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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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  • A true show of sportsmanship: Etenesh Diro Advances to Final after Finishing 3,000-Meter Steeplechase with 1 shoe

    (by EthioTime) Etenesh Diro has advanced to the final in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase after having run the last half mile of the semifinal with only one shoe. After reviewing video of the race, the Jury of Appeal advanced Etenesh to the final, following protests from the Ethiopian team, according to The Associated Press. 

    Etenesh was leading her heat in the qualification race when her right shoe got loose. She struggled to put it back on after colliding with some of the others on the track.  

    After trying to put it back on, Etenesh finally yanked it off and threw it onto the field. Taking a few steps, she ripped off her sock and continued, completing the last leg of the race with just one shoe.

    Etenesh managed to catch up to some of the runners, but finished in 7th place in her heat, clocking in at 9:34.70. That time originally knocked her out of the final. The Ethiopian team appealed and Etenesh was advanced to the final. Sara Louise Treacy of Ireland and Aisha Praught of Jamaica will also run in the final race after appeals from their countries' teams. 

    In a true show of sportsmanship, the other athletes rushed over to comfort Etenesh after the race. Etenesh caught the attention of social media this evening during the semifinal, with people cheering on her determination.

    Image: Etenesh in Rio semifinal

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  • AU Commission Elections update

    (by EthioTime) The nomination process for the next Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and eight Commissioners of the African Union (AU) Commission has been re-opened.

    The candidatures for the posts of the Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and the Commissioners are required to be circulated to Member States at least three months before the election. The elections are scheduled to be held during the Assembly of Heads of State and Government, scheduled for 30-31 January, 2017, at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

    The election of the Members of the AU Commission held in Kigali, Rwanda in July 2016, were suspended since none of the three contenders for the position of the Chairperson of the Commission obtained the required two-thirds majority, after seven rounds of voting. Re-opening the process allows for both the former candidates, as well as new candidates to run for any of the ten positions.

    Image: AU

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  • The Weeknd donates $50,000 to the University of Toronto to kick-start an Ethiopic Studies program

    Grammy award-winning R&B star and Toronto native Abel Tesfaye — alias The Weeknd — has donated $50,000 to the University of Toronto in support of establishing an Ethiopic Studies program.

    The Scarborough native, whose parents emigrated from Ethiopia, “immediately” answered the call from the Bikila Awards organization who said they weren’t even sure he’d respond to their request, but was surprised by his immediate generosity. (The Star could not reach Tesfaye for comment on Saturday.)

    “It’s unbelievable,” Tam Gebeyehu, board member of the Bikila Award told the Star. “He grew up in Toronto as an Ethiopian-Canadian, and now he’s giving back to the community.”

    The Bikila Award, named after Ethiopian Olympic hero Abebe Bikila who won gold twice running barefoot in the marathon in the 1960s, is an organization created to foster academic, professional and business excellence and promote volunteerism among Ethiopian-Canadians.

    The donation came about when U of T professor Michael Gervers, of the Department of Historical and Cultural Studies, pledged to donate $50,000 of his own money, if the university and the Ethiopian community could match the contribution.

    Looking for donors, the organization reached out to Tesfaye, and was blown away but how quickly he was willing to help. Back in 2014, Bikila Award awarded Tesfaye with its Professional Excellence Award, but never thought he would reach this peak of fame.

    “Back then he was doing a lot of stuff, but was still a boy from Scarborough just rising to fame,” Gebeyehu said. “His donation helps us preserve our culture and share it with everyone else.”

    Source: thestar.com

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  • Ethiopia says UN observers not needed as protests rage

    Addis Ababa - Ethopia has dismissed a plea from the United Nations that it allow international observers to investigate the killing of protesters by security forces during a recent bout of anti-government demonstrations. 

    Getachew Reda, a government spokesman, told Al Jazeera on Thursday that the UN was entitled to its opinion but the government of Ethiopia was responsible for the safety of its own people.

    Reda's comments came after the UN urged the government to allow observers to investigate the killings of at least 90 protesters in the Oromia and Amhara regions over the weekend.

    Zeid Raad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said allegations of excessive use of force must should be investigated and that his office was in discussions with Ethiopian authorities.

    Reda, however, told Al Jazeera that it was not necessary to send observers to specific parts of the country since the UN already had a massive presence in Ethiopia.

    He said the government would launch its own investigation into whether security forces had used excessive force and would do so in consultation with local people.

    He blamed what he called "terrorist elements" for stoking the violence from abroad, without giving further detail.

    At the weekend, an opposition leader told the AFP news agency that up to 50 people were killed as security forces suppressed the protestsAmnesty International put the death toll at 97.

    Oromia, an area which surrounds the capital Addis Ababa, has seen several months of protests, sparked by plans to allocate farmland in the region for development.

    Authorities scrapped the land scheme in January, but protests have flared again over the continued detention of opposition demonstrators.

    Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

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