,000 hectares of land has now been restored shows that recovery of vegetation in dryland areas can be very fast. Tigray is now much more food secure than it was 10 years ago. You really see the changes there,” he says.

Rather than just plant trees, which is notoriously unreliable and expensive in dry land areas, the farmers have turned to “agro-ecology”, a way to combine crops and trees on the same pieces of land.

Read more at The Guardian »

Video: A new documentary by film-maker Mark Dodd on the land restoration project in Tigray


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Spike in Eritreans Fleeing into Ethiopia

Thousands of Eritrean refugees are currently living in refugee camps in Ethiopia. More than 200 risk their lives every day, UN says, crossing a heavily-fortified border between arch enemy states. (AP photo)

Aljazeera

Over 200 Eritrean refugees are crossing the heavily fortified and dangerous border into neighbouring Ethiopia daily, the United Nations said in a report noting a “spike” in those fleeing.

Tens of thousands of people have fled the Horn of Africa country, escaping open-ended conscription and the iron-grip rule of President Issaias Afewerki, with many continuing northwards to brave the often harrowing journey towards Europe.

“The number of daily refugee arrivals spiked since the first week of September,” the October report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) read.

“At present, more than 200 Eritreans cross the Ethiopian border each day.”

Over 3,500 Eritreans have fled into northern Ethiopia in the past two months, taking the total to over 104,000 Eritrean refugees in the country.

No reason was given for the rise in numbers, but reports by rights groups say people are struggling under Asmara’s repressive government.

Thousands have also fled into Sudan, although the UN in July reported that Khartoum has forced some to return.

Read more »

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South Sudan Refugees in Flooded Ethiopian Camps in Gambella (Video)

Gambella, Ethiopia. (Photo: VOA)

VOA News

By Marthe van der Wolf

October 30th, 2014

Thousands of South Sudanese refugees remain stuck in flooded camps in Ethiopia. Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from a camp in Gambella on the situation.



Related:
Ethiopia’s South Sudan Refugees Beyond Capacity

VOA News

By Marthe van der Wolf

October 27, 2014

GAMBELLA — Available resources for South Sudan refugees in Ethiopia are under pressure as the warring parties continue to be deadlocked in flailing peace talks. More refugees are expected in the coming months as the conflict in the world’s youngest country turns almost a year old.

Since the conflict in South Sudan erupted in December, some 245,000 South Sudanese have fled to Gambella, a southwestern province of Ethiopia.

Pagak is one of the three main entry points used by refugees – who cross a bridge that functions as the border. Just after the bridge on the Ethiopian side, more than 2,700 refugees are waiting in the registration camp. And all of them need shelter, food and basic services.

Refugee Joseph Tek acts as camp leader on behalf of the refugee community. He said that people came to him with their needs, which he passed on to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

“They just need the mosquito net because of the mosquito bites. Plus they need food because in July we don’t have food here and we then receive food in August. And they feel cold because there is no blanket,” said Tek.

Nhial Yiech is a refugee who came to Ethiopia in March. He said they needed more services than what was provided.

He said they did’t have enough water, and medications. The diseases that affect people in this area are causing swollen throats, and many people have malaria.

Fighting continues since a political split between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar erupted into violence in the middle of December 2013. More than 10,000 people have died and more than 1.5 million have been displaced. Several agreed on cease-fires since then have failed to hold.

And there is little optimism that the violence in South Sudan will be halted any time soon, meaning refugees will keep coming to Ethiopia in need of relief. There are 18 aid organizations assisting refugees in the Gambella region. They say, that up till now, they had a good year with enough resources. But the situation is changing with unforeseen costs, mainly due to of flooding here.

Gebrehiwot Ewnetu is a project coordinator for the Danish Refugee Council. He said their donors have asked the organization to tighten its belt.

“So for example, DRC built 10 kilometers of reticulation, water piping for the refugees. Once they were forced to evacuate the camp, it meant we had to do new water points. We had to start water trucking again and transporting water by truck is extremely expensive. Other agencies also have the exact same problems with the flooding and people moving. For example, if you built a school in one place and people move, you have to build another school in another place, and things like that,” said Ewnetu.

The rainy season flooded roads and camps and temporarily slowed down the influx of refugees. But there are still 50 to 60 new arrivals every day at Akobo, another border point.

Dennis Solberg Kjeldsen, of the International Federation of the Red Cross, said that they were bracing for a new wave of displaced people.

“We are all expecting that once the rains subsiding in South Sudan, that will potentially mean the rise of conflicts and people wanting to go in search of food security. And where will they come? They will come here,” he said.

The rains are expected to stop in a few weeks’ time and organizations such as IFRC (International Federation of the Red Cross) are launching an international appeal to raise more funds. They estimate their basic running costs to be about $3 million over the next 6 months. Kjeldsen said raising money for South Sudan would not be easy.

“With the amounts of emergencies in the world right now. On this continent you have three very large emergencies: in South Sudan, in the Central African Republic, and Ebola. Which are not only taking up financial resources they are also taking up human resources, material resources. And that’s stretching us,” said Kjeldsen.

Just 3 years after independence, South Sudan’s political leaders are trying the international community’s patience. Many fault the government for prolonging a manufactured crisis and the development and aid money once flowing in is slowing down considerably.

And with that more displaced South Sudanese are leaving. Ethiopia is hosting more South Sudan refugees than any other African country.

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Wonderful Ethiopia Video From The Perennial Plate

(Photo: Vimeo/The Perennial Plate)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – The team behind The Perennial Plate, an online weekly documentary series dedicated to exploring food around the world recently traveled to Ethiopia where they filmed their experience for their current episode. The video, co-produced and edited by Chef Daniel Klein and partner Mirra Fine includes music, Eshururu , by Dereb The Ambassador.

Watch: Ethiopia! from The Perennial Plate on Vimeo

Ethiopia! from The Perennial Plate on Vimeo.


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Aida Muluneh Among 40 Contemporary African Artists Taking on ‘Divine Comedy’

Art work by Ethiopian artist Aïda Muluneh, 'The 99 Series' (detail), 2013. (© Aïda Muluneh)

The Huffington Post

Wangechi Mutu, Yinka Shonibare, Aida Muluneh, Dante Alighieri.

These are some of the brilliant minds involved in “The Divine Comedy,” a contemporary art exhibition at the Savannah College of Art and Design Museum of Art. One of these names, as you may have keenly ascertained, is not like the other. Dante’s Italian heritage and an approximately 700-year age gap certainly separate him from the other figures listed on the press release. But 40 contemporary African artists have assembled in his honor, each creating an artistic homage to his timeless depictions of heaven, purgatory and hell.

The sprawling exhibition is divided into three categories, with a selection of artists each addressing themes associated with Dante’s three poems. While a majority of religion-centric art exhibitions feature some combination of heavy-handed symbolism, oddly proportioned babies and golden halos, this exhibition opts for a rather different vibe.

For exmaple, Shonibare’s “How to Blow Up Two Heads at Once (Gentlemen)” features two headless gentlemen clad in electric hued, vaguely imperial looking suits. The wild fabrics, which are actually manufactured in the Netherlands, embody the paradoxical nature of identity throughout Shonibare’s work. And then there’s Wangechi Mutu’s hypnotic collage, depicting a shadowy creature with a swarm of dark somethings emerging from her ruptured midsection.

We spoke to Mutu about her featured work and the exhibition in general.

Read more at The Huffington Post »

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5,000 Ebola Health Care Workers Needed In West Africa: World Health Organization

Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (Tika) members deliver medical treatment and raise awareness of Ebola outbreak in Kolda, southern Senegal on October 24, 2014. (Photo: Getty Images)

The Associated Press

KAMPALA, Uganda — Authorities are having trouble figuring out how many more people are getting Ebola in Liberia and Sierra Leone and where the hot spots are in those countries, harming efforts to get control of the raging, deadly outbreak, the U.N.’s top Ebola official in West Africa said Tuesday.

“The challenge is good information, because information helps tell us where the disease is, how it’s spreading and where we need to target our resources,” Anthony Banbury told The Associated Press by phone from the Ghanaian capital of Accra, where the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response, or UNMEER, is based.

Health experts say the key to stopping Ebola is breaking the chain of transmission by tracing and isolating those who have had contact with Ebola patients or victims. Health care workers can’t do that if they don’t know where new cases are emerging.

“And unfortunately, we don’t have good data from a lot of areas. We don’t know exactly what is happening,” said Banbury, the chief of UNMEER.

Banbury, who visited the three most affected countries last week, said it was “heartbreaking” to see families torn apart by Ebola as they struggle to care for sick loves ones while also hoping to avoid infection. He said he is hoping for a new approach in Liberia as the U.N. and its partners work to improve the capacity of communities to safely bury victims.

Over the past week, Banbury met with the presidents of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, where the vast majority of the more than 10,000 Ebola cases have occurred, the U.N. said.

Meanwhile, the president of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, said the three countries need at least 5,000 more health workers to effectively fight the epidemic.

Kim said Tuesday that he is worried about where those health workers can be found given the widespread fear of Ebola. Quarantining health workers returning to their home countries — as some U.S. states are doing — could also hurt recruitment efforts. The World Bank president spoke alongside U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and African Union Chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where the AU is headquartered.

As more countries close their borders with or severely restrict travel from the affected countries, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf pleaded Tuesday with the world to not turn its back on those suffering.

“We’d just like the international community to continue to see this as a global threat, that stigmatization, exclusion, restriction is not the appropriate response to this,” she said.

Read more »

Related:
Ethiopia to Deploy 210 Health Workers in Ebola-Hit West Africa
In first case, Doctor in New York City is Diagnosed With Ebola
Cuba’s Impressive Role on Ebola
Ebola: Africa’s Image Takes a Hit
U.S. Embassy: No Confirmed or Suspected Cases of Ebola in Ethiopia
Ethiopia Launches Ebola Testing Lab to Combat Epidemic

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The Next Shirt You Buy May Say ‘Made In Ethiopia.’ Here’s Why

People working on the assembly line in April 2012 at Huajian shoe factory in Dukem, Ethiopia. (Getty)

NPR

“Made in China” may be leaving your wardrobe.

As labor costs in the “world’s factory” continue to rise dramatically, global fashion brands are looking elsewhere to source apparel. In addition to established hubs like Bangladesh and Vietnam, the garment game is ripe for new players: Myanmar (Burma), Haiti and Ethiopia, among others, are looking to rejuvenate a once-thriving trade or even build one entirely from scratch.

China will shed approximately 85 million manufacturing jobs in the coming years, which some development experts say could be a golden opportunity for producing economic development, a la South Korea. The standard narrative: Start at the bottom with low-skill, basic textile manufacturing (like T-shirts) and work your way up to more complex garments (like suits), then to more complex goods like electronics.

Improved quality of life and a rising consumer class will naturally follow, creating sustainable and natural growth in China. At that point, garment assembly would be seen as lowbrow.

“You don’t make tanks out of textiles,” says Derek Scissors, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

But whether China’s successors actually can follow the “textile to tank” model is a point of serious contention. Some argue that new entrants only can survive by offering the lowest costs — read: unlivable wages and minimal, if any, rights. Footloose garment brands — apt to flee to wherever labor costs are lowest — make nurturing textiles into an industry with highly skilled workers, robust infrastructure and effective regulation extremely difficult.

It’s harder to unlearn bad habits, so the best shot at a sustainable industry may be Ethiopia, which is essentially a blank slate. Despite dire infrastructure shortcomings, Ethiopia’s access to a continental market with six of the 10 fastest-growing economies and one of the world’s largest cattle (leather) stocks spurs “China 30 years ago” comparisons and makes the nation an attractive long-term investment.

The Chinese and Turkish certainly seem to think so. Huajian Shoes and Akya Tekstil, two of the world’s largest apparel-makers, are planning multibillion-dollar “apparel-cities” fit for up to 60,000 workers and 50 different manufacturers each.

Read more at NPR.org »

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Abaynesh Asrat Honored with People of Distinction Humanitarian Award

Abaynesh Asrat, Founder & CEO of Nation to Nation Networking (NNN) & Board Member of Hamlin Fistula USA. (Courtesy Photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – Abaynesh Asrat, Founder & CEO of Nation to Nation Networking (NNN) is among the 2014 honorees of the People of Distinction Humanitarian Awards. As a long-time board member of Hamlin Fistula USA foundation Abaynesh has been at the forefront of the campaign to treat and prevent fistula, which is a childbirth-related injury affecting thousands of women in Ethiopia as well as various countries around the world. As the National Fundraiser Chair for the ‘Tesfa Ineste’ campaign Abaynesh successfully mobilized the Ethiopian Diaspora in the United States to contribute toward the building of a regional hospital, the Harar Hamlin Fistula Center, in 2009.

Her continued involvement in the fight against fistula includes advocacy to expand educational institutions in Ethiopia with a special focus on training more midwives. In 2014 the Hamlin College of Midwives enrolled 21 Ethiopian students for the Bachelor of Science degree, increasing the total count of midwifery students to 89. “The opening of the Hamlin College of Midwives, about 12 kilometers from Addis Ababa, is the key to tackle, and even eradicate completely, this devastating childbirth injury” Abaynesh said in an interview with Tadias earlier this year. “I think, as we did a phenomenal job collectively to build the Harar Center, we can once again use our intellect and our financial support, individually and collectively, three-fold, toward the education of more students to graduate from the Hamlin Midwifery College.” Her suggestion to add a clause banning the inappropriate taking of photos and videos of fistula patients in the Bill of Rights for patients with obstetric fistula was recently approved.

Abaynesh’s New York-based non-profit, Nation to Nation Networking, works with various international organizations, including the United Nations, to bring together leaders from the private and public sectors by providing a networking platform to initiate collaborations across cultures and professions. In the past, Abaynesh has also been named one of New York Women’s Agenda Galaxy Women (2004), Ambassador of Peace (2005) and also received the Chairmanship Volunteer Award (2005). In 2007 Abaynesh was part of the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church delegation that traveled from Harlem to Ethiopia in celebration of the legendary Church’s second centennial and Ethiopia’s millennium.

Abaynesh Asrat will be honored tonight with the second annual People of Distinction Humanitarian Awards at the City University of New York Graduate Center. The event, hosted by talk show host Al Cole from CBS Radio, recognizes “inspiring and dedicated ‘Unsung Heroes’ who are making our world a better place.” Al Cole, the Director of People of Distinction Humanitarian Awards and Master of Ceremonies, launched the accolade in 2013 to celebrate “Unsung Heroes (as well as “Sung” Heroes) to share their stories of courage, humility and success.”

Tadias Magazine congratulates Abaynesh Asrat on the well-deserved recognition.

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Nun Visiting NYC From Ethiopia Missing

30-year-old Ethiopian nun Tadelech Yohanis was last seen leaving Sacred Heart Convent Thursday afternoon on the Lower East Side in Manhattan. (New York CBS Local )

CBS New York

NEW YORK – A nun visiting the U.S. from Ethiopia is missing, the NYPD said.

Tadelech Yohanis, 30, was last seen at around 2 p.m. last Thursday. at Sacred Heart Convent on the Lower East Side.

Yohanis arrived in the U.S. Oct. 6 and was set to leave Sunday, Oct. 26.

On the 23rd, Yohanis left the convent with her passport and hasn’t returned, police said.

Yohanis is “in good mental condition” and is 5’9″ and about 150 pounds, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto Crime Stoppers’ website at or by texting their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are confidential.

Read more at CBS New York »

Related:
Still No Sign of Missing Ethiopian Mom Almaz Gebremedhin in Wylie, Texas

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Journalist Temesghen Desalegn Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

Ethiopian journalist Temesghen Desalegn, who was convicted this month in connection with a 2012 defamation case, has been sentenced to three years in prison (CPJ)

CPJ

Press release

Nairobi – The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns today’s sentencing of Ethiopian journalist Temesghen Desalegn to three years’ imprisonment on charges of defamation and incitement that date back to 2012. A court in Addis Ababa, the capital, convicted Temesgen on October 13 in connection with opinion pieces published in the now-defunct Feteh news magazine, according to news reports. He was arrested the same day. Authorities have routinely targeted Temesghen for his writing. Temesghen’s lawyer said he plans to appeal the ruling, according to local journalists.

“With each journalist sentenced to prison, Ethiopia takes another step further from freedom of the press and democratic society,” said CPJ East Africa Representative Tom Rhodes. “We urge Ethiopian authorities to overturn Temesghen’s conviction on appeal and release him and all other journalists jailed for doing their jobs.”

A state crackdown on independent publications and bloggers has taken place in Ethiopia this year, prompting several Ethiopian journalists to flee into exile, according to CPJ research. With at least 17 journalists in jail, Ethiopia is the second worst jailer of journalists in Africa, second only to its neighbor Eritrea, CPJ research shows.

Read more at CPJ.org »

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Amnesty Says Ethiopia Detains 5,000 Oromos Illegally Since 2011

(Photo: Oromo students protest against a government plan to expand Addis Ababa earlier this year/Al Jazeera)

Bloomberg News

By William Davison

Oct 27, 2014

Ethiopia’s government illegally detained at least 5,000 members of the country’s most populous ethnic group, the Oromo, over the past four years as it seeks to crush political dissent, Amnesty International said.

Victims include politicians, students, singers and civil servants, sometimes only for wearing Oromo traditional dress, or for holding influential positions within the community, the London-based advocacy group said in a report today. Most people were detained without charge, some for years, with many tortured and dozens killed, it said.

“The Ethiopian government’s relentless crackdown on real or imagined dissent among the Oromo is sweeping in its scale and often shocking in its brutality,” Claire Beston, the group’s Ethiopia researcher, said in a statement. “This is apparently intended to warn, control or silence all signs of ‘political disobedience’ in the region.”…

The state-run Oromia Justice Bureau said the findings were “far from the truth” in a reply to Amnesty included in the report. “No single individual has been and would not be subjected to any form of harassment, arrest or detention, torture for exercising the freedom of expression or opinion.”

The majority of detainees are accused of supporting the Oromo Liberation Front, which was formed in 1973 to fight for self-determination, according to Amnesty.

Read the full article at Bloomberg News »

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Ethiopia’s South Sudan Refugees Beyond Capacity

Children displaced by fighting in South Sudan wait to be registered into the Kule 1 and 2 camps for Internally Displaced People at the Pagak border crossing in Gambella, Ethiopia, July 10, 2014. (AFP)

VOA News

By Marthe van der Wolf

October 27, 2014

GAMBELLA — Available resources for South Sudan refugees in Ethiopia are under pressure as the warring parties continue to be deadlocked in flailing peace talks. More refugees are expected in the coming months as the conflict in the world’s youngest country turns almost a year old.

Since the conflict in South Sudan erupted in December, some 245,000 South Sudanese have fled to Gambella, a southwestern province of Ethiopia.

Pagak is one of the three main entry points used by refugees – who cross a bridge that functions as the border. Just after the bridge on the Ethiopian side, more than 2,700 refugees are waiting in the registration camp. And all of them need shelter, food and basic services.

Refugee Joseph Tek acts as camp leader on behalf of the refugee community. He said that people came to him with their needs, which he passed on to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

“They just need the mosquito net because of the mosquito bites. Plus they need food because in July we don’t have food here and we then receive food in August. And they feel cold because there is no blanket,” said Tek.

Nhial Yiech is a refugee who came to Ethiopia in March. He said they needed more services than what was provided.

He said they did’t have enough water, and medications. The diseases that affect people in this area are causing swollen throats, and many people have malaria.

Fighting continues since a political split between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar erupted into violence in the middle of December 2013. More than 10,000 people have died and more than 1.5 million have been displaced. Several agreed on cease-fires since then have failed to hold.

And there is little optimism that the violence in South Sudan will be halted any time soon, meaning refugees will keep coming to Ethiopia in need of relief. There are 18 aid organizations assisting refugees in the Gambella region. They say, that up till now, they had a good year with enough resources. But the situation is changing with unforeseen costs, mainly due to of flooding here.

Gebrehiwot Ewnetu is a project coordinator for the Danish Refugee Council. He said their donors have asked the organization to tighten its belt.

“So for example, DRC built 10 kilometers of reticulation, water piping for the refugees. Once they were forced to evacuate the camp, it meant we had to do new water points. We had to start water trucking again and transporting water by truck is extremely expensive. Other agencies also have the exact same problems with the flooding and people moving. For example, if you built a school in one place and people move, you have to build another school in another place, and things like that,” said Ewnetu.

The rainy season flooded roads and camps and temporarily slowed down the influx of refugees. But there are still 50 to 60 new arrivals every day at Akobo, another border point.

Dennis Solberg Kjeldsen, of the International Federation of the Red Cross, said that they were bracing for a new wave of displaced people.

“We are all expecting that once the rains subsiding in South Sudan, that will potentially mean the rise of conflicts and people wanting to go in search of food security. And where will they come? They will come here,” he said.

The rains are expected to stop in a few weeks’ time and organizations such as IFRC (International Federation of the Red Cross) are launching an international appeal to raise more funds. They estimate their basic running costs to be about $3 million over the next 6 months. Kjeldsen said raising money for South Sudan would not be easy.

“With the amounts of emergencies in the world right now. On this continent you have three very large emergencies: in South Sudan, in the Central African Republic, and Ebola. Which are not only taking up financial resources they are also taking up human resources, material resources. And that’s stretching us,” said Kjeldsen.

Just 3 years after independence, South Sudan’s political leaders are trying the international community’s patience. Many fault the government for prolonging a manufactured crisis and the development and aid money once flowing in is slowing down considerably.

And with that more displaced South Sudanese are leaving. Ethiopia is hosting more South Sudan refugees than any other African country.

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Spotlight: Amnesty International Comes Down Hard On Ferguson Police (Video)

The international human rights organization has issued a scathing critique of the Ferguson Police Department for its handling of protests following the shooting death of Michael Brown. (USNews)

Amnesty International

On the Streets of America: Human Rights Abuses in Ferguson

On August 9, 2014 Michael Brown, an 18-year old unarmed African American man, was fatally shot by a white Police Officer, Darren Wilson, in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown’s death set off protests which, as of this publication, are ongoing, as well as a long-overdue conversation on race, policing and justice. The events in Ferguson have also raised a range of human rights concerns, including the right to life, the use of lethal force by law enforcement, the right to freedom from discrimination, and the rights to freedom of expression and assembly.

Following the initial protests, Amnesty International USA sent a delegation to Ferguson from Aug. 14-22. The delegation was composed of staff working with the community and protesters on non-direct action and de-escalation tactics in protests and other staff who were there strictly to observe and monitor the protests and police response. While gaining first hand testimony in the midst of the protests and marches proved difficult, the following findings rely on observations made by staff during this mission and is supplemented by information from media reports.

This briefing document outlines some of the human rights concerns witnessed by Amnesty International and a series of recommendations that need to be implemented with regards to the use of lethal force by law enforcement officers and the policing of protests.

Use of lethal force: Death of Michael Brown
On Saturday August 9, 2014, 18-year old Michael Brown and a friend were walking down Canfield Drive in Ferguson, MO when they were confronted by Officer Darren Wilson. Moments later, Brown was fatally shot by Police Officer Wilson. Michael Brown’s body then lay on the street for at least four hours. According to the autopsy conducted by both the family and the County Medical Examiner’s Office, Michael Brown was shot six times.

Due to conflicting reports, what happened between Brown and Wilson remains uncertain. According to one witness, Brown and his friend attempted to walk away when the officer fired his weapon, shooting the unarmed Brown, whose hands were in the air. According to police statements, a physical confrontation between the officer and Brown resulted in the officer shooting the unarmed Brown.

Regardless, international standards provide that law enforcement officers should only use force as a last resort and that the amount of force must be proportionate to the threat encountered and designed to minimize damage and injury. Officers may only use firearms when strictly necessary to protect themselves or others against the imminent threat of death or serious injury. Even then, the intentional lethal use of firearms is justified only when “strictly unavoidable in order to protect life.”

Irrespective of whether there was some sort of physical confrontation between Michael Brown and the police officer, Michael Brown was unarmed and thus unlikely to have presented a serious threat to the life of the police officer. As such, this calls into question whether the use of lethal force was justified, and the circumstances of the killing must be urgently clarified.

Also troubling is Missouri’s broad statute on the use of deadly force. Amnesty International is very concerned that the statute may be unconstitutional and is clearly out of line with international standards on the intentional use of lethal force as it goes well beyond the doctrine that lethal force only be used to protect life.

Racial discrimination and excessive use of police force nationwide
The shooting of Michael Brown highlighted on a national level the persistent and widespread pattern of racially discriminatory treatment by law enforcement officers across the United States, including unjustified stops and searches, ill treatment and excessive, and sometimes lethal, use of force.

Read more and download the report at amnestyusa.org »

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In Pictures: Ethiopia at 2014 African Day Parade & Festival in Harlem

Photo courtesy: The Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association in New York City (ECMAA)

Tadias Magazine
Events News

Published: Sunday, October 26th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – The Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association (ECMAA) in New York City represented Ethiopia at the 8th Annual African Day Parade & Festival held last weekend in Harlem. Below are photos courtesy of ECMAA:


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Mohammed Tahiro Interview: First Ethiopian American Candidate for U.S. Senate

Ethiopian American Mohammed Tahiro of Texas is the first foreign-born African to run for the US Senate.

