Sunday, July 31, 2011

World Bank Drought Plan Focuses on Ethiopia, Kenya

The bank's Country Director for East Africa Johannes Zutt says over $600 million is being made available to those affected by the drought in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. But only $9 million is going directly toward disaster relief in Somalia, the worst hit country in East Africa. According to the director, The Horn of Africa faces recurring droughts, but climate change is making them more intense. “In the longer term, it's important for the countries of the Horn to prepare for recurring droughts;” said the director. He added that all climate models agree that temperatures in the Horn of Africa will increase by one to three-and-a-half degrees Celsius over the coming decades. Read more...

Friday, July 29, 2011

UN calls for suspension of giant Ethiopian hydropower dam

The lake, the largest desert lake in the world and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, sits astride the Kenya-Ethiopian border. In a letter to the Ethiopian and Chinese governments after its annual meeting, the committee underlined the importance of Lake Turkana as an outstanding research area for animal and plant communities. But Ethiopia has categorically denied the accusation and further signed an agreement with Kenya to export electric power. The transmission line connecting the two countries is nearing completion. Read more….

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Eritrea planned massive bomb attack on African Union summit, UN says

According to the report, Eritrean intelligence services planned an operation to detonate a car bomb at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa at the end of January this year, when 30 of the continent's leaders were meeting there. Separate bombs were to be placed between the Ethiopian prime minister's office and the Sheraton Hotel, where most of the heads of state were staying, as well as in a giant open-air market in the hope of "kill[ing] many people". "If executed as planned, the operation would almost certainly have caused mass civilian casualties, damaged the Ethiopian economy and disrupted the African Union summit," the report said. General Te'ame Goitom, Eritrea's external intelligence operations chief in the horn, allegedly told one of the would-be attackers that the intention was to "make Addis Ababa like Baghdad". The monitoring group said it had an audio recording of a conversation between Te'ame and the attacker, as well as records of payments made to the bombing team by a senior Eritrean army official. Read more...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

እንደገና ድርቅ እንደገና ረሀብ እንደገና የህጻናት ዋይታና ለቅሶ....:: አዝጋሚ ሞት::

ምስራቅ አፍሪካ ዛሬም ልጆቿን በየመንገዱ ላይ ትቀብራለች:: ህጻናት ዛሬም በየመጠሊያው ቦታ ውስጥ ሳይቀር በየቀኑ ይሞታሉ:: መጠለያው ማገገሚያ ሳይሆን መቀበሪያቸው ሆኗል:: አለም ዝምታን መረጠ...የቴሌቪዥን መስኮቶች በአጽም ብዛት ሞልተው እስኪታዩ አጥንትና ጅማቶች እስኪቆጠሩ ድረስ በዝምታ ተሸብበው ማየትን ፈልገዋል:: ወይም በራሳቸው ችግር ተወጥረዋል:: ወይም የግሪክን የኢኮኖሚ ቀውስ እያሰቡም ይሆናል:: ወይም የፍጋኒስታን ጉዳይ ፋታ አልሰጣቸውም ይሆናል:: እውነታው ግን ምስራቅ አፍሪካ ዛሬም ልጆቿን እያለቀሰች ትቀብራለች:: ማነው የሚደርስላቸው ተጠያቂውስ ማነው?
ይህቺን ሪፖርት ለማጣቀሻ ያዳምጡ::

Monday, July 25, 2011

Somali pirates' attack on India-bound Ethiopian ship foiled

An Ethiopian cargo vessel was attacked by Somali pirates near the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) in the Gulf of Eden. The Somali pirates launched the strike using rocket-propelled grenades which hit a crane on the deck of the ship. None of the crew was inured. The crew increased the speed of the ship and adopted anti-piracy measures to evade the attack. The pirates then tried to hijack the ship, but failed. The Ethiopian ship is now sailing towards India. Captain DK Singh, marine consultant and member of Forward Seamens Union of India (FSUI), said: “The use of modern firing equipment made the situation worse for merchant ships passing through this region. Deployment of navy of 28 countries in the IRTC region has also made it difficult for pirates to launch an attack on a merchant ship. So they are now focusing more on region close to India.” In the last one month, there have been around 15 attacks on merchant ships. In one of most major attacks, a United Arab Emirates (UAE) oil tanker MV Jubaa XX was attacked on July 16 and then hijacked. The tanker was carrying oil worth millions of dollars. Out of the 16 crew members onboard MV Jubaa XX,five are Indians, three are Bangladeshi nationals, one Sudanese national, Myanmarese, a Kenyan and four are Somalis. Source ( DNA)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Bomb blast hits Norwegian PM's office

