News

  • Ethiopia govt working to resolve Oromia, Somali region security crisis

    The Ethiopian government says it is working to resolve a deadly boundary crisis between the Oromia and Somali regional states. Clashes between the armed factions in the two states have led to the issuance of travel alerts by the United States and Canada. According to reports, the clashes were largely over border delineation issues. The Information Minister, Negeri Lencho, is quoted by the state-affiliated FANA broadcasting corporate as saying recent clashes led to the loss of lives and property. He said some 600 people displaced by the clashes were receiving humanitarian assistance. He added that whiles Addis Ababa continues its active mediation efforts, the army had been deployed in the area and was conducting disarmament operations. An investigation has also been opened and armed groups complicit of attacks on residents are being arrested. Reports indicate that the Ethiopia Human Rights Commission was also on the ground to deal with issues of rights violation. The US embassy in Addis Ababa on October 10 issued an alert cautioning of citizens of intense gunfire between two cities leaving a main road linking the capital and another town blocked. The statement read: “The U.S. Embassy is aware of reports that the main road from Addis Ababa to Jijiga has been blocked by security forces between the cities of Babile and Harar due to intense fighting including gunfire.” More Here

    Read more
  • Thousands flee Ethiopia clashes, 18 Confirmed Dead

    Thousands of people are fleeing Ethiopia's Somali region following clashes in recent days. Eighteen people are confirmed dead following protests which erupted in towns in the east of the country, Adisu Arega, spokesperson of the Oromia regional government, told the BBC. He said 12 of the dead were ethnic Somalis while the remaining six were Oromos. The spokesman said that the trouble began when a special unit of police from the neighboring Somali region arrested officials from Oromia, who were then killed. This sparked protests and clashes between the two communities in eastern Ethiopia. Over the past few weeks there have been clashes in several villages on both sides of the border separating Ethiopia's Oromia and Somali regions. The spokesperson of the Oromia regional government alleged that a special police and militia force of the Somali regional government, as well as armed soldiers from the republic of Somalia, had carried out killings deep inside Oromia region. Officials on the other side of the regional border have a very different view on the events. Continue Reading Here

    Read more
  • North Korea fires second missile over Japan as US tells China and Russia to take 'direct action'

    North Korea has fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile that flew over Japan before landing in the northern Pacific Ocean. It was the second aggressive test-flight over the territory of the close US ally in less than a month and it followed the sixth and most powerful nuclear test by North Korea to date on September 3. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile travelled about 3,700 kilometers (2,300 miles) while reaching a maximum height of 770 kilometers (478 miles). The missile, launched from Sunan, the site of Pyongyang's international airport, flew farther than any other missile North Korea has fired. The distance it flew is slightly greater than between the North Korean capital and the American air base in Guam. It was "the furthest overground any of their ballistic missiles has ever travelled", Joseph Dempsey of the International Institute for Strategic Studies said on Twitter. Physicist David Wright, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, added: "North Korea demonstrated that it could reach Guam with this missile, although the payload the missile was carrying is not known" and its accuracy was in doubt. Sirens sounded and alerts were issued in Japan as residents were warned to take shelter while the missile passed over Hoakkaido. "We can never tolerate that North Korea trampled on the international community's strong, united resolve toward peace that has been shown in UN resolutions and went ahead again with this outrageous act," Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, said. Read more

    Read more
  • Man sells his 11-month-old son for Rs 25,000 to buy mobile phone and alcohol

    11-month-old son sold by drunk father for Rs 25,000, buys alcohol, mobile phone, clothes with money We have heard stories about people selling their kidneys to buy expensive iPhones and iPads. However, in a shocking incident, a man hailing from Odisha’s Bhadrak district in India on Tuesday sold his 11-month-old son to purchase a mobile phone in exchange for the money he received. The accused, Balaram Mukhi sold his son for Rs 25,000, and out of that sum, he spent Rs 2,000 on the mobile phone, Rs 1,500 on a silver anklet for his seven year-old daughter and bought one saree for his wife, Sukuti Mukhi. The remaining money was used by Balaram to buy alcohol for his session of debauchery. Anup Sahoo, Bhadrak’s Superintendent of Police (SSP) said Mukhi has no regular income. “He works as a sweeper and seems to be a habitual drinker,” said SSP Sahoo. The mother of the child, Sukuti said, “My husband was in a drunken condition, and he told people that this is an illegitimate child, which is why he didn’t want to keep him with me and wants to give him to some other person.” According to the mother, she tried to object to the ‘sale’ and told the father that she is already raising her two children and can raise the third one as well. However, the accused father claims that both he and his wife were inebriated and had a fight and beat each other up. In the middle of the fight, he picked up the child and went to sell him off. Read more