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Sunday, October 26th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – Economics Professor Mohammed Abbajebel Tahiro — who is the only write-in candidate for the U.S. Senate from Texas in the upcoming November elections — says he’s running because he wants to highlight issues that most politicians in D.C. prefer to ignore: The growing American debt, immigration, foreign aid, and inequality in the criminal justice system.

“I teach economics and in my line of work I see a lot of things that politicians in Washington do and I don’t like what I see, like spending more money than they take in taxes,” said Professor Tahiro in a recent interview with Tadias Magazine. “We have over 12 million undocumented immigrants in this country and many of them live in Texas, my own state, and the U.S. government spends a lot of money in the form of foreign aid, both cash and military assistance, that goes to despots around the world. I am pretty much against that too.”

But mostly as an economist Professor Tahiro said he is concerned about the growing American debt, which is almost 8 trillion dollars right now. “It is a scary, scary number,” he said. “And as you might have noticed politicians are not talking about it at all.” He added: “And this is supposed to be an election year. They are happy that they are not talking about it because if they do it will make them look very bad so they would rather avoid it. But I want them to talk about it because it is a problem that we need to solve.”

Professor Tahiro has come a long way from his childhood home in Dodola, Ethiopia, located along the highway from Addis Ababa to Bale Robe. “It used to be a small sleepy town,” He said. “I was born in Ethiopia, I grew up there, I went to school there. I went to Addis Ababa University in the mid 1980s. I finished high school in 1984.”

As for being the first Ethiopian American candidate vying for a U.S. Senate seat Professor Tahiro noted that it was not his original intention, but he welcomes the opportunity. “It just turned out that way; I was not setting out to make history,” he emphasized. “As Obama said, he wasn’t running to become the first black president, but it just so happened that he was the first black President.”

Professor Tahiro continued: “As far as I know I am the first Ethiopian American and African actually running for the U.S. Senate. To me it does not really mean much personally, but it inspires the younger generation. I have kids here and it does’t look like I will be going back to Ethiopia any time soon. And it’s even more difficult for my kids to go back to Ethiopia because they were born here, they speak the language, they know this culture, basically they are Americans. By running for office I am showing them the way that if you want to be American, then you have to do what Americans do. You have to vote, you have to take part in the democratic process and then you can say we are Americans. It’s not merely enough to be a citizen. You have to participate in the political process. In that regard we have accomplished a lot. I am just setting another example.”

What’s the difference between write-in candidates and regular candidates? “The only difference is that you have to write-in my name to vote for me,” Professor Tahiro responded. “The other thing is that I don’t have a party affiliation, but I stand as the only write-in candidate for the U.S. Senate and if I win I will become a Senator representing Texas so my candidacy is certified by the State of Texas and everything has been filed.”

Asked about the historic U.S.-Africa Summit that was held in Washington over the Summer, Professor Tahiro stated: “I don’t oppose that in principle because the United States needs to have better relations with Africa, but the devil is in the details. And there are many things that I would change when it comes to American foreign policy vis-à-vis Africa. I support democracy in Africa. I support the right of people to elect, and the right of the elected politicians to actually hold offices.”

Regarding local matters, Tahiro focuses on reducing racial disparities in the U.S. criminal justice system as one of his top priorities. “I am very passionate about that,” he said. “I believe everybody needs to be treated equally under the law. Research shows that unfortunately that’s not case necessarily.” Professor Tahiro added: “People of color are treated differently in the criminal justice system, so I want to fight to make sure that the system applies to everyone equally. That’s really on my to-do list if I win.”

Does he have a message for Ethiopian Americans? “Yes, first thank you for giving me this opportunity to connect with your audience. I want people to know that I care about them. I treat them with respect; I see them as my people. It does not matter where you come from. Whether you come from my hometown of Dodola or you come from Gondar, let’s all narrow it down to Ethiopia. I don’t belong to this group or that group. In my mind I transcend all of our predicaments. I love you all and I just want you to know that.”

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Meet the Tour Operator: Yohannes Zeleke

Yohannes Zeleke is a man of many hats, including the one above. (Photo by David Cogswell)

Travel Pulse

By DAVID COGSWELL

When you hang with somebody, when you get down, travel around, eat meals together, hike around, discuss, argue, dance, drink, sing, laugh and various other things, you don’t often think about the initials after people’s names. But in truth Yohannes Zeleke, a member of the party that traveled to Ethiopia on the recent NTA Product Development trip, is a Ph.D.

As remarkable as those initials are, it’s one of the least interesting things that comes to mind about Dr. Zeleke. He is an anthropologist, an archaeologist with decades of digs in Europe, Asia and Africa under his belt. He’s an author. He’s a research associate with the Smithsonian Institution. He’s an alumnus of the University of California at Berkeley, The Russian Academy of Sciences and St. Petersburg State University. He teaches anthropology at the American University in Washington DC. He’s the president of the Mid-Atlantic chapter of the Africa Travel Association and he’s a tour operator.

The problem is where to begin. Any attempt to sum up his multi-faceted existence would fall short.

Yohannes Zeleke’s own long, winding journey began at Gondar, where he was born in one of Ethiopia’s largest cities and the site of Gondar Castle, a cluster of impressive stone structures built in 1636 by King Fasilides.

Growing up in Ethiopia, the site of the earliest known human fossils, as well as the Gondar Castle and many other sites of historical and religious significance, it is perhaps not surprising that he would have followed the courses of study of archaeology, anthropology and history.

Read more »

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Ethiopia to Deploy 210 Health Workers in Ebola-Hit West Africa

Ebola response roadmap prepared by the Word Health Organization, October 17th, 2014. (Credit: WHO)

Business Standard

Ethiopia said Friday it will deploy about 210 health professionals to Ebola-affected countries to support the response against the epidemic in West Africa.

In addition, the East African nation has also decided to provide financial support of $500,000 to the response in the highly affected countries, Xinhua reported.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, Keseteberhan Admasu, Ethiopia’s health minister, said the health professionals drawn from the public and private sectors would be deployed in two rounds.

The mission from Ethiopia comprises medical doctors, nurses, field epidemiologists, environmental health professionals and public health specialists.

The Ethiopian minister noted that the support is a sign of solidarity to African brothers and sisters.

With its programme dubbed the AU Support to Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA), the African Union (AU) has deployed volunteers in the affected countries.

The pan-African bloc recently appealed for more human resources from its member states and development partners to fight the Ebola epidemic.

Despite efforts made to combat and control the epidemic, Ebola outbreak continues to ravage the affected countries in West Africa and the transmission remains persistent and widespread especially in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.

Read more »

Related:
Doctor in NYC is Diagnosed With Ebola
Cuba’s Impressive Role on Ebola
Ebola: Africa’s Image Takes a Hit
U.S. Embassy: No Confirmed or Suspected Cases of Ebola in Ethiopia
Ethiopia Launches Ebola Testing Lab to Combat Epidemic

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Ebola Comes to New York

Police officers stood outside the apartment of Dr. Craig Spencer on West 147th Street in Harlem, New York City on Thursday, October 23rd, 2014. (Credit Jennifer S. Altman for The New York Times)

The New York Times

By MARC SANTORA

A doctor in New York City who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in Guinea tested positive for the Ebola virus Thursday, becoming the city’s first diagnosed case.

The doctor, Craig Spencer, was rushed to Bellevue Hospital Center on Thursday and placed in isolation while health care workers spread out across the city to trace anyone he might have come into contact with in recent days. A further test will be conducted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to confirm the initial test.

While officials have said they expected isolated cases of the disease to arrive in New York eventually, and had been preparing for this moment for months, the first case highlighted the challenges surrounding containment of the virus, especially in a crowded metropolis.

Video: NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Governor Cuomo Hold Press Conference

Read more at The New York Times »

Related:
Cuba’s Impressive Role on Ebola
Ebola: Africa’s Image Takes a Hit
U.S. Embassy: No Confirmed or Suspected Cases of Ebola in Ethiopia
Ethiopia Launches Ebola Testing Lab to Combat Epidemic

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Third Hub of Africa Fashion Week Underway in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Photo Courtesy: Hub of Africa Fashion Week.

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – The 3rd Hub of Africa Fashion Week is underway in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. Clairvoyant Marketing Agency PLC and In the Bag — organizers of the event — announced that the two-day international runway show dubbed the “Editorial Edition” highlights twelve brands including designers Mahlet Afework (aka Mafi – from Ethiopia), Sheria Ngowi (Tanzania), Ruald Rheeder (South Africa), Taibo Bacar (Mozambique), Kahindo of Modanik (DRC), Mataano (Somali – Ayaan and Idyl), Katungulu Mwendwa (Kenya), Doreen Mashika (Zanzibar), Kepha Maina (Kenya), and Sandstorm (Kenya).

“For editors, buyers and industry tastemakers, there will be an up-close-and-personal presentation of designers and their collection,” states the announcement. “The Editorial Edition is created to fill the void of African designers on the global platform; by having the right editors on board we will be able to showcase the brands that are coming out of Africa. We are looking to make sure that business in the African Fashion Market is well represented and can fast-forward Africa as the fashion forward continent.”

The organizers add: “We are at the pinnacle of making fashion history. We realize that global brands also borrow from our cultures, which is why we see our designers as those that will carry us to the next frontier. Key editors and media including Fashion One TV, Vogue Italy, Zen Magazine, Pana TV, Designing Africa, Style Cartel, Latina Magazine and Tatler Magazine, as well as buyers such as FA254 of Germany will be attending.”

DHL is listed as logistics partner of this year’s event, which is taking place on October 23rd and 24th at Galani Coffee & Gallery in Addis Ababa.

If You Go:
More information at www.hubfashionweekafrica.com

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When Ethiopians Joined Hands With Indians to Celebrate Diwali

Diwali (festival of lights) is an ancient Indian holiday celebrated each fall. (Photo: Scoop Whoop)

The New Indian Express

ADDIS ABABA: This year in Ethiopia, the celebration of Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, started early in a unique way with many new participants, both Indian and Ethiopian.

People like Muluken Belay, 35, an accountant at a private company, who have never been to an Indian function used to wonder how the festival looked like in reality after he saw it in movies. His dream would not have come true had it not been for Raju Kumar Kevelray Pandit, a fourth-generation Indian in Ethiopia who took the initiative to celebrate Diwali with his Ethiopian friends.

“The Indian community in Ethiopia with their deep-rooted presence since the times of the emperors in many aspects made the locals feel like they are part of its family”, Raju told IANS.

“My grandfather was the advisor for King Hailesellasie, my father used to work for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and I work at a private Indian company serving Indian and Ethiopian community”.

He wanted to organise an event where Indians could mix with Ethiopians to share and explore more about each other’s cultures. With the support of his friend they picked a restaurant known for its unique ambiance, Addis Down Town Capri Restaurant and Lounge, for this special event.

“When he came to our place proposing the idea we embraced it because we knew it was going to be special,” Demelie Arega, managing director of the restaurant, told IANS. “This is the first time we collaborated with any community and India is rich with its music and colourful with its presence. Indeed it is a great experience”.

The restaurant prepared a special menu specifically for the celebration for everyone to enjoy. The place was decorated with costumes, flowers and other items to reflect Bollywood-themed night . The Indian flag that was hung on the wall behind the DJs was hard to miss.

Participants like Muluken and his friends were happy to pay the 100 birr ($5) entrance fee for it was not something they would get all the time.

“I did not think I would actually witness this here in Addis Abba. I have been to many Indian restaurants and have so many Indian friends, but I have never seen them celebrate a function or dance,” Muluken told IANS smiling.

Read more at The New Indian Express »

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Ethiopia’s ‘African Tiger’ Leaps Towards Middle Income

People wait for a bus in Addis Ababa. The government has launched an ambitious modernisation plan in the Ethiopian capital. (Photograph: Giorgio Cosulich/Getty)

The Guardian

It is now three decades since Ethiopia experienced the infamous famine that cost the lives of more than a million people. The tragedy prompted the BBC’s Michael Buerk to describe it as “a biblical famine in the 20th century” and “the closest thing to hell on Earth”.

In sharp contrast with that devastating poverty, Ethiopia is now widely considered to be one of a pack of “African tigers”, with ambitious plans to become a middle-income country by 2025. The nation has, “like the proverbial phoenix, managed to rise from the ashes to become Africa’s fastest-growing non-energy-driven economy”, a senior tax adviser at KPMG Kenya recently noted.

The changes that have taken place in Ethiopia since the 1984 famine are commendable. Despite some dispute over the figures, there is consensus that Ethiopia has registered impressive economic growth for the past decade of somewhere between 8% and 10%. One effect of the progress is a greater capacity to cope with drought, preventing the descent into famine conditions that have occurred in the past. Ethiopia’s development efforts are also praised internationally for meeting some of the millennium development goals, particularly universal primary education and a reduction in infant mortality.

Read more at The Guardian »

Related:
Ethiopia, 30 Years After the 1984 Famine (The Guardian)
Ethiopian famine: how landmark BBC report influenced modern coverage (The Guardian)
Ethiopia: The famine report that shocked the world (BBC)

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Man Caught After Jumping White House Fence

The White House is seen from outside the north lawn fence in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Reuters)

VOA News

For the second time in a little more than a month, a man has jumped the White House fence, but this time the intruder was apprehended with the help of Secret Service dogs.

The jumper was caught Wednesday evening outside the White House after he scaled the north fence. A Secret Service spokesman said the suspect kicked at one of the dogs before a second dog subdued him.

The jumper was then taken to a nearby hospital. The White House was put on lockdown during the incident.

On September 19, Omar Gonzalez, a 42-year-old Army vet who is unemployed and homeless, bolted across the lawn and into the White House before being apprehended. He had a 9-centimeter knife in his pants and more than 800 rounds of ammunition, two hatchets and a machete in his car.

The unprecedented security breach led to congressional hearings and the resignation of Julia Pierson as Secret Service director.

Related:
U.S. Secret Service Director Resigns Over White House Security Breach

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Ethiopia, 30 Years After the 1984 Famine

A man walks past a portion of the Addis Ababa light railway under construction in Addis Ababa. (Photograph: Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images)

The Guardian

By David Smith

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Addis Ababa – With an Einsteinian shock of hair and a wise man’s beard, Mulugeta Tesfakiros, just off a flight from Washington, settled into an office of glass walls and vibrant artworks in Addis Ababa. The millionaire magnate, who has gone into the local wine business with Bob Geldof, mused on the new Ethiopia: “Most of the people need first security, second food … and democracy after that.”

An hour’s drive away stand the corrugated iron watchtowers of a prison. The inmates include nine bloggers and journalists charged with terrorism. Standing in a bleak courtyard on a family visit day, they talked about how they had been tortured.

“I feel like I don’t know Ethiopia,” one said. “It’s a totally different country for me.”

This is the Janus-faced society that is the second most populous country in Africa. A generation after the famine that pierced the conscience of the world, Ethiopia is both a darling of the international development community and a scourge of the human rights lobby. Even as investment conferences praise it as a trailblazer the entire continent should emulate, organisations such as Human Rights Watch (HRW) describe it as “one of the most repressive media environments in the world”.


Three decades after images that shocked the world, country has become darling of the global development community – and the scourge of the human rights lobby. (Photograph: William Campbell/Sygma/Corbis)

To be in Ethiopia is to witness an economic miracle. The country has enjoyed close to double-digit growth for a decade. One study found it was creating millionaires faster than anywhere else on the continent. The streets of Addis Ababa reverberate with hammering from construction workers as the concrete skeletons of new towers and a monorail project rise into the crane-dotted sky. Ethiopia’s government says it is on course to meet most of the millennium development goals and, by 2025, to be a middle-income country.

Yet the frenetic urban expansion has uprooted thousands of farmers while, critics say, those who speak out against it are rounded up and jailed. Of 547 MPs, only one belongs to an opposition party. Activists and journalists describe an Orwellian surveillance state, breathtaking in scale and scope, in which phone conversations are recorded and emails monitored by thousands of bureaucrats reminiscent of the Stasi in East Berlin. The few who dare to take to the streets in protest are crushed with deadly force. Amnesty International has called it an “onslaught on dissent” in the runup to elections next year.

Read more at The Guardian »

Related:
Ethiopian famine: how landmark BBC report influenced modern coverage (The Guardian)
Ethiopia: The famine report that shocked the world (BBC)

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International Symposium: Legacies of the Italian Occupation of Ethiopia

The symposium organized by Ethiopian American writer Maaza Mengiste and Ruth Ben Ghiat, Professor of Italian Studies and History at New York University, will be held at NYU on Friday, October 24th 2014.

Tadias Magazine
Events News

Press release

New York – This symposium, organized by NYU faculty Ruth Ben-Ghiat (History, Italian Studies) and Maaza Mengiste (Creative Writing) examines the legacies of the Italian occupation of Ethiopia as experienced by Ethiopians. History can only go so far to tell us about what took place during Italian rule – and its consequences. In Ethiopia, visual and storytelling cultures have been main vehicles of postcolonial expression.

The three panels look at how performance, writing and storytelling, and visual arts narrate this difficult period and its legacies for several generations.

9:30 Coffee and Welcome
Maaza Mengiste and Ruth Ben-Ghiat

9:30-11:00 Plays and Performance
Bewketu Seyoum (Independent Writer, Performer), in dialogue with Heran Sereke-Brhan (Independent Researcher), and Dagmawi Woubshet (Cornell University).

11:15-11:30 Coffee break

11:30-1:00 Literature and Storytelling
Shiferaw Bekele (Addis Ababa University), in dialogue with Dagmawi Woubshet (Cornell University) and Heran Sereke-Brhan (Independent Researcher).

1:00-2:30 Lunch Break

2:30-4:00 Visual Arts
Abiyi Ford (Addis Ababa University), in dialogue with Ruth Ben-Ghiat (New York University), Maaza Mengiste (New York University and Princeton University), and Shiferaw Bekele (Addis Ababa University).

4:00 Closing Remarks by Abiyi Ford and discussion with the audience

We are grateful to the Global Research Initiative, the Departments of History and Italian Studies, the Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, Africa House, and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, all of New York University, for their generous support of this initiative.

If You Go:
LEGACIES OF THE ITALIAN OCCUPATION IN ETHIOPIA
OCTOBER 24, 2014
NYU Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimò
24 West 12th Street, NYC
www.casaitaliananyu.org

(Cover images courtesy: NYU & DCStamps)

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Harvard Opens New Gallery Exclusively for African & African American Art

The newly opened gallery at Harvard University: The Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art. The building is 23,000 square feet and holds 98 pieces by 21 artists. (Photograph: The Crimson)

The Harvard Crimson

By By SAMUEL E. LIU

The first Harvard gallery exclusively for African & African American art, the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art, opened Tuesday.

To celebrate the event, the Hutchins Center hosted a discussion with curators David Adjaye and Mariane Ibrahim-Lenhardt, moderated by professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and held at the Harvard Faculty Club. The talk delved into the process behind the creation of the gallery as well as the curators’s ideas regarding the significance of the installation.

Afterwards, attendees walked to the new gallery at 104 Mt. Auburn St., next to Peet’s Coffee. The contemporary African artwork displayed was collected by Italian businessman Jean Pigozzi ’74, and was titled “Luminós/C/ity.Ordinary Joy.”

During the talk, Gates recalled how a deal was struck with Ethelbert Cooper to create the gallery.

“[Cooper and I] were sitting there, it was sleeting and he said…I want a naming opportunity. I want my name on something at Harvard,” Gates said to laughter. Gates then told Cooper that no university had created a gallery explicitly for African and African-American art and that this endeavor would be “the greatest thing.”

A notable architect, Adjaye designed the building by drawing on his roots in Ghana, influenced by the country’s forests. The building’s exterior is covered in a facade of vertical wooden planks.

Read more at The Harvard Crimson »

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14th Anniversary of Taitu Cultural and Educational Center

Alemtsehay Wedajo, Founder & Director of the Taitu Cultural and Educational Center. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – The Taitu Cultural & Educational Center, which serves as a platform for Ethiopian theatrical productions in the U.S., marks its 14th anniversary this year. The DC-based organization was founded in 2000 by Ethiopian-born actress, playwright and poet Alemtsehay Wedajo, and has staged over 30 plays and concerts since it was launched. That’s in addition to hosting book releases, guest authors, comedians and a popular monthly poetry night called YeWeru Gitm Mishit showcasing emerging and veteran talents in literature as well as painting, film-making and music.

The 14th anniversary celebration is scheduled for Sunday, November 2nd at Tifereth Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C. The event’s program features a play called Yasteyikal. A comedy and selected poems of the year will also be recited by legendary performers including Alemtsehay Wedajo and Tesfaye Sima.


Theater productions and stage activities organized by the Taitu Cultural Center in the last decade have become a magnet for established and aspiring Ethiopian artists and authors residing in Washington, D.C.


Past shows produced by Taitu Cultural Center. (Courtesy Photos)


“It was one of my dreams to establish such a center here in America” Alemtsehay says. “I hope it will serve to narrow the gap among the various Ethiopian communities around the country.”

If You Go:
Taitu Cultural and Educational Center
14th Anniversary Celebration
Sunday, November 2nd, 2014
Door Opens at 4pm
$20 per person
Tifereth Israel Congregation
7701 16th St. NW,
Washington, D.C.
www.tayituculturalcenter.org

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Ethiopian Maids Reveal Abuse From Employers in UAE

Ethiopian domestic workers in UAE: Wube Tamene (left) and Hedja Ousman (right). (7daysindubai.com)

7DAYS October 21, 2014

Two maids have spoken of the appalling abuse they claim was dished out by their employers, as a top diplomat called for an end to household “slavery”.

Hedja Ousman, 22, and Wube Tamene, 18, worked for families in the UAE and both say they were beaten, starved, and prevented from contacting their families in Ethiopia.

They have now sought refuge at the Ethiopian Consulate in Dubai.

Hedja, speaking to 7DAYS yesterday, told of the horrors she endured during the two years she worked for a Kazakh family in Ajman. She said her female employer didn’t like the prospect of the maid speaking to her husband.

She said: “My employer didn’t want me talking to her husband. Every time her husband would instruct me to do something, she would beat me.”

Hedja said the woman even cut off her hair to make her “less attractive”.

Hedja, who earned Dhs500 per month, said the abuse began three months after she started her job. She decided to escape last week when her employer accused her of stealing car keys and beat her.

“I saw the door open and I ran,” she said. I asked someone for water, they called the police for me. I’ve been at the consulate since. I want to go home.”

She has dropped the police case she had filed against her employer but the consulate says it intends to file a new one.

Read more »

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Cuba’s Impressive Role on Ebola

Cuban health workers in Sierra Leone. (Credit Florian Plaucheur/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images)

The New York Times | EDITORIAL

By The Editorial Board

Cuba is an impoverished island that remains largely cut off from the world and lies about 4,500 miles from the West African nations where Ebola is spreading at an alarming rate. Yet, having pledged to deploy hundreds of medical professionals to the front lines of the pandemic, Cuba stands to play the most robust role among the nations seeking to contain the virus.

Cuba’s contribution is doubtlessly meant at least in part to bolster its beleaguered international standing. Nonetheless, it should be lauded and emulated.

The global panic over Ebola has not brought forth an adequate response from the nations with the most to offer. While the United States and several other wealthy countries have been happy to pledge funds, only Cuba and a few nongovernmental organizations are offering what is most needed: medical professionals in the field.

Doctors in West Africa desperately need support to establish isolation facilities and mechanisms to detect cases early. More than 400 medical personnel have been infected and about 4,500 patients have died. The virus has shown up in the United States and Europe, raising fears that the epidemic could soon become a global menace.

It is a shame that Washington, the chief donor in the fight against Ebola, is diplomatically estranged from Havana, the boldest contributor. In this case the schism has life-or-death consequences, because American and Cuban officials are not equipped to coordinate global efforts at a high level. This should serve as an urgent reminder to the Obama administration that the benefits of moving swiftly to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba far outweigh the drawbacks.

Read more at NYT »

Related:
Ebola: Africa’s Image Takes a Hit
U.S. Embassy: No Confirmed or Suspected Cases of Ebola in Ethiopia
Ethiopia Launches Ebola Testing Lab to Combat Epidemic

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The Pivotal Role of Free Media in Building A Healthy Democracy

"Democracy is commonly defined as a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Like a fish to water, democracy can only exist in an atmosphere of freedom of action." (theviewspaper.net)

UN.org

By SHEILA S. CORONEL

Since the 17th century, the role of the press as Fourth Estate and as a forum for public discussion and debate has been recognized. Today, despite the mass media’s propensity for sleaze, sensationalism and superficiality, the notion of the media as watchdog, as guardian of the public interest, and as a conduit between governors and the governed remains deeply ingrained.

The reality, however, is that the media in new and restored democracy do not always live up to the ideal. They are hobbled by stringent laws, monopolistic ownership, and sometimes, the threat of brute force. State controls are not the only constraints. Serious reporting is difficult to sustain in competitive media markets that put a premium on the shallow and sensational. Moreover, the media are sometimes used as proxies in the battle between rival political groups, in the process sowing divisiveness rather than consensus, hate speech instead of sober debate, and suspicion rather than social trust. In these cases, the media contribute to public cynicism and democratic decay.

