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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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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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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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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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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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Boom Times for Ethiopia’s Coffee Shops

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

BBC News

By James Jeffrey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at BBC.com »

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Ali Mazrui: Death of A Towering Intellectual

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

BBC News

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

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

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

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


Ali Mazrui wrote extensively about colonialism.


He condemned the atrocities committed by colonial rulers

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

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

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

Read more at BBC.com »

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Protest Planned Over Sentencing in Abuse of Adopted Ethiopian Children

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

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

By Paula Reed Ward

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more news at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette »

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

(Image: Ebola virus under the microscope)

U.S. Embassy – Ethiopia

Press release

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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US Embassy Warns of al-Shabab Attack in Ethiopia

Ethiopia map. (Credit: VOA)

VOA News

October 15, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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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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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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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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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In Ethiopia Long Jail Sentences for Three Magazine Owners

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

Reporters Without Borders

PUBLISHED ON WEDNESDAY 8 OCTOBER 2014.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Atlanta International Airport. (AP Photo)

Tadias Magazine
News Update

Press Release

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Related:
    Dallas Ebola Patient Dies at Texas Hospital

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  • Dallas Ebola Patient Dies at Texas Hospital

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

    VOA News

    October 08, 2014

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

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

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

    Screening measures

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

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

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

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

    More aid requested

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

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

    Slideshow from Kerry’s presentation

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

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

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

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

    Disease’s cost to Africa

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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.

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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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    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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    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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    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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    Al-Amoudi to Invest $500 Million in Ethiopian Coffee, Oranges

    Mohammed Al Amoudi. (Photo: thecelebworth.com)

    Bloomberg News

    By William Davison

    Horizon Plantations Ethiopia Plc, majority-owned by Saudi billionaire Mohamed al-Amoudi, plans to almost double annual revenue within three years by investing at least $500 million in coffee and orange projects.

    The agriculture company will train workers, improve roads and replace washing units at the Limmu and Bebeka coffee plantations, which together have over 18,000 hectares (44,479 acres) under coffee, General Operations Director Kemal Mohammed said in a Sept. 17 interview in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital. The development is part of a five-year program to invest in projects that also include Upper Awash Agro-Industry Enterprise, the country’s largest orange grower with 1,200 hectares of citrus, he said.

    “We are sure because of the initiatives we have now, because of the inputs and techniques we’re applying, the productivity will increase to the maximum at the end of the five years,” Kemal said.

    Ethiopia, Africa’s biggest coffee producer, may see earnings from shipments of Arabica coffee rise 25 percent to about $900 million in 2014-2015 as prices rise because of shortage caused by a drought in Brazil, an exporters’ association said last month. Horizon bought the two coffee farms for 1.6 billion birr ($80 million) last year from the Ethiopian government, which is seeking investment in projects that process agricultural products.

    Horizon has a sales target of 500 million Ethiopian birr by 2017, Kemal said.

    Bebeka, in southwest Ethiopia, is the world’s biggest unfragmented coffee estate with 10,030 hectares under plantation, according to the company’s website. Limmu, 350 kilometers (218 miles) southwest of Addis Ababa in the Oromia region, has 8,000 hectares under coffee and produces 5,000 tons a year of the beans.

    Read more at Bloomberg News »

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    Migrants Caught in No-Man’s Land (Video)

    In the last 20 years more than 20,000 migrants have perished in the sea trying to reach Europe from Africa. This week alone some 800 migrants were reported drowned in the water between Libya and Italy.

    VOA News

    By Lisa Bryant

    The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren’t over.

    Lisa Bryant of VOA has the story:



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    Ethiopia’s Agriculture Hotline Provides Growing Opportunities for Farmers

    An Ethiopian farmer using a mobile phone. The country’s government relies on support in rural areas. (Photograph: Eric Lafforgue/Alamy)

    The Guardian

    By William Davison

    Addis Ababa – Ethiopia’s farmers are flocking to a hotline that provides free agricultural advice about planting crops, using fertiliser and preparing land as part of a government initiative to turn subsistence farmers into surplus sellers.

    The automated hotline has received nearly 1.5m calls from more than 300,000 farmers since it launched 12 weeks ago, according to Khalid Bomba, CEO of the Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), an internationally backed government initiative. The 90 lines are now taking an average of 35,000 calls a day.

    Other African countries have used similar methods to get information to farmers, but Ethiopia’s initial success is unparalleled, Khalid said. “The numbers speak for themselves,” he said. “It’s working and the farmers are finding it useful.”

    The advice line is just one of 82 targets on the three-year-old agency’s agenda, which include devising “value chain” strategies for each key crop, increasing the use of higher-yielding seed and making credit more widely available for the nation’s approximately 70 million smallholder farmers. One of its most high-profile projects has been a soil-mapping exercise to understand which areas of the ecologically diverse country are suitable for particular crops and fertilisers.

    Read more at The Guardian »

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    Scotland Rejects Independence From Britain in a Close Vote

    Ballots tumble at an Aberdeen counting center in Scotland. The outcome headed off the political, economic and military imponderables that would have accompanied a divorce from the UK. (NYT)

    The New York Times

    By STEVEN ERLANGER and ALAN COWELL

    EDINBURGH — Voters in Scotland rejected independence from Britain in a referendum that had threatened to break up a 307-year union, according to projections by the BBC and Sky early Friday.

    The outcome was a deep disappointment to the vocal, enthusiastic pro-independence movement led by the Scottish first minister, Alex Salmond, who had seen an opportunity to turn a centuries-old nationalist dream into reality, and forced the three main British parties into panicked promises to grant substantial new power to the Scottish Parliament.

    The decision spared Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain a shattering defeat that would have raised questions about his ability to continue in office and diminished his nation’s standing in the world.

    Continue reading at The New York Times »


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    Gold for Genzebe Dibaba & Almaz Ayana at 2014 IAAF Continental Cup in Morocco

    Genzebe Dibaba won the women’s 3000m at the 2014 IAAF Continental Cup in Marrakech, Morocco this past weekend, while her fellow countrywoman Almaz Ayana was victorious in the 5000m race. (Getty)

    Tadias Magazine
    News Update

    Published: Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

    New York (TADIAS) – Ethiopian athletes Genzebe Dibaba and Almaz Ayana won their respective races in the women’s competition at the 2014 IAAF Continental Cup in Marrakech, Morocco on Sunday.

    “This weekend’s most dominant performance on the track came in the penultimate individual race courtesy of Almaz Ayana in the women’s 5000m,” reported Bob Ramsak for the IAAF. “Returning to the track where she claimed the African 5000m title last month, the 22-year-old Ethiopian won by nearly 25 seconds in a race she controlled from the midway point forward. ‘This is a lucky stadium for me,’” said Ayana, who reached the finish in 15:33.32.

    Per IAAF: Genzebe Dibaba, who finished first in the 3000m, “took the lead with exactly two laps to go and held it firmly en route to her 8:57.53 victory – her first over the distance outdoors this year.”

    “I expected to win and defend African colours,” said Dibaba, the fourth consecutive African winner of this title, “but the race was too slow for me. I don’t feel comfortable using such tactics, so that’s why I couldn’t wait for the last lap to make my final kick, and instead started to push 800 metres before the finish.”

    Read more at IAAF.org »

    Related:
    Sum, Dibaba, Fredericks and Souleiman win for Africa – Day 1 IAAF Continental Cup

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    2015 Africa Cup of Nations: Ethiopia Yet to Get Off the Mark

    So far the Ethiopian national team has lost the first two qualifying games against Algeria and Malawi for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations which will be held in Morocco early next year. (Getty Images)

    BBC Sport

    Nations Cup 2015 – Group B

    Top ranked African nation Algeria left it late to beat visitors Mali 1-0.

    The Eagles played the last 22 minutes with 10 men after Mahamadou Ndiaye was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

    With just nine minutes left to play, a free-kick from Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez found Carl Medjani whose header earned his side all three points.

    Atusaye Nayondo scored twice to help Malawi to a 3-2 home win against Ethiopia.

    Nyondo struck the first goal of the game on 18 minutes but Malawi were pegged back by an equaliser from Getaneh Kebede.

    However, a second-half effort from Frank Banda restored the hosts’ lead and Nyondo’s second goal rendered meaningless a stoppage strike from the visitors’ Yussuf Saleh.

    Malawi Football Association president Walter Nyamilandu wrote on his Twitter page: “Three vital points in the bag. A deserved victory that keeps our dreams alive though earned the hard way.”

    Algeria move to the top of the pool with a maximum six points while Mali and Malawi are on three and Ethiopia yet to get off the mark.

    Read more at BBC News »


    Related:
    Malawi knock Ethiopia further back

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    Colorado’s Ethiopian Community Celebrates New Year in Aurora

    (Image credit: Video still/The Denver Post)

    The Denver Post

    By Jesse Paul

    AURORA — Mulugeta Hailu moved from Ethiopia to Denver over two decades ago seeking an escape from political persecution.

    The move meant leaving his homeland and rich culture behind as he left for greener pastures. But now, after all those years, he’s a part of a growing Ethiopian community in Colorado of more than 27,000 whose size and closeness was clear here Sunday at a festival celebrating the Ethiopian New Year.

    In a way, a bit of the African nation moved to Colorado with Hailu.

    “We’re trying to teach our kids,” said Hailu, who has three young children. “Some of them don’t even speak our language.”

    Organizers expected about 1,000 people to attend the celebration at Del Mar Park where red, yellow and green Ethiopian flags hung from the trees. There was music, food and the happy shouts of playing children who danced around their parents, gathered in the shade and shielding themselves from the summer sun’s last rays.

    “This is very important because this is not just a holiday for a specific church or mosque,” said Shifferan Hajito, who runs the Ethiopian Community of Colorado, which organized the event. “This is regardless of religion, regardless of color.”

    Read more and watch video at The Denver Post »

    Related:
    Ethiopia Welcomes Year 2007
    At Global Fest 2014 Aurora, Colorado Welcomes Adama (Nazret) as Sister City

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    PM Hailemariam Desalegn Seeks Win-Win Relations With Egypt

    In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said that Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi is committed to relations between Egypt and Ethiopia. (World Bulletin)

    World Bulletin/Turkey

    News Desk

    Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said that Ethiopia is seeking a “win-win” relation with Egypt, saying that his country was seeking good relations with Cairo.

    In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency, Desalegn said that Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi is committed to relations between Egypt and Ethiopia.

    The Prime Minister also praised “excellent” relations between Ethiopia and Turkey, saying that relations between the two countries have been gathering momentum.

    The Ethiopian Premier also addressed several issues during the interview, including the activities of the Somali militant group Al-Shabaab and South Sudan’s peace talks.

    Read the interview at worldbulletin.net »

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    The Rastafarians’ Flawed African ‘Promised Land’ – BBC

    (BBC News Magazine)

    BBC News

    By Chris Summers

    Forty years ago Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia was overthrown. It was a blow for all Rastafarians, who revere him as a god – and for those Rastafarians who had emigrated to Ethiopia, life suddenly got more difficult.

    In 1948 Emperor Haile Selassie gave 500 acres (200 hectares) of land at Shashamene, 150 miles (225km) south of Addis Ababa, to black people from the West who had supported him in his struggles with Mussolini’s Italy.

    The first settlers to arrive were African-American Jews, but they soon moved on to Liberia or Israel. After them, in 1963, came a dozen Rastafarians, and the numbers swelled after Selassie made an emotional visit to Jamaica three years later.

    The Rastafarians’ adoration of Selassie stems from the words of black consciousness leader Marcus Garvey, who said in 1920, “Look to Africa, when a black king shall be crowned, for the day of deliverance is at hand”. When Selassie was crowned emperor, 10 years later, many thought Garvey’s words had come true.

    Another belief widely held by Rastafarians is that they will eventually return to Africa – the continent their ancestors left in slave ships long ago. And quite often, according to Erin MacLeod – author of Visions of Zion: Ethiopians and Rastafari in the Search for the Promised Land – “back to Africa” is treated as synonymous with “back to Ethiopia”.

