Author Archive for Tadias

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.
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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)



Related:
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)

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    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

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    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

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    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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    U.S. Secret Service Director Resigns Over Safety Concerns for President Obama, Family

    Embattled United States Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned Wednesday following embarrassing missteps that placed President Obama and the first family at risk. (Photo: Getty Images)

    The New York Times

    By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT and MICHAEL D. SHEAR

    October 1st, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Julia Pierson, the director of the Secret Service, is resigning in the wake of several security breaches.

    The resignation came less than a day after lawmakers from both parties assailed Ms. Pierson’s leadership and said they feared for the lives of the president and others in the protection of the agency.

    On Wednesday morning, Ms. Pierson met with Jeh C. Johnson, the secretary of Homeland Security, the department that oversees the Secret Service. In a statement, Mr. Johnson said that he had accepted Ms. Pierson’s resignation, and that he had appointed Joseph Clancy, a former agent in charge of the Presidential Protective Division, to become the agency’s acting director.

    Mr. Johnson also said that he was directing his deputy at the Department of Homeland Security to oversee an internal review of the Sept. 19 incident in which an intruder jumped over the fence around the White House and penetrated deep inside the mansion.

    Read more at The New York Times »

    Video: Threats to Obama last straw, Julia Pierson out (MSNBC)


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    Republican Lawmaker ‘Outraged’ Over Threats to President Obama, His Family

    House Oversight Committee member Congressman Jason Chaffetz (Republican from Utah) leads the questioning of Secret Service Director Julia Pierson in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, (AP Photo)

    Utah The Deseret News

    SALT LAKE CITY — Hours after a House committee grilled the Secret Service director about a major security lapse at the White House on Sept. 19, whistleblowers revealed Tuesday that an armed security contractor with prior convictions for assault and battery was allowed on an elevator with President Obama during his visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta on Sept. 16.

    “You have a convicted felon within an arm’s reach of the president, and they never did a background check,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told The Washington Post on Tuesday evening.

    “Words aren’t strong enough for the outrage I feel for the safety of the President and his family.”

    Obama was at the CDC to discuss the nation’s response to the Ebola virus crisis. The security contractor was allowed to ride in an elevator with the president but was questioned by government agents after he refused to comply with their request to stop filming Obama with his cellphone.

    Agents then questioned the guard and checked a database, which revealed his criminal history, The Washington Post reported.

    “His life was in danger. This country would be a different world today if he had pulled out his gun,” Chaffetz is quoted by The Washington Post.

    Read more »

    Related:
    Watch: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee on Secret Service breach: ‘Heads need to roll’ (MSNBC Video)

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    New Walya Coach Worried About Injuries, Lack of Federation Support

    “I have not got important support like getting video tapes for Mali so I have been depending on friends," says Ethiopia coach Mariano Barreto, speaking about the team's upcoming Afcon 2015 match with Mali.

    Super Sport

    By Collins Okinyo

    Ethiopia coach Mariano Barreto is concerned with the number of injuries that have cropped up in the team ahead of their clash against Mali ahead in the Afcon 2015 qualifiers.

    Barreto also rued missing out on a friendly match to prepare the team ahead of the clash as he noted that he was not happy with the training at the artificial Abebe Bikila stadium because the national stadium was not prepared in time.

    “I had talked to the federation about the need of a friendly match but the game was not effected on time meaning we will go to the match against Mali without any match preparation,” Barreto told supersport.com.

    Read more at Supersport.com »



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    First US Case of Ebola Diagnosed in Dallas

    The Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Sept. 30, 2014. (AP Photo)

    VOA News

    By Greg Flakus

    HOUSTON — Doctors in Dallas, Texas say they have diagnosed the first case of Ebola in the United States. The patient, whose identity has not been revealed, arrived on a flight from Liberia earlier this month, but showed no signs of illness until a few days later.

    The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Thomas Frieden, says the patient infected with the Ebola virus was healthy when he or she left Liberia and while on the flight to the United States.

    “This individual left Liberia on the 19th of September, arrived in the U.S. on the 20th of September, had no symptoms when departing Liberia or entering this country, but four or five days later, around the 24th of September, began to develop symptoms,” said Frieden.

    Frieden stressed that until the symptoms appeared, the person posed no threat of infection to anyone else. He said authorities are now trying to identify anyone who may have had contact with the infected person during the period when the symptoms first appeared to the time the patient went to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas for treatment.

    Those people will be closely monitored for a few weeks to make sure they did not contract the disease. A hospital spokesperson says the infected patient is in intensive care, but would not reveal any further information out of concern for the individual’s privacy.

    Doctors working on this case say Ebola can be easily contained through good public health practices, immediate quarantine of anyone showing symptoms and monitoring of people with whom that person came into contact. Frieden says the virus cannot be transmitted through the air, but only through direct contact with bodily fluids from an infected person manifesting symptoms.

    “While we do not currently know how this individual became infected, they undoubtedly had contact with someone who was sick with Ebola or who died from it,” he said.

    Early symptoms of Ebola include fever, sore throat and muscle aches. As the disease progresses, it produces hemorrhagic fever, which can cause bleeding and organ failure.

    Although American health workers who were diagnosed in Africa were flown back to the U.S. for treatment, the Texas man is the first patient to be diagnosed inside the United States.

    Ebola has killed nearly 3,100 people and infected more than 6,500 in West Africa. Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are the most affected countries.

    The virus causes uncontrollable bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea. It is spread by direct contact with the body fluids of infected patients.

    There is no specific treatment, but an American doctor diagnosed with the virus was found to be Ebola-free after taking an experimental drug last month.

    President Barack Obama has called Ebola a national security priority for the United States. He has called on the rest of the world to also regard it as a threat.