A bomb has blown out most windows of a government building housing the Norwegian prime minister's office and left at least two people dead and several others injured, news agencies and witnesses say. Friday's blast targeted the 17-storey building housing Jens Stoltenberg's office in the capital Oslo, as well as nearby ministries, including the oil ministry, which was on fire. Camilla Ryste, a government spokeswoman, told the Associated Press news agency Stoltenberg was safe. Police confirmed the attack was a bomb but did not give further details. Hanne Taalsen, a journalist working for TV2, told Al Jazeera the blast happened at 3:20pm local time and that there were "massive damages in the streets" around the building.

Reuters correspondent, Walter Gibbs, said he counted at least eight injured people. There was no immediate claim for responsibility but the tangled wreckage of a car was outside one building. An Associated Press reporter said newspaper offices in the area were also damaged and smoke could be seen drifting in the streets. The reporter said he saw a young man with a bleeding leg being helped away from the area. It was not immediately clear whether there were other injuries. Kristina Overn, a Norwegian journalist, said people were surprised that Norway had been targeted.

"People are really surprised. I am very surprised. People are shocked that this could happen in Oslo," she told Al Jazeera. "People are quite calm, they are not running around or anything. But people are quite shocked. I think most Norwegians consider themselves to be outside of incidents like this." Peter Svaar, a journalist working for NRK, said "the whole of downtown Oslo is sealed off" and spoke of a "very chaotic situation". The attack comes days after Norwegian prosecutors filed a terrorism charge against Mullah Krekar, founder of the Kurdish Islamist group Ansar al-Islam, who is accused of threatening a former minister, Erna Solberg, with death. "Norway will pay a heavy price for my death," he said. "If, for example, Erna Solberg deports me and I die as a result, she will suffer the same fate." It is not clear whether Friday's attack is related to the threat. Source ( Aljazeera News)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Somalia's new women's minister snatched by rebels

Somalia's new minister for women was snatched by Islamist rebels 30 km outside the capital, Mogadishu, almost immediately after her appointment was announced, a relative said on Thursday. Asha Osman Aqil was grabbed in an area controlled by al Shabaab militants late on Wednesday after the country's fragile government announced its new cabinet. "Asha is now being interrogated in Balad by al Shabaab," a relative who did not want to be identified for fear he would be attacked by the rebels, told Reuters. "She told them she is aware of her nomination and had not contacted the government at all and had not accepted the vacancy." The rebels and the government have not commented. Al Shabaab often target government ministers and killed Interior Minister Abdi Shakur Sheikh Hassan in a suicide bomb attack last month. Somalia has been without an effective central government since the overthrow of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. The United Nations declared famine in parts of Somalia on Wednesday and several regional analysts blamed the continued conflict for the disaster. Source (Reuters)

Chief Minister installed webcam in his office as an anticorruption measure

“Instead of taking action against corruption, I believe that we have to create an atmosphere where everything should be in a transparent way,” Mr. Chandy, who recently became chief minister of Kerala state after his coalition won a close election, said in an interview in his office. “The people must know everything.” “I have been getting a lot of brickbats because of the cameras,” Mr. Manivannan said in a telephone interview. “My colleagues were telling me, ‘What are you trying to prove — that you are the only honest one?’ ” Once the new camera is installed, Mr. Manivannan said it would record everything. But anyone interested in viewing segments of the video would have to request the clips, at no cost. That should ease tension in the office, he said, while still keeping things on the up and up. Read more…

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Insane penalty kick: player would be disciplined, says the coach