    Today there are up to 800 Rastafarians at Melka Oda, near Shashamene, as well as a few in the capital, Addis Ababa, and in the city of Bahir Dar. But how has life turned out for them in Ethiopia – and what do Ethiopians make of their Rastafarian neighbours?

    Read more at BBC News »

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    CIA: As Many as 31,000 Islamic State (IS) Fighters in Iraq, Syria

    Fighters from the Islamic State group parade in Raqqa, north Syria, earlier this year. (AP photo)

    VOA News

    U.S. intelligence says the Islamic State militant group has between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters on the ground in Iraq and Syria.

    A Central Intelligence Agency spokesman said Thursday this is much higher than the previous estimate of 10,000.

    He says the new estimate reflects stronger recruitment by the Islamic State since June following success on the battlefield and the declaration of a caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

    Earlier Thursday, ministers from 10 Gulf and Arab nations said Thursday they are committed to joining the United States in a “coordinated military campaign” against Islamic State fighters who have seized large swaths of Iraq and Syria.

    After talks in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia with Saudi officials and U.S Secretary of State John Kerry, officials from the Gulf Cooperation Council, along with Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon, said they are united against the threat from all terrorists, including Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

    The GCC countries represented in the Red Sea port city, the Saudi government’s summer home, included Saudi Arabia and its rival Qatar, along with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Oman.

    Non-Arab Sunni Turkey also attended the talks. But two other powerful regional powers, Shi’ite-ruled Iran and Syria, were excluded, a sign of how strong the Middle East’s sectarian divide remains.

    The Arab states agreed in a written communique to take many of the steps U.S. President Barack Obama spelled out Wednesday in his newly articulated strategy for wiping out the militants – stopping the flow of foreign fighters, cutting off funds for Islamic State, providing humanitarian aid to those terrorized by the militants and rejecting what the ministers call their “hateful ideology.”

    The ministers hailed the new Iraqi government and its pledge to advance the interests of all Iraqis, regardless of religion, nationality or sect.

    Kerry and Obama have called the new unity government in Iraq a key to destroying IS.

    Audio: VOA Correspondent Scott Stearns interviewed John Kerry Thursday in Saudi Arabia

    Saudi clout

    The Saudis, who are hosting a series of meetings with regional leaders, are key to the new coalition because of their country’s size, location and economic importance, “but also because of their religious significance with Sunnis,” according to a senior State Department official at the talks.

    Saudi Arabia’s primary role in the Sunni world is a major element in the U.S. plan to create a broad coalition against the militant group.

    U.S. officials also look to the Saudi kingdom to help bridge the Sunni-Shia divide, which is complicating efforts to confront Islamic State militants, specifically in Iraq.

    Saudi Arabia has come to understand the Islamic State group is a serious threat to their country as well – that it isn’t a mainstream Sunni movement.

    One element of Obama’s IS plan seeks to undermine the ideological and religious claims that the Islamic State militants make to Islam.

    The administration hopes Riyadh will use its influence among Islamic religious leaders.

    The coalition may need enhanced military basing and overflight rights for airstrikes against the Islamic State, the State Department official said. Saudi Arabia already has agreed to allow camps for training vetted moderate rebels to fight the IS insurgents.

    The official said Kerry was asking Arab leaders to use nationally-owned media – including Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya – as well as their religious establishments to speak out against Islamic State extremism in hopes of undermining its appeal to young recruits.

    In that push, Kerry echoed Obama’s denunciation of the IS (ISIL) group as not “Islamic” because no religion condones the killing of innocents.

    “ISIL claims to be fighting on behalf of Islam, but the fact is that its hateful ideology has nothing to do with Islam,” Kerry said.

    “ISIL is a manifestation of evil, a vicious terrorist organization, and it is a organization that achieves its goals only through violence, repression and destruction, fed by illicit funding and a stream of foreign fighters,” he added. “It has seized territory and terrorized the people who live there regardless of their sect or ethnicity.”

    Diplomatic push continues

    The top U.S. diplomat will continue his coalition-building efforts Friday in the Turkish capital, Ankara, in meetings with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

    Kerry will also stop in Egypt as part of the effort to line up international support against the Islamic State militants.

    The Mideast diplomatic push comes ahead of a conference set for Monday in Paris on how to stabilize Iraq. That meeting will include officials from the U.S., Britain, France, Russia and China, and possibly other nations, even including Iran.

    VOA’s Scott Stearns discusses his interview with John Kerry


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    Turkey Outdoes China in Terms of Ethiopia Investment

    While Turkish investors had arrived later, they had since poured some $1.2 billion worth of investment into Ethiopia, senior Ethiopian Investment Agency official Debela Habte said. (World Bulletin)

    World Bulletin Turkey

    News Desk

    Despite China’s outstanding record of development assistance to Ethiopia, the Asian giant’s investments in the African state lack volume, a senior Ethiopian Investment Agency official has said.

    China has invested $836 million in Ethiopia over the past ten years, Debela Habte, a senior public relations expert at the agency told Anadolu Agency on Thursday.

    He added that, while Turkish investors had arrived later, they had since poured some $1.2 billion worth of investment into Ethiopia.

    “Turks invest their money in large-scale projects, while the Chinese are more involved in both small- and large-scale projects,” Habte said

    He said Turkish investors were largely engaged in the textile industry, which, he said, required significant capital.

    This, Habte added, could explain why Turkey’s investment capital in Ethiopia had surpassed that of China.

    Read more »

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    Family, Friends Mourn Ethiopian Taxi Driver Killed in Atlanta Suburb (Video)

    An Ethiopian taxi driver was shot to death in Atlanta on Sunday morning while trying to break up a fight between a customer (an Ethiopian woman, right) and her boyfriend Henok Basore, left. (Police photo)

    11 Alive Atlanta

    11Alive Staff

    GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A taxi driver was shot to death in a condominium complex in Lilburn Sunday morning while trying to break up a fight between a customer and her boyfriend.

    It happened at around 6:15 a.m. in the Springs Condominiums at 1300 Branch Drive near South Norcross Tucker Road.

    Monday morning, investigators identified the victim as 53-year-old Aidarous Abdella of Lilburn. Abdella has been driving a cab for eight years according to a friend. “He’s a nice guy, a family man, he supported his family,” said Khalid Yonis.

    Yonis said he has known Abdella for 15 years. Yonis talked to 11Alive News in front of his friends house where he was consoling family members. He said Abdella supported a sister who is handicapped and a son who recently moved to his home from Ethiopia.

    “He’s 22 years old, he came from Ethiopia like a year ago,” Yonis said. “He’s a full-time student so we don’t have anyone supporting his family.”

    Police said Abdella drove 29-year-old Elizabeth McKonnen to the location to meet her boyfriend, 34-year-old Henok Basore. When they arrived, the boyfriend began arguing with McKonnen.

    Abdella tried to intervene, but Basore pulled out a gun and shot the victim, then ran. He was arrested several hours later and charged with felony murder and aggravated assault.

    Police said Basore pulled out a gun and Abdella tried to diffuse the situation. “I just heard a gunshot,” said neighbor Jermico Price. “I heard a lot of screaming and commotion.”

    Abdella was shot in the head and died. Basore is charged with Murder and Aggravated Assault. MeKonnen is charged with Obstruction and False Statements.

    Police said Abdella just wanted to make peace. “We think he was simply acting as a good Samaritan in this struggle between the other two,” said Cpl. Jake Smith.

    Video: Family, Friends Mourn Ethiopian Taxi Cabbie Killed Breaking Up a Fight

    Video: Cops: Taxi driver killed trying to stop man from shooting woman


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    Dawit Seyoum, 29, Charged With Murdering D.C. Corrections Official

    Dawit Seyoum, 29, has been arrested in connection with the Alexandria murder of a D.C. correctional office employee. (Photo: City of Alexandria PD)

    By The Associated Press, ABC 7 News

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. – An Alexandria man was arraigned Monday on charges of killing a high-ranking District of Columbia corrections official.

    Dawit Seyoum, 29, appeared in court on a first-degree murder charge in the killing of 64-year-old Carolyn Cross, the deputy director of operations for the Department of Corrections.

    Alexandria Police spokeswoman Ashley Hildebrandt said investigators do not believe Cross’ slaying was related to her work as a corrections official, or that Seyoum and Cross knew each other.

    Police said they were called shortly after 8 a,m. Sunday to an apartment complex in the 4800 block of Kenmore Avenue, where they found Cross dead.

    An autopsy was being conducted to determine the exact cause of death, authorities said.

    During Seyoum’s arraignment, he was appointed a public defender and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for October.

    Police said this was the fourth homicide in Alexandria in 2014.

    Read more at WJLATV »

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    Israel’s Ethiopian Immigrants Lose Connection With Folklore

    Passport pictures for Ethiopians, who are awaiting immigration to Israel, lie on a table in Gondar, March 8, 2007. (photo by REUTERS/Eliana Aponte)

    Al-Monitor

    By Yuval Avivi

    One Ethiopian folktale goes as follows: “A long time ago, Abba Gabra Hanna went to visit the village of Lalibla. Along the way, he met a jolly group. Someone in the group pointed at Abba Gabra Hanna’s large belly and said to his friends, ‘We have to thank this man for bringing with him a large, full bag of seeds. Our empty fields are waiting to be sown.’ The people in the group burst out laughing. Abba Gabra Hanna was insulted, but immediately had a thought. He pointed at the large, shiny bald head of the man and said, ‘I’m not sure if the amount of seeds I brought will be enough for this large, empty field.’ The people in the group burst out laughing. They knew that they had just met Abba Gabra Hanna, the famous joker.”

    “For Ethiopian immigrants, Abba Gabra Hanna is the Ethiopian Hershele [a Hasidic joker in Ashkenazi folktales],” said Penina Tamanu-Shata, deputy chair of the Knesset and chair of the lobby for Ethiopians in Israel who came to Israel from Ethiopia when she was 3. “There’s a sense that Ethiopian culture is anemic, because our parents weren’t always literate, but the truth is that the literature of Ethiopian Jewry is developed — full of parables and complex and beautiful expressions. It’s simply a different kind of literature that is transmitted orally.”

    While Israeli culture is based on reading books aloud to children, Ethiopian culture is based on telling folktales in Amharic. Abba Gabra Hanna is the hero of many of them, as seen in the collection of Ethiopian folktales, “A Web of Stories,” published in Israel in 2000.

    As has happened many times in Israeli society when the collective has trampled on the unique character of immigrant communities, a large part of the cultural identity of Ethiopian Jewry has simply been erased. A 2013 study found that nearly half of Ethiopian households speak Hebrew only. The richness of Ethiopian folktales has thus been lost to them.

    Read more at al-monitor.com »

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    Ethiopia: Measuring Women’s Rights and Roles

    Konga, Ethiopia: Data on gender equality can highlight gaps and help monitor progress. (© Panos/A.)

    Insights Magazine

    By Sarah McMullan

    What inequalities do women face in Ethiopia?

    In rural Ethiopia, people say farming is a man’s job. In reality, women play a large role in agriculture from farm to table. Take a drive through the countryside, and you will see women planting, weeding, tending to gardens, and harvesting, among other farm activities. The markets are bustling with women selling produce and small livestock in addition to spices, honey, and shea butter.

    Why, given their many contributions to agriculture, are women so often marginalized? To help shed more light on gender inequalities, researchers from IFPRI’s gender team and Research for Ethiopia’s Agriculture Policy (REAP) Program are analyzing national data to compare differences between male- and female-headed agricultural households, reviewing the literature on gender gaps in agriculture, and offering training on collecting sex-disaggregated data. Moving forward, the team will shift from comparing male- and female-headed households to showing other indicators that can lead to deeper analysis and understanding of women’s role in agriculture.

    This work, says Seblewongel Deneke, director of the Gender Program at the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), will generate evidence to help design and implement agricultural policies and programs. “Gender equality,” she says, “is recognized as a critical development issue in Ethiopia.”

    Slow Progress

    Over the past two decades, the Ethiopian government has started to chip away at gender inequality. An overhaul to family law provided stronger rights for women in terms of land ownership, inheritance, and marriage. The government introduced a requirement that land certificates include the name and picture of both the husband and wife. According to Cheryl Doss of Yale University, who serves as the gender team leader of the IFPRI-led research program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets, “When men and women have secure property rights, they experience lower vulnerability and are better able to cope with shocks.”