    The Pentagon said Tuesday it is sending 700 U.S. soldiers to Liberia to help that country handle the outbreak. Seven hundred Army engineers also will help build treatment centers. No U.S. military personnel will provide direct care to Ebola patients.

    Elsewhere in West Africa, the CDC said Tuesday it looks like the Ebola outbreak in Nigeria has been contained. Officials said there have been no new cases since August 31, and the 21-day monitoring period of those who came in contact with those infected ends Thursday. There were 19 confirmed Ebola cases in Nigeria.

    The CDC also says Senegal avoided an Ebola epidemic when authorities there isolated that country’s only Ebola case in August.

    Twelve other people in the U.S. have been tested for Ebola since July 27. The CDC said all those tests came back negative.

    The White House says President Barack Obama discussed the CDC’s stringent isolation procedures with Frieden, who noted that the CDC was prepared for an Ebola case in the U.S.

    The data health officials have seen in the past few decades since Ebola was discovered indicate that it is not spread through casual contact or through the air. Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of a sick person or exposure to objects such as needles that have been contaminated.

    The illness has an average 8-10 day incubation period (although it ranges from 2 to 21 days); CDC recommends monitoring exposed people for symptoms a complete 21 days. People are not contagious after exposure unless they develop symptoms.

    Some information for this report provided by Reuters.

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    U.S. Secret Service Investigating Shooting at Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, DC

    The U.S. Secret Service detained a man who officers believe fired a gun near the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, DC on Monday. Witnesses said the gunfire took place inside the embassy compound. (AP)

    The Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP/WJLA) – Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said in an e-mailed statement that Secret Service officers received a report of shots fired near the embassy around 12:15 p.m. Monday. When they arrived, officers detained a man believed to be the shooter.

    The Secret Service said there were no reported injuries as a result of the incident.

    The embassy is at 3506 International Drive in Northwest Washington. There was no immediate answer at a main embassy telephone number Monday afternoon.

    A protest was apparently taking place outside the embassy when the gunshots were fired. A video of the incident was posted to YouTube by Ethiopian Satellite TV [ESAT].

    Watch: Man Waves Gun Outside Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, D.C., Shots Fired

    A Gunman Opens Fire During Ethiopian Embassy Protest in Washington (Reuters)

    A gunman opened fire during a protest on the Ethiopian Embassy grounds on Monday, according to a video of the incident, but no injuries were reported.

    A spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service said it had detained a possible shooter after a report at about 12:15 p.m. EDT that shots were fired near the embassy in northwest Washington, D.C.

    Witnesses said the gunfire took place inside the embassy compound during a protest against the Horn of Africa nation’s government.

    “About half a block from the embassy, I heard at least four shots, and I thought there were people killed,” demonstrator Tesfa Simagne told Reuters Television.

    A video taken inside the embassy gates and carried by the website of Ethiopian Satellite Television shows a man wearing a dark suit and brandishing a silver handgun.

    He points the weapon at others who argue with him and fires a single shot. Still waving the gun and arguing with protesters, the man backs up to an embassy door and goes inside.

    A separate video made by a protester and provided to Reuters showed a bullet hole in the windshield of a car protesters said was outside the embassy gates.

    A State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said that no one was hurt. The person believed to have fired the shots turned himself in to authorities, and no arrests were made because he has diplomatic immunity, the official said.

    Repeated phone calls to the embassy went unanswered.

    Video: Shot Fired outside Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, .D.C (FOX)
    DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

    By Maureen Umeh

    WASHINGTON – Shots were fired outside the Embassy of Ethiopia in D.C. on Monday afternoon.

    It happened around 12:15 p.m., according to the U.S. Secret Service.

    Officers responded immediately after hearing reports of shots being fired, and they detained and questioned an Ethiopian guard who works at the embassy. He is believed to have fired the shots.

    An Ethiopian television network caught the shooting on camera while they were covering a protest at the embassy. FOX 5′s Maureen Umeh has been told similar anti-government protests happen frequently here and are usually peaceful. However, some protesters went onto embassy grounds on Monday and taunted the guard. He responded by firing warning shots, one of which struck a woman’s car and shattering her front window.

    No injuries were reported.

    The Embassy of Ethiopia is located at 3506 InternationalDrive, NW.

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    Video: Man Brandishes Gun at Ethiopian Embassy in DC

    Secret Service agents detained an Ethiopian Embassy staff who brandished and appeared to fire a gun outside the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, D.C. on Monday, September 29th, 2014. (Images: ESAT)

    Tadias Magazine
    News Update

    September 29th, 2014

    New York (TADIAS) The following video footage captured by ESAT shows the gunman brandishing his weapon outside the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, D.C. on Monday before shots were fired. Luckily, no one was hurt.

    Reuters reported that U.S. Secret Service agents briefly detained the person, but no arrests were made because he has diplomatic immunity. Reuters added: “A separate video made by a protester and provided to Reuters showed a bullet hole in the windshield of a car protesters said was outside the embassy gates”

    Watch: Man Waves Gun Outside Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, D.C., Shots Fired

    A Gunman Opens Fire During Ethiopian Embassy Protest in Washington (Reuters)

    A gunman opened fire during a protest on the Ethiopian Embassy grounds on Monday, according to a video of the incident, but no injuries were reported.

    A spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service said it had detained a possible shooter after a report at about 12:15 p.m. EDT that shots were fired near the embassy in northwest Washington, D.C.

    Witnesses said the gunfire took place inside the embassy compound during a protest against the Horn of Africa nation’s government.

    “About half a block from the embassy, I heard at least four shots, and I thought there were people killed,” demonstrator Tesfa Simagne told Reuters Television.