Still, in many fledgling democracies, the media have been able to assert their role in buttressing and deepening democracy. Investigative reporting, which in some cases has led to the ouster of presidents and the fall of corrupt governments, has made the media an effective and credible watchdog and boosted its credibility among the public. Investigative reporting has also helped accustom officials to an inquisitive press and helped build a culture of openness and disclosure that has made democratically elected governments more accountable. Training for journalists, manuals that arm reporters with research tools, and awards for investigative reporting have helped create a corps of independent investigative journalists in several new and restored democracies.

Democracy requires the active participation of citizens. Ideally, the media should keep citizens engaged in the business of governance by informing, educating and mobilising the public. In many new democracies, radio has become the medium of choice, as it is less expensive and more accessible. FM and community radio have been effective instruments for promoting grassroots democracy by airing local issues, providing an alternative source of information to official channels, and reflecting ethnic and linguistic diversity. The Internet, too, can play such a role, because of its interactivity, relatively low costs of entry and freedom from state control.

The media can also help build peace and social consensus, without which democracy is threatened. The media can provide warring groups mechanisms for mediation, representation and voice so they can settle their differences peacefully. Unfortunately, the media have sometimes fanned the flames of discord by taking sides, reinforcing prejudices, muddling the facts and peddling half-truths. “Peace journalism,” which is being promoted by various NGOs, endeavours to promote reconciliation through careful reportage that gives voice to all sides of a conflict and resists explanation for violence in terms of innate enmities. Training and the establishment of mechanisms whereby journalists from opposite sides of conflict can interact with the other side, including other journalists representing divergent views, have helped propagate peace journalism.

Read more »

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Remembering Bowflex Inventor Dosho Tessema Shifferaw

The late Dosho Tessema Shifferaw, CEO of Dosho Design, Inc, and inventor of Bowflex. (Photo: Bizmedia)

Ethiomedia

Ethiopians Grieve Death of Bowflex Inventor

SAN FRANCISCO – Dosho Tessema Shifferaw, an Ethiopian American entrepreneur who invented Bowflex, a household name in gyms worldwide, was laid to rest on Saturday after he died of a brain tumor on Thursday.

“Shifferaw invented the Bowflex, a home weight machine that uses bendable rods instead of weight plates to provide resistance, in the early 1980s, while trying to design an ergonomic chair for a City College of San Francisco class project. Widely marketed on infomercials, more than $3 billion worth of the machines have been sold over the years. Its success eventually made Shifferaw a multimillionaire,” Lindsay Riddell wrote in the San Francisco Business Times on March 22, 2013.

In 2005, Dosho was a recipient of the US Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) award.

A holder of over 16 patents, Tessema emigrated to the United States when he was 19. He was the son of an army general during the reign of Emperor Haileselassie of Ethiopia.

Upon arrival in the US, Tessema was doubling as a taxi driver and an engineering student at City College of San Francisco, where he accidently discovered the homeweight machine while working on a project for an ergonomic chair for his college.

In 2012, Tessema was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and he was told he may not live long to see his projects bearing fruit.

“They told me that I’d live about five years, may be less, but hopefully more, he told the San Francisco Business Times reporter last year. Dosho is survived by his wife and three children.

Read more at Ethiomedia »


Related:
The Bowflex Inventor Story


www.dosho.com

TUESDAY, MARCH 6, 2007

In a San Francisco cottage 23 years ago T. Dosho Shifferaw, an Ethiopian immigrant and inventor, struggled to design the perfect chair. Stuck and frustrated, he bent a spare metal rod across his shoulders and in that moment stumbled upon the key to transforming America’s home gym workouts.

After discovering that the resistance of the rod created a smooth, muscle-building workout, Shifferaw created the “Bowflex,” one of the nation’s best-known infomercial products.

Shifferaw – who arrived in the United States with just $500 – a multimillionaire. For years, investors refused to back the Bowflex, saying it looked like an octopus or a spider — not like an exercise machine.

“When I initially designed and tried to market it to companies, no one would take it. It was such a different looking product. Some said it looked like a spider, others an octopus. They demanded I make it look like an exercise machine,” recalls Tessema D. Shifferaw, founder, CEO and creative mind behind Dosho Design, Inc.

Instead, the Bowflex went on to become the fastest-selling piece of exercise equipment in the United States with sales pole-vaulting from $10 million in 1995 to $585 million in 2002, nearly doubling each year.

Shifferaw’s most recent inventions include the Windjector, a unique “wind-resistance trainer” and the DoshBell, a Pac-Man-like dumbbell design that clamps on barbells, allowing weights to be adjusted to fro five to 55 pounds, depending on how much effort one wants to put into a workout.

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Arabica in Addis Ababa: Climbing the Coffee Ladder in Ethiopia

Selling the drink in its homeland offers a path to success, but now foreign companies want to get in on the game. (Photo: Customers in the Tomoca coffeehouse in the heart of Addis Ababa/James Jeffrey)

Aljazeera America

By James Jeffrey

October 20, 2014

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Eighteen-year-old Aster Endale quickly gives the coffee cups a rinse before putting them back into her basket and picking up a bag with canisters of coffee. Then she crosses the road, weaving between traffic, to find her next customers.

Time wasted is coffee not poured — and money not earned — in the Ethiopian capital, where the humble cup of coffee is contributing to economic advancement starting at the lowest level and finishing at the counters of upmarket gourmet coffee houses in Tokyo and beyond.

Coffee has long played a central role in Ethiopia’s macroeconomic fortunes as the country’s largest export earner. In 2012 coffee exports generated more than $800 million, a figure expected to exceed $1 billion by 2015.

But besides the grand figures in annual economic reports, the simple act of selling a cup of cheap coffee plays a significant socioeconomic role for many trying to carve out a better life in Ethiopia. This is especially true amid the hubbub of a rapidly changing Addis Ababa, where a hierarchy of diverse coffee services by various practitioners exists.

At the bottom are women like Endale, roaming the streets carrying flasks in baskets full of tiny porcelain cups and saucers, dispensing coffee for three Ethiopian birr ($0.15) a cup. Next in line are the traditional coffee stands, known as jeubeuna bunna, outside bars and restaurants serving coffee for five birr ($0.25) a cup. Then there are the established coffeehouses, where a cup costs upward of 10 birr ($0.50).

“Everyone wants to graduate to the next level,” said Wondwossen Meshesha, operations manager for Tomoca, one of Addis’ original coffeehouses, inaugurated in 1953 by Emperor Haile Selassie.

For Tomoca, the next level up means securing foreign partners to help it export more roasted coffee to new international markets — doubling the revenue of raw beans, traditionally the bulk of Ethiopia’s coffee exports — and even opening cafes abroad.

Read more »

Related:
Boom Times for Ethiopia’s Coffee Shops (BBC)
Blessed Coffee Wins Start Up Africa Entrepreneurship of the Year Award (TADIAS)

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Ebola: Africa’s Image Takes a Hit

A burial team in protective gear buries the body of a woman suspected to have died from the Ebola virus in Monrovia, Liberia on Saturday, October 18th, 2014. (AP photo)

The Associated Press

By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA

JOHANNESBURG — In the United States, some parents fearful of deadly Ebola pulled children out of a school after the principal returned from Zambia, an African nation far from the area hit by the disease. In Geneva, a top U.N. official warned against anti-African discrimination fueled by fears of Ebola. The disease has ravaged a small part of Africa, but the international image of the whole continent is increasingly under siege, reinforcing some old stereotypes.

Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – the African countries afflicted by the Ebola outbreak – have a combined population of about 22 million on a continent with more than 1 billion people. Their corner of West Africa encompasses an area the size of California, or almost as big as Morocco. Yet the epidemic feeds into a narrative of disaster on a continent of 54 countries that has seen some progress in past years, and false perceptions of Ebola’s reach are hurting African business distant from the affected areas.

“It speaks to a whole discourse about the danger of Africa,” said Michael Jennings, a senior lecturer in international development at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.

He cited the recent decision of a British school to postpone a visit by a teacher from the West African country of Ghana after parents expressed concern about the Ebola virus. Ghana does not border the hard-hit nations and has not reported any cases of the disease.

Jennings said fearful people don’t necessarily react in a rational way and the message of some comments on social media in Britain is: “Why don’t we just stop everyone in West Africa from coming?”

Africa has had a troubled image. Famine in Ethiopia, chaos in Somalia and genocide in Rwanda drove the idea of a continent in perpetual crisis. In recent years, though, an end to a number of wars and ensuing stability and growth pointed to a turnaround that some enthusiasts dubbed “Africa Rising.”

Now the economic impact of Ebola fears is being felt in many parts of Africa. Hotels, tourism operators and conference organizers are recording increasing cancellations.

Thirty international buyers pulled out of an annual tourism expo that began Thursday in Zimbabwe’s resort town of Victoria Falls, said Karikoga Kaseke, the national tourism agency chief. He said business travelers from China and Malaysia were among those who recently canceled trips, and Jamaican musicians have also skipped Zimbabwean shows.

The southern African country is more than 4,800 kilometers (3,000 miles) from Ebola-hit Liberia, or about twice the distance between London and Moscow.

Read more »

Related:
U.S. Embassy: No Confirmed or Suspected Cases of Ebola in Ethiopia
Ethiopia Launches Ebola Testing Lab to Combat Epidemic

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Grammy–nominated Ethiopian American Singer Wayna at Lincoln Center NYC

Wayna (Woyneab Wondwossen) is an Ethiopian-born, Grammy-nominated R&B singer. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Sunday, October 19th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – The David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center in New York City has hosted some memorable shows featuring Ethiopian artists this year, including DC-based-Bandleader Hailu Mergia, the NYC screening of Difret, and now Grammy–nominated Ethiopian American singer and songwriter Wayna who is scheduled to perform here this coming week. Meklit Hadero is also on the list of musicians invited to perform next Spring.

Wayna, who is promoting her latest album The Expats, will take the stage on Thursday, October 23rd along with rising hip hop artist Akua Naru. “Wayna’s newest album represents a departure from her previous work. Named as an homage to its Toronto-based backing band and internationally born production –team contributors hail from Ethiopia, Japan, Israel, Germany, Jamaica, and India —- the album draws from diverse influences to create an alternative environment where Sade and The Police meet Lauryn Hill and Radiohead,” the announcement states. “Wayna’s lyrics continue to push the envelope, addressing thought-provoking subject matter including racial and economic inequality, love, individuality, and life choices.”

“I’ve always been a bit of an expat,” says the Ethiopian-born artist. “I want this album to be about exploring and expressing all the ways in which I and every one of us are unique, culturally or otherwise, and to celebrate those differences unapologetically,” she adds. “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

If You Go:
Wayna & Akua Naru
When: Oct. 23 at 7:30
Entrance: FREE (Sponsored by Target)
David Rubenstein Atrium Lincoln Center
New York City
www.lincolncenter.org

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Ethiopia’s Girmay Birhanu Gebru Wins Beijing Marathon Amid ‘Hazardous’ Smog

Ethiopia's Girmay Birhanu Gebru wins the 34th Beijing International Marathon in a time of two hours, 10 minutes and 42 seconds in Beijing on October 19, 2014. (Getty Images)

Bloomberg News

Oct 19, 2014

Girmay Birhanu Gebru of Ethiopia won the Beijing Marathon as about 30,000 runners from 55 countries completed after a warning of hazardous haze engulfing the city.

Gebru completed the race in 2 hours, 10 minutes and 42 seconds, the official Xinhua News Agency reported today. The organization committee of the race warned marathoners of heavy smog on its official Weibo feed last night. The Air Quality Index in the city central area is at “severely polluted levels” of around 225 to 245 today, with the gauge at more than 400 in some areas, according to Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau. The U.S. Embassy said on its website air quality is “hazardous” today.

“I was basically a vacuum cleaner,” William Liu, a 30-year-old banker, said after completing the full marathon in five hours. He said he could’ve run faster if the smog hadn’t given him a dry, itchy throat and stuffy nose partway through.

Read more at Bloomberg News »

Related:
Genzebe Dibaba Makes Final Shortlist for 2014 IAAF World’s Athlete of the Year
Lelisa Desisa and Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia Win Boston Half-Marathon
Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa to Challenge Historic Men’s Field at 2014 NYC Marathon

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In Little Ethiopia, Palliative Care Means Dignity for Ethiopian American Elders

Hayim Tovim Adult Day Health Care center located in the heart of the Little Ethiopia neighborhood along Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles, California. (Photo: NAM)

New America Media

By Julian Do, Posted: Oct 18, 2014

LOS ANGELES–Until last spring, Tesfaldey Meshesha and his wife, who came to the United States from Ethiopia in 2008, used to be regulars at Hayim Tovim Adult Day Health Care center located in the heart of the Little Ethiopia along Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles. Here, they joined in aerobic dancing, socialized, lunched with friends and received medical check ups.

But these days, Meshesha, 76, the former manager of Wonji Shoa Sugar Factory, one of Ethiopia’s largest of its kind, comes alone, as his wife has contracted bone cancer.

“No matter what, my wife has to be taken care of by me at home. Transferring her to a nursing home would be unthinkable because I don’t think any nursing or hospital facilities here can provide our cultural ways of respect and dignity to the elders,” said Meshesha with tears in his eyes. He was polite but clearly didn’t want to talk about his wife’s illness further.

Read more at newamericamedia.org »

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Atlanta: In Memory of Sol Samuel, 20, Adopted From Ethiopia

Samuel "Sol' Fisseha Mengistie of Atlanta died on October 9th, 2014. He was 20 years old. Sol, who was adopted by an American family ten years ago, was born in Jima, Ethiopia. (Photograph: AJS.com)

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Elizabeth Montgomery

Sol Samuel was a superstar on the soccer field and in the hearts of those who knew him.

“On the soccer field, every one said he was a ‘beast’ ” said his mother, author Melissa Fay Greene. “Your day was ruined if he was the defender.”

Fisseha Mengistie was born in Jima, Ethiopia. As a boy he worked as a shepherd until he was sent to live with his grandmother. She was soon unable to care for him and took him to an orphanage in the city.

Known to many as “Sol,” he was adopted by his American family at age 10. He was one of nine children in the Samuel family.

“Fisseha,” the Ethiopian word for “happiness,” reflected his personality.

Read more at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution »

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Watch: Why President Obama’s Credit Card Was Declined at a Restaurant (CNN Video)

It was a safeguard against identity theft, he said. (Photo: President Barack Obama/GETTY IMAGES)

The Root

BY: LYNETTE HOLLOWAY

Oct. 18 2014

When President Barack Obama’s credit card was declined at a fancy restaurant in New York City last month, the first lady had him covered.

But CNN reports that bad credit was not the issue. The card was likely declined to prevent identity theft. The president told the story Friday while speaking to workers at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Washington, D.C., where he signed an executive order to bolster security measures for government credit cards.

“I guess I don’t use it enough, so they thought there was some fraud going on,” he said, according to CNN. “Luckily, Michelle had hers. I was trying to explain to the waitress that I’ve really been paying my bills.”

The incident occurred while the first couple was dining at Estela in downtown Manhattan during the president’s visit to New York for the annual United Nations General Assembly session.

Watch: Obama’s credit card declined at fancy restaurant

Read more at CNN »

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Bloggers Behind Bars: Zone9ers and Threats to Online Speech Across the Globe

The founding members of Zone9 blogging collective. This photo was taken right after they participated in digital security training in Ethiopia in December 2012. (Photo: Endalk Chala)

Global Voices Online

Written by Rebecca MacKinnon

We want more openness, more transparency,” Ethiopian writer Endalkchew Chala told me in a phone interview. “People deserve choice; people deserve access to the world’s knowledge.” For expressing views like these online, his friends were scheduled to go on trial for terrorism in early August—though the trial was later adjourned to October 15. It briefly reconvened last week then adjourned again until early November.

In July, Ethan Zuckerman wrote a detailed post here on Global Voices describing the origins of the Zone 9 bloggers collective, and why they chose that name, and the implications of their case in Ethiopia. In a nutshell, two years ago Endalk (as his friends and colleagues like to call him) got together with several like-minded young Ethiopian writers and journalists to launch a hard-hitting blog called “Zone9.” The blog’s name derives from Addis Ababa’s infamous Kaliti prison, divided into eight zones with political prisoners confined to Zone Eight. They chose the name Zone9 intending to suggest that the entire nation was becoming a virtual prison—effectively a ninth zone. “All of Ethiopia is part of it,” explains Endalk. In 2011, one inmate, journalist Eskinder Nega, was arrested for the seventh time after writing a column, which ironically criticized the Ethiopian government’s habit of arresting journalists on terrorism charges.

Such edginess was too much for their government to take. Six of the Zone9 bloggers were arrested this past April. Three months later, they were formally charged with terrorism and “related activities.” Endalk, pursuing a graduate degree in Portland, Oregon when the arrests took place, is now their informal spokesperson, blogging and tweeting the latest developments. The group’s alleged crimes include attending trainings by international technical experts on how to use software tools to shield themselves from electronic surveillance. They are also accused of clandestinely organizing themselves into a blogger collective—a bizarre accusation given that Zone9 is a public website.

For the past two years, Endalk and four other Zone9 members also ran the Amharic edition of Global Voices Online. The group translated to Amharic (the dominant local language in Ethiopia) Global Voices posts written by contributors from around the world—particularly those related to activism, freedom of expression, and censorship— of strong relevance to an Ethiopian audience whose state-controlled media is heavily censored.

Read more at Global Voices Online »

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In Ethiopia, Foreign Investment is a Fancy Word for Stealing Land

Executive director Birinder Singh in the Ethiopian offices in Addis Ababa for Bangalore-based Karuturi. (Photo Credit: Alfredo Bini)

Quartz

By Daniel A. Medina

It’s been called by some to be a new form of colonialism. Others say it is outright theft.

Since 2000, over 37 million hectares of land, mainly in the world’s poorest nations, have been acquired by foreign investors “without the free, prior, and informed consent of communities” in what, according to Oxfam and other organizations, constitutes a “land grab.” It’s a portion of land twice the size of Germany, according to researchers.

More than 60% of crops grown on land bought by foreign investors in developing countries are intended for export, instead of for feeding local communities. Worse still, two-thirds of these agricultural land deals are in countries with serious hunger problems. A report by the University of Virginia in collaboration with the Polytechnic University of Milan says that a third to a fourth (pdf, p. 1) of the global malnourished population, or 300 to 550 million people, could be fed from the global share of land grabs.

Instead, the land is used to grow profitable crops—like sugarcane, palm oil, and soy. The benefits of this food production “go to the investors and to the countries that are receiving the exports, and not to the benefit of local communities,” says Paolo D’Odorico, professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia. He attributes the phenomenon to a global “commodification of land” and says the problem will only get worse in the coming years as food prices continue to rise globally.

Land grabs in the developing world create a system so unequal that resource-rich countries become resource dependent.

In Ethiopia, one of the world’s largest recipients of foreign aid, the problem is particularly acute. In a country where over 30% of the population (pdf) is below the food poverty line, crops are exported abroad—primarily to India, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states.

Multinationals buy up the land from the Ethiopian government for lease and bring in workers to farm it.
Favorable climate conditions and government relief have led Ethiopia to be chosen as a new production site by many flower growers present in Kenya. Bangalore-based Karuturi Global, the world’s largest rose exporter, has rose plantations in the country, and is planning the development of a 300,000-hectare lease in the Gambella area.

Read more and view photos at qz.com »



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Genzebe Dibaba Makes Final Shortlist for 2014 IAAF World’s Athlete of the Year

Ethiopia's Genzebe Dibaba has made the final three-person shortlist for the 2014 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Athlete of the Year Award. (Photo: Wikimedia)

Athletics-Africa

By YOMOG MEJE

October 17, 2014

Kenya’s Dennis Kipruto Kimetto and Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba have made the final three-person shortlist for the 2014 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Athlete of the Year Award.

The duo are the only Africans still in contention to become the 2014 IAAF World Athletes of the Year after the IAAF announced the names of the three men and three women finalists for the award on Friday.

Dennis Kimetto, the new world marathon record-holder, has had an incredible year after smashing the previous world record held by compatriot Wilson Kipsang in 2:02:57 at the Berlin Marathon on September 28.

Kimetto, 30, also holds the Chicago Marathon (2:03:45) and the Tokyo Marathon (2:06:50) course records.

Genzebe Dibaba also had an unbelievable year. The Ethiopian became the World Indoor 1500m champion in Sopot in March, and broke three indoor world records before taking the IAAF Continental Cup in Marrakech in September and winning IAAF Diamond Race.

The finalists were selected after a two-week-long poll of the world athletics family – made up of IAAF & IAF Council members; IAAF national member federations; IAAF Committee & Commission members; IAAF meeting directors; IAAF athlete ambassadors; athletes’ representatives; top athletes; members of the international press; IAAF staff members and the IAAF’s official partners.

Read more and see the finalists for the IAAF World Athlete of the Year »

Related:
Genzebe Dibaba Wants More World Records

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Professor Mohammed Tahiro for US Senate

Professor Mohammed Tahiro of Texas is running for US Senate as a write-in candidate in the upcoming midterm U.S. elections. (tahiro2014.org)

Tahiro2014.org

Mohammed Abbajebel Tahiro was born in Ethiopia in 1964. After completing his elementary and secondary education, he enrolled at Addis Ababa University with an academic interest in theoretical physics. Due to political upheaval and social instability, he left the country for a brief sojourn in Nairobi, Kenya before making the long journey to the United States of America in 1989.

Mohammed met and married his wife Shadia Omar in 1996 during his stay in Minneapolis. They have four school-aged children. The Tahiros relocated to North Texas where he was instrumental in establishing and running a logistics company that employed dozens of workers and subcontractors for more than a decade.

He continued his collegiate career at the University of Texas system and earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Economics; and for the past eight years, he has been teaching in his field of discipline. Currently, he is an Associate Professor of Economics at Collin College in Plano, Texas.

As an avid student of Economics, Professor Tahiro has studied the US deficit and budget crisis, and has designed an effective framework for sustainable reduction of the ballooning debt. As an immigrant, he understands the unspoken nuances of the immigration reform proposals, and he is positioned to lend salient contributions to the discourse that is informed by his passionate appreciation for the value of the American Promise.

Mohammed Abbajebel Tahiro is an American in the State of Texas with an effective and sustainable plan to represent the interests of the diverse constituents in the Lone Star State.

More information about the candidate at Tahiro2014.org »

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Ethiopia-to-Djibouti Rail to Be Complete in a Year, PM Says

(Photo: ertagov)

Bloomberg News

By William Davison

An electrified rail link from Ethiopia’s capital along its main trade route to neighboring Djibouti will be completed by October 2015, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said.

The Railways Corp. project, funded with a $1.6 billion advance from the Export-Import Bank of China and by Ethiopia’s government, is half complete, he said yesterday in the capital, Addis Ababa.

“Priority has been given to it,” Hailemariam said in response to questions from members of parliament. “Next October, the line will be finished.”

The 656-kilometer (408-mile) railway is part of a five-year growth plan for Ethiopia started in mid-2010 that seeks to spend 569.2 billion birr ($28 billion) of public and private funding on infrastructure and industry. The new route to Djibouti may halve travel times, according to the government.

Seven out of 10 cane factories being built by the state-owned Sugar Corp. will also be completed in a year’s time, with the rest finished in the subsequent six months, the premier said. “We will be able to export the sugar they produce this year,” he said, referring to the Ethiopian calendar year that ends Sept. 11.

Sugar Corp. signed $580 million of government-guaranteed loans last October with the China Development Bank to finance six processors in the South Omo region, while China’s Ex-Im Bank provided a credit line of $500 million in May for a sugar plant in the northern Tigray region, according to data on the Finance Ministry’s website.

Read more at Bloomberg News »

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UPDATE: Ethiopia Protected From Possible al-Shabab Attacks

People walk through the streets of a shopping area in Addis Ababa. (Photo: Reuters)

VOA News

By Marthe van der Wolf

October 17, 2014

ADDIS ABABA — Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the country is protected at all times from attacks by the Somali militant group al-Shabab but is asking its citizens to be vigilant. The American Embassy in Addis Ababa issued a terror warning earlier this week.

Ethiopia’s government says that despite the terror alert issued by the U.S. Embassy this week, the country is safe.

Ambassador Taye Atske Selassie, of Ethiopia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, spoke to international diplomats in Addis Ababa Friday morning.

“We would like to assure our diplomatic community in Addis that we are taking every step that al-Shabab will not have foothold, not only in the city but also in this country,” he said.

The U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia’s capital warned Tuesday it had credible reports that the Somali militant group al-Shabab may be planning an attack in the Bole area of Addis Ababa. Bole is an upscale neighborhood with many hotels, shopping malls, restaurants and bars frequently visited by both Ethiopians and foreigners.

US security warning

The warning – posted on the U.S. State Department website – said it had no exact targets by but warned American citizens to avoid public places in Bole. The alert said al-Shabab may be targeting Addis Ababa in retaliation for Ethiopian troops taking part in AU military operations against the Islamist group in Somalia.

