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  • Ethiopian runner makes protest sign as he crosses line in Rio

     

    An Olympic marathon runner from Ethiopia staged a daring protest against his home government when he crossed the line in Rio on Sunday.

    As he took the silver medal, Feyisa Lilesa crossed his arms above - a gesture made by the Oromo people who have suffered brutal police crackdowns.

    Lilesa is from Oromia, home to most of Ethiopia's 35 million Oromo people.

    He repeated the protest gesture later at a press conference, saying his life would be in danger if he returned home.

    Human rights groups say that Ethiopian security forces have killed hundreds of people in recent weeks as they crack down on anti-government protests.

    Explaining his actions, Lilesa said: "The Ethiopian government are killing the Oromo people and taking their land and resources so the Oromo people are protesting and I support the protest as I am Oromo.

    "The Ethiopian government is killing my people so I stand with all protests anywhere as Oromo is my tribe. My relatives are in prison and if they talk about democratic rights they are killed. I raised my hands to support with the Oromo protest."

    The marathon runner said that he might be killed if he returned.

    "If not kill me, they will put me in prison," he said. "I have not decided yet, but maybe I will move to another country."

    Asked if he was worried about being sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), he said: "I cannot do anything about that. This was my feeling. I have a big problem in my country, it is very dangerous to make protest in my country."

    Rule 50 of the Olympic charter bans political displays or protests and the American duo of Tommie Smith and John Carlos were famously stripped of their medals after the pair flashed the black power salute on the medal stand at the 1968 Summer Games.

    There has been a wave of protests in Ethiopia in recent months over a series of frustrations, including attempts by the governments to reallocate land in the Oromo and Amhara regions. Read more 

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  • 5 emerging reggae artists in East Africa

    1. Sami Dan (Ethiopia)

    Ethiopia's reggae scene might be experiencing challenges as many of the established reggae venues have shut down, but up-and-coming artists like Sami Dan have not given up. The artist first emerged on the Ethiopian reggae scene in 2014 and now  has his eyes set on propelling Ethiopian reggae to new heights. In May 2016 Sami released his debut full-length album, Keras Gar Negeger (loosely translated to 'speaking to oneself') - on the contrary, Sami’s music has got many people dancing across Ethiopia.

    Sami’s rapid rise to fame has seen him leading the nominations for the upcoming Leza Awards in September 2016, including Best Single for the hit ‘Tefa Yemileyen’, Best Music Video, Best New Artist as well as Best Album.

    2. Gravitti Band (Kenya)

    In Kenya, reggae is still a potent and powerful musical force throughout the country. New artists have emerged on the Kenyan scene to further develop the genre's long-standing popularity. Fronted by vocalist John Lyric, six-piece oufit Gravitti Band has established itself on the local scene by telling stories that are relevant to Kenya and the rest of Africa. The band started by backing other artists but recently stepped up to release their own songs, starting with '21 Gun Salute', a reggae-rock fusion honouring Africa's heroes. Gravitti Band have experimented with various musical styles, including gospel, Afro-jazz and hip-hop. They finally settled on reggae and this is where they have found their home. In June 2016 the band released a new single, 'Africa'.

    3. 2T (Rwanda)

    Natty Dread, Jah Borne, Ben Rutabana and the band Nyampinga need little introduction, particularly during Rwandan reggae's heyday in the early 2000s. The situation in recent years has arguably changed a little, so that music fans might now favour other genres over reggae. Artists such as 2T today lead the struggle for reggae to stay alive in Rwanda. In 2015 the artist released a catchy tune, ‘Ntakiruta Imana', to much acclaim .

    2T started singing with his family when he was just five years old. During his high school years, he joined the school choir. While in college in 2005, he recorded his first song, 'Shoot the Aids'. In 2010 he joined the band Holy Jah Doves before moving to Mystic Revelation, where he fell in love with reggae music. Besides releasing music, 2T also hosts a popular radio show, 'Reggae Vibes', on Rwandan station Contact FM and runs an organisation called Music for Peace and Development, which hones skills among children and youth. 

    4. Jamal Waswa (Uganda)

    While Rwanda reggae might be struggling to attract a loyal fanbase, neighbouring Uganda still enjoys a huge following for local reggae. Uganda’s typical style of reggae is made up mainly of ballads delivered over bouncy roots-reggae riddims, fused with Afro-pop, dancehall, funk and even Afro-Cuban influences. Beyond well-known names such as Bebe Cool, Jose Chameleone and Madoxx Ssematimba, Jamal Waswa is a Ugandan reggae artist whose music is proving popular and timeless.

    After a brief hiatus from the Ugandan music scene, Jamal staged his comeback concert in October 2015. One of his best-known singles is ‘Malaika’, which he sings in Swahili to attract audiences from Kenya and Tanzania. The artist recently released a new dancefloor-friendly track, called 'Ready to Go', on which he collaborates with the likes of DJ Slick Stuart and DJ Roja.

    5. Malfred (Tanzania)

    Critics of Tanzanian reggae may deem the current crop of young reggae artists as lacking in talent, but Malfred is one artist who defies the criticism. His music is steeped in meaningful lyricism and with a goal to send postive social messages to listeners. Malfred emerged on the Tanzanian music scene in 2009 with the album Maisha Haya. Today he remains focused on inspiring people through his music. His latest single 'Najaribu' explores the theme of love.

    Source: musicinafrica

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  • Ethiopia will need urgent global support in race to prepare for main planting season – UN

    Seasonal floods, resulting in crop damage and inundation of pastures, following a severe El Niño-induced drought in Ethiopia may be further exacerbated by its cool weather counterpart, La Niña, expected from October onwards, the United Nations agricultural agency has warned.