    Girls’ access to education has also improved. In 2000, Ethiopian schools enrolled 71 girls for every 100 boys; by 2007, the number of girls enrolled for every 100 boys had risen to 87. A recent World Bank study found that when women have access to education, the entire household experiences better health, nutrition, and education.

    Read more »

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    Ethiopian Immigrant to UK Reveals How She Overcame ‘Hostility’ and Stigma

    (Image: flickr_lcars)

    Mancunian Matters

    By Heather McComb & April Curtin

    08 Sep 2014

    Jalene* is a young migrant from Ethiopia who, when offered a visitor visa to the UK, jumped at the chance to gain a good education in a Western country that would welcome her with open arms.

    Or so she thought.

    Four years on, Jalene has decided to reveal all to MM about her struggles, as she worked to achieve a dream and battle against the ultimate enemy: the British immigration system.

    Set with an ambition to better herself and achieve a higher education at Manchester University, it was this aim which proved to be the first of many obstacles that she faced.

    “Pursuing education was severely tough, the main reasons being that I have not been allowed to work and I’m not entitled to any state support except for a few months at the initial stage,” she told MM.

    “A partial tuition fee waiver scholarship from the University of Manchester and the incredible support by some charity organisations and friends let me survive and finish my study – I graduated a couple of days ago in a master’s degree.”

    In spite of her outstanding achievement, Jalene believes other people in her situation are not so lucky.

    “My experience shows that such cases [as hers] are extremely rare, principally due to severe challenges and barriers,” she said.

    However, Jalene also said that despite the challenges and stress, being in education helped her ‘to keep optimistic and positive’.

    Read more »

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    In Pictures: Only 10 Percent of Homes in Ethiopia Have Running Water (Aljazeera)

    While 52 percent of Ethiopia's people have access to improved water, only 10 percent have water piped into their homes. (Photo: Aljazeera)

    Aljazeera

    The World Health Organisation/Unicef Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) estimates that 51 percent of improved water access is piped onto premises in urban areas, but the situation on the ground in the crowded slums on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, the capital, looks different.

    Thirty years after Ethiopia’s devastating famine, water is still as inaccessible as it is precious. While 52 percent of the people have access to improved water, only 10 percent have water piped into their homes. And in rural areas, this figure is as low as 1 percent. Only 24 percent have adequate sanitation.

    The implications are extremely broad. In an agriculture-based country, water shortages largely affect not only the country’s economy, but also the basic life of people whose subsistence depends on each season’s crops. Often poor countries like Ethiopia, with high population growth, are the most vulnerable to water stress.

    Not to mention that on a continent currently affected by major diseases, controlling outbreaks is also a question of access to water and sanitation.

    There are a lot of factors contributing to the lack of access to water and sanitation, ranging from environmental degradation due to desertification and deforestation, natural disasters such as extreme drought and climate change resulting from global warming. Other factors include pollution, caused by massive congestions in urban areas. This has led to a vicious cycle: people are leaving rural areas due to poverty hoping to find better opportunities in the cities only to contribute to the depreciation of living conditions where they arrive by overpopulating the towns’ slums.

    The government has expanded its social service delivery programmes; NGOs projects are improving life in some communities, but it is a long process and on the larger scale, the infrastructure handling Ethiopia’s water supply is still inadequate and the need for improved water and sanitation is still severe.

    View the slideshow at Aljazeera.com »

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    Influx of African Immigrants Shifting National and New York Demographics

    In Concourse Village in the Bronx, Sylvester Donkor, left, and Ataa Serwaa, immigrants from Ghana, waiting for a cab to church. (Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times)

    The New York Times

    By SAM ROBERTS

    Threatened with arrest in 2009, Lamin F. Bojang fled Gambia after publicly contradicting its president’s claims that he could cure AIDS. Now 31, Mr. Bojang lives in Concourse Village in the Bronx with his wife and 2-year-old son and works as a receptionist at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn, while working toward a bachelor’s degree in political science at City College.

    With educational and professional opportunities in Gambia scarce for his generation, “the rest will have to find ways of leaving,” he said, “and African migrants here, just as previous migrants, are likely not going to return to their countries of origin.”

    Niat Amare, 28, graduated from law school in Ethiopia where she grew up, she recalled, “watching the media portray the U.S. as the land of opportunities.” She arrived here in 2010, lives in Harlem and said she felt welcome in New York. “Anyone would find one’s countryman here, which eases the strange feeling we all have the first time we leave home,” said Ms. Amare, a legal advocate for the African Services Committee, a nonprofit organization that assists new immigrants.

    Read more at NYT »

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    Ethiopia to Bid for 2017 African Cup

    (Getty Images)

    The Associated Press

    August 28, 2014

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Ethiopia will bid to host the 2017 African Cup of Nations after Libya pulled out citing security concerns, the president of the national football federation said, a tough task for a country with only basic sports infrastructure.

    There is government backing for the bid, Ethiopia football federation president Junedin Basha said.

    “We are both willing and able to host the games,” Junedin said, adding new facilities are being planned and built across the country. “We see no problem in hosting.”

    Ethiopia will lodge its bid with the Confederation of African Football by the end of the week, Junedin said.

    CAF is racing to find a new venue after Libya’s withdrawal and has given countries until the end of September to register bids. Countries normally have four years to prepare for the African Cup but the winning bid will have just over two to prepare for 2017.

    Ghana and Kenya have also shown interest in bidding.

    Read more »

    Related:
    Ethiopia, Kenya & Ghana Bid to Host 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (BBC News)

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    Uneven Coverage of Suppressed Ethiopian Journalists

    Serkalem Fasil accepts the 2012 PEN American's "Freedom to Write Award" for her husband Eskinder Nega, imprisoned Ethiopian writer, in New York, May 1, 2012. (AP Photo)

    VOA News

    By Marthe van der Wolf

    August 28, 2014

    ADDIS ABABA— This month, Ethiopian officials shut down five magazines — the latest in a series of shutdowns — but the move got little attention from outside the country. The East African country is well known for suppressing the media, but some cases seem to get celebrity status while others are ignored.

    Twelve Ethiopian journalists and publishers left the country in August after the magazines they worked for were forced by the government to shut down. International media gave little attention to the self-chosen exile of these media practitioners.

    In contrast, the cases of Eskinder Nega, Reeyot Alemu and more recently the Zone9 bloggers have been covered by outlets such as al-Jazeera and the BBC, as well as VOA.

    Tom Rhodes of the Committee to Protect Journalists, or CPJ, says it can be partly explained why some cases get more attention.

    “In the case of the Zone9 bloggers and Eskinder, they were quite well known in the diaspora, the Ethiopian diaspora, and had a lot of international contacts and backers. While other cases unfortunately are not so well known. I think of Solomon Kebede for example who is still waiting for trial,” he said.

    Forty-one human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and CPJ released a joint statement calling for the release of the Zone9 bloggers and journalists, who are charged with terrorism.

    Amaha Mekonnen, lawyer for the Zone9 bloggers and journalists, said there was a small chance the international attention would have an impact.

    “As we have the experience, there may be a chance to settle the matter out of court, in which case, this information, all deliberations and analysis the case of this bloggers and journalist may be used to speed up and finally get a successful results,” said Mekonnen.

    Both Eskinder Nega and Reeyot Alemu have been detained under Ethiopia’s controversial Anti-Terrorism Proclamation. Human rights group said the 2009 law was overly vague and allowed authorities to arrest anyone who criticized or opposed the government.

    Eskinder won the 2012 PEN American’s Freedom to Write Award while serving an 18-year prison sentence and Reeyot won the UNESCO World Press Freedom Award in 2013 while serving an ongoing five-year prison term.

    Reeyot is not allowed to see anyone else besides her parents, for 20 minutes a day.

    Her father Alemu Gobebo said the attention was good for the morale of his imprisoned daughter:

    “The international media is also encouraging the family of Reeyot, and Reeyot herself. The international media coverage disclosing her strength on freedom of speech or freedom of press, and by that way she was awarded, I think, international prizes. In that case we are very delighted,” he said.

    There was always a worry when giving exposure to a case, said Rhodes of CPJ. But he also believed that it was crucial to inform people about what was going on.

    “I think it both has a positive and a negative affect,” he said. “Positive in the sense that we let the international community know what’s going on and we’re letting the Ethiopian press know what’s going on. But it’s also negative in the sense that some authorities simply do not like criticism whether its local or international. And may react badly to it.”

    Ethiopia ranks 143 out of 180 countries on the most recent World Press Freedom index. A 2014 Human Rights Watch report says Ethiopia is one of the three top countries in the world in terms of the number of exiled journalists.

    The trial of the Zone 9 bloggers and journalists will resume October 15.

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    Ethiopia Considers Devaluing Currency

    A Commercial Bank of Ethiopia building in Addis Ababa. (Wikimedia commons)

    ENCA

    ETHIOPIA – Ethiopia says it’s considering the World Bank’s suggestion to devalue its currency, the Birr, but government says it want to minimise the impact on the wider economy.

    In July, the World Bank released its third economic report on Ethiopia and advised the country to devalue its currency.

    The global lender argues that Ethiopia’s Birr is overvalued and that the country would benefit from making the move, but it wouldn’t be the first time for Ethiopia.

    In 2010, the government devalued the Birr by ten percent – and by 20 percent the year after; all in line with the country’s Growth and Transformation Plan.

    But since then the Birr has strengthened in real terms, by more than 50 percent, currently standing at 19 to the US dollar.

    Read more and watch video »

    Related:
    Ethiopia should consider currency devaluation, says World Bank (Reuters)

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    Egypt, Sudan Agree to Six-Month Study of Ethiopia Hydropower Dam

    Labourers work at the Grand Renaissance dam in Guba Woreda, Ethiopia. (Photograph: Reuters)

    Bloomberg News

    By William Davison

    Aug 27, 2014

    Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan agreed to complete studies within six months on the impact of an Ethiopian hydropower dam on the main tributary of the Nile river after Egypt raised concern about water shortages.

    A committee of four experts from each nation will investigate the hydrological, social and environmental effects of the $4.2 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry said on its website today. International consultants will implement the findings, it said. Foreign experts will help settle any disputes. The dam is scheduled to be finished in 2017.

    Read more at Bloomberg News »

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    The Face2Face Africa Awards Gold Carpet Presentation (Video)

    At the 2014 Face2Face Africa Awards ceremony in New York on Saturday, July 26th. (Photograph: Tadias)

    Tadias Magazine
    News Update

    August 27th, 2014

    New York (TADIAS) – Below is a full video coverage of the FACE List Awards Gold Carpet presentation at the 2014 Face2Face Africa awards ceremony held in New York last month honoring six trailblazers from the African continent in business, fashion, entertainment, social innovation and democratic governance — including Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, Alek Wek, Femi Kuti, Dr Mohamed “Mo” Ibrahim, Masai Ujiri, and Dr. Boachie-Adjei.

    The pan-African achievement awards were given out on Saturday, July 26th at New York University’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.

    Below are photos from the event:



    Related:
    Face2Face Africa Honors Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, Alek Wek, Femi Kuti

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    Ethiopia, Kenya & Ghana Bid to Host 2017 Africa Cup of Nations

    (Getty Images)

    BBC News

    26 August 2014

    Ethiopia, Kenya and Ghana have announced their interest in bidding to host the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations following Libya’s withdrawal as the host nation.

    Libya pulled out last week because of ongoing fighting in the country that has delayed plans to build new stadiums for the 16-team tournament.

    Ethiopia, who hosted the tournament in 1962, 1968 and 1976, say they will submit their proposal immediately.

    Ethiopia Football Federation president Junedin Basha told BBC Sport: “We already have two ready venues, the Addis Ababa and the Bahir Dar stadiums, and the construction of the other venues has also reached to a good level.

    “Our government is ready and interested to do everything it can to bring the tournament back to Ethiopia.”

    Kenya said in a statement that they are also considering a joint bid with Tanzania or Uganda or Rwanda.