The United Arab Emirates crushed Lebanon 6-2 in a friendly on Sunday. So maybe in an effort to make things interesting or maybe just because he simply does not conform to acceptable standards of penalty kicks, the U.A.E.'s Awana Diab decided to attempt an absolutely ridiculous penalty. And it worked. Diab's setup seemed like any other for a penalty, but as he ran up to the ball, he stopped, turned around and backheeled the it toward the goal. Stunned by the audacity, madness and nerve it takes to try and score a penalty with your back to the goal, the keeper just stood and watched as the ball trickled into the net.Acrobatics aside, the back-flip penalty kick has nothing on this U.A.E. manager Srecko Katanec did not appreciate Diab's creativity, though. He immediately substituted the player out of the match and after the game said that he would be disciplined for the "disrespectful act." Source (Yahoo sports)
Watch the video here.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Yonas Alemayhehu , Owner of ABAY Market wins $238,000 from VA Lottery Scratcher

When the children of an Alexandria restaurant owner graduate from college, they'll have the numbers 3-6-2-3 to thank for it. Thanks to those four digits, in that exact order, Alemayehu Yonas is $238,000 richer - and it all started after winning $25 from a Virginia Lottery Scratcher. Yonas originally won the $25 off a Scratcher he bought from the 7-Eleven on South George Mason Drive in Bailey's Crossroads to purchase 25 $1 Pick 4 tickets, marking off the numbers 3, 6, 2 and 3 on each of them. He did the same thing on 26 more tickets he bought for the same drawing. On July 14, the day he played each of those tickets, the winning numbers were 3-6-2-3, and Yonas walked away with $238,900 in winnings. "This is my hobby," Yonas, who owns the Abay Market restaurant in Falls Church, calmly told Virginia Lottery officials. Yonas also said, as mentioned, that the winnings were going to help put his sons through college. He also gave $2,700 to the clerk at the 7-Eleven. Source (ABC 7 News)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ethiopia Inflation Rate jumps to 38.1% in June from Year Ago, CSA Says

Ethiopia inflation rate climbed to 38.1 percent in June from a year earlier as food costs increased and the central bank boosted the money supply. Inflation accelerated from 34.7 percent in May, the Central Statistical Agency, based in the capital, Addis Ababa, said in an e-mailed statement today. Food prices surged 45.3 percent in June after rising 40.7 percent in the previous month, it said. Drought in East Africa has pushed up food prices in the region, with 4.57 million Ethiopians requiring food aid for the rest of the year, State Minister of Agriculture Mitiku Kassa said yesterday. Money supply growth of as much as 40 percent has played a “significant role” in rising prices, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said on July 5. Inflation may undermine economic growth in Ethiopia, Africa’s largest coffee producer, the International Monetary Fund said on May 31. The economy will probably expand 6 percent in the fiscal year through July 7, 2012 from 7.5 percent in the past year, the IMF said. Ethiopian authorities brought inflation down to 5.3 percent in August 2010 from a peak of 64.2 percent in July 2008. A 17.5 percent devaluation of the Ethiopian birr against the dollar on September 1 boosted import costs, pushing up inflation since then. Source (Bloomberg)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

President Lee of S.Korea spent hours in cleaning sewage and public toilets in Kebena

A day earlier, Lee, wearing a mask and carrying a disinfectant tank on his back, sprayed into sewage and public toilets in Kebena, a less-developed village in Addis Ababa, the office said. First lady Kim Yoon-ok joined Lee in some of the volunteer work during the weekend, the office also said. The president of a country participating in volunteer manual work during an overseas trip is unprecedented, said a Blue House official. “Korea, when it helps others, cannot help with a large amount of money,” Lee said during a meeting with volunteer workers yesterday. “Many advanced countries and China give a lot [to Africa], but our help could be evaluated highly if our affection, sincerity and thoughtfulness for others are contained in it.” Read more…

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ethiopian runners dominate New Milford's Moonlight Run 5K