    In a news release late last week, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) highlighted that if the floods worsen later this year, there could be outbreaks of crop and livestock diseases, further reducing agricultural productivity and complicating recovery.

    “The situation is critical now,” Amadou Allahoury, FAO Representative to Ethiopia, said.

    El Niño is the term used to describe the warming of the central to eastern tropical Pacific that occurs, on average, every three to seven years. It raises sea surface temperatures and impacts weather systems around the globe so that some places receive more rain while others receive none at all, often in a reversal of their usual weather pattern.

    While El Niño, and its counterpart La Niña – which is caused by cooler waters in the Pacific Ocean – occur cyclically, in recent years, mainly due to the effects of global climate change, extreme weather events associated with these phenomena, such as droughts and floods, have increased in frequency and severity, according to UN agencies.

    “We must make sure that farmers will be able to plant between now and September and grow enough food to feed themselves and their families thus avoiding millions of people having to rely on food assistance for another year,” added Mr. Allahoury.

    According to FAO, the urgency is due to the country’s main agricultural season, meher, that produces up to 85 per cent of the nation’s food supplies. The season starts as early as mid-June for some crops, with planting ongoing until August for others.

    To ensure the last remaining planting window of the year is met, an estimated $8.8 million is needed to provide root crop planting materials, legumes, vegetable and cereal seed to 530,000 households.

    “Ethiopia needs urgent global support to respond to its humanitarian needs, we have no time to procrastinate,” stressed Mr. Allahoury.

    Additionally, according to the recently released Mid-Year Review of the Ethiopia Humanitarian Requirements Document, developed jointly by the Government of Ethiopia, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations and other development partners, some 900,000 additional households need urgent agricultural support bringing the total number to 2.9 million in August. It added that the overall food security situation has improved only slightly, with the number of people requiring emergency food assistance having decreased from 10.2 million to 9.7 since the beginning of the year.

    FAO has estimated that meeting additional agricultural sector needs will require $45 million bringing the total requirement for the agriculture sector to $91.3 million for 2016.

    Approaching La Niña

    According to meteorological reports, a La Niña event is 55 per cent likely for October to November.

    According to the UN agricultural agency, it will have two major impacts on the country: flooding in the dominantly highland areas and additional drought in the lowland livestock-dependent areas of Oromia and Somali regions. In response, the agency is supporting the Government to prepare a contingency plan to address the upcoming needs.

    Furthermore, in its response to the ongoing food security crisis in the horn of Africa country, FAO has already provided agricultural inputs to 127,000 households, number some 635,000 people, in drought-affected regions. It has also provided critical support to livestock-owning families: providing livestock feed, fodder seed to rejuvenate pasture, and rehabilitated water points for livestock. The agency has also supported the Government to vaccinate and treat some 1.4 million animals. However, large numbers of animals has been weakened by the drought and are exposed to diseases as the result of the recent floods. The organization is planning to expand the vaccinations and treatment campaigns.

    In order to increase the coverage of both farmers and livestock keepers affected by the drought and current floods, FAO requires $10 million by the end of September 2016.

    Source: UN

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  • Ethiopia’s national higher education entrance exam result reveals

    (by EthioTime) Ethiopian National Education Assessment and Examination Agency has announced today that Grade 12, higher education entrance exam result has been revealed.

    Accordingly, students are advised that they can check their exam results following the procedures on the Agency’s website www.neaea.gov.et or can also check via free text line on 8181 by sending RTW and their Exam ID number.

    The Agency says over half of the examinees have been able to score the passing mark where the university entrance mark is not yet revealed.

    Image: Exam Result

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  • TAXI DRIVER (Asfawosen Almeseged) BEATEN TO DEATH BY PASSENGER IN HOLLYWOOD, LAPD SAYS

    HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) --A homicide investigation was underway after an altercation between a taxi driver and a passenger turned deadly at a Hollywood gas station early Sunday.

    Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department Hollywood Division responded to a call of an altercation at a gas station near Beachwood Drive and Franklin Avenue at about 3:15 a.m.

    Authorities found the taxi driver, later identified as Asfawosen Alemseged, unconscious in the parking lot of a 76 gas station.

    Alemseged was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he later died, police said.

    Investigators said it appeared Alemseged was first attacked over a fare dispute while he was inside the cab.

    "This is probably a fare dispute that escalated into a robbery, into a physical assault, to the victim's death," Lt. John Radtke of the LAPD said.

    Detectives said the altercation then continued outside the vehicle.

    The suspect was believed to be a passenger who was being dropped off near the gas station.

    He was last seen fleeing the scene eastbound on Franklin Avenue, according to Radtke.

    The suspect was described as a 35 to 40-year-old man who is about 5-foot-8 inches tall.

    Police said he had thick, dark hair and was last seen wearing a long-sleeve blue shirt.

    Investigators were checking surveillance video for more information on the crime. Scent dogs were also aiding police in the suspect search.

    "What they attempt to do is get a scent from the suspect and then specifically follow that scent wherever it leads them," said Radtke. "It did lead them eastbound on Franklin and into the local community."

    In a statement, Yellow Cab said Alemseged worked for the company for 24 years and that he was well known in his native Ethiopian community as a singer, musician, writer and artist.

    Anyone with information on the case was urged to contact the LAPD.

    The intersection of Beachwood Drive and Franklin Avenue was closed for several hours and has since reopened.

    Souce: ABC 

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