    Read more at BBC News »

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    African Water Ministers Meet to Discuss Studies of Ethiopian Dam – Bloomberg

    Labourers work at the Grand Renaissance dam in Guba Woreda, Ethiopia. (Photograph: Reuters)

    Bloomberg News

    By William Davison

    Aug 26, 2014

    Water ministers from Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan began discussing studies to determine what impact an Ethiopian hydropower dam being built on the main tributary of the Nile River will have on the two downstream countries.

    A panel of experts from the three nations may be formed at the meeting in Sudan to oversee investigations into the hydrological, social and environmental effects of the $4 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry said on its website yesterday, citing Water, Energy and Irrigation Minister Alemayehu Tegenu.

    Read more at Bloomberg News »

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    Slain Missouri Teen’s Funeral Draws Thousands

    Lesley McSpadden reacts at the casket of her son Michael Brown during the funeral services at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis, Missouri, Aug. 25, 2014. (Reuters)

    VOA News

    August 25, 2014

    Mourners sang, clapped and danced on Monday at funeral services for Michael Brown, remembering the slain black teenager with words of goodwill and joy rather than the violence and outrage that followed his killing by a white police officer.

    “The mood is festive inside the church as funeral goers celebrate the life of Michael Brown,” a VOA reporter at the scene said. “Brown’s parents said they feel blessed by the support of th ecommunity who have turned out at their son’s funeral. [There were] no demonstrations and calm prevails in Ferguson. ”

    Unarmed Brown, 18, was fatally shot by officer Darren Wilson in a confrontation on August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.

    Brown’s body lay at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in a black and gold casket, topped with the St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap he was wearing when he was killed on Aug. 9.

    Monday’s service was held under heavy police surveillance to guard against renewed violence. Ferguson has been mostly calm in recent days following nearly two weeks of unrest.

    A number of national civil rights leaders, politicians and celebrities attended the service at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis.

    Reverend Al Sharpton, who delivered the eulogy, said Michael Brown legacy should not be about rioting, but that he should be remembered as the one who made America face how policing is conducted in the United States.

    “This is about justice. This is about fairness,” Sharpton told the audience. “And America is going to have to come to terms, when there’s something wrong that we have money to give military equipment to police forces, but we don’t have money for training, and money for public education and money to train our children.”

    Sharpton said the movement for fair policing cannot be shortsighted.

    “We can’t have a fit, we’ve got to have a movement,” he said. “A fit you get mad and run out for a couple of nights. A movement means we’ve got to be here for the long haul. And turn our chance into change, our demonstration into legislation. We have got to stay on this, so we can stop this.”

    In addition to Sharpton, civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson was also on hand for the funeral.

    Three White House officials were also in attendance, including Broderick Johnson, head of the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force, and Marlon Marshall and Heather Foster from the White House Office of Public Engagement.

    Appeal for calm

    Before the funeral, Brown’s father, Michael Brown Sr., appealed for calm – asking for protests to stop during the service.

    “All I want is peace while my son is laid to rest. Please, please. I’d like a day of silence so we can lay our son to rest. Please. That’s all I ask. And, thank you,” Brown said.

    Despite a heavy police presence, many demonstrators who have kept steady vigils in Ferguson, where the August 9 incident occurred, honored that request.

    Brown, 18, was just days from starting college when he was fatally shot by officer Darren Wilson.

    Accounts of the incident differ. Police say Brown was the aggressor during a struggle with Wilson, but witnesses say the shooting was unprovoked and that Brown was trying to surrender.

    No goodbyes

    Before the funeral, as hundreds of people filed into the modern red-brick church on Dr. Martin Luther King Drive in St. Louis, Brown’s coffin was surrounded by photos of him as a child, graduating from school and smiling in his Cardinals cap.

    “There are no goodbyes for us, wherever you are you will always be in our hearts,” read a sign accompanying one of the photos.

    Gospel music filled the sanctuary as hundreds of people stood inside the church, many dancing, singing and clapping.

    Outside, gatherers sang the civil rights hymn “We Shall Overcome,” in a scene markedly different from the violent protests that rocked the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson after Brown was shot to death on Aug. 9.

    Among the hundreds of people waiting outside the church was Travis Jackson, a black, 25-year-old retail store employee who said he took the day off from work to pay his respects.

    “I had to be here. After all the emotions and pain of the past two weeks, this is an important moment for this community,” he said. “Today I am focused on peace for Michael Brown. Tomorrow I can think about justice,” he added.

    Protests, arrests

    More than 150 people have been arrested in Ferguson since the protests began – most of them for failing to disperse at the request of police.

    Many have complained that the police response to the protests has been heavy-handed, while the shooting itself has raised allegations of institutionalized racism and excessive use of force.

    The incident has highlighted the racial divide in the mostly black town of Ferguson, where almost all police and local politicians are white.

    A grand jury began hearing evidence on Wednesday, a process the county prosecutor said could take until mid-October.

    Chris Simkins contributed to this report from Ferguson, Missouri, some information for this report provided by Reuters.



    Related:
    A Funeral in Ferguson (Opinion – NYT)
    In the Wake of Ferguson, Obama Orders Review of U.S. Role in Arming Police (NYT)
    Timeline of a Tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri (MSNBC)
    Ferguson Sees First Signs of Normalcy Since Brown Shooting (MSNBC)
    Attorney General Eric Holder’s Stop in Ferguson is Deeply Personal
    ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ Punditry in Ferguson Shooting
    CPJ Condemns Ongoing Harassment, Arrests of Reporters in Ferguson
    What a Getty Photographer Captured Before He Was Arrested in Ferguson
    Ferguson on Edge: Protests Continue After National Guard Called (Video & Photos)
    How the rest of the world sees Ferguson (The Washington Post)

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    US Racial Tensions Story Ripples Abroad: Some Using Ferguson for Propaganda

    A crowd of protesters inside a Ferguson, Missouri church last week. (Getty Images)

    Voice of America

    By Cecily Hilleary

    The racial tensions story in Ferguson, Mo. is not only making international headlines. It’s being used by some foreign governments to spread an anti-American message.

    For countries whose rights records Washington has criticized, Ferguson offers an opportunity to even the score.

    Some governments and media are using some of the same language Washington has used against repressive police tactics in their countries.

    Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday it was closely monitoring events in Ferguson and called for “restraint and respect for the right of assembly and peaceful expression of opinion.”

    “USA used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse a protest in Ferguson,” Alexei Pushkov, head of Russia’s State Duma Committee for International Affairs, tweeted August 15. “Is it not a sign of dictatorship and excessive use of force?”

    “It is regrettable that countries which claim to [defend] human rights are pursuing such [racist] approaches,” Iran’s Press TV quoted Iranian deputy foreign minister Majid Takht-e-Ravanchi as saying.

    Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also weighed in on Twitter: “Today the world is a world of tyranny and lies. The flag of #HumanRights is borne by enemies of human rights w/US leading them! #Ferguson.”

    China’s Xinhua news agency suggests it is time for America to stop focusing on “human rights flaws” in other countries and clean its own house.

    “In its annual human rights report issued in February, the United States assaulted almost 200 countries across the world for their so-called poor human rights records,” Xinhua said this week.

    “However, the U.S. human rights flaws extend far beyond racial issues….What’s more, Uncle Sam has witnessed numerous shooting sprees on its own land and launched incessant drone attacks on foreign soil, resulting in heavy civilian casualties,” the news service said.

    Europe weighs in

    In countries where a more free press flourishes, Ferguson has served as a lens for viewing America’s complex social and economic tapestry.

    In Europe, the media coverage has drawn questions about America’s racial divide.

    “How can this be happening in an America that has elected a black president?” asks Tim Stanley, a British historian of the United States, in the Telegraph, who concludes that change isn’t likely to come from the White House, but at the street level.

    France’s Le Monde calls Ferguson “a cruel metaphor for contemporary America, its tensions, its fractures and its old demons.”

    Some coverage has focused on the militarization of U.S. police.

    “…the police response to a series of protests over his [Michal Brown’s] death has been something more akin to the deployment of an army in a miniature war zone,” U.K.’s Guardian newspaper comments.

    In a lengthy and scathing account of his arrest by Ferguson police, Die Welt reporter Ansgar Graw says he has covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam and elsewhere.

    “To be captured by police, yelled at and be treated rudely by police and to see the inside of a prison, I had to travel to Missouri in the United States of America,” he writes.

    Among U.S. allies worldwide, there are critics.

    “Australians tend to think the United States is too heavily armed, and that shootings of all kinds are symptomatic of the power and availability of heavy weaponry,” said David Smith, lecturer in American politics and foreign Policy at the University of Sydney.

    He said that Australians believe that the U.S. criminal justice system discriminates against African Americans “at all levels.”

    That said, Smith admits that Australia has struggled with its own racial divide.

    “Like the United States, Australia has a problem with black deaths in custody, which has also caused race riots in relatively recent times. Around the world, white people everywhere deplore racism in the United States, but unfortunately I think this helps us turn a blind eye to our own structures of white supremacy,” Smith said.

    Still, for some Americans – and the Obama administration – international criticism is a bitter pill to swallow.

    The State Department Tuesday rejected Egypt’s criticism, as well as comparison of Ferguson to situations in Egypt, China or Zimbabwe.

    “People are free to say whatever they want. That’s something we believe in very deeply here, is freedom of expression,” Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters at Tuesday’s daily press briefing.

    “We here in the United States will put our record for confronting our problems transparently and openly and honestly up against anyone else’s in the world…” she said, “and we would call on other countries to do the same.”

    For others, like Michele Dunne of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Ferguson gives the U.S. an opportunity to demonstrate America’s ability to self-correct.

    “Every country has human rights abuses,” Dunne tweeted to VOA Tuesday, “[especially] police brutality. Question is whether there is [accountability] & redress.”



    Related:
    A Funeral in Ferguson (Opinion)
    In the Wake of Ferguson, Obama Orders Review of U.S. Role in Arming Police (NYT)
    Timeline of a Tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri (MSNBC)
    Ferguson Sees First Signs of Normalcy Since Brown Shooting (MSNBC)
    Attorney General Eric Holder’s Stop in Ferguson is Deeply Personal
    ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ Punditry in Ferguson Shooting
    CPJ Condemns Ongoing Harassment, Arrests of Reporters in Ferguson
    What a Getty Photographer Captured Before He Was Arrested in Ferguson
    Ferguson on Edge: Protests Continue After National Guard Called (Video & Photos)
    How the rest of the world sees Ferguson (The Washington Post)

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    ‘Made in China’ Now Being Made in Africa

    The cost of labor in China is going up, so Chinese manufacturers are moving to Africa, and they’re playing all the angles. (Photo: Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters)

    The Daily Beast

    By Brendon Hong

    HONG KONG — Sun Qiaoming is a trader from Jiangsu. He operates his import-export business on the Eastern coast of China, where there is plenty of space for a man with his drive and skills to prosper. Already fairly successful, he recently set his sights beyond his country’s borders. “There’s been much talk about the Chinese Dream in the past few years, but I have an African Dream.” he said. “African gold will fill my next bucket of gold.”

    He wasn’t referring to the natural resources that President Obama recently hinted as the reason for China’s presence on the African continent. After all, Sun is a private entrepreneur, and receives no direct support from the government in his business endeavors. His “gold” is the labor in Africa—cheap, trainable, abundant, and ready to work. They may not have the decades of know-how that the Chinese developed during their meteoric rise in global production, but Sun is confident that with time and proper training, they will be able to match the efficiency and productivity of workers in China…

    In the early 2000s, an acquaintance told Sun about the possibility of doing business in Ethiopia. At the time, Ethiopians still relied on imports from Western Europe for many commodities, most of which were costlier than goods produced in China. As a test, Sun shipped over a container stuffed with apparel made in his home province. After it reached Ethiopia, the contents were distributed and sold out in under two weeks. That marked the beginning of a fruitful long-term relationship with his Ethiopian clients. By utilizing those existing connections, and partnering with another entrepreneur from his hometown, he is in the final stages of planning for a new textile factory near Addis Ababa, joining other Chinese industrialists who have made the move.