With more than three miles already behind them in the New Milford Moonlight Run 5k road race, Ethiopians Kumse Megersa and Abiyot Endale were still running side by side and matching each other stride for stride. They had separated themselves from the rest of the pack, and the only thing that stood between them and the finish line was about a hundred yards of wet grass. It was just a matter of who could get there the quickest. As they ran behind the Young's Field tennis courts and turned down the final stretch, Megersa shifted into high gear and took the lead for good. His winning time of 14 minutes, 15 seconds, was three seconds faster than Endale's. "We've run in a lot of races together and I know he as a very good kick in the last 100 meters, 200 meters," Endale said. Not far behind them was former Danbury High and Syracuse University cross country and track and field star Brady Becker, who finished sixth in 15:20. "I ran with them for the first mile or so," Becker said. "I thought they would go out a little faster, so I was kind of surprised. They started pulling away after that, and that kind of snapped me back into reality." The 2007 Danbury High graduate went from a powerhouse high school program with the Hatters to a strong college program with the Orange. "It was nice to be able to go from one serious team to another," Becker said. "The team element was never lost in the transition." The top female finisher in the Moonlight Run is quickly becoming a familiar face at the front of the pack in area road races. Malika Mejdoub won with a time of 19:27 and was out in front for the entire race. Mejdoub ¬-- a native of Morocco and one-time Torrington resident who now lives in Jackson Heights, Queens, and one day hopes to run in the Olympics -- won the John DeMille Firecracker 8K in Bethel on July 4 and the Fairfield Half Marathon on June 30. Source (

Saturday, July 9, 2011

UN calls for long-term solution to Ethiopia's drought crisis

The UN's emergency relief coordinator on Saturday called for long-term solutions to curb the effects of a severe drought in Ethiopia. "We need to plan for the long term to help people rebuild their communities when the situation improves," Valerie Amos told reporters in Addis Ababa. She cited better access to water, health care and education as key after spending the day in Ethiopia's Somali region, one of the worst-affected areas of the country. Read more....

Friday, July 8, 2011

South Korean president arrives in Addis

South Korean President, Lee Myung-bak and 170 South Korean delegates arrived in Addis Ababa for a three-day official visit.Hailemariam Desalegn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, welcomed the South Korean president and his delegates at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.The visit is the first by a South Korean President in nearly 30 years.President Lee is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi at the national palace later today to cement cooperation on agriculture and trade The president will also sign four agreements with different government ministries, including the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED).Meanwhile, First Lady Azeb and her South Korean counterpart, Kim Yoon-ok, will hold separate talks with a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony A visit to the Korean War Veterans Memorial Park and Addis Ababa University, where President Lee is expected to deliver a speech, is on the South Korean president’s agenda tomorrow. Source ( Walta )

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Africa's worst drought in 60 years threatens famine for 10m

Suddenly there is talk of famine in Africa again. Ten million people are at risk of starvation in the worst drought conditions in 60 years in Ethiopia, Somalia and northern Kenya. Tens of thousands of people have left their homes in search of water and food. Hundreds of thousands of farm animals have died. Every day some 1,200 Somalis are crossing the border into Kenya where, near the town of Dadaab, the world's biggest refugee camp, 50km square, has developed. Many of the children arriving there, after month-long treks across the unyielding desert, are so weak that they are dying despite receiving emergency care. Millions more are hungry and have begun the slow journey to wasting from malnutrition. Source ( THE INDEPENDENT)
Click here to view the graphic

Monday, July 4, 2011

Ethiopia kills ONLF fighters, Swedish newsmen wounded

"(The) ONLF believes that these photojournalists are now in the hands of the Ethiopian government and fears for their lives and safety," it said in a statement. "The ONLF further condemns the Puntland authorities who facilitated the arrest and passed their information to Ethiopian security agents," the group added. Officials from the Swedish embassy in the capital were not immediately available for comment. The ONLF said it lost contact with the journalists on July 1 and blamed authorities in the breakaway Somali state of Puntland for their arrest. Read more…

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Hundreds jailed for religious attacks in Ethiopia

Mobs of Muslim youths carried out week-long attacks on Protestants after rumours that desecrated pages from the Koran had been found at a church construction site. Authorities reported a single death from the attacks. Regional officials told Reuters almost all the displaced people have returned to their homes, some of which were repaired with support from local Muslims. Read more…