    A video taken inside the embassy gates and carried by the website of Ethiopian Satellite Television shows a man wearing a dark suit and brandishing a silver handgun.

    He points the weapon at others who argue with him and fires a single shot. Still waving the gun and arguing with protesters, the man backs up to an embassy door and goes inside.

    A separate video made by a protester and provided to Reuters showed a bullet hole in the windshield of a car protesters said was outside the embassy gates.

    A State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said that no one was hurt. The person believed to have fired the shots turned himself in to authorities, and no arrests were made because he has diplomatic immunity, the official said.

    Repeated phone calls to the embassy went unanswered.

    Video: Shot Fired outside Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, .D.C (FOX)
    DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

    By Maureen Umeh

    WASHINGTON – Shots were fired outside the Embassy of Ethiopia in D.C. on Monday afternoon.

    It happened around 12:15 p.m., according to the U.S. Secret Service.

    Officers responded immediately after hearing reports of shots being fired, and they detained and questioned an Ethiopian guard who works at the embassy. He is believed to have fired the shots.

    An Ethiopian television network caught the shooting on camera while they were covering a protest at the embassy. FOX 5′s Maureen Umeh has been told similar anti-government protests happen frequently here and are usually peaceful. However, some protesters went onto embassy grounds on Monday and taunted the guard. He responded by firing warning shots, one of which struck a woman’s car and shattering her front window.

    No injuries were reported.

    The Embassy of Ethiopia is located at 3506 International Drive, NW.

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    A Gunman Opens Fire During Ethiopian Embassy Protest in Washington (Video)

    United States Secret Service police stand in front of the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington September 29, 2014. (Photo: DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG)

    Reuters

    A gunman opened fire during a protest on the Ethiopian Embassy grounds on Monday, according to a video of the incident, but no injuries were reported.

    A spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service said it had detained a possible shooter after a report at about 12:15 p.m. EDT that shots were fired near the embassy in northwest Washington, D.C.

    Witnesses said the gunfire took place inside the embassy compound during a protest against the Horn of Africa nation’s government.

    “About half a block from the embassy, I heard at least four shots, and I thought there were people killed,” demonstrator Tesfa Simagne told Reuters Television.

    A video taken inside the embassy gates and carried by the website of Ethiopian Satellite Television shows a man wearing a dark suit and brandishing a silver handgun.

    He points the weapon at others who argue with him and fires a single shot. Still waving the gun and arguing with protesters, the man backs up to an embassy door and goes inside.

    A separate video made by a protester and provided to Reuters showed a bullet hole in the windshield of a car protesters said was outside the embassy gates.

    A State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said that no one was hurt. The person believed to have fired the shots turned himself in to authorities, and no arrests were made because he has diplomatic immunity, the official said.

    Repeated phone calls to the embassy went unanswered.

    Video: Shot Fired outside Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, .D.C (FOX)
    DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

    By Maureen Umeh

    WASHINGTON – Shots were fired outside the Embassy of Ethiopia in D.C. on Monday afternoon.

    It happened around 12:15 p.m., according to the U.S. Secret Service.

    Officers responded immediately after hearing reports of shots being fired, and they detained and questioned an Ethiopian guard who works at the embassy. He is believed to have fired the shots.

    An Ethiopian television network caught the shooting on camera while they were covering a protest at the embassy. FOX 5′s Maureen Umeh has been told similar anti-government protests happen frequently here and are usually peaceful. However, some protesters went onto embassy grounds on Monday and taunted the guard. He responded by firing warning shots, one of which struck a woman’s car and shattering her front window.

    No injuries were reported.

    The Embassy of Ethiopia is located at 3506 InternationalDrive, NW.

    Related:
    Video: Man brandishes gun near Ethiopian embassy, shots fired (ESAT video via Reuters)

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    A Video-Art Exhibition in Germany by Ethiopian Curator Meskerem Assegued

    Curated by Meskerem Assegued the show at the Dresden State Art Collections museum in Dresden, Germany (October 17, 2014 to January 4, 2015) also features work by Ethiopian artist Abel Tilahun.

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: October 1st, 2014

    New York (TADIAS) – A video-art exhibition by Ethiopian anthropologist and curator Meskerem Assegued, Founder and Director of Zoma Contemporary Art Center in Addis Ababa, opens this month at Germany’s Dresden State Art Collections (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden) — one of the oldest museum and cultural institutions in the world. The show entitled “Curvature of Events” is an analysis of European art history as interpreted by contemporary video artists, including Ethiopian-born animator Abel Tilahun who teaches at American University in Washington D.C.

    “The exhibition is a window into the way Renaissance, Baroque and Romantic artists depicted their society and how artists of our time interpret that perception relating it to the present,” the museum announced. “The curator’s selection and interpretation of the pieces is influenced by a different cultural background than the artists who created them. The curator invited three video artists to look at the selected works and to choose those that interested them most. The video artists used modern media to create a contemporary reaction to art from an earlier time.”

    In addition to Abel Tilahun the other artists featured in the exhibition include Gunter Deller of Germany and Barbara Lubich from Italy. The museum notes that Meskerem came up with the idea for “Curvature of Events” during a visit to Dresden (sponsored in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Sub-Sahara Africa) to do research and to develop a concept for an exhibition there. The video display is based on pieces she selected from the permanent collections at the Old Masters Gallery and the Albertinum dating from the mid-1500s to the early 1900s but excluding the last 100 years from 1914 to 2014.