    Read the full article at The Daily Beast »

    Related:
    Obama suggests US is better partner than China to African leaders (The Guardian)
    Embracing Development and Security Means Embracing Free Expression (By Birtukan Mideksa)
    Media Panel Shares Recommendations at Capitol Hill During US-Africa Leaders Summit
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    Ambassador David Shinn on the 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

    Video: President Obama Post U.S.-Africa Summit Press Conference

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    Pictures of the Week: Ethiopia’s Little-known Churches

    (Photo: BBC travel slideshow)

    BBC

    By Audrey Scott and Daniel Noll

    With their sheer cliffs, surreal rock formations and vertical spires, northern Ethiopia’s Gheralta Mountains recall stretches of the southwestern United States’ red desert landscape. The primary difference: perched high and tucked away into these mountain cliffs are some of the country’s least visited rock-hewn Ethiopian Orthodox cave churches, some of which are more than 1,000 years old.

    The Gheralta cluster, located in Tigray Province, includes more than 30 structures. Although local legend claims that these churches date to between the 4th and 6th Centuries, historians believe that they were more likely built from the 9th to 12th Centuries. That, and its location, makes the Gheralta cluster the geographic and artistic midpoint between the early Ethiopian Orthodox centres of Aksum, built from the 4th to 10th Centuries in the north, and Lalibela, from the 12th to 13th Centuries, further south. (Daniel Noll)

    Read more and see the slideshow at BBC.com »

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    Timeline of a Tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri

    Ferguson, Missouri resident John West (L) hands a rose to a police officer. (Getty Images)

    MSNBC

    THE ED SHOW

    Ferguson gained the attention of the entire nation over the past two weeks, following the death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown.

    Watch: Ed Schultz helps to recap the past events (MSNBC Video)


    Related:
    Ferguson Sees First Signs of Normalcy Since Brown Shooting (MSNBC)
    Attorney General Eric Holder’s Stop in Ferguson is Deeply Personal
    ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ Punditry in Ferguson Shooting
    CPJ Condemns Ongoing Harassment, Arrests of Reporters in Ferguson
    What a Getty Photographer Captured Before He Was Arrested in Ferguson
    Ferguson on Edge: Protests Continue After National Guard Called (Video & Photos)
    How the rest of the world sees Ferguson (The Washington Post)

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    New Charges Against Ethiopian Publications Further Diminish Critical Voices – CPJ

    Addis Guday magazine is among the publications charged. (Addis Guday)

    CPJ

    By Tom Rhodes

    Five independent magazines and a weekly newspaper have been charged by Ethiopia’s Justice Ministry, a move that may add to the long lists of shuttered publications and Ethiopian journalists in exile. In a press release issued August 4, the ministry accused the journals of publishing false information, inciting violence, and undermining public confidence in the government, news reports said.

    The ministry said it pressed charges after running out of patience with the publications for “encouraging radicalism and terrorism.” The state broadcaster aired the ministry’s announcement, but none of the publications received the charge sheet, local journalists told me. The six independent publications are Afro Times, a weekly newspaper, and magazines Addis Guday, Enku, Fact, Jano, and Lomi. All are popular alternatives to the state-run press, which espouses an increasingly positive narrative. Local journalists and news reports said the charges could be a way for the ruling party to silence critics ahead of elections expected in May 2015.

    Repeated calls to the Justice Ministry and a government spokesman went unanswered.

    Read more at CPJ.org »

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    Ethiopia’s Impressive Economic Growth

    Ethiopia has made great strides to become one of Africa's fastest growing economies and continues to record impressive economic growth. (CNBC Africa)

    CNBC Africa

    By: Elayne Wangalwa

    The country which is sub-Saharan Africa’s fifth biggest economy is at the focal point of emerging economies’ interest with various delegations of foreign investors seeking investment opportunities in the largest landlocked country in the continent.

    “If you look at it [Ethiopia] from an economic stand point, I think Ethiopia is one of the countries that has become the quint essential embodiment of the Africa rising narrative,” Julians Amboko, research analyst at Stratlink Africa from CNBC Africa.

    The country’s economic growth is principally attributed to intense government projects aimed at achieving its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as the country aims at becoming a middle income status by 2025.

    Read more at cnbcafrica.com »

    Video: Investment opportunities in Ethiopia


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    Ethiopia Coffee Export Earnings May Rise 25% on World Supply – Bloomberg News

    The Ethiopian Commodity Exchange. (Credit: John Humphrey)

    Bloomberg

    By William Davison

    Aug 21, 2014

    Ethiopia’s arabica coffee export earnings are forecast to climb 25 percent to about $900 million in 2014-15 because of higher prices after a drought damaged plants in the biggest grower of the bean, Brazil, an industry group said.

    Arabica prices on the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange could average $2 a pound if supplies of the crop in the world market are tight, Ethiopian Coffee Exporters’ Association General Manager Alemseged Assefa said in the capital, Addis Ababa. Ethiopia is Africa’s biggest producer of the crop and the origin of the arabica plant.

    “Prices are favorable this year because of the Brazilian coffee drought,” Alemseged said in an interview on Aug. 18. “We presume that price will continue because of the drought.”

    Arabica has surged 71 percent in New York since January after a drought hurt plantings in Brazil, the world’s biggest exporter of the beans, fueling speculation that consumption may outstrip supply. The Brazilian woes come as plantings in Central America, Mexico and Peru struggle to recover from a crop disease called leaf rust that has cut yields across the region over the past two years.

    Arabica coffee for December delivery rose 1.5 percent to $1.89 a pound on the ICE Futures U.S. yesterday, tumbling 12 percent from a two-year high in April.

    Read more »

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    Detained Ethiopian Journalists and Bloggers Denied Bail – Reporters Without Borders

    The three journalists are Tesfalem Waldyes, Edom Kasaye and Asmamaw Hailegiorgis, and the six bloggers – all members of the Zone 9 collective – Atnaf, Mahlet, Befekadu, Abel, Natnail and Zelalem.

    Reporters sans Frontières (Paris)

    21 AUGUST 2014

    Three journalists and six bloggers who have been held for the past five months were denied bail by a federal court in Addis Ababa yesterday after the prosecution argued that article 3 of the 2009 anti-terrorism law, under which they are detained, precludes release on bail.

    The defence said article 3’s bail prohibition does not apply because none of them has been individually charged with a specific crime under the anti-terrorism law. The defence also argued that article 3 violates the constitutional guarantee of the right to release on bail.

    The three journalists are Tesfalem Waldyes, Edom Kasaye and Asmamaw Hailegiorgis, and the six bloggers – all members of the Zone 9 collective – are Atnaf Berhane, Mahlet Fantahun, Befekadu Hailu, Abel Wabella, Natnail Feleke and Zelalem Kibret. One of the collective’s co-founders, Soliyana Shimelis, is being prosecuted in absentia.

    “The Ethiopian government is clearly trying to gag the media,” said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire. “These three journalists and nine bloggers have been held for nearly five months without being given the least guarantee of due process. The prosecution still has not said what precisely they are supposed to have done to justify the charges. We call for their immediate release because they have no place being in prison.”

    The prosecution accused them on 17 July of “organizing themselves into covert sub-groups to overthrow the government by contacting and receiving finance and training from two designated terrorist groups” – the US-based opposition group Ginbot 7 and the separatist Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). They are facing up to 15 years in prison under the anti-terrorism law.

    Restrictions on freedom of information have grown in recent months in Ethiopia, where at least six journalists are currently detained in connection with their work. A state broadcaster fired 20 employees because of their political views on 25 June, and the justice ministry announced on 5 August that it intended to bring criminal charges against six news publications for “encouraging terrorism and endangering national security.”

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

    Related:
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    41 Organizations Call for Release of Detained Ethiopian Journalists and Bloggers
    As Ethiopia’s ‘Zone 9′ Bloggers Get Popular, They Get Charged With Terror
    Zone 9 Bloggers Charged With Terrorism
    Interview With the Lawyer of Illegally Detained Zone9 Bloggers
    CPJ condemns closed court hearings for nine Ethiopian journalists
    Zone9 Co-Founder Speaks Out (Video)

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    There’s a Brother Fighting in Gaza and a Sister Waiting in Ethiopia – Jerusalem Post

    Aregawi Tesfa’s battle to reunite his family, which has been torn between Ethiopia and Israel for over 10 years, is far from ending. (Photo courtesy Uri Perednik)

    The Jerusalem Post

    By URI PEREDNIK

    During Operation Protective Edge, Aregawi Tesfa was not sure he would live to see the day after the war.

    Tesfa fought on the front line in the most dangerous parts of the Gaza Strip, captured Hamas fighters and unfortunately also carried the bodies of young Israeli soldiers killed in the fighting.

    But through it all, he knew that if he survived, his own battle was still far from over.

    “All through the war I didn’t forget for one minute that when I’m done fighting Hamas, I will have to get back to the struggle to bring my sister to Israel.”

    Tesfa’s battle to reunite his family, which has been torn between Ethiopia and Israel for over 10 years, is far from ending. A few days before the war, Tesfa presented his story to the Knesset internal affairs committee. The MKs of the committee were shocked to hear that all of Tesfa’s family lives in Israel while his sister was left behind.

    Even though Tesfa’s sister received approval to make aliya from the previous interior minister, MK Eli Yishai, a senior ministry clerk named Mazal Cohen, together with the Immigrant Absorption Ministry, prohibited Tesfa’s sister from doing so.

    Read more »

    Related:
    From an Ethiopian village to Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv

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    Electronic Frontier to Ethiopia: Illegal Wiretapping Is Illegal, Even for Governments

    (Image credit: CDN)

    EFF | BY NATE CARDOZO

    EFF to Ethiopia: Illegal Wiretapping Is Illegal, Even for Governments

    Earlier this week, EFF told the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that Ethiopia must be held accountable for its illegal wiretapping of an American citizen. Foreign governments simply do not have a get-out-of-court-free card when they commit serious felonies in America against Americans. This case is the centerpiece of our U.S. legal efforts to combat state sponsored malware.

    In February 2014, EFF filed suit against the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia on behalf of our client, Mr. Kidane, an Ethiopian by birth who has been a U.S. citizen over a decade. Mr. Kidane discovered traces of Gamma International’s FinSpy, a sophisticated spyware product which its maker claims is sold exclusively to governments and law enforcement, on his laptop at his home in suburban Maryland. A forensic examination of his computer showed that the Ethiopian government had been recording Mr. Kidane’s Skype calls, as well as monitoring his web and email usage. The monitoring, which violates both the federal Wiretap Act and Maryland state law, was accomplished using spyware that captured his activities and then reported them back to a command and control server in Ethiopia controlled by the government. The infection was active from October 2012, through March 2013, and was stopped just days after researchers at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab released a report exposing Ethiopia’s use of FinSpy. The report specifically referenced the very IP address of the Ethiopian government server responsible for the command and control of the spyware on Mr. Kidane’s laptop.

    The Ethiopian government responded to the suit with the troubling claim that it—and every other foreign government—should be completely immune from suit for wiretapping American citizens on American soil. Ethiopia’s filing rests on several logic-challenged premises. Ethiopia claims that the recording of Mr. Kidane’s Skype calls and Internet activity at his home in Maryland actually took place in Ethiopia, and is therefore beyond the reach of any U.S. court. Worse still, Ethiopia claims that it had the “discretion” to violate U.S. law, reducing the Wiretap Act to something more like a traffic violation than a serious felony. Interestingly, Ethiopia does not actually deny that it wiretapped Mr. Kidane.

    Read more »

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    Ethiopia Seeks to Brand, Trademark Signature Coffee

    Ethiopia, Africa's largest coffee grower, is set to continue talks with global buyers in hopes of branding and trademarking its world-renowned coffee and boosting national revenue. (World Bulletin)

    World Bulletin News

    20 August 2014

    “The objective of the negotiations is to prevent illegal coffee trade, unfair price fixing and profiteering involving Ethiopian coffee brands in the world market,” Teshome Sileshi of Ethiopia’s Intellectual Property Office told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.

    He said 15 million Ethiopians directly or indirectly involved in coffee production receive less than 10 percent of the retail price from coffee sales while the rest goes to international middle men and distributors.