    Read more
  • Too much sitting linked to shortened lives:study

    (Reuters) - People who spent a lot of time sitting at a desk or in front of a television were more likely to die than those who were only sedentary a few hours a day, according to an Australian study that looked at death rates during a three-year period. Researchers, whose results appeared in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that the link between too much time sitting and shortened lives stuck even when they accounted for how much moderate or vigorous exercise people got, as well as their weight and other measures of health. That suggests that shifting some time from sitting to light physical activity, such as slow walking or active chores, might have important long-term benefits, they added. “When we give people messages about how much physical activity they should be doing, we also need to talk to them about reducing the amount of hours they spend sitting each day,” said Hidde van der Ploeg, the new study’s lead author from the University of Sydney. Of more than 200,000 adults age 45 and older, van der Ploeg and her colleagues found that people who reported sitting for at least 11 hours a day were 40 percent more likely to die during the study than those who sat less than four hours daily. That doesn‘t, however, prove that sitting itself cuts people’s lives short, she noted, adding that there could be other unmeasured differences between people who spend a lot or a little time sitting each day. The team surveyed about 220,000 people from New South Wales, Australia, between 2006 and 2008, including questions about participants’ general health and any medical conditions they had, whether they smoked and how much time they spent both exercising and sitting each day. Then the research team tracked responders using Australian mortality records for an average of almost three years, during which 5,400 - between two and three percent - died. They found that the extra risk tied to sitting held up regardless of whether people were normal weight or overweight, how much time they spent working out and whether they were healthy or had pre-existing medical conditions. Van der Ploeg said too much sitting may affect blood vessels and metabolism by increasing fats in the blood and lowering “good” cholesterol levels. Read more

    Read more
  • NATO Calls for 'Global Response' to North Korean Missiles

    A woman watches a TV screen showing a file footage of North Korea's missile launch, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Sept. 15,2017 NATO has called for a global response to North Korea's latest missile launch. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Friday on Twitter, "North Korea's missile launch is another reckless breach of U.N. resolutions -- a major threat to international peace and security which demands a global response." Earlier Friday, North Korea launched another missile over Japan, just days after the United Nations imposed additional sanctions on Pyongyang for conducting its sixth nuclear test. The missile was launched from the Sunan district in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, and flew over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, said "We absolutely cannot accept these repeated provocations by North Korea and we strongly protest to North Korea and convey to them the nation's strong anger in the strongest words possible.” Warning announcements about the missile blared around 7 a.m. local time in the northern Japanese town of Kamaishi, according to footage from national broadcaster NHK. South Korea's military reported the missile reached an altitude of about 770 kilometers and flew 3,700 kilometers, far enough to reach the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam. US threat assessment The U.S. Pacific Command said in a statement, “Initial assessment indicates the launch of an intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM)” that did not pose a threat to Guam. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) determined this ballistic missile also did not pose a threat to North America. U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the North Korean missile launch "put millions of Japanese into duck and cover," and that top U.S. officials had fully coordinated after the test launch. Read more

    Read more
  • Blood clot risk -- and other problems -- might be tied to how tall you are

    CNN)How tall you are might hold clues to your risk of various health problems, such as blood clots, according to a new study. Height can be an independent predictor of your risk for venous thromboembolism, or VTE, also known as blood clots, according to the study, published Tuesday in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics. That blood clot risk was lowest among the shortest women and men and appeared to increase with height, the research showed. "Height is not something we can do anything about," lead study author Dr. Bengt Zöller, associate professor at Lund University and Malmö University Hospital in Sweden, said in a news release. "However, the height in the population has increased, and continues increasing, which could be contributing to the fact that the incidence of thrombosis has increased," he said. "I think we should start to include height in risk assessment just as overweight, although formal studies are needed to determine exactly how height interacts with inherited blood disorders and other conditions." In the United States, blood clots are thought to kill about 60,000 to 100,000 people annually, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Across Europe, there are an estimated 500,000 deaths related to blood clots each year, according to a 2014 review paper in the journal Thrombosis Research. The risk of blood clots isn't the only health concern that has been tied to height: Cancer, heart problems, gestational diabetes and even longevity have been linked with stature. Read more