    Meskerem has worked with several prestigious art festivals including Venice Biennale (2007), Dak-Art Biennale (2004), as well as organizations such as the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and Santa Monica Museum of Art. “Meskerem Assegued’s curatorial career goes back over twenty years,” states the press release. “During the last sixteen years she has curated several exhibitions in Europe, Africa and North America. She is interested in contemporary artistic expressions that deal with historical and socio-cultural contexts. She believes all social issues are relevant everywhere regardless of socio-political, socio-economic and geographical differences.”

    If You Go:
    “Curvature of Events”
    Baroque. Romanticism. Video
    October 17, 2014 to January 4, 2015
    Opening event: October 16th, 2014 at 7pm
    Galerie Neue Meister, Albertinum
    Dresden, Germany
    www.skd.museum

    Cover image: Courtesy of Meskerem Assegued

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    2014 Berlin Marathon Women Results

    Tirfi Tsegaye and Feyse Tadese of Ethiopia were the top two finishers in the women's race at the 2014 Berlin Marathon on Sunday, September 28th. (Photo: Wikimedia commons)

    REUTERS

    Results from the Berlin Marathon Women on Sunday, September 28, 2014

    1. Tirfi Tsegaye Beyene (Ethiopia) 2:20:18
    2. Feyse Tadese (Ethiopia) 2:20:27
    3. Shalane Flanagan (U.S.) 2:21:14
    4. Tadelech Bekele (Ethiopia) 2:23:02
    5. Abebech Afework (Ethiopia) 2:25:02
    6. Kayoko Fukushi (Japan) 2:26:25
    7. Anna Hahner (Germany) 2:26:44
    8. Ines Melchor (Peru) 2:26:48
    9. Rene Kalmer (South Africa) 2:29:27
    10. Adriana da Silva (Brazil) 2:38:05


    Related:
    2014 Berlin Marathon: Men’s Race – Universal Sports Video

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    From Gondar to Ben-Gurion University

    Ethiopians celebrating in Jerusalem. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

    THE JERUSALEM POST

    Ethiopian medical students study at Ben-Gurion University as part of exchange program.

    Naomi Teshome, 23, graduated doctor in Ethiopia, ever saw a cardiac catheterization during her years in medical school. In her two months as a visiting student at Ben-Gurion University’s School for International Health in Beersheba, she observed dozens of such procedures.

    “I’ve always dreamed of having a good medical system and it gives me so much pain to see people who can’t afford treatment,” Teshome told The Media Line. “It makes me really sad. When I see it here, it makes me want more for my country.

    This experience has given me more enthusiasm and commitment to work harder to see a better development of medicine in my country.”

    Teshome was one of three Ethiopian students hosted by the School for International Health just before they graduated.

    Their teacher, Nebiyu Mesfin, an assistant professor of medicine from the University of Gondar, said the young doctors will join a profession that is suffering from a shortage of doctors.

    “Until recently we had just 2,000 doctors for the whole country,” he told The Media Line. “Our population is approaching 90 million and there was a real shortage.

    Read more at The Jerusalem Post »

    Related:
    Rachel Nega: Ethiopian Doctor in Israel Breaking Barriers

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    Ethiopian American Council Endorses Mike Honda for Re-Election

    Congressman Mike Honda represents California's 17th Congressional district in Silicon Valley. (AP photo)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Published: Sunday, September 28th, 2014

    New York (TADIAS) – Few politicians in America could claim as close a relationship with the Ethiopian community in their district and beyond as U.S. Congressman Mike Honda of California. Mr. Honda, who is the Founder of the Ethiopian American Congressional Caucus, was also one of the keynote speakers at the recent Ethiopian soccer tournament held in San Jose. Tadias Magazine has learned that Congressman Honda, who is up for re-election in November, will be endorsed by the Ethiopian American Council (EAC) in his bid to retain his seat, which he first assumed in 2001.

    In a letter sent to Mr. Honda’s office this week, and shared with Tadias, EAC informed the Congressman that given his “long years of service” to the community the Ethiopian American organization is prepared to back his campaign both in fundraising and voter drive efforts.

    “The Ethiopian-American Council of North America wishes to thank you for your past service, and your record holds vast evidence that you are concerned with the rights and general welfare of all Americans – with a keen eye on immigrant and ethnic communities,” stated the letter. “We will endorse you and we will lend as much financial and social support as we deem appropriate to ensure that Ethiopian-American voters, and any other citizens we are able to encourage, will go to the polls for you.”

    The letter mentions Honda’s commitment to provide “a meaningful path to citizenship for law-abiding undocumented immigrants” and his heritage as a third generation Japanese American and his experience in an internment camp in Colorado where his family was sent when he was only one year old. “With people such as yourself in office, hope remains that such an egregiously wrong action will never happen again to any ethnic or immigrant community in the United States of America,” wrote EAC.

    In a statement posted on his website Congressman Honda, who is now 73-years-old, explains his early life as follows: “Though I was born in Walnut Grove, California, I spent my early childhood in a Japanese American internment camp in Colorado. It was there that I experienced first-hand the injustices that many minorities face in the United States. Even though my family and I were law-abiding citizens of this country, we were treated like enemies of the public solely because we were of Japanese descent. When I returned to California in 1953, I attended Andrew P. Hill High School and eventually graduated from San José High Academy. While attending college at San José State, I heard President Kennedy’s call for young Americans, like myself, to serve their country, and I joined the Peace Corps. As a volunteer in El Salvador, I spent two years building schools, constructing bridges and roads, and providing vaccinations to children. My Peace Corps experience sparked my lifelong passion for teaching and education. After completing my B.S. in Biological Sciences and Spanish and my Masters in Education, I became a science teacher, working my way up to becoming the principal of two schools and conducting research at Stanford University.”