Africa Union forces have been successful in breaking al-Shabab’s grip on Somalia during the past three years and have liberated close to 70 percent of areas under the group’s control. The latest success was in Barawe – the last strategic town held by al-Shabab.

U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, Patricia Haslach says the embassy is not trying to undermine the Ethiopian government on security issues.

“If we have access to information we need to share it with the American public, that is law and that is what I operate under. I can also assure you that we work extremely closely with the Ethiopian government and they were notified ahead of time of our intentions,” she said.

Ethiopia’s government is also asking its citizens to be vigilant at times against any group that wants to harm Ethiopia as the country remains in a state of high alert.

Ethiopia has not had large scale terrorist attacks compared to other countries in the region contributing troops to the AU military mission in Somalia.

Kenya has been hardest hit with multiple attacks and kidnappings; the most recent being the 2013 terror attack on Nairobi’s Westgate Mall in which 67 people were killed.

Related:
US Embassy Warns of al-Shabab Attack in Ethiopia

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Ebola Crisis: World Health Organization Signals Help for Africa to Stop Spread

(Image: Ebola outbreaks, deaths in Africa, as of Oct. 10, 2014/VOA)

BBC News

The World Health Organization is to “ramp up” efforts to prevent Ebola spreading beyond the three countries most affected by the deadly virus.

Fifteen African countries are being prioritised, top WHO official Isabelle Nuttall told a Geneva news conference.

They will receive more help in areas including prevention and protection.

But former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has said he is “bitterly disappointed” with the international community’s response.

In an interview with the BBC’s Newsnight programme, Mr Annan said richer countries should have moved faster.

“If the crisis had hit some other region it probably would have been handled very differently.

“In fact when you look at the evolution of the crisis, the international community really woke up when the disease got to America and Europe. And yet we should have known that in this interconnected world it was only a matter of time.”

Read more at BBC News »

Obama Authorizes National Guard Call-Up to Fight Ebola in West Africa


President Barack Obama holds a meeting with federal agencies coordinating the government’s Ebola response, on Oct. 15, 2014. (Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Newseek Magazine

By Lucy Westcott

Updated: 10/16/14

President Barack Obama authorized a call-up of the National Guard and additional military reservists to active duty on Thursday in case they are needed to address the humanitarian crisis that has resulted from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Obama signed an executive order and also notified congressional officials, The Associated Press reported.

In a letter to Rep. John Boehner, speaker of the House of Representatives, Obama said he is authorizing the secretary of defense and the secretary of homeland security to call up reservists to “augment the active forces in support of Operation United Assistance.”

Read more at Newsweek.com »

West African Teen Taunted With Chants of ‘Ebola’ at High School Soccer Game


Ibrahim Toumkara claims that his rivals from another Pennsylvania high school started teasing him about the virus, simply because he is from West Africa. (Photo: WPVI)

The Root

BY: BREANNA EDWARDS

One Pennsylvania teen, who is originally from Guinea, recently had to endure his high school rival’s soccer team chanting “Ebola” at him during a match, WPVI reports.

According to the station, Ibrahim Toumkara, a Nazareth Area High School student and soccer player, got into a fight last week after he heard players from rival Northampton High School taunting him about the deadly virus, which has killed more than 4,000 people across West Africa, including in his home country.

“Being from western Africa and having family in that area, he didn’t take too kindly to those remarks and went after one of the players on the Northampton team,” the boy’s coach, Edward Bachert, explained. Bachert is also Ibrahim’s legal guardian, as well as a police chief for Lehigh County.

The 16-year-old moved away from Guinea three years ago, the station notes.

“There were tears coming down his eyes. He was visibly shaken by this, that it got to that level on the field,” Bachert added.

After the tasteless incident, both Northampton’s head soccer coach and its assistant coach resigned. Some of the student athletes are also expected to face disciplinary action, according to the station.

Read more at The Root.com »

Video: Did Ebola really cause the stock market drop? (MSNBC)


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Ethiopian Film Screening in New York: Jacques Faïtlovitch & The Lost Tribes

(Photo courtesy: American Sephardi Federation)

Tadias Magazine
Events News

Press Release

New YorkCentro Primo Levi and the American Sephardi Federation with the support of the Cahnman Foundation present Maurice & Sarah Dorès’ film on the “extraordinary odyssey” of Jacques Faïtlovitch, a Polish Jew who “discovered” Ethiopian Jewry, in 1904, and thereafter set about re-establishing a connection between their community and the rest of the Jewish world. There will be a post-film discussion led by Professor Emanuela Trevisan Semi of the Ca’ Foscari University in Venice.

The screening is being held ahead of the related symposia “Ethiopian Jews Under Fascist Rule” and “Legacies of the Italian Occupation in Ethiopia” at NYU’s Casa Italiana Zerilli / Marimò.

Click here for additional information and to RSVP.


Related:
Seminar at NYU Explores the Story of Ethiopian Jews Under Fascist Rule

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Fastest Growing African Shoe-Brand ‘SoleRebels’ Launches Flagship US Store

SoleRebels' Founder and CEO Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu. (Courtesy photo)

Forbes Magazine

By Farai Gundan

Named one of the 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa in 2011 by FORBES, celebrated Ethiopian entrepreneur, Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu launched her first US offering at the beginning of this month; a flagship store of her eco-friendly shoe brand, SoleRebels, in Silicon Valley, California. The Ethiopian shoe brand’s first international retail space is located at Westfield Valley Fair Mall in San Jose, California, an upscale indoor shopping mall in Silicon Valley.

The SoleRebels founder & Chief Executive Officer said in a statement, “I am totally vibed to open our first US soleRebels store in Silicon Valley. We have waited a while to open our first US store because we wanted to find the perfect place to open our first US location.” Alemu described her company’s new store location in the Bay Area as “a place that epitomized the creativity, innovation, craziness, disruption and the overall WALK NAKED ethos that soleRebels is all about. Silicon Valley is the epicenter of all these things and so it’s the perfect place to launch our US retail store business and I imagine there are quite a few folks in and around Silicon Valley who can’t wait to be able to ‘walk naked.’”

Read more at Forbes.com »

Related:
Silicon Valley: Here Come Ethiopia’s SoleRebels
People of Our Time Who Are Changing the World

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Boom Times for Ethiopia’s Coffee Shops

Tomoca now has five cafes across Addis Ababa. (Photo: BBC)

BBC News

By James Jeffrey

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Traditionally it takes rather a long time to be served a cup of coffee in Ethiopia – but things are now speeding up.

As coffee plants originate from the east African nation – where they first grew wild before cultivation started in the country more than 1,000 years ago – it is perhaps unsurprising that Ethiopians take coffee drinking very seriously.

So much so that Ethiopia has a ceremonial method of making coffee at home that continues to this day.

The ceremony sees raw beans roasted over hot coals, with each person in attendance being invited to savour the smell of the fumes. The beans are then ground with a wooden pestle and mortar before finally being brewed – twice – in a clay boiling pot called a jebena.

While the resulting coffee is inevitably delicious, the whole process can take more than an hour. And a growing number of Ethiopians say they no longer have the time.

And so, as Ethiopia’s economy continues to expand strongly, more people – led by young professionals in the capital Addis Ababa – are instead buying pre-roasted beans, or visiting coffee shops to have their favourite drink made for them.

It means boom times for the country’s independent coffee roasters and cafes, who have seen their numbers rise and some are even looking to expand overseas.

Read more at BBC.com »

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Ali Mazrui: Death of A Towering Intellectual

Ali Mazrui, who has died at the age of 81, is regarded as one of Africa's foremost intellectuals. BBC News looks back at how the Kenyan academic and political writer influenced a post-colonial generation. (BBC)

BBC News

Mr Mazrui has been a household name in Kenya and beyond.

Born in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa on 24 February 1933, some 20 years before the Mau Mau uprising against British colonial rule, he always portrayed himself as a true patriot.

In his series of essays On Heroes and Uhuru-Worship, he wrote as an African scholar deeply involved in the fight for the freedom of his people, expressing empathy with those on the front line of the battle against colonialists.

“What about blaming the freedom fighter for the atrocities committed by the security forces contending him?” he asked.


Ali Mazrui wrote extensively about colonialism.


He condemned the atrocities committed by colonial rulers

Mr Mazrui’s writings, though embedded in history, still resonate because he talks about the need to recognise national heroes, without worshipping them.

They also give insight into some of the greatest concerns currently facing the world as he wrote about terrorism and Islam.

In one of his books, Islam between Globalisation and Counter Terrorism, he explained how the religion was entrapped in the danger of rising extremism.

Read more at BBC.com »

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Protest Planned Over Sentencing in Abuse of Adopted Ethiopian Children

Douglas, left, and Kristen Barbour, right, leave the Allegheny County Courthouse in Pennsylvania after being sentenced by Judge Jeffrey Mannin. (Photo: Bob Donaldson/Post-Gazette)

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

By Paula Reed Ward

A member of the Allegheny County Children, Youth and Families advisory board is organizing an event Friday to protest what she considers a lenient sentence for a former Franklin Park couple accused of abusing their adopted Ethiopian children.

“My personal calling is advocating for the most vulnerable children,” said Joanna Huss, who runs a public relations firm.

She is angry about the sentences received by Douglas and Kristen Barbour, who prosecutors said withheld food from the 6-year-old boy they adopted and forced him to lie in his own urine, and allowed the 1-year-old girl, who ultimately sustained a brain injury, to remain untreated for fractures she suffered.

The couple pleaded no contest to endangering the welfare of children. Douglas Barbour pleaded to two misdemeanor counts, with an agreement with prosecutors for a sentence of probation. Kristen Barbour pleaded to two felony counts, and her sentence was left up to the court.

Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning ordered Douglas Barbour to serve five years’ probation and sentenced his wife in the standard recommended guideline range — originally setting the penalty at six to 12 months alternative housing. But her attorney, Robert E. Stewart, filed a motion for reconsideration, saying that if she were forced to serve that sentence there would be no one at home to care for the couple’s two biological children because her husband works.

On Friday, the judge modified the sentence, requiring Kristen Barbour to serve her sentence at the Mercer County jail, but with work release. She will be allowed to leave the jail five days a week to go home and care for her children but report back each night.

Ms. Huss said she felt sickened by the sentence imposed. The protest at noon on Friday in the Allegheny County Courthouse courtyard is designed to bring attention to sentencing guidelines in Pennsylvania for crimes against children, generally, and to what she feels is an “injustice” in the Barbours’ case, specifically.

Amie Downs, a spokeswoman for county CYF, had no comment.

The protest is being conducted in Huss’ role as a private citizen, she said.

“I want people who have read about this to stand up,” Ms. Huss said. “Children who are abused — if there is a light sentence for the perpetrator, it’s no deterrent.

“It sends a message that we as a society don’t care.”

Read more news at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette »

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U.S. Embassy: No Confirmed or Suspected Cases of Ebola in Ethiopia

(Image: Ebola virus under the microscope)

U.S. Embassy – Ethiopia

Press release

Message for U.S. Citizens: Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Update

The U.S. Embassy would like to provide an update to our August 12, 2014 Information Message for U.S. Citizens regarding the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

Ethiopia continues to have no confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola.

The Embassy is aware of erroneous media reporting regarding suspected or confirmed cases of Ebola in Ethiopia. Ethiopian government officials have also recently dismissed such rumors. U.S. Embassy officials, including the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), continue to maintain a close working relationship with the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health and the Ethiopian Public Health Institute in both preparation and prevention of EVD.

The U.S. Embassy would like to again point U.S. Citizens traveling or residing in Ethiopia to consult online resources to best educate themselves about EVD. Visit both the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) websites for this specific information via the links below:

CDC Ebola Website – http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Ethiopia enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Ethiopia. For additional information, refer to the “Traveler’s Checklist” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us onTwitter and Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa is located at Entoto Street, P.O. Box 1014. The Consular Section of the Embassy may be reached by telephone: +251-111-306000 or e-mail at consacs@state.gov, and is open Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. For after-hours emergencies, U.S. citizens should call +251-111-306911 or 011-130-6000 and ask to speak with the duty officer.
—-
Related:
Ethiopia Launches Ebola Testing Lab to Combat Epidemic

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US Embassy Warns of al-Shabab Attack in Ethiopia

Ethiopia map. (Credit: VOA)

VOA News

October 15, 2014

The U.S. embassy in Ethiopia is warning of a possible terrorist attack in a part of the capital, Addis Ababa.

The embassy says it has received reports that Somali militant group al-Shabab intends to target Bole, a southeastern district of the city.

An embassy statement says the location of the alleged possible attack is not known but says “restaurants, hotels, places of worship, supermarkets and shopping malls in the Bole area should be avoided until further notice because they are possible targets for a potential imminent terrorist attack.”

It also advises U.S. citizens to avoid large crowds and places where both Ethiopians and Westerners often go.

Ethiopia is one of several African countries that have troops in Somalia fighting al-Shabab.

The militant group has suffered reversals, including the recent death of its leader in a U.S. drone strike, but continues to launch deadly attacks.

Last year, an al-Shabab attack on a mall in Nairobi left at least 67 people dead.

Twice this year, the group has attacked the Somali presidential palace in Mogadishu.

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Still No Sign of Missing Ethiopian Mom Almaz Gebremedhin in Wylie, Texas

Almaz Gebremedhin, a mother of two, hasn't been seen since October 2nd, 2014. (Family photograph)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – Nearly two weeks after the disappearance of Almaz Gebremedhin in Wylie, Texas police say there is still no break in the case. Almaz, a 42-year-old mother of two who’s employed at a nearby nursing home, was last seen leaving her house headed for work at five a.m. on Thursday October 2nd.

The spokesperson for Wylie Police Department, Detective Nuria Arroyo, told Tadias Magazine the authorities are still investigating all clues that may lead to Almaz and her car — a silver 2004 Chevrolet Ventura van with the license plate CVZ-8041 — which also has not been located since the day Almaz went missing.

“Detectives continue to search for her, her vehicle, and are following up on any possible leads they may receive,” Detective Arroyo said.

Meanwhile the local Ethiopian American community is offering reward money of over $15,000 for information on the whereabouts of Almaz Gebremedhin who is originally from Ethiopia and is married to Sisay Zelelew, her husband of 16 years. They have two children, ages 8 and 10.

Wylie Police asks that anyone with information should contact the department at 972-442-8171.



Related:
Reward Increased to $15,000 for Tips on Missing Ethiopian Woman in Texas
Local Ethiopian Community Offers Reward for Clues on Missing Texas Woman
Texas Police Searching for Missing Mother of Two Almaz Gebremedhin

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Authorities in Ethiopia Convict Journalist Temesghen Desalegn

Temesghen Desalegn has been convicted in connection with a 2012 defamation case. (CPJ)

CPJ

October 15, 2014

Nairobi — An Ethiopian court on Monday convicted journalist and magazine owner Temesghen Desalegn in connection with a 2012 defamation case, according to news reports and local journalists.

The Federal High Court in the capital, Addis Ababa, found Temesghen guilty of incitement, defamation, and false publication in connection with a series of opinion pieces published in Feteh (“Justice”), the journalist’s now-defunct weekly newsmagazine, according to local journalists’ translation of the charge sheet that was reviewed by CPJ. Authorities took Temesghen into custody Monday afternoon.

If convicted, the journalist could face up to 10 years in prison, according to his lawyer, Ameha Mekonnen. His sentencing is scheduled for October 27, according to news reports.

Information Minister Redwan Hussein said the case stemmed from articles published in Feteh about two years ago, according to news reports. Two of the articles discussed the peaceful struggles of Ethiopian youth movements for political change and two columns criticized alleged government efforts to violently suppress student protesters and ethnic minorities, according to the charge sheet.

Temesghen was briefly arrested in August 2012 on the same charges, but authorities dropped the charges and released him five days later without explanation, he told CPJ at the time. A judge in the Federal High Court revived the charges in February 2013 after a state prosecutor announced in court in December 2012 that the charges would be refiled against him.

The court on Monday also convicted in absentia Mastewal Birhanu, the former publisher of Feteh, with inciting the public to violence by printing the magazine, according to the charge sheet.

“In case the recent crackdown on current publications in Ethiopia did not illustrate authorities’ fear of independent voices, they have now resorted to convicting a journalist on two-year-old criminal defamation charges,” said CPJ East Africa Representative Tom Rhodes. “We urge Ethiopian authorities to drop this case–as they did once before–and free Temesghen Desalegn immediately.”

Authorities have routinely targeted Temesghen’s writing. In May 2012, he was given a four-month suspended prison sentence and fine after Feteh published a statement made by imprisoned journalist Eskinder Nega during his trial. Temesghen paid the fine.

The government ordered printers to block the distribution of Feteh in July 2012 in connection with a series of articles about the health of the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, local journalists said. Authorities blocked three other subsequent publications started by Temesghen, including Addis Times, Le’ilena (“Magnanimity”), and the latest, Fact, according to local journalists.

The last edition of Fact was published in September 2014 after authorities ordered printers to cease publishing the magazine, local journalists told CPJ. In August, the Justice Ministry accused Fact and five other independent weekly publications of inciting violence, publishing false news, and undermining public confidence in the government. All publications have since ceased publication.

Last week, an Ethiopian court sentenced in absentia to three-year jail terms the general managers of three of the publications, including Fact, Addis Guday, and Lomi. The general managers are accused of inciting the public by spreading false information and subverting the constitutional order, according to news reports.

A state crackdown on independent publications and bloggers has taken place in Ethiopia this year, prompting several Ethiopian journalists to flee into exile in 2014, according to CPJ research. With at least 17 journalists in jail, Ethiopia is the second leading jailer of journalists in Africa, second only to its neighbor Eritrea, CPJ research shows.

Related:
Ethiopian Editor Convicted for Inciting Public With Articles (Bloomberg)

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Census: Foreign-born Africans Most Educated Immigrants in the U.S.

(Graph: U.S. Census Bureau, 2008-2012 American Community Survey, 5-years estimates)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: Thursday, October 16th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest American Community Survey 41% of the African-born population in the United States obtained bachelor’s degrees or higher between 2008 and 2012 compared with 28% of the overall foreign-born U.S. population.

The study, which was released this month, indicates a rapid population growth among the foreign-born African community in the United States. In the past two decades, the document says, a large number of Africans came to America through the Green Card lottery system, which partially explains African immigrants’ higher educational level. “A relatively high proportion of immigrants from Africa entered the United States on diversity visas (24 percent as compared with 5 percent of the overall foreign born), which require a high school diploma or equivalent work experience,” the report states.

The survey gives a conservative estimate of the total number of African immigrants currently residing in U.S at less than 2 million. Nonetheless the census report, authored by Christine P. Gambino, Edward N. Trevelyan, and John Thomas Fitzwater, provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date data on the community. The document notes that between 2008-–2012 there were “39.8 million foreign-born people that resided in the United States, including 1.6 million from Africa.” Since the 1970s, “during the following four decades, the number of foreign born from Africa grew rapidly, roughly doubling each decade.”

The report states that a vast majority of the foreign-born population from Africa migrated to the United States after 1990. “The timing of this movement was driven in part by historical changes. Outmigration from Africa increased rapidly after World War II, as migrants responded to the pull of educational opportunities and jobs abroad. While the first waves of postwar migrants went to other African countries and former colonial powers of Europe, migration to the United States increased in the 1970s as economies faltered and new restrictions were placed upon immigration in Western Europe. More immigrants from Africa were admitted to the United States after the U.S. Immigration Act of 1965, which replaced the national origin quota system favoring immigration from Europe with a new law prioritizing skilled labor, family unification, and humanitarianism. In addition, nearly a quarter of all immigrants from Africa to the United States in 2010 entered as refugees or received asylum as a result of ethnic conflict or civil war, particularly in countries such as Somalia, Liberia, and Sudan. The rate of African-born immigrants arriving and staying in the United States accelerated further as immigrant networks grew and pathways were established.”

In terms of geographic distribution, New York, California, Texas, and Maryland are listed as the top four states that are home to more than 100,000 residents from the African continent. “The largest African-origin countries for Washington DC were Ethiopia and Nigeria. The largest African-born populations in Minneapolis-St. Paul were from Somalia and Ethiopia. In Los Angeles and San Francisco, leading African countries of birth included Egypt, Nigeria, and Ethiopia. The largest African-origin countries in the New York metropolitan area were Egypt and Ghana, each composing just under 20 percent of the total African born.”

In the Washington, DC, metro area the foreign-born population was more than three times the national percentage (13 percent). In addition, several other U.S. cities are spotlighted as having pockets of African-born populations (between 20,000 and 35,000) such as Columbus, Ohio and Baltimore, Maryland. While Midwestern states like Minnesota are mentioned as magnets that attract East African immigrants including Ethiopians and Somalians, the West Coast numbers are below the national average: Los Angeles (1.5 percent), San Francisco (1.8 percent), and San Diego (2.2 percent).

“Of the 1.6 million foreign born from Africa in the United States the largest African-born populations were from Nigeria and Ghana in Western Africa; Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia in Eastern Africa; Egypt in Northern Africa; and South Africa in Southern Africa,” the report continued. “Of these seven, the four largest were Nigeria (221,000 or 14 percent of the African-born population), Ethiopia (164,000 or 10 percent), Egypt (143,000 or 9 percent), and Ghana (121,000 or 8 percent), together constituting 41 percent of the African-born total.”

You can read the full report at www.census.gov.

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The World Health Organization: Ebola Epidemic ‘Could Lead to Failed States’

The Ebola epidemic threatens the "very survival" of societies and could lead to failed states, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned. (BBC)

BBC News

The outbreak, which has killed some 4,000 people in West Africa, has led to a “crisis for international peace and security”, WHO head Margaret Chan said.

She also warned of the cost of panic “spreading faster than the virus”.

Meanwhile, medics have largely ignored a strike call in Liberia, the centre of the deadliest-ever Ebola outbreak.

Nurses and medical assistants had been urged to strike over danger money and conditions. However, most were working as normal on Monday, the BBC’s Jonathan Paye-Layleh in Monrovia said.

A union official said the government had coerced workers – but the government said it had simply asked them to be reasonable.

In a speech delivered on her behalf at a conference in the Philippines, Ms Chan said Ebola was a historic risk.

“I have never seen a health event threaten the very survival of societies and governments in already very poor countries,” she said. “I have never seen an infectious disease contribute so strongly to potential state failure.”

She warned of the economic impact of “rumours and panic spreading faster than the virus”, citing a World Bank estimate that 90% of the cost of the outbreak would arise from “irrational attempts of the public to avoid infection”.

Ms Chan also criticised pharmaceutical firms for not focusing on Ebola, condemning a “profit-driven industry [that] does not invest in products for markets that cannot pay”.

Read more at BBC News »

Related:
Ethiopia Launches Ebola Testing Lab to Combat Epidemic

Video: New US Ebola Case Raises Fears (MSNBC)

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Ethiopian Community Association Calls for Participation in NYC African Parade

The 8th annual African Day Parade & Festival in New York will be held on Sunday, October 19th, 2014.

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Monday, October 13th, 2014

New York (TADIAS)- The Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association (ECMAA) in New York City is calling on Ethiopians residing in the metropolitan NYC area to participate in the 2014 African Day Parade & Festival, which will be held uptown this coming weekend. “ECMAA has registered to participate in the parade. We invite all Ethiopians and Ethiopian Americans residing in NYC metropolitan area to come out wearing traditional clothes and participate in the parade,” the organization announced. “ECMAA believes participating in this parade will provide us an opportunity to increase our visibility, share our culture, tradition and history with the larger New York City community.”

The organizers of Africa Day in New York City will hold the African Day Parade & Festival in Harlem on October 19, 2014. The parade will start at 12 noon from 134 street between 7th Ave and Lennox to 122nd street (along Malcolm X Boulevard-Lennox Avenue).

Per the organizers: “The 8th Annual Parade & Festival calls upon government, private, civic sectors to come together to enact a social contract with African communities in the United States, spearheading projects that emphasize community and development and empowerment. The Parade & Festival honors the accomplishment of Africans across the globe, while forging new partnerships in the African Diaspora.”


If You Go:
More information at www.africandayparade.org.

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Marcus Samuelsson’s Latest Project: New Book Called ‘Marcus Off Duty’

Marcus Samuelsson's latest project is a new cookbook, “Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home.” The book is a collection of recipes – many of them inspired by his travels across America. (NYT)

The New York Times

By Anahad O’Connor

The chef Marcus Samuelsson has a rule: No matter where he is in the world, he has to exercise at least four times a week.

Often that means he runs. Running is how Mr. Samuelsson clears his mind, mulls over projects and thinks up new recipes. It is a process that has apparently served him well.

Mr. Samuelsson, who was born in Ethiopia and raised in Sweden, rose to fame in the food world as the executive chef of Aquavit. He is a best-selling author, winner of the show Top Chef Masters, and owner of the Harlem restaurant Red Rooster.

Mr. Samuelsson’s latest project is a new cookbook, “Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home.” The book is a collection of recipes – many of them inspired by his travels across America – that he uses in his own kitchen, where he cooks for his wife, friends and family.

Recently, I caught up with Mr. Samuelsson in Harlem, where we talked about his approach to food and health. Mr. Samuelsson let me tag along on one of his workouts in Marcus Garvey Park, then whipped up a recipe from his new book: quinoa with broccoli, cauliflower and toasted coconut.

