Monday, July 30, 2012

The 39 years old Ethiopian Legend regrets not to be competing at the London Olympic.

Ethiopian running legend Haile Gebrselassie admitted Sunday that it was “painful” not to be competing at the London Olympics, but held out hope he could make the Rio Games in four years’ time.
Gebrselassie, a two-time Olympic and four-time world 10,000m champion, failed to progress from an Ethiopian qualifying trial in Hengelo in May and was omitted from his country’s team. To add to his woes, the 39-year-old had already also failed to post a qualifying time for the marathon in what would have been his fifth Olympics.
“It’s very painful not to be running here after all I have achieved,” Gebrselassie said.
“The only thing I don’t like here in London is that I’m not running here. I’m sorry for that.”
He added: “Hopefully I’ll be running for the next four years and you’ll see me in Brazil. Why not?!”
Gebrselassie backed compatriot and former teammate Kenenisa Bekele to
win the 10,000m from a clutch of Kenyan rivals and British hope Mo Farah.
“I say Bekele for the 10K,” he said, warning that Bekele would prefer a fast pace.
“The 10,000m depends on the pace. If the pace is slow, you could say Mo Farah.”
Kenyan Wilson Kipsang, winner of this year’s
London marathon, got his nod as gold medal favourite in the 42.195km-long ra
source   (  Newsdire

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ethiopia freezes travel by citizens to the UAE for jobs

Ethiopia has decided that no citizens should go to the UAE for until agreement can be reached to protect their rights. The Ethiopian Consul-General in Dubai, Mesganu Arga Moach, said the freeze was a temporary move aimed at rooting out unscrupulous recruiters and putting an end to abuses. He said the freeze had been imposed because of the number of recruitment agencies working illegally.

Ethiopia wanted “an agreement with the UAE that ensures our nationals' rights.” The Consul-General said his office received “five to ten complaints a day from our citizens of abuse, unpaid salaries and people being beaten." Under Ethiopian law sponsors are required to provide medical insurance and undertake to pay a minimum monthly wage of Dh660. All contracts have to be sent to the Labour ministry in Addis Ababa, which provides workers with an ID card to work overseas. Mr. Mesganu said "We have excellent relations with the UAE Government but the problem is with the agencies. They do not cooperate with the consulate. So we want to put in proper controls on the Ethiopian side." Mr. Mesganu said the Government of Ethiopia would consider increasing the minimum wage and adding a clause for compulsory annual tickets home. A number of agencies in Ethiopia have been suspended and some have already been banned.

The UAE Ambassador to Ethiopia, Dr Yousif Eisa Hassan Alsabri, welcomed the ban as a move designed to “to regulate and safeguard people. It is good for the UAE and for Ethiopia.” He said his Embassy was also studying the matter and would send a report to the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who would decide what action to take. An estimated 100,000 Ethiopians live in the UAE but only one agency is known to be legally recruiting Ethiopian workers. The UAE Ambassador urged existing sponsors and companies to authenticate Ethiopian employee contracts at the Dubai consulate, the only Ethiopian mission in the UAE. –(MFA)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ethiopia is in a crisis situation, says Seye Abrhea

“They don’t have a system" [of leadership succession], Seeye said. “This is a crisis situation and the dust has not settled.” He said leaders of the ruling Tigrai People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and larger Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) parties had discussed a succession plan, but postponed any decisions until prior to a scheduled 2015 national electionDespite his political differences with Meles, Seeye said he hopes the prime minister will recover soon. “I don’t celebrate the pain of another human being or the passing of another human being,” Seeye said. “I wish him recovery and I wish that he ends his political exit with a positive and constructive and historic note.” Read more ….