    California’s 17th congressional district, which Mr. Honda represents, is located in the heart of Silicon Valley and companies such as Apple, Intel, Yahoo, and eBay are all members of the district’s constituency. The area comprises North San Jose, the cities of Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Fremont, Newark, and Milpitas.

    In the upcoming election Congressman Honda faces fellow Democrat and Indian American attorney, Ro Khanna, who is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Department of Commerce.

    EAC added that it will issue a press release in the coming days to announce its endorsement.

    You can learn more about Congressman Mike Honda at honda.house.gov.

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    Photo of Prince Alemayehu Among Astonishing Portraits Unseen for 120 Years

    The above portrait of Prince Alemayehu Tewodros of Ethiopia (left) is part of a new exhibition in England called Black Chronicles II that spotlights the first black people ever photographed in Britain. (Getty)

    The Guardian

    By Sean O’Hagan

    More haunting is the portrait of Dejazmatch Alamayou Tewodros, an Ethiopian prince who was orphaned at the age of seven, when his father died rather than surrender to the British troops that had surrounded his castle in what was then Abyssinia. Alamayou was brought to England by Sir Robert Napier and adopted by the intriguingly named explorer Captain Tristram Speedy. Alamayou died in England of pleurisy in 1879.

    “There is a certain melancholy to many of these images, particularly the portraits of children, that speaks of exile and estrangement,” says Renée Mussai [co-curator the show at London’s Rivington Place]. “That is certainly the case with Alamayou.

    Read more and see the photos at The Guardian »

    Related:
    Interview with Selam Bekele: Oakland’s Home Away from Home Art Project

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    Ethiopian Artist Melaku Belay’s Quest to Save Fendika

    Melaku Belay (right), leader of the traditional Ethiopian dance artists Fendika. (Photo by Nacho Gonzalez)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Published: Friday, September 26th, 2014

    New York (TADIAS) — If Ethiopia is to have a cultural dance ambassador, Melaku Belay will likely be a front runner. The New York Times described the leader of the Fendika dance troupe as “a happily superlative artist” following his live show here three years ago at the Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors concert stating “The rhythmic virtuosity of Mr. Melaku was often astounding.” Raving about his Guraginya performance, the newspaper added: “Sometimes the feet alternated, sometimes he hopped, and on one occasion, while hopping brilliantly, he mimed strumming on the other leg, which he kept stretched out like a guitar…At the climax of one amazing dance cadenza, his own body became a trill — initiated, it seemed, from somewhere around the diaphragm and midspine, but with the whole body shaken into a blur — and then he began to turn in a traveling diagonal across the stage.”

    Since then, of course, Melaku who also runs the Fendika cultural dance club in Addis Ababa, has returned to the United States for several sold-out events including in Washington, D.C., Boston and Philadelphia.

    Currently, however, the renown Ethiopian performing artist says he is busy raising funds to purchase his club property (Fendika Azmari Bet) in his hometown of Addis, where “the land where the club sits is due to be sold imminently.”

    In a press release the artist’s friends announced the launch of a crowd-sourcing campaign via Indiegogo entitled “Save the FENDIKA cultural club in Addis Ababa.” In addition, organizers indicated there will be a benefit concert at Jazzamba nightclub in Taitu Hotel on Sunday September 28th beginning at 6 PM.

    “Located in the Kazanchis neighborhood of Addis, the vibe and smell and feel of Fendika could not be more authentic,” the press release added. “It is a place of feeling, of heart, of connection, creativity, the jokes of the azmaris and their clever lyrics, [as well as] Melaku’s group Ethiocolor’s inspired and traditional dance, you will not experience a more vibrant, living and breathing venue anywhere in the world.”

    Fendika’s trademark vibrancy was certainly on display during their 2011 appearance in New York. As NYT recorded “They regularly returned, individually or together, to the stage. The singer Selamnesh Zemene always enriched the spell; Asrat Ayalew’s playing of kebero (traditional drums) had complexity and brilliance; and Mr. Melaku and Zinash Tsegaye, the two dancers, provided most of the program’s most remarkable highlights.”

    What sets Fendika apart from being merely a house of traditional music, Melaku’s friends point out, is its open-door policy for global music. “Melaku welcomes visiting musicians, dancers, poets, singers, artists who join in to share their creativity in the warm embrace of the club,” the press release states. “He believes that this is his mission together with all artists – to exchange culture and promote peace through music and art. If he is successful in buying Fendika from its present owner, Melaku plans to add to the building, keeping Fendika exactly as it is but adding some income-generating aspect to the upper floors, most probably a small hotel where visiting artists and musicians can stay.”

    save the FENDIKA – an extract from “Jamming Addis” from Dirk van den Berg on Vimeo.

    —-
    You can support the fundraising campaign at indiegogo.com.

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    Obama, PM Hailemariam Hold Meeting in New York (Video & Text of Remarks)

    President Barack Obama during a meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on Thursday, September 25, 2014 in New York. Right: National Security Adviser Susan Rice. (Getty Images)

    The Washington Times

    By Dave Boyer

    President Obama called on world leaders Thursday to help stop the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa, saying the epidemic is still raging out of control.

    “This is more than a health crisis,” Mr. Obama said, wrapping up three days of diplomacy surrounding the United Nations General Assembly gathering. “The Ebola virus is spreading at alarming speed. This is a growing threat to regional and global security.”

    Read more at the Washington Times »

    Video: Remarks by Obama, Ethiopian PM Hailemariam Before Their Meeting (See text below)

    25 September 2014
    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
    OF THE FEDERAL DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA
    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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    President Obama at the United Nations: Ebola Threat to ‘Regional, Global Security’

    President Barack Obama addresses special meeting on the Ebola outbreak, United Nations, New York, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo)

    VOA News

    September 25, 2014

    Continuing White House efforts to combat the outbreak of Ebola in Africa, U.S. President Barack Obama warned a summit of world leaders in New York on Thursday that the disease is becoming “a growing threat to regional and global security.”

