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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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  • Ethiopia must allow in observers after killings - UN rights boss

     

    GENEVA, Aug 10 (Reuters) - The U.N. human rights chief urged Ethiopia on Wednesday to allow international observers into restive regions where residents and opposition officials say 90 protesters were shot dead by security forces at the weekend.

    In his first comments on the incident, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that allegations of excessive use of force across the Oromiya and Amhara regions must be investigated and that his office was in discussions with Ethiopian authorities.

    Since January, when he said the killings of protesters first began, his office had "not seen seen any genuine attempt at investigation and accountability".

    "The use of live ammunition against protesters in Oromiya and Amhara, the towns there of course would be a very serious concern for us," Zeid told Reuters in an interview in Geneva.

    Unrest flared in Oromiya for several months until early this year over plans to allocate farmland surrounding the regional capital for development. Authorities in the Horn of Africa state scrapped the scheme in January, but protests flared again over the continued detention of opposition demonstrators.

    At the weekend, protesters chanted anti-government slogans and waved dissident flags. Some demanded the release of jailed opposition politicians. Information on the reported killings has been difficult to obtain, Zeid said.

    "So I do urge the government to allow access for international observers into the Amhara and Oromiya regions so that we can establish what has happened and that the security forces, if it is the case that they have been using excessive force, that they do not do so and promptly investigate of course these allegations."

    Zeid said that any detainee who had been peacefully protesting should be released promptly.

    The state-run Ethiopian News Agency said on Monday that "illegal protests" by "anti-peace forces" had been brought under control. It did not mention casualties.

    As in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which Zeid visited last month, it is vital that security forces employ non-lethal means during peaceful protests, he said.

    (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by Mark Heinrich)

    Source:  Reuters

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