Ethiopia Bans Newspaper After Stories on Meles Illness, Protests

“The court has approved our decision,” Berhanu said of the Federal First Instance Court’s ruling. “We have not finalized the charges.” A decision is expected within five days, said  state  minister Justice Berhanu tsegaye ,  related with the issue  CPJ has reacted by saying   The ban on Feteh’s latest issue illustrates the depth of repression in Ethiopia today, and authorities’ determination to suppress independent coverage of the prime minister, Read more …

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ghana's President Atta Mills unexpectedly dies at age 68

Ghanaian President John Atta Mills has died at the age of 68, a statement from the president's office says. He has been serving as the west African nation’s president since 2009. “It is with a heavy heart…that we announce the sudden and untimely death of the president of the Republic of Ghana,” the statement reads, as quoted by Reuters. The statement also said the president passed away at a military hospital in the country's capital Accra, within a few hours of being taken ill. Chief of Staff John Henry Martey Newman addressed the nation in a televised broadcast, confirming news of the president’s death. State-run television channels GTV and TV3 broke into regular programing for the announcement.

Meanwhile, a presidential aide said Mills died on Tuesday afternoon after complaining of pains on Monday Vice President John Dramani Mahama, has been sworn in as the country’s new president at 18:15 GMT. Mills celebrated his 68th birthday on Saturday. Last month, Mills visited the United States for what he described as a “routine medical check-up.” He also met with US President Barack Obama. Prior to his trip, he dismissed rumors regarding the state of his health. A Western-educated university professor specializing in taxation, Mills served as the country’s vice president from 1996 to 2000. He was the leftist National Democratic Congress nominee for the presidency on three occasions: in 2000, 2004 and 2008. In 2008, Mills won a closely contested election on a platform of change and greater economic equality. One of his campaign posters even featured a photoshopped image of Mills standing alongside Barack Obama. As president, Mills oversaw the start of oil production in the country. He was planning to run for a second term in December. Source (RT)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ethiopian police clash with Muslim protesters, several arrested

"Police broke inside the mosque and arrested many people, including several members of the (protest organising) committee. They also fired teargas at protesters outside," said an activist who declined to be named for fear of reprisals. Another witness said he had seen empty tear gas canisters strewn on the ground. It was not immediately possible to verify these reports.  Read more...

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Thousands gather to pay final tribute to superstar Rajesh Khanna

Bollywood superstar Rajesh Khanna's final journey has begun from his Aashirwad home in Bandra, Mumbai, in the presence of thousands of well-wishers and fans, who gathered to pay their last tributes to one of the biggest matinee idols of Hindi cinema. The last rites of Khanna, affectionately called Kaka by his near and dear ones and millions of fans, will be preformed at the Ville Parle crematorium in a short while from now.

The hearse carrying Khanna's glass encased coffin was decorated with white flowers, as it made its way to the crematorium in rain. Fans have gathered in large numbers to have a last glimpse of their superstar despite the inclement weather. The route to the crematorium was lined with posters of Khanna, and some with his famous film dialogues and songs. Reports said that actor Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna's son Aarav would light the funeral pyre.

As news of the 69-year-old actor's death broke on Wednesday, many of his colleagues from the industry rushed to 'Aashirwad' to pay their last respects to Khanna.

Khanna, who enjoyed unprecedented adulation from his fans across the country, was rushed to Lilavati Hospital twice in the past one month due to exhaustion and weakness.

Khanna's health started deteriorating since April this year when he stopped taking food and complained of exhaustion and weakness. Khanna, who married actress Dimple Kapadia in 1973, has two daughters Twinkle and Rinki. Twinkle, an interior decorator and a former film actress, is married to actor Akshay Kumar.

Khanna was born in Amritsar on December 29, 1942. Khanna lived in Thakurdwar near Girgaon in Mumbai.  Rajesh Khanna was one of eight finalists in the 1965 All India Talent Contest organised by United Producers and Filmfare from more than ten thousand contestants. Subsequently, Khanna won the contest. He made his film debut in the 1966 film Aakhri Khat directed by Chetan Anand, followed by Raaz directed by Ravindra Dave both of which were a part of his predetermined prize for winning the All-India United Producers' Talent Competition.