    Addressing the special United Nations meeting on the outbreak, Obama called efforts to stop the virus from spreading “in the interests of the entire world.”

    “In Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, public health systems are near collapse. Economic growth is slowing dramatically,” he said. “If this epidemic is not stopped, this disease could cause a humanitarian catastrophe across the region.”

    Citing recent U.N. commitments to fight the virus, Obama acknowledged some progress but said “it’s not enough.”

    “There’s a significant gap between where we are and where we need to be,” he said, calling on international organizations, member states, foundations and businesses to mobilize resources and offer support.

    “And more citizens — of all nations — can educate themselves on this crisis, contribute to relief efforts and call on their leaders to act,” he said. “Everyone can do something.”

    He then called on UN member states to heed calls from the “front lines” for increased medical supplies and aid.

    “Right now, patients are being left to die in the streets because there’s nowhere to put them and no one to help them,” he said. “One health worker in Sierra Leone compared fighting this outbreak to ‘fighting a forest fire with spray bottles.’ With our help, they can put out the blaze.”

    His comments come on the heels of a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report Tuesday that between 550,000 and 1.4 million people in West Africa could be infected with the Ebola virus by January 20, 2015.

    Based on the assumption that the actual number of Ebola cases has been underreported, the CDC said in a statement that “extensive, immediate actions — such as those already started — can bring the epidemic to a tipping point to start a rapid decline in cases.”

    The agency’s best-case model projects that by getting 70 percent of patients into facilities where the risk for transmission is reduced and burying the dead safely, the epidemic would be “almost ended” by January 20.

    “Stopping Ebola is a priority for the United States,” Obama said. “We will continue to lead and do our part. But this must also be a priority for the world.”

    The president then announced a Friday meeting of 44 nations in Washington aimed at advancing global health security. “And we will work with any country that shares that commitment,” he said.

    $1B plan

    The president announced last week a $1 billion-plus U.S. plan to help West African nations contain Ebola. “We need a broader effort to stop a disease that could kill hundreds of thousands, inflict horrific suffering, destabilize economies, and move rapidly across borders,” Obama said during his speech to the U.N. General Assembly Wednesday.

    “It’s easy to see this as a distant problem — until it is not. And that is why we will continue to mobilize other countries to join us in making concrete commitments, significant commitments to fight this outbreak, and enhance our system of global health security for the long term,” the president added.

    The U.S. has deployed doctors, scientists and military personnel to help “contain the outbreak and pursue new treatments,” Obama said.

    According to the World Health Organization, the exponential spread of the Ebola has now killed almost 3,000 people in West Africa.

    Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma and Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf will also take part through teleconference.

    According to news reports by The Associated Press, Sierra Leone on Thursday sealed off an area that is home to more than 1 million people as part of efforts to keep the virus from spreading.

    “The newly declared quarantine areas mean that about one-third of the country’s 6 million people are now living in areas where their movements are heavily restricted,” the report said.

    Also Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry announced the appointment of Ambassador Nancy Powell to lead the Ebola Coordination Unit at the Department of State.

    According to statement by State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, Powell, who most recently served as U.S. Ambassador to India, “served as the State Department’s Senior Coordinator for Avian Influenza.”

    “Ambassador Powell will lead the State Department’s outreach to international partners, including foreign governments, to ensure a speedy and truly global response to this crisis,” Psaki said.

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is hosting Thursday’s gathering of world leaders aimed at rallying efforts to contain the outbreak, prevent future ones and treat those who are infected.

    Some information for this report comes from AP.

    Related:
    Ethiopian American Doctors Release Communiqué on Ebola Outbreak

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    Lincoln Center Presents Wayna & Akua Naru – October 23rd

    Grammy–nominated Ethiopian-American singer/songwriter Wayna and American lyricist and poet Akua Naru will perform live at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center in NYC on October 23rd, 2014.

    Tadias Magazine
    Events News

    Lincoln Center Press Release

    New York – Grammy–nominated Ethiopian-American singer/songwriter Wayna has received accolades from popular music’s highest echelons: Stevie Wonder calls her “incredible.” Essence magazine deemed her “one to watch,” and Billboard declared her a “stand-out on the indie front.” The singer’s unique blend African and reggae-inspired soul with classic and alternative rock—aptly named “world soul”—earned her two chart-topping singles (from her sophomore LP Higher Ground) and a coveted Grammy nomination for Best Urban/Alternative Performance.

    Wayna’s newest album, The Expats, 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. Wayna’s lyrics continue to push the envelope, addressing thought-provoking subject matter including racial and economic inequality, love, individuality, and life choices.

    Wordsmith Akua Naru travels the world recording her experiences and fusing musical genres, solidifying herself as a model of what women can be in the hip-hop world. Her debut album . . . The Journey Aflame (2011) reached number one on the US college radio charts.

    With classic boom bap hip-hop sounds, a profound mastery of lyricism, socially conscious rhymes, and astonishing musicianship, Akua has garnered critical attention and accumulated rave reviews. Her associations with the 90s hip-hop era and acts including Lauryn Hill and The Roots have earned her appreciation within and beyond hip-hop circles. Accompanied by her band DIGFLO, a six-piece ensemble including drums, keys, saxophone, flute, bass, guitar, and turntables, Akua has a reputation for captivating audiences, hyping crowds, inspiring many, and forcing some to encounter and dispel the myths they’ve been taught about women and hip-hop. Her music and performances are a testament to the legacy of soul music and the powerful trailblazing female artistic tradition on which it builds.