Here are edited excerpts from our conversation, along with the recipe for his quinoa dish, which was both healthy and tasty.

Read the Q & A and watch video at NYT »

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Ethiopia Launches Ebola Testing Lab to Combat Epidemic

(Image credit: health.gov)

Sudan Tribune

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health on Sunday disclosed establishing a modern laboratory centre in a bid to scale up the nation wide efforts to prevent entry of the deadly Ebola virus.

The modern laboratory which is known as Bio safety level 3 and 4 will start operating on Monday for screening and tasting purpose with the help of Ethiopian professionals who received training abroad.

According to Health Minister Dr. kesetebirhan Admasu, the country has introduced a new screening machine, called Thermo Scan Thermo Meter, which has a capacity of testing 1,000 individuals per hour.

As well as the new screening machine, other two thermo screening machines are currently operating at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport to test passengers particularly those coming from West African countries.

Read more at Sudan Tribune »

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Ethiopia’s Top Ten Religious Highlights

Travel Pulse lists religious sites in Lalibela, Axum, Harar, Debre Birhan, Bahir Dar, Tigray, Gondar, Sheikh Hussein (southeastern Ethiopia) and Debre Libanos as Ethiopia's top ten religious highlights.

Travel Pulse

Ethiopia is emerging from the shadowy sidelines of the world community and joining the global travel industry, bringing its attractions to market. The richness of the country’s historical sites will surprise most people who have never visited the country before. Besides its fertile sub-saharan landscape and natural wonders, the East African country has a wealth of historical sites, and many major religious sites.

NTA (National Tour Association) recently conducted a Product Development Trip to Ethiopia, sponsored by the Ethiopian government, to introduce American tour operators to the country’s tourism possibilities.

Read more and see the list at travelpulse.com »

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New US Ebola Case Raises Fears

New US Ebola Case in Dallas, Texas raises fears. (Photo: VOA )

VOA News

By Michael Bowman

October 13, 2014

U.S. health officials are scrambling to respond to a new Ebola case – that of a nurse in Dallas, Texas, who cared for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who died last week.

America’s medical community is reviewing and tightening protocols to detect and contain the virus, as officials around the world express growing alarm about the deadly disease.

Hazardous materials workers cleaned out the apartment of a Dallas nurse, said to be in her 20s, who tested positive for Ebola. Neighbors are unnerved.

Extensive protective gear and rigorous hospital protocols designed to prevent transmission of the virus evidently failed, prompting many questions but few answers. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden cannot rule out even more cases being detected. He told CBS “Face the Nation” TV program that there was clearly “a breach in protocol.”

“We know from many years of experience that it is possible to care for patients with Ebola safely without risk to health care workers,” he said. “But we also know that it is hard, that even a single breach can result in contamination.”

Amid the finger-pointing, a complaint from an American nurses association. Katy Roemer says nurses are not getting the information they need to protect themselves.

“When the nurses become infected, they are blamed for not following the protocols,” she said. “This is not going to work.”

Major U.S. airports have strengthened health screening procedures for passengers arriving from Africa. That may not be enough, according to Republican Congressman Michael McCaul, who does not rule out temporarily halting U.S. visas granted in parts of Africa.

“The American people are rightfully concerned,” he said. “They are concerned because the Ebola virus is an unseen threat. And it is only a plane flight away from our shores.”

Mounting fears extend beyond countries that have registered Ebola cases. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

“This is a global epidemic,” he said. “We are cooperating with other countries, in addition to preserving our borders.”

But panic is unwarranted and unhelpful, according to Dr. Ian Smith of the World Health Organization.

“Fear of infection has spread around the world much faster than the virus,” he cautioned.

Amid mounting anxieties, some possible good news: Russian health officials say they have developed vaccines against Ebola that are ready for testing.

Related:
Ethiopia Launches Ebola Testing Lab to Combat Epidemic
Obama Calls for Better Protocol in US Ebola Cases

Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland (Video)

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Dublin Airport Announces Direct Flights to LA and Addis Ababa

Ethiopian Airlines will fly from Addis Ababa to LA with a stopover in Dublin from next summer, creating two new direct routes from Ireland in the process. (Photo by Gediyon Kifle for Tadias)

Independent.ie

By Pól Ó Conghaile

Dublin Airport’s route network for 2015 is rapidly expanding.

The airport’s latest coup comes in the shape of a stopover on a new Ethiopian Airlines route from Addis Ababa to LA – a move that will create two new year-round direct flights for the capital.

Ethiopian will sell both the Dublin-LA and the Dublin-Addis Ababa segments separately, Dublin Airport said in a statement issued this evening.

Three return flights per week will operate from Addis Ababa to Los Angeles from June 15th next, using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

The aircraft will have a two-hour stopover in Dublin.

Ireland has granted Ethiopian what are termed fifth freedom rights, enabling the airline to sell tickets on all sectors of the new route.

Read more »

Related:
Ethiopian Receives its 10th Dreamliner, the Largest Operator of the Aircraft in Africa

In Pictures: First Ethiopian airlines 787 Dreamliner lands in D.C. (2012)

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Lelisa Desisa and Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia Win Boston Half-Marathon

The 2014 Boston Half-marathon winners and Ethiopian natives Lelisa Desisa and Mamitu Daska congratulate each other after their victory in Boston on Sunday, October 12th. (Associated Press )

By Associated Press

Sunday, October 12, 2014

BOSTON — Mamitu Daska and Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia have won the Boston Athletic Association Half Marathon.

Daska established a new event record Sunday of 1:08:20.

Desisa earned his second consecutive B.A.A. Half Marathon victory in 1:01:38. He won last year’s Boston Marathon and B.A.A. Half Marathon.

The B.A.A. Half Marathon is the third and final event of the 2014 B.A.A. Distance Medley, a three-race series combining the B.A.A. 5K on April 19, the B.A.A. 10K on June 22 and B.A.A. Half Marathon. More than 2,000 of the half-marathon’s entrants were participants in the three races this year.

Speaking through a translator, Daska said she hoped to set a course record.

The 30-year-old Daska won $40,000. She pledged to donate $5,000 to The One Fund Boston in honor of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Read more at The Boston Herald »

Related:
Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa to Challenge Historic Men’s Field at 2014 NYC Marathon

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Chicago Marathon Results: Kenenisa 4th

Ethiopia's Kenensia Bekele, the greatest track distance runner of all time, was fourth in 2:05:51 in his second career marathon at the The 2014 Bank of America Chicago marathon on Sunday, October 12th.

Guardian LV

By Beth Balen

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

The 2014 Bank of America Chicago marathon, one of the big six World Marathon Majors, has been won by Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge in 2:04:11, his first World Marathon Majors win, 7 seconds off his personal best time.

The other favorite, the fastest man in history at 5,000 and 10,000 meters, Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, ended the race in fourth place, with a time of 2:05:51 for his second marathon.

The runner-up position went to Kenyan Sammy Kitwara with a time of 2:04:28. Dickson Chumba of Kenya was third in 2:04:32. The top American, Bobby Curtis, finished ninth overall with a 2-minute personal record of 2:11:20 in his World Marathon debut.

Read more at Guardianlv.com »

Related:
Kenyans sweep Chicago Marathon; Kenenisa Bekele fourth (NBC Sports)

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Dam Rising in Ethiopia Stirs Hope and Tension – The New York Times

The main component of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, along the Blue Nile, is 32 percent complete. (Photograph credit: Jacey Fortin for The New York Times)

The New York Times

By JACEY FORTIN

OCT. 11, 2014

GUBA, Ethiopia — There is a remote stretch of land in Ethiopia’s forested northwest where the dust never settles. All week, day and night, thousands of workers pulverize rocks and lay concrete along a major tributary of the Nile River. It is the site of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, the continent’s biggest hydropower plant and one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects ever in Africa.

Ethiopia is a poor country, often known best for its past famines, but officials say the dam will be paid for without foreign assistance — a point of national pride. Computer-generated images of the finished structure are framed in government offices, splashed across city billboards and broadcast in repeated specials on the state-owned television channel.

“We lean on the generousness of the rest of the world,” said Zadig Abrha, deputy director of the dam’s public mobilization office. “So there is a conviction on the part of the public to change this, to regain our lost greatness, to divorce ourselves from the status quo of poverty. And the first thing that we need to do is make use of our natural resources, like water.”

Ethiopia, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, has poured its resources into a slew of megaprojects in recent years, including dams, factories, roads and railways across the country.

But its strong, state-driven approach has been criticized for displacing rural communities, elbowing out private investors and muzzling political dissent. The Renaissance Dam, its biggest project, has met with resistance even outside Ethiopia’s borders, setting off a heated diplomatic battle with Egypt that, at one point, led to threats of war.

Read more at NYT »

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‘Difret’ Submitted for Oscar Consideration for Best Foreign Language Film

(Image courtesy: Haile-Addis Pictures and Truth Aid Media)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Saturday, October 11th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – The Ethiopian film Difret, written and directed by Zeresenay Berhane Mehari, has been submitted as Ethiopia’s entry for Oscar consideration under the Academy Awards’ Best Foreign Language Film category.

Difret is one of a record 83 foreign-language films being considered for the 2015 Oscar, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) announced Friday.

“Countries from around the world were invited to submit one film each by October 1st. The films will now be screened for Academy committees, which will winnow the list down to a short-list of nine films that will be announced in December,” The Hollywood Reporter notes. “The five nominees, that will be drawn from that list, will be announced on Jan. 15, when the full list of nominees for the 87th Academy Awards are revealed.”

The award ceremony is due to be held on February 22, 2015 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles.

According to the Oscar nomination rules for foreign-language movies: “Films competing must have been first released in the country submitting them and must have been exhibited for at least seven consecutive days in a commercial movie theater.”

The first Oscar submission from Ethiopia was Atletu, a 2009 film about Abebe Bikila, directed by Davey Frankel and Rasselas Lakew.

Related:
Tadias Interview with Zeresenay Mehari & Mehret Mandefro
‘Difret’ Wins Panorama at Berlin Film Festival
Ethiopian film confronts marriage by abduction (BBC)
‘Difret’ Wins World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award at Sundance Festival
Tadias Interview with Filmmaker Yidnekachew Shumete

Video: Audience Reaction at 2014 New African Films Festival in Silver Spring, Maryland

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Blessed Coffee Wins Start Up Africa Entrepreneurship of the Year Award

The husband and wife team of Tebabu Assefa and Sara Mussie, co-founders of Blessed Coffee, were honored with the annual Start Up Africa Entrepreneurship of the Year Award on September 29th, 2014.

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Friday, October 10, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – When the founders of Blessed Coffee initially ventured into “the business of coffee” four years ago, they did an informal survey to see what “the American market perceives the drink to be,” says co-owner Tebabu Assefa. “To my surprise most of the people we interviewed thought that coffee came from Columbia.” He adds “I was amazed and I said to myself wait a minute.” That was the trigger point, Tebabu recalls, for his Blessed Coffee brand — one of the first enterprises established under Maryland’s pioneering benefit corporation law.

The coffee brand incorporates the retelling of the popular beverage’s storied “African heritage” juxtaposed with the cultural Ethiopian coffee ceremony. The latter, Tebabu points out, was designed to highlight his wife’s and his own birth country Ethiopia where the world’s most traded agricultural product was first cultivated. “At the end of the day we are talking about a muti-billion dollar industry here,” Tebabu argues. “So what we did was set out to redefine the market and create an economic space for our small business.”

Since it was launched in 2010 the venture has received several national accolades, including from President Obama’s administration, which named the founders “Champions of Change” at a White House ceremony two years ago. And last week the benefit corporation was honored by a Wilmington, Delaware-based African Diaspora business association — Start up Africa - with the 2014 Entrepreneurship of the Year Award. “They liked the fact that Blessed Coffee was introduced as a model and that Blessed Coffee aspires to connect growers and producers in Africa with the market here vis-à-vis the African Diaspora,” Tebabu said. “And they did their research and they were fascinated by the social business development and the recognition we have gained. They looked at it as a model that can inspire the African business community; that’s what the founder said when he introduced us.”

Start up Africa was set up in 2001 as the “Delaware Kenyan Association (DELKA),” but it was letter reorganized as “Start up Africa” with a focus on nurturing entrepreneurial innovations both on the continent and in the Diaspora following the 2007-2008 post-elections violence in Kenya. Tebabu continued: “It’s a sign of new African immigrants being savvy in terms of business, economic development, and in terms of politics; they are forming development oriented organizations and they are exciting a new movement for US-Africa relations through the engagement of the African Diaspora.”

“Although it was started as an informal group several years prior to that, the group went into full action as a response to the election crisis in Kenya. The founders saw the signs of unemployed youth in Africa being frustrated, and to provide their own little answer they formed Start up Africa to excite business to employ youth in Kenya. That’s a very sober and wise response. And I feel so honored to receive such a recognition from this organization. We Africans are finally coming together despite our regional or national differences for the common good. For me that’s profound enough and I value the award more than any other prize.”

There is additional good news on the horizon for Blessed Coffee as the company at the moment is actively vying for a possible $150,000 grant sponsored by Chase Bank that requires public voting to advance to the next round. “Beyond the $150,000 dollars we like the fact that the competitors will be invited to Google’s Headquarters,” Tebabu enthused. “We are waging two wars simultaneously: the cultural war and the battle to gain an economic space for our business model, so it’s of profound importance as to what our trip to Google could bring to the equation.” He shares: “We will use the money towards opening the roasting component of our business plan and it will give us an opportunity to showcase the Ethiopian cultural coffee ceremony on the Google platform. Google is a platform that we seek to have in order to broadcast our story far and wide. We are very excited about that.”

You can learn more about Blessed Coffee at www.blessedcoffee.us.

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Oregon’s First Lady Admits to Secret Past: A Green-Card Marriage to Ethiopian Teen

First Lady of the state of Oregon, Cylvia Hayes, at a news conference in Portland, Oregon on Thursday, October 9th, 2014. Hayes admitted that she had married an Ethiopian teen for a green-card. (AP photo)

The Washington Post

By Lindsey Bever

A few years ago, Oregon’s first lady, Cylvia Hayes, shared her rags-to-riches journey — from her dilapidated childhood home in Washington state, to a tent on government land in Oregon, to the governor’s mansion, where she now lives with Gov. John Kitzhaber (D).

But she never mentioned the Ethiopian immigrant she married 17 years ago and divorced in 2002. When stories seeped out this week that she helped him obtain U.S. residency in exchange for $5,000, she said she needed the cash.

“It was a marriage of convenience,” she said in a statement. “He needed help, and I needed financial support.”

Hayes, 47, wiped away tears during a news conference Thursday, explaining that when she married the 18-year-old immigrant in 1997, she was “associating with the wrong people” and attempting to pay for classes at Evergreen State College near Seattle. She said she used the money to buy a laptop and cover school expenses. She was so “ashamed and embarrassed” of the illegal union she never even told Kitzhaber, her fiance — until the Willamette Week peeked into her past earlier this week.

Hayes was twice divorced and not yet 30 when she married an Ethiopian teenager identified as Abraham B. Abraham, who she met through a mutual acquaintance in Washington state. He was allegedly trying to stay in America to earn a college education.

Hayes said the two saw each other only a handful of times and never lived together.

Abraham eventually earned a mathematics degree from Greensboro College in North Carolina. He now lives in the Washington, D.C., area, according to public records. He declined to respond to calls and texts from the Willamette Week, and he refused to speak to a reporter who went to his home.

Read more at The Washington Post »

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Reward Increased to $15,000 for Tips on Missing Ethiopian Woman in Texas

Almaz Gebremedhin hasn't been seen since Thursday, October 2nd, 2014. (Family photo: WFAA)

Dalla News

By Valerie Wigglesworth

A reward has been increased for $15,000 for information on the whereabouts of a Wylie woman missing since Oct. 2.

Wylie Police say Almaz Gebremedhin, 42, was last seen at 5 a.m. that day as she left her home in the 1500 block of Windward Lane to go to work at a nursing home. She is 5 feet tall, 150 pounds, and has black hair and brown eyes. She was wearing scrubs when she disappeared.

Her vehicle — a silver 2004 Chevrolet Ventura van with the license plate CVZ-8041 — is also still missing, police say.

Gebremedhin has been married for 16 years to Sisay Zelelew. The couple have two children, ages 8 and 10.

Anyone with information should call Wylie Police at 972-442-8171.



Related:
Local Ethiopian Community Offers Reward for Clues on Missing Texas Woman
Texas Police Searching for Missing Mother of Two Almaz Gebremedhin

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Ethiopia Says US Embassy Intruders Must Be Charged – Associated Press

The former security attache for the Ethiopian Embassy in DC, Solomon Tadesse, who has since returned home, fired a gun during a protest at the Embassy compound on Monday, September 29th, 2014.

Associated Press

By ELIAS MESERET

Oct 10, 2014

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Ethiopia’s government said it hopes U.S. authorities will prosecute protesters who tried to take down the national flag on the grounds of its embassy in Washington.

A security attache at the embassy, who has since returned home, fired a gun during the Sept. 29 incident, which has renewed tensions between Ethiopia’s government and dissident groups.

Dina Mufti, a spokesman for Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told Ethiopian state television late Thursday that the protesters have ties with Eritrea and the Somali Islamic extremist group al-Shabab.

He said the U.S. government is expected to protect the integrity of the embassy and to charge the “intruders,” who chanted anti-government slogans as they tried to take down the flag of Ethiopia.

But on Oct. 2, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman in Washington indicated that authorities were instead looking to investigate the shooting incident, which reportedly caused no injuries.

“In this case, we requested a waiver of (diplomatic) immunity to permit prosecution of the individual involved in that incident. The request was declined and the individual involved has now left the country,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Oct. 2.

Critics of Ethiopia’s government say it is intolerant of political dissent. Human Rights Watch says Ethiopia’s government has “clamped down heavily” on protests, arbitrarily detaining and beating protesters.

Yilikal Getnet, head the opposition Blue Party, said Ethiopia’s government routinely characterizes protesters as criminals, adding that opposition groups back home have been similarly treated.

DC Ethiopian Embassy Shooting Sparks Rival Protests


United States Secret Service police are seen standing in front of the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington Sept. 29, 2014, in connection with a shooting incident at the compound. (Photo: Reuters)

VOA News

By Pamela Dockins

October 07, 2014

STATE DEPARTMENT— There is more fallout from a shooting last month near the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington that resulted in the embassy security attache being sent home. The incident sparked rival protests Tuesday near the U.S. State Department, with one group urging the United States to do more to protect the diplomatic compound.

As they waved banners and the Ethiopian flag, about 20 protesters calling themselves Ethiopians for Peace called for more security at the Ethiopian embassy in Washington.

Moulou Assefa said an incident, which resulted in an embassy staffer firing shots at protesters, never should have happened.

“We felt like we had been violated. We had been let down by the [U.S.] Secret Service. They should have protected the embassy,” said Assefa.

He said his group is not against protests, but feels that demonstrators should not be allowed to, in his words, “occupy” embassy grounds.

“Literally, there was a fight. They just took down the Ethiopian flag and they were trying to replace it. This is unheard of,” said Assefa.

As he spoke, about 15 people who were part of that embassy confrontation held a counter-demonstration across the street.

Elizabeth Altaye said they had a warning for the United States concerning the TPLF, the main branch of the Ethiopian government’s ruling party.

“I am protesting to tell America and the American people, TPLF is a terrorist group. [They] take over and become a government and [are] still terrorizing East Africa.”

The two sides were separated by police barricades as they voiced their opposing views.

Diplomat Memo: Ambassador Girma Biru on DC Ethiopian Embassy Shooting


Ethiopia’s ambassador to the US, Girma Biru. (Diplomat News Network)

Diplomat News Network

Washington (Agencies + DIPLOMAT.SO) – The Ethiopian government has pointed its finger at Eritrea and Ethiopian opposition groups over a disturbance that took place at the Ethiopian embassy in Washington.

Ethiopia’s ambassador to the US, Girma Biru, said around 15 people had been involved in the incident, which occurred at the embassy on Monday.

“They first went to the consular service office and rudely demanded to speak to the ambassador. And when the officer told them that they needed an appointment, they insulted him and went out and tried to take down the Ethiopian flag,” he said.

US security forces subsequently took members of the group into custody after they refused to leave peacefully.

The culprits were detained for an hour, with authorities recording their names and addresses, before they were released.

According to the ambassador, no legal demonstration had been planned on the day in question and group members are known to US authorities.

He further went onto saying that the culprits were mercenaries of Eritrea and Ethiopia opposition groups who are reportedly upset by the successful outcome of recent discussion between the leaders of Ethiopia and the United States on boosting cooperation in the areas of trade, peacekeeping and fighting terrorism.

“The individuals are lackeys of few political parties and Shaebia (Eritrea) who use cheap and nasty language to insult Ethiopian government officials that come to the country for business,” he said.

The ambassador said the attack was as a “desperate act” in response to the growing relationship between the two countries.

Ethiopian Diplomat Flees US to Dodge Prosecution, US Official Confirms


A 46-year-old security attache for the Ethiopian Embassy in DC, Solomon Tadesse, whom authorities charged in connection with a Sept. 29 shooting near the building, has left the country, officials said.

The Hill

By Mario Trujillo

An Ethiopian diplomat who allegedly fired a gun during a protest this week at his country’s embassy in Washington, D.C., has left the United States to escape prosecution.

The State Department on Thursday confirmed that it had asked Ethiopia to waive the diplomat’s immunity so he could be prosecuted in U.S. courts, which was refused.

“In this case, we requested a waiver of immunity to permit prosecution of the individual involved in that incident,” State Department press secretary Jen Psaki said. “The request was declined and the individual involved has now left the country.”

Diplomats are expelled from the United States when their host country declines to waive diplomatic immunity.

Psaki, who did not identify the diplomat, said once expelled, individuals typically are not allowed back to the U.S. for any other reason but prosecution.

The Secret Service responded to reports of a gunshot at the Ethiopian Embassy compound on Monday and detained an individual believed to have fired the shot.

No injuries were reported from the incident, which was partially caught on camera with a man in a black suit wielding a handgun amid a small crowd of people before the gunshot is heard.

Reuters reported the man turned himself into authorities but he was not arrested because of his diplomatic immunity.

Ethiopian-Diplomat Flees US After Embassy shooting, State Department Official Says (AFP)


US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki. (Getty Images)

Washington – An Ethiopian diplomat who opened fire to quell a protest outside his country’s embassy in Washington has left the United States to avoid prosecution, a US official said Thursday.

Secret Service agents arrested the man on Monday after shots were fired in the air in the embassy’s outside compound in the US capital.

Video shown by Ethiopian television ESAT showed a man brandishing and firing a handgun as a small crowd of protesters took down the Ethiopian national flag.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said her bureau had requested that Addis Ababa lift the man’s diplomatic immunity “to permit prosecution of the individual involved in that incident.”

The “request was declined” and in line with State Department regulations “the individual involved has now left the country.”

Psaki gave no further details about the shooting or the person involved.

Read more »


Ethiopian Embassy security attache charged in shooting at building – The Washington Post

The Washington Post

By Victoria St. Martin

A 46-year-old security attache for the Ethio­pian Embassy, whom authorities charged in connection with a Sept. 29 shooting near the building, has left the country, officials said.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said the attache, Solomon Tadesse G. Silasse, was charged with assault with intent to kill while armed in connection with a shooting outside the embassy on International Drive NW.

Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said Silasse has diplomatic immunity. Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the State Department, said authorities requested a waiver of immunity to prosecute Silasse, but the request was denied.

Read more and watch video at The Washington Post »

Related:

Video: Shot Fired outside Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, .D.C (FOX)

DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

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Malala, Indian Activist Awarded Nobel Prize

This year's Nobel Peace Prize winners are Indian children's right activist Kailash Satyarthi, left, and Pakistani schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai. (Reuters)

VOA News

October 10, 2014

The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded jointly to Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai and Indian children right’s campaigner Kailash Satyarthi.

In announcing the winners Friday, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said the prize was awarded for “their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to an education.”

Malala rose to fame after Taliban militants shot her at close range in the head for speaking out against the Islamic extremists and demanding education for girls.

Satyarthi has headed various forms of protests and demonstrations, all peaceful, focusing on the exploitation of children for financial gain. He also has helped develop important international conventions on children’s rights.

Congratulating the winners Friday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he thought the joint award was “terrific.”

“I think the two of them together represent and incredibly appropriate statement about the importance of women and children,” said Kerry.

Yousafzai and Satyarthi will be invited to a December awards ceremony in Oslo, Norway, where they will be given a medal and over $1 million in prize money.

In his speech Friday, Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjorn Jagland said the joint prize was symbolic because it was important for “a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism.”

Undeterred by bullets

Malala’s hometown of Mingora in Pakistan’s Swat Valley was infiltrated by militants from Afghanistan more than six years ago and for a time the community was living under the influence of the Pakistani Taliban. The Taliban set up courts, executed residents and closed girls’ schools, including the one that Malala attended.

Under a pen name, she began writing a blog about the harsh living conditions under Taliban rule.