    “So far, 34 countries have recognized and registered brands and trademarks for globally popular and on-demand varieties… grown in south and eastern Ethiopia,” he said.

    “Twenty-seven of the stated countries are members of the European Union, while the rest include India, Japan, Canada, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, China and South Africa,” he added.

    According to Sileshi, applications have been submitted to Australia and Brazil to brand and trademark Ethiopian coffee products, but, he said, “They haven’t responded yet.”

    “The negotiation will continue drawing experiences from two consultant companies: Light Years IP and Arnold & Porter LLP,” Sileshi said.

    Read more »

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    ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ Punditry in Ferguson Shooting

    The self-righteous pundits in the blogosphere are at it again embellishing the truth of a tragic situation in Ferguson, Missouri with misleading and irrelevant information, as Talking Points Memo reports. (AP photo)

    TPM

    By DYLAN SCOTT

    Far Right Says Michael Brown’s Raps Show He Was ‘A Criminal And A Thug’

    Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was shot on Aug. 9 by a Ferguson, Mo., police officer, was an aspiring hip-hop artist. The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday on Brown’s SoundCloud page, a collection of amateur rap songs that Brown had posted before his death.

    They contained much of the imagery and language common to so-called gangster rap. Pictures of Brown flashing alleged gang signs have also circulated in the conservative blogosphere.

    FrontPage magazine, the online home of David Horowitz, whose self-described mission is to battle the radical left, labeled Brown “a criminal and a thug” in its summary of his character, which featured the rap lyrics.

    “The fact that Brown liked performing thug music obviously doesn’t by itself make him a thug, but it does provide insight into his state of mind,” the site said. “The same can be said for the photographs that have surfaced of Brown posing like a tough guy, making gestures with his hands that some say are gang signs.”

    FrontPage magazine, and others, connected Brown’s rap lyrics with the police report released Friday that said he was the “primary suspect” in a convenience store robbery that occurred minutes before he was shot. That report’s release, which was reportedly opposed by the Justice Department, has been criticized by Brown’s family and public officials as an attempt to paint a negative public image of Brown.

    Read more »



    Related:
    CPJ Condemns Ongoing Harassment, Arrests of Reporters in Ferguson
    What a Getty Photographer Captured Before He Was Arrested in Ferguson
    Ferguson on Edge: Protests Continue After National Guard Called (Video & Photos)
    How the rest of the world sees Ferguson (The Washington Post)

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    CPJ Condemns Ongoing Harassment, Arrests of Reporters in Ferguson, Missouri

    Getty Images photographer Scott Olson, who has been documenting the Ferguson, Mo., unrest since 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot by a police officer, was arrested Monday. Olson has since been released. (Getty Images)

    CPJ

    Press Release

    New York –The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the continued harassment and detentions of journalists covering the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, sparked by the police killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. At least 11 journalists have been detained and released without charge since Saturday, two of them on Wednesday, according to CNN. Some journalists reported being threatened by the police and hit with rubber bullets and tear gas, while other reporters have said they were intimidated by local residents, according to news reports.

    “Ferguson is an international story and journalists are going to cover it. They have a right to do so without fearing for their safety or liberty,” said CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney. “The harassment and detention of reporters must stop. From senior commanders on down, the word must go out to security forces to let journalists do their job.”

    Read more at CPJ.org »

    Video: Rachel Maddow – the flight ban over Ferguson prevents needed perspective (MSNBC)


    Related:
    What a Getty Photographer Captured Before He Was Arrested in Ferguson
    Ferguson on Edge: Protests Continue After National Guard Called (Video & Photos)
    How the rest of the world sees Ferguson (The Washington Post)

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    U.N. Says Ethiopia Hosts More Refugees Than Any African Country

    A woman and her children displaced by fighting in South Sudan sit outside her tent at the Kule camp for Internally Displaced People at the Pagak border crossing in Gambella, Ethiopia, July 10, 2014. (AFP)

    VOA News

    By Lisa Schlein

    August 19, 2014

    GENEVA, SWITZERLAND— The U.N. refugee agency reports Ethiopia now hosts more refugees than any other country in Africa, supplanting its neighbor, Kenya. The UNHCR says the main factor is the huge influx of refugees from conflict-ridden South Sudan.

    UNHCR reports by the end of July, Ethiopia was sheltering almost 630,000 registered refugees, including nearly one-quarter of a million refugees from South Sudan. The agency says most of them, nearly 190,000, have fled into Ethiopia since war erupted in their country in mid-December.

    Besides the South Sudanese, the UNHCR reports Ethiopia also is hosting 245,000 Somalis and nearly 100,000 Eritreans.

    Kenya, in comparison, is hosting about 575,000 registered refugees, the majority of them Somalis.

    Spokesman Adrian Edwards said the UNHCR, partner agencies and the Ethiopian government were providing protection and humanitarian aid at 23 refugee camps and five transit sites across Ethiopia.

    He said camps were overcrowded due to the ongoing influx of refugees — about 25,000 new arrivals each month. He noted three camps opened early this year have reached their limit, so two new camps were being established.

    Edwards said bad weather has complicated the situation for 18,000 refugees who are living in three temporary sites in the western region of Gambella.

    “In recent weeks, heavy rain has, however, flooded three of the low-lying sites in this areas as well as Leitchuor Camp, where the situation is most serious. Some 10,000 refugees, about one-fifth of Leitchuor’s population of 47,500 have been hit by flooding. Many tents and shelters are under water and latrines have collapsed,” he said.

    Edwards said the flooding was causing health concerns. He said the heavy rains were threatening to undermine gains made in preventing the outbreak of waterborne diseases.

    “Much of the refugee population arriving in neighboring countries has been children throughout this crisis. They have particular vulnerabilities. We have stepped up measures to contain Hepatitis E among South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia. The disease has spread across South Sudan over the last two years and it has now appeared in the border camps in Ethiopia,” he said.

    Edwards said since April, 12 refugees have died from Hepatitis E, a viral disease that causes liver failure and is spread by fecal contamination of water supplies or food.

    The UNHCR was working with the Ethiopian government, WHO and other partners to try to contain the disease, Edwards said. Improvement to sanitation in the camps is also in the works after latrines were flooded he said, adding that this was adding to the increased risk of water-borne disease outbreaks.

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    How the Rest of the World Sees Ferguson

    Tear gas and smoke wafts around the site of a protest of the death of an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, on Aug. 17, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. (Getty Images)

    The Washington Post

    By Adam Taylor and Rick Noack

    August 18th, 2014

    In many ways, the chaotic situation in Ferguson, Mo., seems like something that shouldn’t happen in America. As WorldViews has noted, many of the hallmarks of the conflict are reminiscent of scenes from the Arab Spring and the Ukraine crisis – our former colleague Max Fisher has even wondered how American journalists would cover Ferguson, if only it weren’t happening “here.”

    There are plenty of foreign journalists reporting on Ferguson, however, and for them, Ferguson is international news. Their coverage of the shooting of Michael Brown and the subsequent unrest can offer a refreshing viewpoint on America’s many problems. They can also reveal a lot about how such disturbances are viewed at home.

    For most Americans, the most familiar foreign news outlets covering Ferguson will probably be the British ones: Not only is there a shared language, but some British outlets, most obviously the Guardian but also the BBC and the Daily Mail, have made big pushes into the U.S. news market. Notably, some publications are treating the conflict as they might a war zone — the Telegraph has sent its Afghanistan correspondent, Rob Crilly, to cover the protests, for example (he was arrested while reporting this weekend).

    Read more at The Washington Post »



    Related:
    National Guard Enters Ferguson Streets as Protests Turn Tense (LA Times)
    Autopsy Shows Michael Brown Was Struck at Least 6 Times (NYT)

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    UNICEF Report: Africa’s Population Could Hit 4 Billion By 2100

    Seun Dupe sits with her newborn twins in a maternity hospital in Lagos, Nigeria. Nigeria is Africa's most populous country with more than 160 million people. It's estimated that number will be 1 billion by 2100.

    NPR

    By NPR STAFF

    “The future of humanity is increasingly African.”

    That’s the prediction in a new UNICEF report, which estimates that by the end of this century, 40 percent of the world’s people will be African — up from 15 percent now. The continent’s population currently sits at roughly 1.2 billion but will soar to more than 4 billion by 2100. Nearly 1 billion will live in Nigeria alone.

    In a report released Wednesday, UNICEF projected the growth of Africa’s child population within the next century. And the numbers are staggering.

    An estimated 1.8 billion births will take place in Africa in the next 35 years, the authors predict. By 2050, Africa will have almost 1 billion children under 18, making up nearly 40 percent of kids worldwide.

    Lead author David Anthony tells NPR’s Melissa Block on All Things Considered that even the researchers were surprised by the findings. “[We] knew that the world’s population was swinging toward Africa,” he says. “But there have been new estimates released by the U.N. population division … that shows an even stronger swing than we have anticipated.”

    Fertility rates have fallen in Africa but remain high compared with the rest of the world. Meanwhile, the number of women of reproductive age has grown enormously and is set to more than double in the next 35 years.

    Read more at NPR »

    Listen to the story on NPR’s All Things Considered


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    UPDATE: All Four Ethiopian Athletes Planned to Seek Asylum, Police Report Says

    (Photo: Clockwise from top left: The four athletes are Amanuel Abebe Atibeha, 17; Meaza Kebede, 18; Zeyituna Mohammed, 18. Dureti Edao, 18; (Oregon Live)

    The Register-Guard

    By Josephine Woolington

    AUG. 17, 2014

    One of four Ethiopian athletes who went missing after an international track meet last month in Eugene told a University of Oregon police officer that all the athletes plan to seek asylum in the United States, according to a newly released UO police report.

    Amanuel Abebe, 17, told the officer that he and the three other athletes — Dureti Edao, Meaza Kebede, Zeyituna Mohammed, all 18 — planned to start the asylum application process at a U.S. immigration service office in Portland on July 28, three days after the runners were reported missing, according to the police report, which was supplemental to the main police report. It was released to The Register-Guard on Friday after University of Oregon police reviewed the information.

    When the UO officer told Amanuel that their case was getting lots of media coverage, the runner said that the athletes would go to the immigration office first thing the next morning. However, when the police officer checked in with several federal agencies on July 28 to see if the athletes had inquired about the asylum process, none said they did.

    A spokeswoman with the U.S. Citizen and Immigrations Services said the agency does not release the names of individuals applying for any immigration services, including asylum, due to federal privacy law.

    The four athletes went missing after last month’s World Junior Champion­ships at Hayward Field — the first time the meet was held in the United States. All four athletes were found safe with acquaintances in Beaverton and Washington.

    Read More »

    Related:
    Police Confirm Athletes Defected
    Two of the Runners Signed Contracts With Nike and Adidas Hours Before Disappearing
    Last of Four Missing Ethiopian Athletes Found Safe in Washington State
    Four Ethiopian athletes missing from World Junior championships (Oregon Daily Emerald)
    Ethiopians Sweep Gold-Silver in 5000m World Junior Championships in Oregon (IAAF)

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    Take a Hike Across Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains

    The Simien Mountains: Once you've been up on the Roof of Africa in the Ethiopian Highlands, you won't want to come down. (Alamy)

    The Wall Street Journal

    By JEMIMA SISSONS

    Updated Aug. 14, 2014

    HAULING MYSELF UP a stony path, the air thins with every breath. Ribbons of mist weave past me and a vulture circles overhead. Just when I think my legs can’t take it anymore, I reach the top.

    My guide, Mulat Gezahegn, warns me not to step any closer to the edge. Totally ignoring him, I bound forth out of blind curiosity. It is the most terrifying sensation I have experienced—and one of the most rewarding. I look over the edge of a precipice. All around me similar hills rise like turrets in the valley below, with sheer drops for sides, and it is hard to take in the scale. With these majestic cathedrals of rock—and not another soul as far as the eye can see—it’s obvious why they call this the Roof of Africa.

    I spent my first few days in Ethiopia exploring the capital, Addis Ababa, then caught a flight to Gondar in the north, where I met Mulat and our driver, Melsie Nuru, and started preparing for our four-day, 50-kilometer trek across the Simien Mountains.