    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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    Gash Wondimu: Excerpt From Short Story by Agazit Abate

    LA-based Agazit Abate is the daughter of Ethiopian immigrants. "Gash Wondimu" is inspired by the men and women who raised her, the country they left behind and the lives they built with their memories.

    Warscapes Magazine

    By Agazit Abate

    The resting place of the dead is respected here. Straight lines, manicured grass, clean concrete and untouched graves. Everything has its place. There is an order to things here. People die and are buried after careful planning. Death lays neat, it doesn’t pile up here.

    You know, I hear that they even keep bodies in walls. I can’t imagine that. Bodies should go back into the soil, but what do I know.

    You remember when Seifu told us that they were removing bodies from Yosef to build roads in Addis. His family had to collect the bones of his mother, father, and two brothers. The dead are overwhelming the new city there.

    ***

    You always did have bad timing. Looking back on things, I think we both did. Maybe our whole generation had bad timing, maybe that was our problem.

    You slipped into this earth the same way you slipped out, unexpected and displaced. I remember when you told me that your mother didn’t know she was pregnant with you until you began kicking. According to her calculations, you were supposed to arrive during the bright yellow blooms of adey abeba. She believed that you were a boy and that you would be born on new years’ day. She was only half right. You came early, during the rains. She was in a neighbors’ house across town and had to rush home to have you.

    It was 1940. Your mother believed that even though the Italians occupied Ethiopia, her home was free. She wanted to make sure that you were born on your grandfathers’ land, that your umbilical cord would be buried on that piece of earth. She didn’t make it home, but she kept the umbilical cord and buried it where she believed you belong. She said that the soil was soft, that she didn’t have to dig, and that the earth swallowed it. She knew that the land accepted you, that the resistance would succeed, and that the Italians would be leaving Ethiopia.

    We spent decades talking, and you die six months before things start getting interesting. Before protests and revolutions, before leaders fled, were overthrown, and killed. You died before our own two months of silence. Before change took place on our land and before everything stayed the same.

    I had to have conversations without you, sometimes with other people and sometimes with myself, sometimes at this spot, wondering what you would say.

    It’s cyclical. Now is the time for fire. It will burn out and we will deal only with what is left behind. Nothing is new.

    There was so much that we could have spoken about. The world was anxious for a time and you missed it.

    ***

    I’m an old man now. I’m older than I was when you died four years ago. You know what I mean by that. It feels like yesterday, but somehow my body remembers it differently.

    Walking up this hill to see you is getting harder and harder each time I come here. The landscape is crisp and unrelenting and you are resting at the top of what might as well be Entoto. This is a place for young people to come visit old people who have died. Thank God, Tsion decided to give you an upright tomb. Some of them lay flat in the ground. If yours was like that, where would I rest my back? There is no tree to give you shade, no base to give my body comfort. I would have to bring a chair up here. Imagine, carrying a chair all the way up here.

    I look older too. I get senior citizen discounts without even asking. I went on the bus last week and paid the full fare. The bus driver looked at me and said, “You know you only have to pay fifty cents.” I didn’t understand until I sat down and a man whose body has been lived in longer than the emperor, looked at me and nodded his head as if to say, welcome.

    But, I don’t mind getting old. I like it when people call me Gash Wondimu.

    Read more at Warscapes Magazine »

    About the Author:
    Agazit Abate received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Development Studies and Masters Degree in African Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. She works on projects related to cultural production and environmental sustainability.

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    Five Questions for Prof. Lemma Senbet

    Professor Lemma Senbet is the Executive Director of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) in Nairobi. He is currently on sabbatical from the University of Maryland, College Park. (Courtesy photo)

    The UB Alumni

    As a freshman at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, Lemma Senbet clearly remembers his first day on campus standing in line to register for his engineering classes. Noticing a large number of students filing up for another subject, he asked what the line was for. When he learned that students were enrolling in for the university’s newly established business school, he decided to switch majors.

    Unbeknownst to Senbet, that moment would lead to a successful career in economics and a position as William E. Mayer Chair Professor of Finance at the University of Maryland.

    Senbet earned a Bachelor’s degree in accounting from Addis Ababa University and an MBA in finance from the University of California in Los Angeles. After graduation, Senbet planned to return to Ethiopia. However, civil unrest in the country forced him to wait out the war in a doctorate program in the United States. After searching for universities in New York, he chose UB over Columbia University for the personal attention and family-like atmosphere the university’s doctoral program offered.

    Senbet’s first academic appointment was as an assistant professor of finance at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

    He progressed rapidly along the tenure track, earning the rank of full professor after seven years, and later, the Charles Albright Chaired Professorship! However, the chance to help build a finance program led him to the University of Maryland.

    Currently, Senbet is on sabbatical from Maryland, working as the head of the African Economic Research Consortium, a Kenya-based non-profit organization that conducts research on the management of economies in sub-Saharan Africa.

    Five Questions with Lemma:

    If you could create another national holiday, what would it be called?
    Holiday for Immigrants. The United States is a country of immigrants and that doesn’t receive much attention. The holiday would celebrate the energy and vibrancy that led to the creation of U.S. And it would honor both current immigrants and historic immigrants, and the opportunities created for them to make it in a different environment.

    Read the rest of the Q & A at alumni.buffalo.edu »

    Related:
    Tadias Interview with Professor Lemma Senbet: New Head of AERC

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    Rachel Nega: Ethiopian Doctor in Israel Breaking Barriers

    In her work as a doctor, Rachel Nega says she hopes to bridge some of "the huge gaps between different communities" in Israel. (The Jewish Week)

    The Jewish Week

    By Hannah Dreyfus

    Staff Writer

    Wearing a white coat, name badge and stethoscope, Dr. Rachel Nega strides through the halls of Manhattan’s Mount Sinai Hospital. To patients and visitors, she looks like any other doctor on duty — slightly preoccupied, with a deliberate air to her step. Yet her dark skin and almond eyes hint at her unique background.