He rose to prominence with his performances in films like Raaz, Baharon Ke Sapne, Ittefaq and Aradhana. Khanna appeared in 163 feature films of which 128 as the lead protagonist including 106 as the solo lead hero films and 22 two-hero projects and did 17 short films. He won three Filmfare Best Actor Awards and was nominated for the same fourteen times. He received the maximum BFJA Awards for Best Actor (Hindi) - four times and nominated 25 times.  Khanna, the 'First Superstar' of Hindi cinema, was awarded the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. Source (YAHOO.COM)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ethiopian leader Meles Zenawi 'in hospital'

Ethiopia's government has denied Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is critically ill but says he has been in hospital. "He is not in a critical state. He is in good condition," spokesman Bereket Simon told the AFP news agency.A spokesperson for the Ethiopian embassy in London told the BBC the 57 year old was in a stable condition after hospital treatment. Speculation about his health began when he missed last weekend's African Union summit in Addis Ababa.

There were reports that Mr Meles was in hospital in Belgium, suffering from a stomach complaint. The Ethiopian embassy spokesperson in London said the prime minister had been visited by high-level officials, but did not say where he was being treated. Diplomatic sources in Brussels told AFP that the Ethiopian leader was in a hospital in the Belgian capital.

"He is in a critical state, his life is in danger," the agency was told by a diplomat who asked not to be named.
 An Ethiopian government press conference about the rumours scheduled for Wednesday morning has been postponed until later this week.  Correspondents say it is believed Mr Meles's last public appearance was at the G20 talks in Mexico last month. Mr Meles took power as the leader of a rebel movement which ousted the communist government of Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1991. He has won several elections since then, but his political opponents have accused him of using repression to retain power. Source ( BBC)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Meles is not attending AU meeting over heath conditions, says Senegalese President

Meles Zenawi who was expected to attend the NEPAD meeting at AU for today this afternoon was unable to be available due to deteriorated health condition. As the current chairperson of NEPAD, Prime Minister Meles is expected to deliver a report to 27th Summit of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC) ahead of the 19th Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) to be kicked off tomorrow here in Addis Ababa.

On behalf of Meles, Senegalese President, Macky Sall opened the meeting and he wished Meles to recover soon.

“PM Meles is not attending this meeting with us this afternoon for health reason. We would like to express that we wish him to recover soon to a better health, President Sall told participants. Following his disappearance from the public, rumor is growing about Meles’s health condition as no official confirmation was released from government as to whether his health is deteriorated or not.

Specially, Meles has not showed up at the parliament in the last two weeks where he was expected to deliver the already concluded fiscal’ year’s government performance. Following his absence from the parliament, public remains in dark with the growing speculation of his ailing condition, and the next year’s budget has not been endorsed yet. The parliament has not been even officially closed for recess despite one week has already gone from the usual schedule.  Source (Reporter)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Ethiopia jails prominent blogger to 18 years.

Twenty Ethiopians, including a prominent blogger and opposition figures were jailed for between eight years to life on Friday on charges of conspiring with rebels to topple the government. Ethiopia, a major recipient of Western aid, has said it is fighting separatist rebel movements and armed groups backed by its arch-foe Eritrea.

But rights groups say the Horn of Africa country, sandwiched between volatile Somalia and Sudan, is using broad anti-terrorism legislation to crack down on dissent and media freedoms. Addis Ababa denies the charge. Blogger and journalist Eskinder Nega, who was arrested last year and accused of trying to incite violence with a series of online articles, was jailed for 18 years.

Five other exiled journalists and a blogger were sentenced in absentia to between 15 years to life. Opposition official Andualem Arage was jailed for life. Two other prominent opposition figures Berhanu Nega and Andargachew Tsige, who are out of the country, also received life sentences.

"The court has given due considerations to the charges and the sentences are appropriate," Judge Endeshaw Adane said during the proceedings in Addis Ababa.

The 20 were charged last year, most of them in absentia, with six counts including conspiracy to dismantle the constitutional order, recruitment and training for terror acts and aiding Eritrea and a rebel group to disrupt security. They were also accused of belonging to Ginbot 7, a group branded a "terrorist" organization by the Ethiopian government. Another four people charged alongside them were not sentenced on Friday and were being treated as a separate case, said court officials.

