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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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  • August horoscopes

    The final month of summer of 2016 will be a bright, exceptionally positive and at the same time incredibly harmonious period for practically all zodiac signs. The dynamics of solar emanations will be especially high now, resulting in overall constructive energy levels, which will easily neutralize the lion's share of potentially negative impacts, so to say, in the automatic mode. Despite the fact that we are talking about the so-called "vacation season", in August of 2016 you're unlikely to have much time for relaxing, because the position of Mercury and Mars, our main protagonists in the given period, call for the most vigorous actions, especially in your working direction. So it is better not to plan any vacations and other "breaks" during this month. Although, of course, nobody can forbid you from doing this, right? But then you'll strongly regret your decision when you see how many opportunities you've missed (and how much your colleagues have gained). Let's not dwell on bad news! Because now everything is in bloom! You're full of energy and ready for battle! That is why, with the support from the Red Warrior and the "main celestial trader " you should boldly march towards conquering your financial plans, career heights and all other materialistic aspirations. Of course, you shouldn't forget about your sensual and spiritual development, but now, frankly speaking, all this will move to the sidelines and give way to more pragmatic goals.

    It's fair to say that despite the overall exceptionally positive mood of the month, August of 2016 will not be deprived of some pitfalls (otherwise, life would be boring!). First and foremost, it's worth mentioning the influence of Venus, this rather strong and, let's say, opinionated planet. It's very bizarre that the priestess of heaven will focus its energy impulses not on the field of your personal relationships, as it should, but somewhere in the vicinity of your working sphere. This situation is startling and ambiguous, and that's what makes it potentially dangerous. Be vigilant and careful when signing any major contracts. Do not "procrastinate," but at the same time, proceed carefully and consistently. No one will punish you for the delay, but any error could cost you a lot. Also, don't let your guard down in the sensory-emotional sphere, although here everything should be much calmer and safer. Pluto won't be strong enough to cause you real problems, so you'll end up with some routine concerns, minor quarrels and fairly standard anxieties. It goes without saying that you'll need to attend to these issues, otherwise something irreparable may happen. After all, all these minor problems have one incredibly nasty habit of accumulating. And what is easier to deal with: individual fingers or a fist?

    As far as the "heavenly leaders" are concerned, in August of 2016 the water elements (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces) will have the Moon on their side, and it would be an incredibly huge bonus second to none. The second place goes to the fire trine (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius), which will acquire Uranus as an additional patron, the planet that is rather ambiguous, but sometimes able "to come up" with real "pearls." The air trine (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius) may show off by having Mercury on its side, yes, the same Mercury that will now help all the inhabitants of the earth without exception. It turns out the lord of heaven and earth trade routes has picked its favorites. But we're not in the fifth grade, so there's no need to be jealous, is there?... The "heavenly leader" of the earth trine (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn) will be Saturn, the mighty and unshakeable. It is difficult to predict the benefits that this object of the solar system will shower humankind with at the current stage, but it will clearly bring about some positive aspects. To sum it all up, August, in general, will prove to be a rather positive and successful time for all of us.
    Source: gotohoroscope

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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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  • Corbyn joins seatless commuters on floor for three-hour train journey

    Labour leader is filmed during trip from London to Newcastle, on his way to meet Owen Smith for leadership hustings

    Spending a busy train journey without a seat, crushed up against other commuters in the aisle, or crouched uncomfortably in the luggage compartment is an all-too-common experience for many. But you don’t expect to spot the leader of the opposition on the floor of a train on your way to work.

    Jeremy Corbyn, famed for standing up for his principles, sat down for them last week, along with 20 other seatless commuters on a three-hour train journey from London to Newcastle.

    In a video shot as he was on his way to debate with Owen Smith in the Labour leadership hustings in Gateshead, Corbyn is seen sitting on the floor of the train, a coffee and brown paper bag at his feet, reading Private Eye. The freelance filmmaker Yannis Mendez, who has been following Corbyn and volunteers for his campaign, filmed the footage.

    From his spot on the floor, which he chose rather than upgrading to first class, Corbyn turns to the camera and says: “This is a problem that many passengers face every day, commuters and long-distance travellers. Today this train is completely ram-packed. The staff are absolutely brilliant, working really hard to help everybody.

    “The reality is there are not enough trains, we need more of them – and they’re also incredibly expensive.” He said the whole experience was a good case for public ownership.

    Later, Corbyn said: “Is it fair that I should upgrade my ticket whilst others who might not be able to afford such a luxury should have to sit on the floor? It’s their money I would be spending after all.”

    Ellen, a mother-of-two who travelled on the same train and and also had no seat, said: “It was a surprise to see him there, but it was refreshing. It made me realise that it shouldn’t be a surprise to see a politician travelling alongside average commuters. They should be on the same level as the general public.”

    It is not the first time Corbyn has experienced the reality of Britain’s transport woes. During the 2015 leadership campaign he was spotted on a night bus after a day’s campaigning:

    Source: The Guardian

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  • Former Fifa president and IOC member dies aged 100

    Former Fifa president Joao Havelange has died at the age of 100.

    The Brazilian was predecessor to Sepp Blatter at world football's governing body, serving from 1974 to 1998.

    He resigned as Fifa's honorary president in April 2013 following an investigation into bribery allegations and was admitted to hospital the following year with a lung infection.

    He was an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member from 1963 until 2011, resigning because of ill health.

    Havelange represented Brazil in swimming at the 1936 Olympics - the year he qualified as a lawyer - before his election to the IOC.

    As Fifa president he led the World Cup's expansion from 16 to 32 teams, with six competitions held under his tenure.

    Source: BBC

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