    Nega, 29, is the first Israeli-Ethiopian doctor to intern at Mount Sinai, an opportunity that came through the joint efforts of an Israeli nonprofit and an Israeli-American philanthropist. During the summer internship, she worked under the guidance of Dr. Martin Goldman, a leading cardiologist who heads the echocardiography lab at Mount Sinai.

    “This experience will shape my future,” says Nega over coffee in the Mount Sinai lobby.

    Nega, who is in her third year of medical school at Tel Aviv University, hopes to practice medicine in Israel’s “peripheries,” the parts of the country where specialized medical professionals are sparse. Her goal is to work with immigrants and those from impoverished backgrounds.

    Though Nega didn’t enter the internship knowing what medical specialty she wanted to pursue, she now is seriously considering cardiology. “The potential for innovation is huge,” she said.

    Nega’s story is just one of many demonstrating how the Israeli-Ethiopian community has overcome significant hurdles in the past few decades. A first-generation Israeli, Nega’s parents emigrated from Ethiopia to Israel in November 1984 during Operation Moses, the mass migration of Ethiopian Jews out of Sudan.

    Read more at The Jewish Week »

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    Room for Debate: Cooking for the Family is a Promise Kept – By Blaine Sergew

    The following article by Blaine Sergew, a program director for the Nature Conservancy, was published on Monday, September 22, 2014 in the 'Room for Debate' section of the New York Times' Opinion pages.

    The New York Times

    By Blaine Sergew

    UPDATED SEPTEMBER 22, 2014

    When my husband and I got married, we made two promises to each other: We would never watch reality shows and we would always eat at least one meal a day together.

    Let’s just say we fared better with the second promise.

    My husband and I have worked out arguments over meal preparations, laughed through botched recipes. And when we sit down for a meal we stay connected.

    We both grew up in Ethiopia and are from large families. Mealtimes were often beautifully choreographed chaos. But there was never any question about everyone eating together, primarily because we Ethiopians live under the vague threat that “he who eats alone, dies alone.”

    That adage was so ingrained in me from an early age that I still remember the first dinner I had by myself when I came to the United States. In my aunt’s apartment in the Bronx, I ate a plate of re-heated doro wet – chicken stew –as the exhausted rumbling of the No. 1 train kept me distracted from the possibility of dying before I saw the Empire State Building.

    Culturally, food has never been just about nutrition. It’s been about community and connection. Some of my fondest childhood memories center around family feasts prepared by a small army of bustling women who would work out hazy passive-aggressive impulses in the confines of a sweltering kitchen. It was where a delicate hierarchy of women had total control of their environment.

    Read more at The New York Times »

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    Queen of Sheba, Bati, Massawa Among Top Ten African Restaurants In New York

    Forbes Magazine has named Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant, Bati Kitchen, and Massawa (Eritrean) among the top ten African restaurants in New York based on taste, service, ambiance and consistency.

    Forbes Magazine

    By Farai Gundan

    “I am an African. I am an African foodie. I am an African foodie in New York,” my remixed version of Sting’s classic song “Englishman in New York”.

    It is the best of both worlds. Or is it three worlds? African. Foodie. New York City. Life cannot get any sweeter than this! And September magnifies the beauty of these worlds even more. Three global events take place in New York City in this month alone – New York Fashion Week, The Clinton Global Initiative and the United Nations General Assembly. And the world it seems, descends upon this cosmopolitan mega-city in unprecedented numbers. There are restaurants galore in New York City – to suit every palate, craving and gustatory fetish.

    For most visitors and even New Yorkers themselves, the sheer number of restaurants in New York City can be daunting and overwhelming. So I teamed up with Akin Akinsanya, a fellow African foodie and founder and CEO of New York African Restaurant Week and his team to pick the top 10 African restaurants the Big Apple has to offer its residents and visitors – the adventurous and /or those seeking to satisfy their craving for African food.

    The criteria we used for picking the best African restaurants in New York City was taste, service, ambiance and consistency.

    Here are the top 10 African restaurants in New York City (in no particular order):

    See the list at Forbes.com »

    Photo credit: Queen of Sheba/Timeout

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    Ethiopian Community of Greater Philadelphia Celebrates 30th Anniversary

    (Image courtesy: The Ethiopian Community Association of Greater Philadelphia - ECAGP)

    Tadias Magazine
    Events News

    Published: Monday, September 22nd, 2014

    Philadelphia (TADIAS) – September 27th is officially designated as “Ethiopia Day” in Philadelphia by the city council. And this year the day also marks the 30th anniversary of the Ethiopian Community Association of Greater Philadelphia, which is the oldest African community organization in Pennsylvania. The association announced that the outdoor festivities this coming weekend will include a street fair, music, children’s games and keynote addresses by Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell and Ethiopian filmmaker Professor Haile Gerima.

    The event will take place on 44th and Chestnut Street, which organizers say will be blocked off for the occasion. The entertainment line-up features live performances by Asfaw Jeb Jeb, Abinet Girma (Tinishu Tilahun) and Daniel Gebril on keyboards.


    If You Go:
    Ethiopian Day in Philadelphia
    When: September 27th, 2014
    Time: 11 am – 5:00 pm
    Where: 44th and Chestnut Streets
    Ethiopian Community Assoc.
    4400 Chestnut St. – 1st Floor
    Philadelphia, PA 19105
    TEL: 215.222.8917
    www.ethiophilly.org

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