    Read more at online.wsj.com »

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    No Ebola Detected in Ethiopia: Spokesman

    A doctor displays collected samples of the Ebola virus at the Centre for Disease Control in Entebbe, about 37km (23 miles) southwest of Uganda's capital. (Photo: Reuters)

    Turkish Press

    By Abebech Tamene

    ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia has denied reports of the spread of Ebola in the country, saying steps were being taken to raise awareness about the deadly virus.

    “So far no Ebola case was reported in Ethiopia,” Abel Yeshaneh, spokesperson for the Ethiopian Public Health Institute, told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.

    Yeshaneh said the Ethiopian authorities had adopted measures aimed at enhancing their ability to detect Ebola infections, adding that health workers were being trained to combat a possible outbreak.

    “So far 300 health workers drawn from different health institutions in Addis Ababa have already received training and they will in turn give training to others,” Yeshaneh said.

    According to the spokesperson, the training focuses on the causes and symptoms of Ebola, along with methods of prevention.

    “Health professionals working in different health facilities in regional states will arrive here next week to undergo similar training,” he said.

    He added that a special committee had already set guidelines aimed at preventing a possible outbreak of the virus.

    Ebola, a contagious disease for which there is no known treatment or cure, has claimed more than 1000 lives across West African states including Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria.

    Read more at Turkish Press »

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    Seattle’s Drowning Victims ID’d as College Students Abenezer Getachew & Euel Desta

    Abenezer Getachew and Euel Desta. (Photos: Komo 4 News Seattle)

    Komo 4 News

    By Lindsay Cohen

    SEATTLE — Authorities have identified the two men who drowned in Seattle’s Green Lake as 23-year old Abenezer Getachew of Snohomish County and 21-year old Euel Desta of Shoreline. Both men were students at Shoreline Community College, according to a spokesman there.

    Desta was studying engineering and loved sports, friends said Monday. He moved from Ethiopia to the United States as a child to live with his grandmother, who “wanted to give him a better life.”

    “It was just devastating. It was just heartbreaking to hear her (react to the news),” said Amina Shah, who has known Desta for about eight years. “”Even though I couldn’t understand her, I knew that there was pain her voice. It just broke my heart.”

    Desta and Getachew were playing soccer with friends at Green Lake Thursday night when they decided to go for a swim, police said. The men were last seen chasing after a ball on the east side of the lake before struggling to stay afloat and disappearing under the surface.

    Read more »

    Video: Seattle Green Lake drowning victims ID’d as local college students


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    Kenenisa Bekele to Run Chicago Marathon

    Kenenisa Bekele wins his 11th - and last - senior world cross-country title in 2008. (Getty Images)

    Chicago Tribune

    By Philip Hersh

    Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, the greatest track distance runner of the 21st Century, will compete compete in this year’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon, race officials announced Tuesday.

    It will be Bekele’s second marathon. He won April’s Paris Marathon in 2 hours, 5 minutes, 4 seconds, fastest debut for a runner older than 30. Bekele, 32, was bothered by hamstring cramps near the finish.

    “After my win in Paris, I understand the marathon distance a lot better, and I will bring that experience to Chicago,” Bekele said in a statement. “I know Chicago has a very fast course and, therefore, my goal is to break the course record of 2:03:45. After that, everything is possible.”

    The Chicago Marathon never has had a runner with a track record as distinguished as Bekele’s.

    He holds the world records at 5,000 and 10,000 meters. He won both those events at the 2008 Olympics after having won gold in the 10,000 and silver in the 5,000 at the 2004 Olympics. He won four straight world titles at 10,000 meters from 2003 through 2009, adding the 5,000 title in 2009. He also won both the long and short world cross-country titles five straight times from 2002 through 2006.

    Read more at Chicago Tribune »

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    The Andargachew Tsige Saga: Assurance Urged for Detained Briton

    Andargachew Tsige (center) is pictured above during a Congressional hearing on Ethiopia in 2006 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Flickr)

    Daily Mail

    By PRESS ASSOCIATION

    The Ethiopian government has been pressed to provide guarantees that a British national facing the death penalty will not be executed.

    Political activist Andargachew Tsige has been detained in Ethiopia for six weeks following his removal from Yemen and denied consular access from British officials, the Foreign Office said.

    He is secretary general of the banned Ginbot 7 movement, with reports stating he was sentenced to death in his absence in 2009 for plotting a coup – charges he and others denied.

    Demeke Atnafu, charge d’affaires at the Ethiopian embassy in the UK, was summoned to the Foreign Office to meet Africa Minister Mark Simmonds.

    In a statement, the Foreign Office said: “Mr Simmonds expressed deep concern that the Ethiopian authorities had not allowed consular access to Mr Andargachew Tsige, a British national who has now been detained in Ethiopia for six weeks after being removed from Yemen.

    “Mr Simmonds asked the charge to urge his government to deliver on previous commitments to provide consular access without further delay and to provide assurances that they do not intend to carry out the death penalty imposed in absentia.”

    Amnesty International says Ethiopian opposition leader Mr Tsige disappeared at Sana’a airport in Yemen while travelling between the United Arab Emirates and Eritrea in June.

    They have asked the Ethiopian authorities to guarantee he is not tortured or ill-treated.

    Read more »

    Related:
    UK Summons Ethiopian Diplomat Over Opposition Official’s Arrest
    Why the arrest of Andargachew Tsige is a huge embarrassment for the West (FP)
    BBC News: PM Hailemariam Defends Andargachew Tsege Arrest (BBC News)
    Andargachew Tsige: Letter From UK’s Foreign Office to Ethiopian American Council (TADIAS)
    Ginbot 7′s Andargachew Tsege: Ethiopia confirms arrest (BBC News)
    Snatched: Justice and Politics in Ethiopia (The Economist)
    Fears for Safety of Returned Opposition Leader (HRW)
    Ethiopia Urged to Protect Opposition Leader (AP via The Washington Post)
    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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    Eritrea Faces Youth Drain (VOA News)

    In this photo released by the Italian Navy on Monday and taken on Sunday, June 29, 2014, a boat overcrowded with migrants is pictured in the Mediterranean Sea. (AP)

    VOA News

    Joe DeCapua

    August 11, 2014

    A new report said a lot of young people are leaving Eritrea due to authoritarian rule, growing dissatisfaction and long-term national service. The International Crisis Group has called for both domestic and international action to reduce the youth drain.

    Listen to De Capua report on Eritrean youth exodus

    Many young Africans are leaving the continent hoping to find jobs and opportunities elsewhere. But the International Crisis Group said the youth exodus from Eritrea is acute.

    It said the Eritrean government’s demand to “sacrifice individual ambition for the greater good of the nation” is causing people to leave.

    Dr. Cedric Barnes, ICG’s Horn of Africa Project Director, said, “The primary driver at the moment seems to be because people are fed-up with the national service, where people are required to either join the army or work for the government in various capacities for very little money and with no prospect of being released. We are seeing people voting with their feet, as it were, to avoid these demands.”

    Many risk their lives doing so.

    “Well, that’s clear that that’s happening at various stages of the journey – even at the end stages in terms of the overloaded boats that seem to be arriving on the southern shores of Europe, especially Malta and Italy, where boats are overloaded. And these vessels are sinking, often drowning many of their occupants,” he said.

    But their lives are in danger even before they get on the boats. They have to travel through lawless and dangerous parts of Sudan and Libya, for example. Barnes said for a time Eritrean forces prevented border crossings by lethal force if necessary.

    Initially the government tried to crackdown on the migration. Then, Barnes says, it saw an economic opportunity through remittances and a two-percent tax imposed on the migrants. But Barnes said that’s not forestalling long-term issues.

    “They’re losing their working population. They are losing the relatively scarce human capital that Eritrea has. This is affecting from the army to the national services, as well as families, especially the farms and other productive activities that need man and woman power.”

    The International Crisis Group recommended that Eritrea re-set its relationship with the outside world by becoming more engaged diplomatically. It also recommends that Eritrea gradually demobilize its national service – and ease border tensions with Ethiopia.

    Barnes said, “The kind of isolationist position that Eritrea has found itself in is preventing a society where people’s individual social / economic freedoms can be pursued – which is encouraging people to leave and look for better alternatives.”

    The ICG also said that Eritrea should seek assistance from the European Union and the U.N. to help restructure the country’s economy to create more jobs for young people.

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    Watch: Ethiopian Student Rahel Bogale – 2014 AVID Summer Institute Speaker

    Rahel Bogale, 2014 Philadelphia Summer Institute student speaker. (Photo: AVID Center/YouTube)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Published: Sunday, August 10th, 2014

    Washington, D.C. (TADIAS) – The soon-to-be first generation college student, Rahel Bogale, who is a student at Hayfield Secondary School in Alexandria, Virginia, was selected as the 2014 Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) Summer Institute student speaker for the national convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. According to her high school “Rahel’s essay was chosen from thousands of applicants and comes with a $500 award.”

    “My whole life I have been shy, reserved and often kept to myself,” Rahel said in her speech to her classmates. “As a student, I was the same way, not many teachers paid attention to me, because I earned decent grades in all my classes and I barely spoke up.” Rahel added: “As a young Ethiopian immigrant, I understood the value of education, and the pressure to somehow prove my parents’ sacrifice to leave everything – a lucrative accounting firm, two houses, and anything familiar to them – to move half-way around the world so I can have a better chance at life was something that I had to prove and it is all worth it.”

    Watch: Rahel Bogale – AVID Philadelphia Summer Institute 2014 (Video by AVID Center)


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    UPDATE: US Conducts New Iraq Airstrikes

    (Photo: Reuters)

    VOA News

    Updated: August 10, 2014

    The United States carried out a new round of airstrikes against Islamic State militants in northern Iraq on Sunday.

    The Pentagon said fighter jets and drone aircraft destroyed an armed truck that was firing on Kurdish forces near Irbil, and then followed up with four more attacks on other armed trucks and a mortar position.

    It was the fourth set of U.S. airstrikes since President Barack Obama last week authorized the country’s first campaign in Iraq since he withdrew all U.S. forces at the end of 2011 after nearly a decade of American involvement.

    U.S. forces are attempting to blunt an offensive by the extremist Islamic State group that threatens to overrun Irbil, the capital of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region. U.S. and British aircraft also are supplying humanitarian aid for thousands of displaced Christians, Yazidis and other religious minorities trapped in the area.

    Late Sunday, the U.S. State Department said it has temporarily removed some staff from the U.S. consulate in Irbil.

    A statement said some of the personnel were dispatched to the southern city of Basra, and others to the Jordanian capital, Amman. It said the move was made “out of an abundance of caution rather than any one specific threat.”

    Watch related video by VOA’s Michael Bowman:

    Concern over militants’ brutality

    ​Iraq’s Human Rights Minister Mohammed Shia al Sudani told Reuters that Islamic State militants executed at least 500 Yazidis after seizing the town of Sinjar, and that some of the victims had been buried alive.

    The U.S. military made three airdrops with more than 52,000 meals and thousands of liters of fresh drinking water for the displaced people on Mount Sinjar. British forces made their first humanitarian airdrop to the region on Sunday and France said it would supply “several tons” of aid.

    Obama said Saturday the U.S. military’s airstrikes in Iraq have successfully destroyed arms and equipment that Islamic State militants could have used against Irbil. He said the problem posed by the group will not be solved in weeks and is going to take some time.

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he is “deeply concerned” about the evolving humanitarian and security situation in Iraq. The U.N. chief called for “reason and wisdom to prevail.” He urged all Iraqi leaders “to form a broad-based government that is acceptable to all components of Iraqi society.”

    Pope Francis on Sunday urged the international community to find a solution to the problems in Iraq, where he said the situation leaves him in disbelief.

    French FM visit

    On Sunday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius arrived in Iraq for talks in Baghdad and Irbil. He urged Iraqi leaders to form a broad-based unity government.

    At a press conference with Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani in the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan he said that Islamic State militants were extremists who cannot accept those with different beliefs

    He said that people are suffering because the Islamic State group, which he called the “Caliphate of Hate,” wants to kill or enslave all those who do not believe as they do.