On October 9, 2012, Taliban gunmen fired on Malala’s school bus, shooting her in the head and neck and wounding two of her classmates.

She was treated in Pakistan and later in Britain, where doctors mended parts of her skull with a titanium plate. She recovered enough to celebrate her 16th birthday last year with a passionate speech at the United Nations in New York, in which she appealed for compulsory free schooling for all children.

Malala told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and nearly 1,000 students attending an international Youth Assembly at U.N. headquarters that education was the only way to improve lives.

“Let us pick up our books and our pens,” she said. “They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first.”

Malala has gone on to make several public appearances and has received a number of honors. In September 2013, she was given the Clinton Global Citizens Awards at a ceremony in New York.

Satyarthi fights to protect child laborers

Malala’s co-winner, Satyarthi, has campaigned for children’s rights in India for many years. He and other activists raided factories and other facilities to free children who were held in slave labor conditions. They also started an organization to educate the children and help them integrate into society.

“It’s a great honor for all those children who are deprived of their childhood globally,” Sayyarthi said upon receiving the news. “It’s an honor to all my fellow Indians who have got this honor. It’s not just an honor for me. It’s an honor for all those who were fighting against child labor globally.”

Born in Vidisha, India, in 1954, the husband and father of two gave up his career as an electrical engineer to concentrate on freeing children from slave labor. He also advocates for the right of all children to an education.

Satyarthi founded the New Delhi-based Bachpan Bachao Andolan, or Save the Childhood Movement, which fights child labor, child trafficking and child servitude. He heads the Global March Against Child Labor, a network of 2,000 civil society organizations and trade unions in 140 countries.

He also has led various forms of peaceful protest against exploiting children for financial gain.

The Nobel Prize, he said, means “people will give more attention to the cause of children in the world.”

Strategic recognition?

Satyarthi and Yousafzai both work on behalf of children, and they work in neighboring countries. But their countries have a deep mutual mistrust, and there have been several deadly border clashes this week.

The juxtaposition was not lost on Mustafa Kadri, South Asia specialist at the Human Rights organization Amnesty International.

“My feeling, personally, is the Nobel Committee is sending a message, which is to say that both India and Pakistan have a shared destiny,” he said. “They have the same sorts of challenges. They have very similar activists fighting for a better future for the children of these countries.”

Kadri and other experts pointed out Friday that while giving the Nobel Peace Prize to two children’s rights advocates is a tribute to the work they have done, it is also a statement about how much more work there is to do.

VOA’s Al Pessin and Selah Hennessy contributed to this report. Some material also came from Reuters.

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Ethiopia Nominates Dr. Catherine Hamlin for Nobel Peace Prize

Dr. Catherine Hamlin, founder of the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, has been nominated for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, which will be announced Friday, October 10th. (Photo courtesy: Hamlin Fistula USA)

VOA News

By Marthe van der Wolf

October 09, 2014

ADDIS ABABA — The Ethiopian government has nominated 90-year-old Dr. Catherine Hamlin for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. The doctor has been running a fistula clinic for 40 years.

On a beautiful compound hidden in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, you can find the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital.

Fistula is an abnormal connection between an organ, vessel or intestine and another part of the body.

The fistula hospital was established by Australian doctor Catherine Hamlin and her late husband in 1974.

Unlike other hospitals

Unlike many other hospitals, this one is not overcrowded and the facility is very well maintained. There are a total of 147 beds. In one of the rooms lies 35-year-old Rahima from Arsi, a southwestern part of Ethiopia.

Rahima gave birth to a baby three months ago, but labor complications led to fistula.

She says that due to the labor problems she would leak urine. It wasn’t that much in the beginning, but she was ashamed and tried hiding it by staying at home for weeks. She says that when the flow increased she went to her local hospital and was told to be treated in Addis Ababa.

Rahima is not the only fistula patient.

Poor access to health facilities leaves 1 in 16 women in Africa with fistula and other serious risks during pregnancy or childbirth, especially those living in rural areas. Fistula is caused due to prolonged and obstructed labor.

It leaves women incontinent and without having control over their bladders. Urine can flow continuously and because of this; many women are isolated and rejected from their communities.

Midwife training

Australian doctor Catherine Hamlin and her husband came to Ethiopia in 1959 to train midwifes. They were faced with the fistula problem and noticed the lack of knowledge and treatment for this injury.

The Hamlins developed and improved treatment technologies to help Ethiopian women. Their work has now resulted in a nomination for this years’ Nobel Peace Prize.

According to hospital director Martin Andrews, Dr. Hamlin’s humble personality makes her not want to seek attention for herself. Andrews says that she is delighted with the recognition and hopes the nomination will create more awareness:

“Her biggest concern is the lack of health professionals in rural Ethiopia. And anything that will raise awareness to that problem and trying to bring a solution for that problem is what would really help,” said Andrews.

Besides having set up five fistula clinics in Ethiopia, the Hamlin doctors have treated over 40,000 women and trained many nurses.

Nurse Tenadew Bekele was selected in nursing school to come work at the fistula hospital and has been working there for 26 years. She says that Dr. Hamlin has been a great teacher and mentor for her:

“Anyone can learn form her just by observing, just by following her, by what she is doing. Her activity expresses what she wants to tell for other people to do for the others. So that’s the way of her teaching,” said Bekele.

While fistula was eradicated in the industrialized world in the 1920’s, many developing countries still have thousands of women suffering from fistula.

Hamlins’ practice

The Hamlin way of treating fistula is now being practiced all over the developing world. Every year the hospital brings doctors from the developing world to Ethiopia to teach them about fistula treatments.

The costs are mostly funded by private donations. But the hospital is free of charge for the patients. Fistula patient 30-year-old Amarech says she is happy with the care she has been receiving in the hospital.

She says that if this hospital weren’t here, her only choice would have been to stay home until she would die.

The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize will be announced Friday.

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Local Ethiopian Community Offers Reward for Clues on Missing Texas Woman

42-year-old mother of two, Almaz Gebremedhin, who works as a nurse's assistant, hasn't been seen since she left her home in Wylie, Texas on Thursday, October 2nd, 2014. (Family photo: WFAA)

KXAS/NBC-5

By CATHERINE ROSS

Family members are still searching for any clues to the whereabouts of Almaz Gebremedhin, 42, a Collin County woman who has been missing since last week.

The local Ethiopian community is also rallying support and has raised money for a reward, which will be offered to anyone offering a significant tip to police that brings Gebremedhin home.

The Wylie Police Department said Gebremedhin has not been seen since Thursday at 5 a.m. as she left her home in the 1500 block of Windward Lane in Wylie to head to her job at a nursing home.

“Four days, no sign of her car — we are in the dark. I am in the dark,” Gebremedhin’s husband Sisay Zelelew said Monday.

The two have been married for 16 years and have two children, ages 10 and 8.

Zelelew says he’s known his wife since she was 16 when the two were living in their native Ethiopia.

“She’s a near perfect person,” he added.

Zelelew said he knew something was very wrong when his children’s school called him, informing him his wife had not picked up the children.

When he called the nursing home to see if she was busy at work, co-workers told him she’d never shown up for her shift.

She is 5 feet tall, 134 pounds, and has black hair and brown eyes. She was wearing scrubs when she disappeared.

Her vehicle — a silver 2004 Chevrolet Ventura van with the license plate CVZ-8041 — is also still missing, according to Wylie police.

Anyone with information should call Wylie Police Department at 972-442-8171.



Related:
Texas Police Searching for Missing Mother of Two Almaz Gebremedhin

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$25 M Grant Backs University of Michigan Health Project in Ethiopia, Other Nations

Dr. Senait Fisseha at St. Paul's Hospital Millennium Medical College in Addis Ababa. (Photo: UM)

University of Michigan

Press Release

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — With a $25 million grant from an anonymous donor, the University of Michigan will begin training doctors in Africa in reproductive health services not widely available to many women living in remote areas of the continent.

The grant will allow faculty at the U-M Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology to create a center for reproductive health training in order to increase the number of health professionals equipped to provide life-saving reproductive health care, especially to women whose families are poor.

“Every day, women across the globe are dying and suffering from poor health outcomes because they don’t have access to high quality, comprehensive reproductive health care,” says Senait Fisseha, M.D., J.D., the center’s director. Fisseha, who was born in Ethiopia, is a reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist at the U-M Health System.

“We are overwhelmingly grateful for this extraordinary grant that allows us to build on our strong foundation of global reproductive health programs and continue to pursue a longtime dream to provide all women a full scope of high quality reproductive health care when and where they need it.”

Read more »

Video: $25 M grant backs U-M project to curb maternal deaths in Ethiopia (UM Health System)



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Ethiopia most successful in Africa at cutting maternal deaths – NGO

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In Ethiopia Long Jail Sentences for Three Magazine Owners

Ethiopia's Minister of Justice, Getachew Ambaye. (Photo via en.rsf.org)

Reporters Without Borders

PUBLISHED ON WEDNESDAY 8 OCTOBER 2014.

They fled the country before the trial and were convicted in absentia

Ethiopia’s federal supreme court yesterday sentenced three magazine owners in absentia to more than three years in prison on charges of “inciting violent revolts, printing and distributing unfounded rumours and conspiring to unlawfully abolish the constitutional system of the country.”

The three, who fled the country when the prosecution was mooted, are Addis Guday publisher Endalkachew Tesfaye, Lomi publisher Gizaw Taye and Fact publisher Fatuma Nuriya. Their jail terms range from three years and three months to three years and eleven months.

Ethiopia’s justice ministry announced in August that it was bringing criminal charges against these three magazines and three other weeklies – Enqu, Jano and Afro-Times.

“The sentences imposed on these three magazine owners are shocking,” said Cléa Kahn-Sriber, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Africa desk. “The clearly outrageous grounds for their conviction are indicative of how a very authoritarian regime is manipulating the justice system. This type of persecution amounts to banning independent media in Ethiopia altogether.”

The authorities have been stepping up their persecution of news and information providers for the past several months. Six bloggers and three journalists (including an Addis Guday reporter) have been held since April. After repeated postponements, their trial is now scheduled for 15 October.

In June, 18 journalists were fired from Oromia Radio and Television Organization (ORTO), the main state-owned broadcaster in Oromia, Ethiopia’s largest region, for supposedly having “narrow political views.” The dismissal order came from the government.

Ethiopia is ranked 143rd out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

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Enhanced Ebola Screening to Start at Five U.S. Airports

Atlanta International Airport. (AP Photo)

Tadias Magazine
News Update

Press Release

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs & Border Protection (CBP) this week will begin new layers of entry screening at five U.S. airports that receive over 94 percent of travelers from the Ebola-affected nations of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

New York’s JFK International Airport will begin the new screening on Saturday. In the 12 months ending July 2014, JFK received nearly half of travelers from the three West African nations. The enhanced entry screening at Washington-Dulles, Newark, Chicago-O’Hare, and Atlanta international airports will be implemented next week.

“We work to continuously increase the safety of Americans,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “We believe these new measures will further protect the health of Americans, understanding that nothing we can do will get us to absolute zero risk until we end the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.”

“CBP personnel will continue to observe all travelers entering the United States for general overt signs of illnesses at all U.S. ports of entry and these expanded screening measures will provide an additional layer of protection to help ensure the risk of Ebola in the United States is minimized,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. “CBP, working closely with CDC, will continue to assess the risk of the spread of Ebola into the United States, and take additional measures, as necessary, to protect the American people.”

CDC is sending additional staff to each of the five airports. After passport review:

* Travelers from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone will be escorted by CBP to an area of the airport set aside for screening.

* Trained CBP staff will observe them for signs of illness, ask them a series of health and exposure questions and provide health information for Ebola and reminders to monitor themselves for symptoms. Trained medical staff will take their temperature with a non-contact thermometer.

* If the travelers have fever, symptoms or the health questionnaire reveals possible Ebola exposure, they will be evaluated by a CDC quarantine station public health officer. The public health officer will again take a temperature reading and make a public health assessment. Travelers, who after this assessment, are determined to require further evaluation or monitoring will be referred to the appropriate public health authority.

* Travelers from these countries who have neither symptoms/fever nor a known history of exposure will receive health information for self-monitoring.

Entry screening is part of a layered process that includes exit screening and standard public health practices such as patient isolation and contact tracing in countries with Ebola outbreaks. Successful containment of the recent Ebola outbreak in Nigeria demonstrates the effectiveness of this approach.

These measures complement the exit screening protocols that have already been implemented in the affected West African countries, and CDC experts have worked closely with local authorities to implement these measures. Since the beginning of August, CDC has been working with airlines, airports, ministries of health, and other partners to provide technical assistance for the development of exit screening and travel restrictions in countries affected by Ebola. This includes:

  • Assessing the capacity to conduct exit screening at international airports;
  • Assisting countries with procuring supplies needed to conduct exit screening;
  • Supporting with development of exit screening protocols;
  • Developing tools such as posters, screening forms, and job-aids; and
  • Training staff on exit screening protocols and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)

    Today, all outbound passengers are screened for Ebola symptoms in the affected countries. Such primary exit screening involves travelers responding to a travel health questionnaire, being visually assessed for potential illness, and having their body temperature measured. In the last two months since exit screening began in the three countries, of 36,000 people screened, 77 people were denied boarding a flight because of the health screening process. None of the 77 passengers were diagnosed with Ebola and many were diagnosed as ill with malaria, a disease common in West Africa, transmitted by mosquitoes and not contagious from one person to another.

    Exit screening at airports in countries affected by Ebola remains the principal means of keeping travelers from spreading Ebola to other nations. All three of these nations have asked for, and continue to receive, CDC assistance in strengthening exit screening.

    Related:
    Dallas Ebola Patient Dies at Texas Hospital

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  • Dallas Ebola Patient Dies at Texas Hospital

    Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S. has died in a Dallas, Texas hospital. (Photo: NBC)

    VOA News

    October 08, 2014

    Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital says that Thomas Eric Duncan died Wednesday morning, 10 days after he entered the facility.

    Duncan had come to Dallas from his native Liberia, the epicenter of the West African Ebola outbreak.

    In Washington, the White House confirmed the U.S. will increase Ebola screening measures at airports that handle large numbers of West African passengers.

    Screening measures

    White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the measures would be put in place at five airports: JFK in New York, O’Hare in Chicago, Dulles outside Washington, Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta and Newark International Airport in New Jersey.

    The Associated Press reported that officials could begin taking temperatures at JFK as early as this weekend. The screening measures would begin at the other airports next week.

    Duncan had arrived in the U.S. by air on September 20. He did not exhibit signs of Ebola until several days later, and was initially sent home from the Dallas hospital with antibiotics when he first went there on September 25.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday it is tracking 48 people who had contact or may have had contact with Duncan in the days before he was admitted to the hospital.

    More aid requested

    Also on Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said it is urgent that more countries step up to help in the fight against Ebola, including sending more money, equipment and staff to contain the spread of the disease.

    In an impassioned plea, Kerry said progress against the disease is being made, but far too slowly and that the world is not where it needs to be in stemming Ebola’s spread.

    Slideshow from Kerry’s presentation

    Speaking with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond in Washington, Kerry also said it is essential for airlines to keep flying to West Africa and for borders to remain open to allow for the movement of assistance and medical staff.

    His comments came shortly after Duncan died at a Dallas hospital.

    Earlier Wednesday, the United Nations mission in Liberia said a second member of its staff has contracted Ebola.

    In a statement, the mission said the international medical official is undergoing treatment, but did not specify their nationality. The first infected staff member died last month.

    Disease’s cost to Africa

    And the World Bank said on Wednesday that the regional impact of West Africa’s Ebola epidemic could reach $32.6 billion by the end of 2015 if it spreads significantly beyond the worst-hit countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the World Bank said on Wednesday.

    “The enormous economic cost of the current outbreak to the affected countries and the world could have been avoided by prudent ongoing investment in health systems-strengthening,” World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in a statement.

    The World Health Organization also reported on Wednesday that nearly 3,900 people have died from the disease, including more than 2,200 in Liberia. The WHO said the total number of cases stands at just over 8,000.

    Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf told Reuters there are signs Ebola is “in decline” in her country.

    But the WHO statement said there is no evidence the epidemic in West Africa is being brought under control. The U.N. agency said a reported fall in the number of cases in Liberia reflects under-reporting by overwhelmed health workers.

    Material for this report came from AFP, AP and Reuters.



    Related:
    Spanish Nurse Becomes First Person to Contract Ebola Outside of Africa (Video)

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    Texas Police Searching for Missing Mother of Two Almaz Gebremedhin

    Almaz Gebremedhin, 42, hasn't been seen since she left her home in Wylie, Texas on Thursday, October 2nd, 2014. (Family photo: WFAA)

    WFAA

    Jobin Panicker, WFAA

    WYLIE — Almaz Gebremedhin has been missing now for five days. The 42-year-old mother of two of Ethiopian descent was last seen leaving for work last Thursday.

    Sisay Zelelew is hoping for any news that points to where his wife is.

    “Every minute, every second, every hour… it’s just like being in the dark,” Zelelew said.

    Gebremedhin left for work Thursday morning, but her employer told Zelelew that she didn’t show up there. She also didn’t pick up her two kids from school later that day.

    “I don’t how I’m going to handle it without her. I don’t know…I don’t know,” the forlorn father said, standing next to his two young children.

    Gebremedhin is a nurse’s assistant, and she works three miles from her home. Zelelew and the Ethiopian community have looked everywhere along that route.

    “We don’t get reports like this often,” said Wylie Police Department spokesperson Nuria Arroyo. The department was notified about the disappearance on Thursday afternoon.

    “We’ve been looking for her or her vehicle everywhere we can think of, and we have not located either,” Arroyo said. Police are hoping for more tips from the public.

    Read more »



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    DC Ethiopian Embassy Shooting Sparks Rival Protests

    United States Secret Service police are seen standing in front of the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington Sept. 29, 2014, in connection with a shooting incident at the compound. (Photo: Reuters)

    VOA News

    By Pamela Dockins

    October 07, 2014

    STATE DEPARTMENT— There is more fallout from a shooting last month near the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington that resulted in the embassy security attache being sent home. The incident sparked rival protests Tuesday near the U.S. State Department, with one group urging the United States to do more to protect the diplomatic compound.

    As they waved banners and the Ethiopian flag, about 20 protesters calling themselves Ethiopians for Peace called for more security at the Ethiopian embassy in Washington.

    Moulou Assefa said an incident, which resulted in an embassy staffer firing shots at protesters, never should have happened.

    “We felt like we had been violated. We had been let down by the [U.S.] Secret Service. They should have protected the embassy,” said Assefa.

    He said his group is not against protests, but feels that demonstrators should not be allowed to, in his words, “occupy” embassy grounds.

    “Literally, there was a fight. They just took down the Ethiopian flag and they were trying to replace it. This is unheard of,” said Assefa.

    As he spoke, about 15 people who were part of that embassy confrontation held a counter-demonstration across the street.

    Elizabeth Altaye said they had a warning for the United States concerning the TPLF, the main branch of the Ethiopian government’s ruling party.

    “I am protesting to tell America and the American people, TPLF is a terrorist group. [They] take over and become a government and [are] still terrorizing East Africa.”

    The two sides were separated by police barricades as they voiced their opposing views.

    Diplomat Memo: Ambassador Girma Biru on DC Ethiopian Embassy Shooting


    Ethiopia’s ambassador to the US, Girma Biru. (Diplomat News Network)

    Diplomat News Network

    Washington (Agencies + DIPLOMAT.SO) – The Ethiopian government has pointed its finger at Eritrea and Ethiopian opposition groups over a disturbance that took place at the Ethiopian embassy in Washington.

    Ethiopia’s ambassador to the US, Girma Biru, said around 15 people had been involved in the incident, which occurred at the embassy on Monday.

    “They first went to the consular service office and rudely demanded to speak to the ambassador. And when the officer told them that they needed an appointment, they insulted him and went out and tried to take down the Ethiopian flag,” he said.

    US security forces subsequently took members of the group into custody after they refused to leave peacefully.

    The culprits were detained for an hour, with authorities recording their names and addresses, before they were released.

    According to the ambassador, no legal demonstration had been planned on the day in question and group members are known to US authorities.

    He further went onto saying that the culprits were mercenaries of Eritrea and Ethiopia opposition groups who are reportedly upset by the successful outcome of recent discussion between the leaders of Ethiopia and the United States on boosting cooperation in the areas of trade, peacekeeping and fighting terrorism.

    “The individuals are lackeys of few political parties and Shaebia (Eritrea) who use cheap and nasty language to insult Ethiopian government officials that come to the country for business,” he said.

    The ambassador said the attack was as a “desperate act” in response to the growing relationship between the two countries.

    Ethiopian Diplomat Flees US to Dodge Prosecution, US Official Confirms


    A 46-year-old security attache for the Ethiopian Embassy in DC, Solomon Tadesse, whom authorities charged in connection with a Sept. 29 shooting near the building, has left the country, officials said.

    The Hill

    By Mario Trujillo

    An Ethiopian diplomat who allegedly fired a gun during a protest this week at his country’s embassy in Washington, D.C., has left the United States to escape prosecution.

    The State Department on Thursday confirmed that it had asked Ethiopia to waive the diplomat’s immunity so he could be prosecuted in U.S. courts, which was refused.

    “In this case, we requested a waiver of immunity to permit prosecution of the individual involved in that incident,” State Department press secretary Jen Psaki said. “The request was declined and the individual involved has now left the country.”

    Diplomats are expelled from the United States when their host country declines to waive diplomatic immunity.

    Psaki, who did not identify the diplomat, said once expelled, individuals typically are not allowed back to the U.S. for any other reason but prosecution.

    The Secret Service responded to reports of a gunshot at the Ethiopian Embassy compound on Monday and detained an individual believed to have fired the shot.

    No injuries were reported from the incident, which was partially caught on camera with a man in a black suit wielding a handgun amid a small crowd of people before the gunshot is heard.

    Reuters reported the man turned himself into authorities but he was not arrested because of his diplomatic immunity.

    Ethiopian-Diplomat Flees US After Embassy shooting, State Department Official Says (AFP)


    US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki. (Getty Images)

    Washington – An Ethiopian diplomat who opened fire to quell a protest outside his country’s embassy in Washington has left the United States to avoid prosecution, a US official said Thursday.

    Secret Service agents arrested the man on Monday after shots were fired in the air in the embassy’s outside compound in the US capital.

    Video shown by Ethiopian television ESAT showed a man brandishing and firing a handgun as a small crowd of protesters took down the Ethiopian national flag.

    State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said her bureau had requested that Addis Ababa lift the man’s diplomatic immunity “to permit prosecution of the individual involved in that incident.”

    The “request was declined” and in line with State Department regulations “the individual involved has now left the country.”

    Psaki gave no further details about the shooting or the person involved.

    Read more »


    Ethiopian Embassy security attache charged in shooting at building – The Washington Post

    The Washington Post

    By Victoria St. Martin

    A 46-year-old security attache for the Ethio­pian Embassy, whom authorities charged in connection with a Sept. 29 shooting near the building, has left the country, officials said.

    A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said the attache, Solomon Tadesse G. Silasse, was charged with assault with intent to kill while armed in connection with a shooting outside the embassy on International Drive NW.

    Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said Silasse has diplomatic immunity. Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the State Department, said authorities requested a waiver of immunity to prosecute Silasse, but the request was denied.

    Read more and watch video at The Washington Post »

    Related:

    Video: Shot Fired outside Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, .D.C (FOX)

    DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

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    Diplomat Memo: Ambassador Girma Biru on DC Ethiopian Embassy Shooting

    Ethiopia’s ambassador to the US, Girma Biru. (Diplomat News Network)

    Diplomat News Network

    Washington (Agencies + DIPLOMAT.SO) – The Ethiopian government has pointed its finger at Eritrea and Ethiopian opposition groups over a disturbance that took place at the Ethiopian embassy in Washington.

    Ethiopia’s ambassador to the US, Girma Biru, said around 15 people had been involved in the incident, which occurred at the embassy on Monday.

    “They first went to the consular service office and rudely demanded to speak to the ambassador. And when the officer told them that they needed an appointment, they insulted him and went out and tried to take down the Ethiopian flag,” he said.

    US security forces subsequently took members of the group into custody after they refused to leave peacefully.

    The culprits were detained for an hour, with authorities recording their names and addresses, before they were released.

    According to the ambassador, no legal demonstration had been planned on the day in question and group members are known to US authorities.

    He further went onto saying that the culprits were mercenaries of Eritrea and Ethiopia opposition groups who are reportedly upset by the successful outcome of recent discussion between the leaders of Ethiopia and the United States on boosting cooperation in the areas of trade, peacekeeping and fighting terrorism.

    “The individuals are lackeys of few political parties and Shaebia (Eritrea) who use cheap and nasty language to insult Ethiopian government officials that come to the country for business,” he said.

    The ambassador said the attack was as a “desperate act” in response to the growing relationship between the two countries.

    Ethiopian Diplomat Flees US to Dodge Prosecution, US Official Confirms


    A 46-year-old security attache for the Ethiopian Embassy in DC, Solomon Tadesse, whom authorities charged in connection with a Sept. 29 shooting near the building, has left the country, officials said.