Exiled opposition leader Berhanu Nega, was also jailed for life on charges of treason in the aftermath of 2005's disputed parliamentary election, but was later pardoned.  Source (Reuters)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Philanthropist Actor Will Smith and wife Visit Ethiopia

"Our trip to Ethiopia with charity: water was an incredibly eye-opening and authentic experience," Smith tells Us Weekly in a statement. "It was extraordinary to meet and spend time with the people of Tigray and to see first-hand how clean water changes everything for these communities." The group also witnessed the 31st dig of charity: water's brand new drilling rig, Yellow Thunder, in Meago village. At the inauguration of one new well, the Smiths were offered gifts of gratitude, including original artwork. The couple -- parents to Trey, 19, Jaden, 14, and Willow, 11 -- danced and sang along with hundreds of villagers from surrounding communities.  Read more….

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Former Head of state, Negaso Gedida needs urgent help.

According to the Information read from Ethiomedia  , former Ethiopian president Negasso Geddida  is seeking urgent help to cover his medical expenses. Dr  Negasso was one time a former state head and may be the first president  in history who resigned from his post voluntarily over ideological  differences with the current prime minister Meles Zenawi.  Soon after living his position Dr. Negasso joined the opposition party MEDREK , and serving both as  an  executive committee member  and leadership responsibilities . So far it is not clear the cause of his sickness, his currnt  condition or where he is about.  Some reports however indicate that Dr. Negaso is receiving treatment in Germany. It is recalled that his wife has a German citizen. An Account is now open for volunteers who would like to help the former Head of State.  

Account Owner: IBSA GIDADA
Purpose:”Dr. Negaso’s medical treatment”

Bank: Frankfurter Sparkasse
Acc. Number: 1200150617
Sort Code: 50050201

IBAN: DE 36 5005 0201 1200 1506 17
Bic-/Swift Code: HELADEF 1822

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hannah Godefa and her pencils empire

“It’s really amazing,” said Godefa, who has just been honoured with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her volunteer efforts. “For you and me, a pencil is not a big deal, but it makes a big difference to the education of these children in Ethiopia. How is a child expected to learn when there’s no pencil or supplies?” Godefa’s Pencil Mountain campaign has inspired many, including a 10-year-old girl who donated her $150 birthday money and elderly members at Godefa’s local parish who emptied their coin purses week after week to raise money for the supplies.  Read more...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

CPJ Rips Ethiopian Crackdown on Journalists

International organization Committee to Protect Journalists says the Ethiopian government is stepping up efforts to control the Internet, both by preventing access to certain websites and by blocking users from software used to circumvent the censors.  CPJ spokesman Danny O'Brien says the government of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has been blocking major news sites and key blog hosts since 2005. O'Brien says the government intensified its blocking efforts earlier this year. He says many bloggers and individual reporters also are complaining that their sites are being filtered.

“I think what’s different now is that we’re also seeing individual Facebook pages being blocked, and they say that [privacy] softwares like Tor and [other] proxies that many Ethiopians use to access those sites regardless of the censorship are now not working either," said O'Brien.

Last month, the U.S. State Department voiced "deep concern" about the Ethiopian government's conviction on terrorism charges of 24 people, including six exiled journalists. Those defendants could face sentences of life in prison. Prosecutors said they will seek jail terms of five years to life at sentencing hearings later this month.

The CPJ, in a statement last week, called the journalists' convictions "an affront to the rule of law and the constitution in the Horn of Africa country." The trial judge accused prominent journalist Eskinder Nega, who was arrested last year under Ethiopia's controversial anti-terrorism statutes, of trying to use his writings to spark popular uprisings similar to those that toppled governments in Egypt and Tunisia last year.

Sentencings  are set for July 13.  Source ( VOA)

Ethiopian FA is aiming to boost the women's game

The Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) has ruled that all Premier Division clubs should form a women's team in order to compete next season. Ethiopia's national women's team, the Lucy, qualified for the African Championship in Equatorial Guinea earlier this month after beating Tanzania 3-1 on aggregate. "We don't have an existing women's league at the moment but the national team is doing well right now," the EFF president Sahilu Gebre Mariam told BBC Sport. Read more...