    For his part, Barzani thanked the U.S. and France for their assistance and indicated the Kurds were not demanding that their allies “fight for them,“ but help by giving “needed weaponry” and “air support” to the Peshmerga fighters to defend themselves.

    The International Organization for Migration says the number of internally displaced people in Iraq now totals more than 1 million.

    Islamic State extremists, most of whom are Sunni Muslims, have captured significant amounts of military hardware that U.S. troops turned over to Iraq’s Shi’ite-led government and to Kurdish Peshmerga fighters before the U.S. military withdrawal in 2011.

    The Islamic State group, known for particularly brutal tactics, currently controls a large swath of eastern Syria and northwestern Iraq. It has declared the area a “caliphate,” and is actively recruiting other fighters to join the group.

    On the ground

    Meanwhile, Kurdish fighters known as Peshmerga say they have regained control of a district near Irbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdistan region.

    Talking to VOA’s Kurdish Service Sunday, a Peshmerga fighter said his forces repelled an attack on Makhmur district from fighters of the Islamic State group.

    Saber Ismael said that there were no more gunshots inside Makhmour city and that the Daesh, as Kurds refer to Islamic State militants, have fled.

    He said local people now feel safe from an immediate threat by the radical group of Sunni fighters that have taken control of several areas of Iraq.

    Speaking from Duhok, another town in the Kurdish region of Iraq, a VOA stringer said U.S. air strikes against Islamic State fighters are proving effective.

    “People in the area are relieved and highly motivated because they now see that Peshmerga fighters are now being backed up by U.S. air strikes against the militants of Islamic State fighters,” said VOA Kurdish Service stringer Salam Balayi.



    Edward Yerenian contributed to this report from Cairo, Kokab Farshori contributed from Washington. Some information provided by Reuters and AP.

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    Over 1000 Attend 5th DC Africa Festival

    Held on the eve of President Obama’s historic U.S. Africa Leaders Summit on Sunday, August 3rd, 2014, Mayor’s 5th Annual DC Africa Festival boasts record number of attendees. (Photo Courtesy: OAA)

    OAA Press Release

    Friday, August 8, 2014

    Washington, DC – On Sunday, August 3, 2014, Mayor Vincent C. Gray and his Office on African Affairs (OAA) held its 5th Annual DC Africa Festival at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. A record number of people registered to attend the festival, which coincided with President Barack Obama’s historic US-Africa Leaders Summit and served as a welcome to the 50 African leaders being hosted in our nation’s capital. Over 1,000 attendees joined Mayor Gray and the Office on African Affairs for the festivities, held outdoors in the Reagan Building’s adjoining Moynihan and Woodrow Wilson Plazas.

    “President Obama’s US-Africa Leaders Summit was a historic gathering, and our world class city was honored to host the African heads of state. The occasion warranted a parallel celebration of our city’s diverse African diaspora community. Therefore, we seized the moment to showcase their presence, culture and economic contributions to the District of Columbia,” said Mayor Gray. The Mayor also acknowledged the importance of Africa as a partner in trade and investment, noting the role of African diaspora businesses in cultivating meaningful links to the continent.

    Emcee’d by Voice of America broadcast journalist Ndimiyake Mwakalyelye, the program kicked off with remarks from OAA Director, Ngozi Nmezi who stressed the importance of the festival theme, “From Africa to DC: Showcasing Diasporan Diversity, Building One City, highlighting its special focus on the migration of Africans to DC and the rapid growth of the District’s African population, which has experienced a near 70% increase over the past decade. Director Nmezi also introduced the office’s first-ever African Business Directory designed to serve as a tool for expanding African business networks and to educate the larger community on the presence of the city’s African businesses. The Directory is currently available on OAA’s website and a public launch is scheduled to take place in the coming months.

    The festival program was packed with music by popular DC-based African bands and dance performers of international repute, including, Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Wayna, Cheik Hamala Diabaté, KanKouran West African Dance Company, Sahel, Moto Moto Marimba, Kignet Traditional Ethiopian Band and Emé & Heteru. DJ Underdog filled the air with rhythms and sounds from the African continent and beyond. The crowd was further captivated by Omenana Igbo, USA whose traditional Nigerian masquerade performance told the story of a young Igbo bride and groom. Festival goers got their own opportunities to share the spotlight when they participated in the customary Parade of African Flags procession which was accompanied by facts on each country and displayed the pride and connection that the District’s African Diaspora held for their countries of origin. The Community to Runway Fashion Show further showcased the variety of clothes, hairstyles, cultural identities, and historical roots of Africans in DC. African diversity was equally well represented in over 40 food, arts, and crafts vendors who displayed a variety of savory dishes, handmade and imported crafts, attire, and other artistic creations.

    The connectivity of African cultures was difficult to miss at the Woodrow Wilson Plaza and this was matched in intensity with the variety of activities and demonstrations on the Moynihan Plaza. The quiet concentration of children playing African games and learning basket making activities at the Children’s Village; the robust resource corner featuring over 20 District government agencies and community based organizations who shared resources and information on available programs and services; the Wellness Pavilion where participants were offered advice on nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices and; the Culture Hut, where festival goers witnessed demonstrations on African acoustic instruments and hair braiding styles from east, west, and southern regions of the continent – all enriched the festival’s artistic, cultural and informational landscape. The festival wound down with a raffle draw in support of ‘We Count!’ – OAA’s demographic data collection initiative. Ritza Yana Hendricks of Southeast Washington, DC and Ihuoma Pearl Woko won round-trip tickets to any destination in Africa, courtesy of corporate donors, Ethiopian Airlines.

    The Mayor’s Office on African Affairs is deeply appreciative of the support from our major partners: Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, DC Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, DC Office of the Secretary, DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, DC Office of Human Rights, the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute, and AmeriHealth. We are equally grateful to our corporate donors – Capital Petroleum Group, LLC, Ethiopian Airlines, and Safeway, and our incredible team of 50+ volunteers! Our thanks also go to photographers Adedayo Kosoko and Kaveh Sardari whose images capture the energy and dynamism of the festivities.

    Related:
    Tadias Interview: Ngozi Nmezi, Director of the DC Mayor’s Office on African Affairs

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    President Obama Gives Progress Report on U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

    President Obama delivered a closing statement on Wednesday, August 6th, 2014 summarizing the progress leaders have made during the three-day U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. (AP)

    The Washington Post

    By Juliet Eilperin

    President Obama wrapped up a three-day summit with African leaders Wednesday, making a rare foreign policy advance even as his administration continues to face daunting challenges abroad.

    The massive gathering of nearly 50 African heads of state and government in Washington allowed top U.S. officials to broker deals between American companies and African dignitaries, as well as press privately for action on security and human rights concerns. And at a time when Europe and major economies such as China are expanding their foothold in Africa, the conference gave the United States a chance to reinforce its long-standing connection to the continent.

    While the summit yielded a handful of high-profile announcements — including new public and private investments in economic, agricultural and health development totaling $37 billion — it also featured the kind of behind-the scenes diplomatic interactions that could produce meaningful benefits later on. Elected U.S. officials and their African counterparts discussed issues ranging from tensions within the Great Lakes region to the ongoing conflict in South Sudan.

    Read more at The Washington Post »

    Video: President Obama Post U.S.-Africa Summit Press Conference


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    Photos & Video: President Barack Obama’s Historic U.S.- Africa Summit
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    Ethiopian Airlines CEO Says Company Plans to Expand Flights to U.S.

    Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam says plans call for flights from Addis Ababa to Los Angeles, through Dublin, by June 2015. (Photo: Bart Jansen, USA TODAY)

    USA TODAY

    By Bart Jansen

    The airline has quadrupled in size during the last decade, with 68 planes flying to 18 domestic airports and 82 international destinations on five continents.

    Gebremariam was in Washington for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, where he called announcements of $33 billion in public and private U.S. investment in his continent “very encouraging.”

    “Of course, we have isolated problems here and there,” Gebremariam said. “But overall the continent is doing well. The growth is very impressive.”

    He acknowledged the challenges of dealing with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and avoiding conflict zones around the globe. But he said Africa is a popular and growing tourist destination with attractions such as Mount Kilimanjaro and Serengeti National Park.

    “We encourage American tourists to visit,” Gebremariam said, where the entire continent is just a connecting flight away. “You will be connecting to 49 destinations all over the continent in a couple of hours.”

    Read more »

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    Ethiopia and Its Press: The Noose Tightens

    Photos from top left: Imprisoned Ethiopian journalists and bloggers Woubshet Taye, Reeyot Alemu, Eskinder Nega, and members of the Zone9 Collective (File images)

    The Economist | From the print edition

    Aug 9th 2014

    ADDIS ABABA – A RANKING that countries do not aspire to ascend is the one compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based group. It reckons that Ethiopia is Africa’s second-worst jailer of journalists, ahead only of its ultra-repressive neighbour and bitter enemy, Eritrea. Cementing its lamentable reputation, on August 4th Ethiopia briefly resumed the trial of ten journalists and bloggers, nine of whom it has kept in prison since April; one is being tried in absentia. The court proceedings are to start again in earnest on August 20th.

    The ten are accused of several offences, including breaches of the country’s controversial anti-terrorism laws. These include having links to banned opposition groups and trying to cause instability via social media. The government says the journalists and bloggers are connected to two groups that it deems terrorist organisations: the Oromo Liberation Front, a rebel outfit that seeks a better deal for Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, which predominates in the south; and Ginbot 7, a leading opposition movement formed after widespread protests following Ethiopia’s general election in 2005.

    Read more »

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    Photos & Video: President Barack Obama’s Historic U.S.- Africa Summit

    First lady Michelle Obama takes her seat following President Barack Obama's toast at a dinner for the U.S. - Africa Leaders Summit, on the South Lawn of the White House, Aug. 5, 2014. (Photo: AP)

    VOA News

    August 06, 2014

    President Barack Obama and African leaders have opened talks on expanding trade, improving security and strengthening government accountability across Africa.

    The talks, at a series of forums Wednesday, are a highlight of a massive three-day summit in Washington involving some 50 African heads of state and government.

    In opening remarks Wednesday, President Obama said a “new Africa” is emerging.

    “With some of the world’s fastest growing economies, a growing middle class and the youngest and fastest-growing population on earth, Africa will help shape the world as never before,” Obama said.

    The president said increased business opportunities in Africa could help transform the relationship between the U.S. and the African continent.

    “It is time for a new model of partnership between America and Africa, a partnership of equals that focuses on African capacity to solve problems and on Africa’s capacity to grow, and that is why we are here,” he said.

    Late Tuesday, the White House hosted a state dinner for the visitors, where the president noted his African heritage and said that for his family, the bonds between the U.S. and Africa are deeply personal.

    Private, public investment

    Earlier, Obama announced $33 billion in U.S. private and public investment in various African countries.

    Speaking at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, he said the investment and financing commitments will support both African and American jobs. The bulk of the commitments will come from private sector companies like Coca-Cola and IBM.

    The president emphasized that the U.S. is interested in more than just the abundance of natural resources to be found in Africa.

    WATCH: President Obama Addresses US-African Leaders Summit

    He said the Power Africa program introduced last year will aim to bring electricity to 60 million Africans, triple the previous goal.

    But he cautioned that Africa’s future will be made on the continent, not the United States.

    Obama said the U.S. will do more to help African nations trade with each other. He said it should not be harder to export goods to your neighbor than to export goods to Los Angeles or Amsterdam.

    As the worst Ebola outbreak on record rages on in West Africa, Obama told African leaders that keeping their citizens healthy and putting a health care system in place will ensure their countries’ future economic success.

    Related:
    Obama Announces $33B Commitment at Africa Forum
    African & U.S. Scientists Hold Technology & Innovation Symposium at US-Africa Summit
    Civil Society Forum Kicks Off at Historic US-Africa Summit in DC
    US-Africa Summit Events Under Way in Washington
    First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks on Girls’ Education at YALI Presidential Summit
    Bill Clinton, Michael Bloomberg at Africa Summit
    Meet the Mandela Washington Fellows From Ethiopia
    Obama Renames Africa Young Leaders Program For Nelson Mandela
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    Ambassador David Shinn on the 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

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