    The Hill

    By Mario Trujillo

    An Ethiopian diplomat who allegedly fired a gun during a protest this week at his country’s embassy in Washington, D.C., has left the United States to escape prosecution.

    The State Department on Thursday confirmed that it had asked Ethiopia to waive the diplomat’s immunity so he could be prosecuted in U.S. courts, which was refused.

    “In this case, we requested a waiver of immunity to permit prosecution of the individual involved in that incident,” State Department press secretary Jen Psaki said. “The request was declined and the individual involved has now left the country.”

    Diplomats are expelled from the United States when their host country declines to waive diplomatic immunity.

    Psaki, who did not identify the diplomat, said once expelled, individuals typically are not allowed back to the U.S. for any other reason but prosecution.

    The Secret Service responded to reports of a gunshot at the Ethiopian Embassy compound on Monday and detained an individual believed to have fired the shot.

    No injuries were reported from the incident, which was partially caught on camera with a man in a black suit wielding a handgun amid a small crowd of people before the gunshot is heard.

    Reuters reported the man turned himself into authorities but he was not arrested because of his diplomatic immunity.

    Ethiopian-Diplomat Flees US After Embassy shooting, State Department Official Says (AFP)


    US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki. (Getty Images)

    Washington – An Ethiopian diplomat who opened fire to quell a protest outside his country’s embassy in Washington has left the United States to avoid prosecution, a US official said Thursday.

    Secret Service agents arrested the man on Monday after shots were fired in the air in the embassy’s outside compound in the US capital.

    Video shown by Ethiopian television ESAT showed a man brandishing and firing a handgun as a small crowd of protesters took down the Ethiopian national flag.

    State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said her bureau had requested that Addis Ababa lift the man’s diplomatic immunity “to permit prosecution of the individual involved in that incident.”

    The “request was declined” and in line with State Department regulations “the individual involved has now left the country.”

    Psaki gave no further details about the shooting or the person involved.

    Read more »


    Ethiopian Embassy security attache charged in shooting at building – The Washington Post

    The Washington Post

    By Victoria St. Martin

    A 46-year-old security attache for the Ethio­pian Embassy, whom authorities charged in connection with a Sept. 29 shooting near the building, has left the country, officials said.

    A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said the attache, Solomon Tadesse G. Silasse, was charged with assault with intent to kill while armed in connection with a shooting outside the embassy on International Drive NW.

    Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said Silasse has diplomatic immunity. Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the State Department, said authorities requested a waiver of immunity to prosecute Silasse, but the request was denied.

    Read more and watch video at The Washington Post »

    Related:

    Video: Shot Fired outside Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, .D.C (FOX)

    DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

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    Spanish Nurse Becomes First Person to Contract Ebola Outside of Africa (Video)

    In the first known case of Ebola transmission outside of Africa, a nurse who treated two victims of Ebola in Madrid has tested positive for the disease, the panish Health Minister Ana Mato has confirmed. (AP)

    NBC News

    A nurse in Spain has become the first person to contract Ebola outside of West Africa in the latest epidemic, authorities said on Monday.

    The woman, who was described as a “sanitary tech,” last month treated a priest in Madrid who later died of Ebola after contracting the virus while doing missionary work in Sierra Leone.

    The elderly priest, Manuel Garcia Viejo, was treated in Madrid’s Carlos III hospital, where he had been in quarantine since his return from Africa. He died on Sept. 25. The nurse entered the priest’s room twice: Once to treat him and once upon his death, to recover his belongings, officials said. She began showing signs of illness on Sept. 30 and sought treatment, they said.

    Health authorities said the nurse earlier had also helped treat another priest, Miguel Pajares, 75, who had been working in Liberia when he was afflicted with Ebola. He was airlifted back to Spain on Aug. 7 and died five days later.

    “We are working to verify the exact source of contact to see if all strict protocols were followed,” Spanish Health Minister Ana Mato said at a news conference on Monday.

    Read more »

    Video: Spanish Nurse Is First Person to Contract Ebola Outside of Africa (NBC News)


    Related:
    Dallas Ebola Patient In Critical Condition
    First US Case of Ebola Diagnosed in Dallas
    Eight Ebola questions, answered (MSNBC)

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    Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa to Challenge Historic Men’s Field at 2014 NYC Marathon

    2013 Boston Marathon champion Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia is one of the elite runners scheduled to participate in the 2014 New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 2nd. (Photograph: Getty Images)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Published: Monday, October 6, 2014

    New York (TADIAS) – The annual New York City Marathon is upon us. And this year Ethiopia’s hope in the elite men’s competition rests on 24-year-old Lelisa Desisa, the 2013 Boston Marathon champion. The Ethiopian athlete was recently added to the field of “international record-setters and distance-running greats” expected to take part in the 2014 NYC Marathon, which is scheduled for Sunday, November 2nd.

    It was also made public this past weekend by Mary Wittenberg, president and CEO of New York Road Runners, that defending women’s champion Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya and her fellow countryman, 2014 London Marathon runner-up Stanley Biwott, have withdrawn from the upcoming race due to leg injuries.

    In the women’s category 2013 Chicago Marathon runner-up Jemima Sumgong of Kenya has likewise made the roster: “Sumgong will join a decorated collection of past New York City Marathon champions, including Firehiwot Dado of Ethiopia (2011), Edna Kiplagat of Kenya (2010), and two-time champion Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia (2005, 2006).”

    Lelisa, who will be making his New York City Marathon debut, is “currently ranked fifth in the 2013–2014 World Marathon Majors Series standings, will challenge a historic men’s field, featuring former world record-holder Wilson Kipsang and two-time defending New York City Marathon champion and second-fastest performer of all time Geoffrey Mutai, both of Kenya,” states the press release.

    It’s to be remembered that it was exactly a year ago this month, amidst sporting disappointments for Ethiopia (with the crushing home defeat of the Walyas by Nigeria that interrupted the Ethiopian national soccer team’s momentum to join the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil), that Lelisa once again rose to the occasion delivering the only uplifting news of the day for his country on October 13th, 2013 when he claimed victory at the BAA Half Marathon in Boston, where he had won the full distance six months earlier.

    In its news release the New York Road Runners, the organization that overseas the New York City Marathon, added: “[Lelisa] had an exceptional 2013 marathon campaign, recording victories in Dubai and Boston and earning a silver medal at the IAAF World Championships. His time in Dubai, 2:04:45, is the fifth-fastest debut in history. This year, he won the super-competitive RAK Half-Marathon, leading a record eight men under the one-hour barrier.”

    The 2014 NYC Marathon on November 2nd will be televised live nationally on ESPN and broadcasted in the New York City metropolitan area on WABC-TV from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Organizers point out that “last year, 50,266 runners crossed the finish line of the New York City Marathon, making it the world’s largest marathon ever. Runners from more than 100 countries and each of the 50 states participated.”

    Related:
    Lelisa Desisa and Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia Win 2014 Boston Half-Marathon
    Lelisa Desisa Delivers an Ethiopian Victory Amidst Sporting Disappointments

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    Bale Mountains National Park, Ethiopia: A landscape Full of Unique Wildlife

    Bale is known to be home to 78 mammal species and around 300 species of birds and researchers have recently found 22 previously unknown species of butterflies and moths. (Photo by SUE WATT)

    The Independent UK

    By SUE WATT

    Monday 06 October 2014

    Giant mole-rats were the main dish on the menu in Bale Mountains National Park. They are perhaps the weirdest rodents on earth, with an enormous head, big goofy teeth, a long bendy body, and legs as short as a sausage dog’s. Thankfully, looks aren’t important to the Ethiopian wolves that depend on these ugly creatures for sustenance: an estimated 5,000 giant mole-rats per square kilometre help keep the world’s rarest canids alive.

    Only 450 Ethiopian wolves survive today. Some 220 live around Bale’s bleak yet beautiful Sanetti Plateau in southern Ethiopia, a six-hour drive south from Addis Ababa. Despite their rarity, spotting them along the roadside through the National Park is almost as easy as spotting an urban fox in London. They look like foxes too, with deep russet coats and black-tipped tails, but they’re sleeker, taller, and incredibly handsome. In just 15 minutes on the plateau, we saw our first wolf, a juvenile, skulking low, then waiting patiently to pounce on his living lunch.

    You would never see this scene outside Ethiopia – both the wolf and giant mole-rats are endemic to the country. But they’re not the only endemic animals in the National Park, which is the size of Herefordshire. On the Dinsho Trail, we walked along tracks on undulating hillsides with massive juniper trees sheltering mountain nyala and Menelik’s bushbuck, both antelopes unique to Ethiopia. We saw the impressive twisted horns of the male mountain nyala poking from the top of a bush before the rest of him appeared, running ahead to protect his ladies. The smaller Menelik’s bushbuck, almost black with a fluffy coat and shorter horns, was more skittish, dashing into undergrowth on hearing us approach.

    “A lot of things pop up mysteriously here,” resident naturalist James Ndungu commented as we drove through the spectacular Harenna Forest on the Park’s southern slopes. “The other day, we saw a pack of 20 African wild dogs with young ones, so they’re obviously breeding. And a guest saw a black leopard here too.” Harenna is dripping with moss, giant heather and lichen: it’s the kind of place where you feel that trees have eyes and come alive at night.

    Bale is known to be home to 78 mammal species and around 300 species of birds, but who knows what truly lives here? Largely unexplored yet potentially full of exciting discoveries, researchers have recently found 22 previously unknown species of butterflies and moths.

    Read more »

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    Reflection: Hollywood in the Obama Era

    Institute of African American Affairs at New York university presents "Reflections on the Post: Hollywood’s Representation of Race in the Obama Era." (A Fall 2014 Lecture Series)

    Tadias Magazine
    Events News

    Press Release

    New York – Those who believe in the theory of post-race would argue that the era of a black president would be the most appropriate time to push beyond frontiers and air all issues related to race. For others, the power relations have not changed much, and race is still subject to power and capitalism. Considering the box-office success of recent Hollywood films, (The Butler, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Lincoln, Django Unchained, Precious, 12 Years a Slave, and others), some critics may see these films as groundbreaking in their representation of racial issues in America today. Others may describe the same films as controversial, because of their failure to challenge long held racial stereotypes. Some may even define these films as post-racial or as Hollywood’s return to race for profit.

    The lecture series “Reflections on the Post: Hollywood’s Representation of Race in the Obama Era” invites a writer/artist/critic to select a single film or a group of films that he/she feel exemplifies an Obama Era Hollywood representation of stereotypical blackness, or a post-racial society.


    If You Go:
    Oct. 6, 2014
    TIME: 6:00 pm
    Featuring Stanley Crouch
    Jazz scholar, syndicated columnist, social and cultural critic
    Author of Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker
    LOCATION: D’Agostino Hall, NYU Law School,
    110 West Third Street, Room: Lipton Hall,
    NY, NY

    Oct. 27, 2014
    TIME: 6:00 pm
    Sapphire, Bestselling Novelist & Poet,
    Author of PUSH—the inspiration for,
    the Academy Award-winning movie Precious
    LOCATION: Greenberg Lounge, 1st floor, Vanderbilt Hall,
    NYU Law School, 40 Washington Square South
    NY, NY 10012

    The programs are free and open to the public.
    Space is limited. Please RSVP at (212) 998-IAAA (4222).
    For updates and information please visit: http://www.nyuiaaa.org/

    The Institute of African American Affairs (IAAA) at New York University was founded in 1969 to research, document, and celebrate the cultural and intellectual production of Africa and its diaspora in the Atlantic world and beyond.

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    Obama Ally Parts With Him on War Powers

    Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, right, talking with Senator Angus S. King Jr. of Maine at a meeting of the Senate Armed Services Committee. (Credit Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    The New York Times

    By JONATHAN WEISMAN

    ORANGE, Va. — In June, after he had written a scorching opinion article seeking to constrain the president’s unilateral power to make war, Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, one of Barack Obama’s earliest supporters, buttonholed the commander in chief at the White House for what he called “a spirited discussion.”

    The militants of the Islamic State were pouring across the Syrian border into Iraq, and seizing cities where so much American blood and treasure had been spilled. But Mr. Kaine said he told the president in no uncertain terms that if he intended to go to war, he would have to ask Congress’s permission. President Obama politely but firmly disagreed.

    They have been battling ever since.

    Read more at NYT »

    Related:
    Video: Obama Predicts Democrats Will Hold The Senate in Midterm Elections

    Obama, Ethiopia PM Hailemariam Hold Meeting in New York (Video & Text of Remarks)

    THE WHITE HOUSE
    Office of the Press Secretary
    New York City, New York
    September 25, 2014

    REMARKS BY PRESIDENT OBAMA AND PRIME MINISTER HAILEMARIAM DESALEGN, BEFORE BILATERAL MEETING

    United Nations Building
    New York City, New York
    9:57 A.M. EDT

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I want to extend a warm welcome to Prime Minister Desalegn and his delegation. When I spoke previously at the Africa Summit about some of the bright spots and progress that we’re seeing in Africa, I think there’s no better example than what has been happening in Ethiopia — one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.

    We have seen enormous progress in a country that once had great difficulty feeding itself. It’s now not only leading the pack in terms of agricultural production in the region, but will soon be an exporter potentially not just of agriculture, but also power because of the development that’s been taking place there.

    We’re strong trading partners. And most recently, Boeing has done a deal with Ethiopia, which will result in jobs here in the United States. And in discussions with Ban Ki-moon yesterday, we discussed how critical it is for us to improve our effectiveness when it comes to peacekeeping and conflict resolution. And it turns out that Ethiopia may be one of the best in the world — one of the largest contributors of peacekeeping; one of the most effective fighting forces when it comes to being placed in some very difficult situations and helping to resolve conflicts.

    So Ethiopia has been not only a leader economically in the continent, but also when it comes to security and trying to resolve some of the longstanding conflicts there. We are very appreciative of those efforts, and we look forward to partnering with them. This will give us an opportunity to talk about how we can enhance our strategic dialogue around a whole range of issues, from health, the economy, agriculture, but also some hotspot areas like South Sudan, where Ethiopia has been working very hard trying to bring the parties together, but recognizes that this is a challenge that we’re all going to have to work together on as part of an international community.

    So I want to extend my thanks to the Prime Minister for his good work. And we look forward to not only an excellent discussion, but a very productive relationship going forward.

    Mr. Prime Minister.

    PRIME MINISTER DESALEGN: Thank you very much, Mr. President. First of all, I would like to thank you very much for receiving us during this very busy time. We value very much the relationship between the United States and Ethiopia. And as you mentioned, my country is moving, transforming the economy of the nation. But needless to say that the support of the United States in our endeavor to move forward has been remarkable.

    I think the most important thing is to have the human capability to develop ourselves. And the United States has supported us in the various programs that helped us move forward in having healthy human beings that can produce. And as you mentioned, agriculture is the main source of our economic growth, and that has been the case because we do have our farmers which are devoid of malaria, which is the main debilitating disease while producing. So I think that has helped us a lot.

    And we value also the support the United States has offered to us in terms of engaging the private sector, especially your initiative of the Power Africa program, which is taking shape. I think it’s remarkable and a modern kind of approach. And in that sense, we are obliged to thank you very much for this program and to deepen this Power Africa initiative.

    Beyond that, you know that through your initiative and the leaders of the United States, we have the Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, which is the most important program, where the private-public partnership is the initiative. We have a number of U.S. investors now engaged in agricultural production, helping the smallholder farmers, which is the basis for our agricultural growth that’s taking place now in Ethiopia.

    Besides, peace and security is very essential for any kind of development to take place. In that sense, our cooperation in peace and security and pacifying the region, the continent, as well as our Horn of Africa — I think this has helped us a lot to bring peace and tranquility in the region. And we’ve feel that we have strong cooperation. We have to deepen it. We have to extend now our efforts to pacify the region and the continent. Of course, also, we have to cooperate globally, not only in Africa, and that relationship has to continue.

    So, Mr. President, thank you very much for receiving us. We value this relationship, which is excellent, and we want to deepen it and continue.

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: Two last points I want to make. Obviously we’ve been talking a lot about terrorism and the focus has been on ISIL, but in Somalia, we’ve seen al-Shabaab, an affiliate of al Qaeda, wreak havoc throughout that country. That’s an area where the cooperation and leadership on the part of Ethiopia is making a difference as we speak. And we want to thank them for that.

    So our counterterrorism cooperation and the partnerships that we have formed with countries like Ethiopia are going to be critical to our overall efforts to defeat terrorism.

    And also, the Prime Minister and the government is going to be organizing elections in Ethiopia this year. I know something about that. We’ve got some midterms coming up. And so we’ll have an opportunity to talk about civil society and governance and how we can make sure that Ethiopia’s progress and example can extend to civil society as well, and making sure that throughout the continent of Africa we continue to widen and broaden our efforts at democracy, all of which isn’t just good for politics but ends up being good for economics as well — as we discussed at the Africa Summit.

    So, thank you very much, everybody.

    END 10:04 A.M. EDT

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    IMF: Ethiopia Needs to Implement Structural Reforms to Sustain Growth

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says Ethiopia needs to move from public sector to private investment-driven growth to keep success. (Photo: Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa/Reuters)

    International Business Times

    By Boby Michael

    Despite Ethiopia’s achieving robust economic growth, while keeping inflation below 10% and improving social indicators, the International Money Fund says the country must now replace its public sector-led growth strategy with a private investment-led model for sustainable growth.

    “The sustainability of the current public sector-led growth strategy was threatened by several downside risks – including external financing of the public investment programme, declining prices for export commodities, and weather-related shocks,” IMF said. “Mitigating these risks will necessitate greater policy coherence and appropriate structural reforms going forward, to help shift the balance toward private sector-led, sustainable growth.”

    IMF agreed that Ethiopia’s macroeconomic performance continues to be strong, with robust economic growth supported by higher agricultural production and large public sector and foreign direct investments.

    Inflation remains contained and the fiscal stance at the general government level is cautious, although public enterprises continue to provide an expansionary impulse, IMF said.

    Public and publicly guaranteed external debt is estimated to have increased to about 23% of GDP from 20.5% in 2012/13, the Fund said.

    IMF said tight monetary policy has supported achieving the National Bank of Ethiopia’s (NBE) inflation objective in 2013/14. Base money, the nominal anchor of monetary policy, increased by 17.5% in April 2014, driven mainly by claims on the government.

    The current account deficit is estimated to have widened from $2.8bn (£1.7bn, 6% of GDP) in 2012/13 to $3.5bn in 2013/14 (7.1%). It was financed largely by concessional and non-concessional inflows as well as by foreign direct investment (FDI

    Read more at ibtimes.co.uk »

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    Dallas Ebola Patient In Critical Condition

    The Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Sept. 30, 2014. (AP Photo)

    The Huffington Post

    By Amanda L. Chan

    Dallas Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan is now in critical condition, according to information released Saturday afternoon by Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, the hospital where he is staying.

    Duncan had previously been listed as being in serious condition. He was admitted to the hospital Sept. 28. His diagnosis with Ebola was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control on Sept. 30.

    Currently, there are about 50 people being monitored for Ebola after having known or possible contact with Duncan. Nine of these people had direct contact with Duncan, including his four relatives, with whom he was staying before he was sent to the hospital. The other 40 are being monitored for Ebola symptoms, but their contact with Duncan is less certain, health officials said today.

    So far, none of the individuals being monitored by health officials are showing any signs of Ebola.

    More from the Associated Press »

    Video: The travels and health travails of Thomas Eric Duncan (CNN)


    Related:
    First US Case of Ebola Diagnosed in Dallas
    Eight Ebola questions, answered (MSNBC)

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    Hidden Crisis in Eritrea: Every Month 4,000 Eritreans Flee to Escape Oppression

    Survivors of the boat tragedy off the coast of Lampedusa last year that killed 366 young people form Eritrea. According to the UN, every month almost 4,000 Eritreans flee to escape oppression. (UN.Org)

    The New York Times

    By VITTORIO LONGHI

    In Europe’s debate about how to deal with the flow of desperate migrants from Africa, there is an important element missing: the crisis in Eritrea. Every month almost 4,000 Eritreans flee to escape oppression, according to a United Nations special rapporteur.

    A visit to Asmara, the Eritrean capital, is revealing. In the cafes you won’t hear people talking about the government of President Isaias Afewerki, and in the streets you will never see a march or a demonstration. Any sign of protest is quickly crushed, and opponents of the government face immediate imprisonment and torture, often in underground jails in remote areas. There they are stuffed into metal containers where the heat is unbearable, and given little food or water. The right to trial does not exist, and those convicted have no recourse to appeal.

    This oppression is eerily invisible. You won’t see police officers along the sunny avenues of Asmara, nor are there soldiers around. But if you have a camera and start taking pictures, people stare and point at you. In this silent, secret system of terror, reminiscent of Soviet communism, every citizen is a potential spy.

    The government in Eritrea exercises control also through the “national service,” which is compulsory and open-ended for both men and women from the age of 17. It is easy to see why Eritreans will risk dangerous journeys to escape.

    On Oct. 3, 2013, 366 young Eritreans drowned off the tiny island of Lampedusa. The night after the shipwreck, I watched the survivors mourn the dead. They were taken to an airport hangar to wander among long rows of dark wooden coffins, and a line of five little white coffins for the children. The weeping sounded like a howl of despair for a generation fated to live in a country where hope for a better future had been banished. It was a cry for help.

    As people gathered in the main streets of Asmara after the shipwreck to view photos of the dead, the police arrived to disperse the crowd, but not before making a list of those who attended.

    Read more at NYT »

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    Q & A with General Manager of Hilton Addis Ababa Haakon Gaarder-Larsen

    Haakon Gaarder-Larsen, General Manager of Hilton Addis Ababa. (Courtesy photo)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Published: Friday, October 3rd, 2014

    New York (TADIAS) – Hilton Addis Ababa first opened its doors in 1969 with an inaugural ceremony for the ages — led by Emperor Haile Selassie who helped celebrate the launch of the hotel by hosting international dignitaries and diplomats while using the special occasion to introduce international hospitality to Ethiopia. “From that early significant opening, Hilton Addis Ababa has been part of the Addis Ababa city landscape and a leading member of the city’s community for 45 years, and has proudly witnessed the capital’s development into the economic powerhouse it is today” says the hotel’s current General Manager Haakon Gaarder-Larsen in a recent interview with Tadias Magazine. He adds: “As one of the first international hospitality operators in the capital, Hilton Addis Ababa was in the unique position to lead the hospitality sector and has served as a standard-bearing role model for Ethiopia’s evolving tourism industry, setting the standard for others to merge in to the city.”

    Haakon, who joined Hilton Addis Ababa in April 2013, has been working in the hospitality industry for 26 years in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Africa. “My first experience with Hilton Worldwide was in Cairo in 2007, where I joined as Director of Operations for Nile Hilton, a hotel with extensive restaurant and bar operations,” he told Tadias.

    Hilton Worldwide, Haakon points out, is “the pre-eminent global hospitality company” and remains “synonymous with the word ‘hotel.’ From inaugural balls and Hollywood award galas to business events and days to remember, a Hilton hotel is where the world makes history, closes the deal, toasts special occasions and gets away from it all. Today, the brand continues to be one of the most recognized names in the hospitality industry as an innovative, forward-thinking global leader of hospitality.”

    Below is our Q & A with Haakon Gaarder-Larsen, General Manager of Hilton Addis Ababa:

    TADIAS: Tell us about some of the unique and historic design features of Hilton Addis Ababa (such as its amenities including a pool that is heated from natural hot springs)?

    Haakon Gaarder-Larsen: Hilton Addis Ababa has many unique characteristics designed to reflect the pride we have in Ethiopia and in the capital. The building showcases the unique architectural style of the famous Ethiopian Lalibela Church, globally recognized by UNESCO as an important Historic Heritage Site. The renowned hotel swimming pool was specially designed to mirror the Lalibela Cross and is, uniquely, the only geothermal spring water pool, providing a rare and distinctive attraction for hotel visitors as well as local residents.

    TADIAS: As Addis Ababa continues to grow dramatically we have also seen the rise of several high-end hotels in Ethiopia. What are some of the services that make Hilton stand out from the competition?

    Haakon: Hilton Worldwide is proud to have been the pre-eminent pioneer to Ethiopian Hospitality Industry and to have encouraged other key players to join the market. As Addis Ababa has grown in size and status in the past 45 years, hospitality has become a significant contributor to the capital’s economic welfare.

    Another advantage of being a Hilton Worldwide hotel is the company’s Hhonors loyalty program, it is really more than just a guest loyalty program. With more than 40 million members worldwide, the program goes far beyond the standard with regular, exciting update benefits for members across more than 4200 hotels in 93 countries. Ethiopia also benefits from the system, providing exposure for Addis Ababa as a prominent leisure and business destination to over 40 million potential visitors.

    Hilton Addis Ababa’s well known advantage is its compound, and its diverse range of restaurants and bars. From the main Kaffa House restaurant serving various Ethnic food such as Asian Cuisine, Italian, Middle Eastern, Ethiopian are few to mention our famous Gazebo Bar & Restaurant poolside restaurant is also serving a la carte menu. The hotel also offers a fully-equipped Health Club with Geothermal Pool, Massage Rooms, Sauna, Steam Room, Jacuzzi and Hair Salon for both male and female guests. We like to think we cater for all guest needs during their stay.

    The hidden advantage of Hilton Addis Ababa is the hotel’s fully equipped long stay apartments. With private entrance and parking, this allows an element of privacy for longer stay guests, corporate business and Embassies.

    Finally, and equally important, the hotel is served by a team of well experienced and professional staff. The teams not only expect to meet guest requirements but to also anticipate their needs and there are many examples of delighted guests becoming loyal clients as a result of the difference the staff make to their stay at the hotel. Staff instinctively understand the needs of guests and know their preferences and remember the small details that make people feel so much at home when they come to our hotel.

    As many have told us on different occasions they feel an attachment with Hilton Addis Ababa one way or another, some had their own or close family weddings at the hotel; others have fond childhood memories from our recreation center or just hanging out with friends, but all feel a connection as part of us. That’s why the hotel has special packages for diaspora community to come and enjoy everything they remember and to create new memories.

    Hilton Addis Ababa recognizes the importance of the Ethiopian key personalities and influencers for the industry, and what better way for us to welcome them back then by offering special packages at the familiar and historic Hilton Addis Ababa, which for most has been a positive part of their lives.

    TADIAS: Addis Ababa also serves as the headquarters of both the African Union and UN ECA. How does Hilton Worldwide cater to the city’s diplomatic and international conference needs?

    Haakon: Hilton Addis Ababa has been catering to the city’s diplomatic and international conference market from the first day of opening until today. With one of the largest and flexible conference spaces in the capital, we attract the vast majority of the country’s high profile delegations, meetings, balls and conferences. As a Hilton Worldwide hotel, our guests know they have the support, reassurance and quality associated with one of the world’s leading hospitality operators as well as the backing of a team of exceptionally experienced staff members, dedicated to ensuring that every hotel event is a successful one. Guests and event booking specialists can also enjoy the benefits of programs such as “Meeting Simplified” by Hilton. Designed for up to 25 delegates, the system encourages repeat business with an inclusive price from $1,000 and has proved a popular option for many guests.

    TADIAS: When did you join Hilton Ethiopia and what was your previous professional background?

    Haakon: I have been working in the hospitality industry for 26 years in Europe, North America, Middle East and Africa. My first experience with Hilton Worldwide was in Cairo in 2007, where I joined as Director of Operations for Nile Hilton, a hotel with extensive restaurant and bar operations. I then moved on to Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa located in the Northern Emirate of the United Arab Emirate as a Resort Manager and this led me to opening the first Hilton Garden Inn in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where I worked for four years. I joined Hilton Addis Ababa in April 2013 and have been enjoying every moment since.

    TADIAS: Is there anything else that you’d like to share with our readers?

    Haakon: We want to let readers know that any visit to Ethiopia would not be complete without a stay at the hotel that pioneered hospitality in the country. And we continue that proud legacy by welcoming guests from around the world with the highest levels of service and the philosophy that at Hilton Addis Ababa our passionate and devoted staff will always go above and beyond the typical hotel service to make it right for guests at all times.

    TADIAS: Tell us more about Hilton’s community involvement?

    Haakon: Hilton Worldwide believes in making a difference in every community we are part of, one of the means is to provide opportunity to the next generations. Hilton Addis Ababa has been working regularly with schools like Catering and Tourism Training Institute (CTTI) to boost the future of the Hospitality industry by offering first-hand experience for students in the hotel. To support the program, we recently organized a career day to showcase the benefits to local youth of working with a major hospitality company.

    We also work with the Ethiopian Red Cross Society and the National Blood Bank, with staff from Hilton Addis Ababa organizing an annual event to contribute blood and supporting the service. This year we took it to the next level by inviting our corporate customers to join us in our annual blood drive and, as a result, collected a record breaking amount. As a key member of the community, Hilton Addis Ababa organizes numerous activities through the year to help make a difference to local people and local communities.

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    Ethiopian Diplomat Flees US to Dodge Prosecution, US Official Confirms

    A 46-year-old security attache for the Ethiopian Embassy in DC, Solomon Tadesse, whom authorities charged in connection with a Sept. 29 shooting near the building, has left the country, officials said.

    The Hill

    By Mario Trujillo

    An Ethiopian diplomat who allegedly fired a gun during a protest this week at his country’s embassy in Washington, D.C., has left the United States to escape prosecution.

    The State Department on Thursday confirmed that it had asked Ethiopia to waive the diplomat’s immunity so he could be prosecuted in U.S. courts, which was refused.

    “In this case, we requested a waiver of immunity to permit prosecution of the individual involved in that incident,” State Department press secretary Jen Psaki said. “The request was declined and the individual involved has now left the country.”

    Diplomats are expelled from the United States when their host country declines to waive diplomatic immunity.

    Psaki, who did not identify the diplomat, said once expelled, individuals typically are not allowed back to the U.S. for any other reason but prosecution.

    The Secret Service responded to reports of a gunshot at the Ethiopian Embassy compound on Monday and detained an individual believed to have fired the shot.

    No injuries were reported from the incident, which was partially caught on camera with a man in a black suit wielding a handgun amid a small crowd of people before the gunshot is heard.

    Reuters reported the man turned himself into authorities but he was not arrested because of his diplomatic immunity.

    Ethiopian-Diplomat Flees US After Embassy shooting, State Department Official Says (AFP)


    US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki. (Getty Images)

    Washington – An Ethiopian diplomat who opened fire to quell a protest outside his country’s embassy in Washington has left the United States to avoid prosecution, a US official said Thursday.

    Secret Service agents arrested the man on Monday after shots were fired in the air in the embassy’s outside compound in the US capital.

    Video shown by Ethiopian television ESAT showed a man brandishing and firing a handgun as a small crowd of protesters took down the Ethiopian national flag.

    State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said her bureau had requested that Addis Ababa lift the man’s diplomatic immunity “to permit prosecution of the individual involved in that incident.”

    The “request was declined” and in line with State Department regulations “the individual involved has now left the country.”

    Psaki gave no further details about the shooting or the person involved.

    Read more »


    Ethiopian Embassy security attache charged in shooting at building – The Washington Post

    The Washington Post

    By Victoria St. Martin

    A 46-year-old security attache for the Ethio­pian Embassy, whom authorities charged in connection with a Sept. 29 shooting near the building, has left the country, officials said.

    A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said the attache, Solomon Tadesse G. Silasse, was charged with assault with intent to kill while armed in connection with a shooting outside the embassy on International Drive NW.

    Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said Silasse has diplomatic immunity. Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the State Department, said authorities requested a waiver of immunity to prosecute Silasse, but the request was denied.

    Read more and watch video at The Washington Post »

    Related:

    Video: Shot Fired outside Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, .D.C (FOX)

    DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

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    Why Ethiopia Did Not Bid for Afcon 2017

    Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) President Junedin Basha. (SuperSport)

    SuperSport

    Ethiopia failed to bid for Afcon 2017 after the final list of six countries that beat the deadline was made public on Wednesday.

    Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) had earlier in the month expressed their wish to host the prestigious tournament but after consultations with Caf executive members, EFF President and his executive shelved the plans and instead opted to focus on CHAN 2020 and Afcon 2025.

    Speaking to supersport.com, EFF President Junedin Basha sought to explain the new development expressing his confidence that the country would be bidding for future tournaments.

    “We had wanted to put up a bid but after several discussions with Caf Executives we decided to shelve the plans and prepare for 2020 CHAN and 2025 since we are not yet ready with the infrastructure that includes stadiums which are still under construction. It’s important to note that the 2017 bid was specific for countries that have managed to host top football tournaments and have existing facilities which we don’t have.”

    Read more at Supersport.com »

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    Seminar at NYU Explores the Story of Ethiopian Jews Under Fascist Rule

    An international symposium entitled "Legacies of the Italian Occupation in Ethiopia" organized by Maaza Mengiste and Ruth Ben Ghiat will take place at NYU on October 24th, 2014. (Courtesy photos)

    Tadias Magazine
    Events News

    Press Release: Primo Levi Center New York

    New York – This seminar focuses on the figure of Taamrat Emmanuel (1888 – 1963) a member of the Beta Israel Community in Ethiopia who, as a young man, was sent to study in France by the Polish Zionist and Orientalist Jacques Faitlovitch. Taamrat continued his education at the Collegio Rabbinico Italiano in Florence and went on to become a leader of Ethiopian Jewry as well as an Ethiopian leader during the dramatic years of the Italian occupation, World War II and the subsequent return to sovereign Ethiopia and the establishment of the State of Israel.

    Emanuela Trevisan and Brook Abdu will explore Taamrat Emmanuel’s work and life through the documents he left in European and Ethiopian languages, concerning the occupation period and its aftermath.

    Some historical and biographical information will help understand Taamrat’s connection with Italy and with the Italian Jewish establishment.

    Italy’s colonial enterprise in East Africa started at the end of the 19th century with the takeover of Eritrea and Somalia. In 1935-36 from Eritrea, Italy invaded Ethiopia with a ruthless military aggression led by General Pietro Badoglio and later by Marshal Rodolfo Graziani. In spite of protest from the League of Nations, to which Ethiopia belonged, Italy imposed its rule over the country and remained in power until it lost it to the British in 1941.

    Three groups of Jews lived in Ethiopia at the time: the Falasha, the Yemenites and the Adenites. Shortly after the invasion, The Union of the Italian Jewish Communities took interest in the situation of the local Jews, whose story had been known among Italian Jews since the early part of the century through a teacher of the Collegio Rabbinico in Florence, Taamrat Emmanuel and through Faitlovitch’s Committee for the Assistance of the Falasha. The UCII decided to send to Ethiopia Carlo Alberto Viterbo (1889-1974) with the purpose to “assist and organize the Jewish communities of ‘Africa Orientale Italiana’”. The UCII program included supporting the Jews of Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa and then expand assistance to the Jewish population residing on Lake Tana.

    Carlo Alberto Viterbo was a lawyer from Florence, president of the first Italian Zionist Federation, a member of the Union of the Italian Jewish communities, a journalist and linguist.

    In his eight months trip to Ethiopia (July 1936-March 1937), he entered local Jewish life and participated closely in the activities of the community both to create connections with Italy and to learn more abut the history, culture, languages and traditions of the Ethiopian Jews. During and after his journey, Viterbo prepared reports for the Union as well as for the Italian government, outlaying the development of vast and articulate study project on the history of the “Falasha”. Unfortunately, the project came to a halt soon after his return to Italy with the promulgation of the Racial Laws, in September 1938, and his subsequent arrest in June 1940.

    After World War II Viterbo played a key role in the reconstruction of Jewish life and led the main Italian Jewish journal, Israel, from 1944 to 1974. He continued to develop his project on the study of the Ethiopian Jews that had by then shifted to a completely different geopolitical frame.

    Taamrat Emmanuel and Jacques Faitlovitch

    Taamrat Emmanuel (1888-1963) was born at Azazo near Gondar whose Jewish population, including his parents, had been converted to Christianity by missionaries.

    He was thus raised as a convert or Falash Mura. Taamrat attended the School of the Sweedish Evangelical Mission in the Italian Eritrea. At age 16 he met the Polish Zionist Jacques Faitlovitch, who took him back with him to Paris to study at the Alliance Israélite Universelle. He continued his education at the Collegio Rabbinico Italiano in Florence under the guidance of Rabbi Samuel Hirsch Margulies and Tzvi Peretz-Hayot. Taamrat graduated as a rabbi and shochet and taught at the collegio until 1920.
    In 1923, after spending almost two years in Palestine, Taamrat and Faitlovitch returned to Ethiopia where they established a Jewish school of which Taamrat became director. He undertook the translation of the Matzhaf Cadoussa (the scriptures of the Beta Israel community) from the Ge’ez language to the more widely used Amharic language.

    Taamrat became one of the leaders of the Addis Ababa Jewish community. After the end of World War II Taamrat remained in Ethiopia and became a high ranking government representative in the field of education.

    Jacques Faïtlovitch (1881-1955) was an orientalist, devoted to Beta Israel research and relief work. He was born in Lodz and studied Oriental languages at the École des Hautes Etudes in Paris, particularly Ethiopic and Amharic under Joseph Halévy, who interest him in the Beta Israel. Between 1904 and 1946 he traveled to Ethiopia 11 times. During his first trip he spent 18 months among the Beta Israel, studying their beliefs and customs. His research was published under the title Notes d’un voyage chez les Falachas (1905).

    Convinced that Beta Israel needed help to resist Christian missionary activity, Faïtlovitch promised them to enlist world Jewry on their behalf and took two young Beta Israel with him to Europe to be educated as future teachers. Having failed to win the support of the Alliance Israélite Universelle, he organized “pro-Falasha” committees in Italy and Germany to raise funds for Jewish education in Abyssinia and abroad.

    In 1913 he established one school in Dembea. After World War I transferred the center of pro-Falasha activity to the United States. In 1923, with the aid of the Joint Distribution Committee, he set up a boarding school for Beta Israel children in Addis Ababa.

    Starting from 1927 Faïtlovitch settled in Tel Aviv but spent many years in the United States. The Italian conquest in 1935–36 hampered the expanding activity and World War II stopped it entirely. After the war he moved to Israel and resumed his work on behalf of the Beta Israel.

    Taamrat Emmanuel: Between Colonizer and Colonized
    Emanuela Trevisan (Università Ca’ Foscari, Venice)

    Two different narratives have been consigned to history regarding the beginnings of European Jewry’s interest in the Jews of Ethiopia: those of Jacques Faitlovitch and Taamrat Emmanuel. The former is a success, the latter the opposite.

    Faitlovitch, a self-confident Polish Jew, secure in his belief in the civilizing mission of the European Jews in the rebirth of the Ethiopian Jewish tradition, played a historical role in succeeding to forcefully bring to the attention of Western Jews the issue of Ethiopian Judaism.

    Taamrat, the native from whom the adoption of Judaism in its European version was expected, as well as gratitude and total devotion to the “sacred cause”, ended up at the periphery of history, at the expense of his own life, his own feeling, his own ambitions and convictions.

    Tamraat, who adopted the Italian language and accoutrements, who appears in photographs always elegant in a suit and tie, or bow tie, wholeheartedly adhered to European culture and Italian culture in particular, accepted most of the customs and traditions of European Jewry, but often found himself at odds with himself and had to struggle to get the respect of local traditions and the continuity of centuries old customs.

    Taamrat, who served as a guide to Faitlovitch in Ethiopia, appears as a background figure, by no means one of the central characters in the story of the Beta Israel who left Ethiopia to immigrate to Israel, in the 1980’s.

    The marginalization or disappearance of the protagonist, a native of the country, accompanying the European traveler, corresponds to a typology that occurs frequently in the history of the discoveries of the East and of the Jews of the East or of Africa of late nineteenth and twentieth century.

    This presentation will try to show Taamrat’s different appartenance and identities, and, above all, the way he lived between two cultures, the Jewish-Italian and the Ethiopian.

    In Italy he had the opportunity to encounter the Judaism of rabbi Margulies of Florence, as well as the assimilated Judaism and political values of that particularly eventful period in Italian history.

    These were the years preceding the First World War, and the democratic and liberal principles expressed by great personalities such as Giuseppe Mazzini and Carlo Cattaneo, were perceived as a common patrimony.

    These were also the years of socialism and personalities such as Raffaele Ottolenghi—a socialist close to Turati —treasurer of the pro-Falasha Committee, scholar of Judaism and of biblical prophets. Among others, Ottolenghi and the Italian anarchist Leda Rafanelli, whom Taamrat was tied to between 1917 to 1919, had a significant influence on him.

    Throughout his story one seems to revisit the ambivalence mentioned by Albert Memmi about those Jews situated half way between colonizers and colonized, in that social reaction that kept the colonizer chained to the colonized, but in a more complex configuration, because it involves two types of Jews: the European Jew and the native Jew in a context such as the Ethiopian one, colonized both by the Jewish “counter mission” and the Italian occupation.

    It is in this double identification with the Jewish, world as well as the Ethiopian world, that Taamrat Emmanuel’s personality was forged; it is this double identification that also defines his tormented path.

    Taamrat Emmanuel in Post-Italian Ethiopia(1941-1948)

    Brook Abdu (Research Fellow at the Capucin Franciscan Research and Retreat Center, Addis Ababa)

    Recent research has shed much light on the lives of a group of Ethiopian Jews mentored by the famous Jewish missionary Jacques Faitlovitch (1881-1955). Especially, thanks to his extensive correspondence discovered in the Faitlovitch archives, the life of Taamrat Emmanuel (1888-1962) is now known in significant detail.

    Brook Abdu will present new insights into the period previously least known in his life – the post-Italian invasion years of the 1940s. Using newly discovered sources (letters, newspaper articles and unpublished writings), he reconstructs Taamrat’s roles in the Ministry of Education (1941-1944), the Imperial Research Bureau (1944-1947) and the Eritrea Unity Association (1945-1948).

    In the 1940s after slowly parting ways with his long-time mentor Faitlovitch, Taamrat found a new patron in the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie (1892-1975) – a strong relationship that endured until the end of Taamrat’s life.


    If You Go:
    OCTOBER 23 | 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
    NYU Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimò
    24 West 12th Street, NYC

    LEGACIES OF THE ITALIAN OCCUPATION IN ETHIOPIA
    OCTOBER 24, 2014 | 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
    NYU Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimò

    9:30-10:00 Coffee and Welcome, Maaza Mengiste and Ruth Ben-Ghiat

    10:00-11:30 Plays and Performance:
    Heran Sereke-Brhan (Independent Researcher) in dialogue with Bewketu Seyoum (Independent Writer, Performer) Zerihun Birehanu (Addis Ababa University)

    11:30-1:00 – Fiction:
    Maaza Mengiste (New York University and Princeton University), in dialogue with Heran Sereke-Brhan (Independent Researcher) and Dagmawi Woubshet (Cornell University)

    1:00-2:30 – Lunch
    2:30-4:00 – Visual Arts:
    Ruth Ben-Ghiat (New York University) in dialogue with Abiyi Ford (Addis Ababa University) and Shiferaw Bekele (Addis Ababa University). Screening of clips from Da Adwa ad Axum/From Adwa to Axum (Luce, 1936), and Adwa (Haile Gerima, 1999).

    4:00 Closing Remarks by Abiyi Ford and Discussion with the Audience

    More info at Primo Levi Center New York

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    Motown Founder Salutes Ethiopia Habtemariam at Heroes & Legends Awards

    Ethiopia Habtemariam, President of Motown Records. (Photo:Universal Music Group)

    Tadias Magazine
    News Update

    Published: Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

    Los Angeles (TADIAS) — “I just wanted everybody to know how proud I am of her and how proud I am of the whole company. It’s in great hands now,” said Motown Founder Berry Gordy in a tribute to the historic music label’s current President Ethiopia Habtemariam.

    Mr. Gordy was speaking last Sunday at the 25th Annual Heroes and Legends (HAL) Awards ceremony in Hollywood, where Ethiopia was recognized with the HAL Triumph Award. Other honorees at the star-studded event — held at the legendary Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles — included New Edition, the Mary Jane Girls, Warner Music Group’s Ryan Press, and Eddie Floyd.

    Ethiopia was promoted to President of Motown Records this past Spring following a major reorganization at Universal Music Group, where she also heads the company’s urban music division.

    Video: Motown Legend Berry Gordy Salutes Ethiopia Habtemariam at HAL Awards 2014



    Related:
    Ethiopia Habtemariam to be Honored at the 2014 Heroes & Legends Awards
    Ethiopia Habtemariam Named President of Motown
    Barry Weiss Steps Down as Island Def Jam Motown Reorganizes (The Hollywood Reporter)

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    UK Taxpayers Funding Ethiopia’s Security, Though it Holds British Man on Death Row

    UK Government using taxpayer's money to train Ethiopia's security forces while British man is held there on death row. (The Independent)

    The Independent UK

    By CHRIS GREEN, SENIOR REPORTER

    Thursday 02 October 2014

    The Government is using taxpayers’ money to train security forces in Ethiopia who are currently holding a British father of three on death row, The Independent has learnt.

    Andargachew “Andy” Tsege, from London, was seized at an airport in Yemen on 23 June and resurfaced in Ethiopian detention two weeks later, in what his family believe was part of a political crackdown by the country’s government ahead of next year’s elections.

    The 59-year-old sought asylum in Britain in 1979 after being threatened by Ethiopian authorities over his political beliefs. He has since been an outspoken critic of the country’s government and was sentenced to death in absentia in 2009 following a mass trial – a punishment which his family fear may now be carried out.

    According the legal charity Reprieve, which has taken up Mr Tsege’s case, torture is common in Ethiopian prisons at the hands of security staff, who have been known to employ methods such as electrocution, beatings with rifle butts and the tying of bottles of water to men’s testicles.

    In 2012, the UK Government agreed to spend £2 million over five years to fund a series of master’s degrees in “Security Sector Management” for 75 Ethiopian officials. In supporting documents, the Department for International Development (DfID) said the country’s police and defence forces were “considered amongst the best in the region in terms of effectiveness and with regards to human rights”.

    Read more »

    Related:
    Snatched: Justice and Politics in Ethiopia (The Economist)
    Ginbot 7′s Andargachew Tsege: Ethiopia confirms arrest (BBC News)
    Fears for Safety of Returned Opposition Leader (HRW)
    Yemen Extradites Exiled Ethiopian Opposition Chief, British Citizen, to Ethiopia (AFP)
    Ethiopia Ginbot 7 leader facing death penalty ‘extradited from Yemen’ (BBC News)
    UK Stands Accused Over Extradition of Ethiopian Opposition Leader (The Guardian)
    Ethiopia Asks Yemen to Extradite Activist (Al Jazeera)
    Leading Ethiopian Opposition Figure Detained in Yemen (Yemen Times)

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    In Ethiopia, Paleontologists Are Pushing Back the Clock on Humanity’s Origins

    Paleoanthropologist Zeresenay Alemseged beside his discovery, a 3.3 million year old child, an early species in humankind’s lineage. (Image by Amy Maxmen. Ethiopia, 2014.)

    Nautilus

    By AMY MAXMEN

    Two hammers, two shovels, four rifles. They carried their own tools. Zeresenay Alemseged, a young and driven Ethiopian fossil hunter, joined by four armed soldiers and a government official, was on a mission to the Afar Depression, a region shaped like a tornado in Ethiopia’s Great Rift Valley. The Afar is bone-dry, scorching hot, and riddled with scorpions and vipers. It is regularly shaken by earthquakes and sinking deeper into the Earth as the converging tectonic plates beneath it pull apart, and molten magma bubbles up through the cracks. When the magma cools, it forms sharp, basaltic blocks.

    Along the road, the boulders blocked Alemseged’s path. He had to stop the car, lift the boulders, drive further, repeat. Dry riverbeds were smoother, but frequently the tires sank in the fine sand, and the men, sweating in the afternoon sun, pushed the jeep onward.

    Alemseged was headed to the most dangerous spot within the Afar, which even Indiana Jones-types avoided because of constant conflicts between local tribes. The armed soldiers were his security. Alemseged had no salaried scientific position, and refused to accompany teams led by accomplished researchers going to safer areas with fat grants. If he struck out on his own, he felt sure he could discover academic gold: ancient traces of humankind’s past. This meant funding the expedition out of pocket. “I was the driver, so I didn’t need to pay a driver; I was the cook, so I didn’t need to pay a cook; and I was the only scientist,” Alemseged said.

    His aim was to explore an area called Dikika, across from a bank on the Awash River where an American paleontologist, Donald Johansen, had discovered Lucy in 1974. Her ancient skeleton’s partially human, partially chimpanzee features were a clear indication of our descent from the apes. Dikika was the logical next place to look for more fossils, but no one had done so because of the risk presented by battles waged over water and land between the Afar and the Issa, pastoral tribes who inhabit Dikika. But Alemseged, who goes by Zeray (pronounced Zeh-rye), was not deterred.

    Alemseged’s bare-bones team reached a vast plain of sand and volcanic ashes. He knew this sediment yielded the type of fossils he was after. In December of 2000, one of the men spotted the top of a skull the size of a small orange in the dirt. Slowly, over a period of years, he and his colleagues carefully unearthed a petite skeleton of a child who had likely died in a flood and been buried in soft sand, 3.3 million years ago. She was a member of Lucy’s species, Australopithecus afarensis, from a period about halfway between today and the time when our lineage went one way and that containing chimpanzees went the other. In 2006, Alemseged and his colleagues published their findings in Nature.

    The child was named Selam—a word for peace in several Ethiopian languages, a wish to end the fighting in Dikika. Selam’s gorilla-ish shoulder blades and long fingers betrayed a penchant for swinging on braches. But bones at the base of her head showed that she held it upright and therefore walked on two legs. The size of her skull suggested her brain developed slowly through early childhood, a distinct characteristic of humans from long before modern humans evolved.

    “It’s the earliest child in the history of humanity,” Alemseged said, enunciating each word slowly. “That discovery was 100 percent Ethiopian. It was by Ethiopians, on Ethiopian land, led by an Ethiopian scientist.”

    Read the full story at Nautilus »

    Related:
    Tadias Interview with Zeresenay Alemseged (2009)

    Watch: Dr. Zeray explains the discovery of Selam

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