    Read more
  • 39 New Peace Corps Volunteers Sworn in at U.S. Embassy

    Addis Ababa, September 15, 2017 – Charge d’Affaires Troy Fitrell administered the oath of service to 39 new Peace Corps Volunteers at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa today. These Volunteers will be working as English Teachers in the four administrative regions of Amhara, Tigray, Oromiya, and SNNP. With this new group there are now 130 Peace Corps Volunteers in Ethiopia working in the three sectors of Health, Agriculture and Education. Volunteers sworn in today are the fourth group to serve under the Promoting English Language Learning in Ethiopia (PELLE) project. Each of these Volunteers will begin teaching at least 3 sections of English class in local high schools to grade 9 or 11 students. English language skills are increasingly a baseline requirement for competitiveness in international education as well as in business. It can open vast opportunities and helps Ethiopian young people to connect with the world. Peace Corps Volunteers live and work within small communities around Ethiopia. They often become members of those communities and collaborate closely with local counterparts including teachers, administrators, and advocates to implement various projects in a way that fits each community’s needs. This joint approach to program development ensures broad support and investment from community members, resulting in better and more sustainable results. Projects cover a wide range of issues, including promoting gender equality, literacy, youth leadership, and technology use among youth. All 39 of these new Volunteers are heading to their communities having completed 3 months of training before taking the oath of service today. The training covers teaching methods, pedagogy, and a special practicum English classroom teaching of over 1,000 local students. Volunteers also received 125 hours of training in Amharic, Afan Oromo, or Tigrigna so that they can engage with their communities in their own languages. This inauguration brings the total number of Peace Corps Volunteers who have worked in Ethiopia to over 3,600 since its inception About the Peace Corps: As the preeminent international service organization of the United States, the Peace Corps sends Americans abroad to contribute towards solutions for the most pressing needs of people around the world. Peace Corps Volunteers work at the grassroots level with local governments, schools, communities, small businesses and entrepreneurs to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development.  = Remarks by Troy Fitrell, Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy at Peace Corps Ethiopia Swearing-In Ceremony U.S. Embassy, Addis Ababa September 15, 2017 (As prepared for delivery) Selam nau and indemen walachihu! Aqam Aqam! Kemey Wu’elkum! Good afternoon! My duties as Charge d’Affaires require me to perform many functions, but this is my first opportunity to swear in a new group of Peace Corps Volunteers. As I do so, I am keenly aware of the remarkable commitment the Volunteers are making with the next two years of their lives. I am aware of the profound partnership their service represents with the people and Government of Ethiopia. And, I am aware of the historical weight of the event, as you join a long and proud tradition of Peace Corps service in Ethiopia, dating back to the first group in 1962. In fact, Ethiopia was among the first countries to invite the Peace Corps to establish a program, and the first group of almost 300 Education Volunteers landed in Addis Ababa in September of that year. With all of these things on my mind, I can assure you that I am both humbled and honored to be administering the oath of service to our new Peace Corps Volunteers sitting here this afternoon. Undoubtedly, after their past 12 weeks of training in communities around Butajira and Mekele, they are more than prepared, and more than eager, to begin the service they chose to undertake. I know the communities that they will soon call home are anxious to have them join their schools and become their neighbors. I am likewise newly arrived to Ethiopia, and I know you will experience Ethiopia in a very unique and intimate way. As I travel the country, I look forward to visiting some of the areas where you teach and live, where you engage in English camps and the Girls Leading Our World camps that prioritize leadership and empowerment for girls and young women. I want to meet those community members you will soon call friends and colleagues, and see whether you have mastered the art of hosting a coffee ceremony or making dorowat. Your next two years in Ethiopia will shape who you are and how you understand the world, while your contribution to your community will last long beyond your time here. And years from now, I hope that the spirit of volunteerism will continue to drive you to improve opportunities for others whether in the U.S. or elsewhere. Though I have the privilege of being Chief of Mission, the 130 Peace Corps Volunteers and Trainees currently serving in Ethiopia are also our country’s ambassadors. Your mission of promoting world peace and friendship is straightforward and powerful with its three goals that have guided the Peace Corps since 1961: For further information, call 011-130-7033 http://ethiopia.usembassy.gov 1) To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained Volunteers. 2) To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served. 3) To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans. You spread goodwill and build enduring relationships with Ethiopians at a grassroots level and in areas that those of us at the Embassy can’t get to very often. I can’t tell you how many times people of many countries have enthusiastically shared with me their stories about how Peace Corps Volunteers have influenced their lives for the better and encouraged them to reach potentials they often had not imagined were possible. Over the years, more than 3,600 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in Ethiopia. In addition to education, they have worked in agriculture, health, tourism, economic development, conservation and natural resource management. The 39 of you who will swear-in today represent the 17th group of Volunteers since the reestablishment of the post in 2007, and will be working in communities of Amhara, Oromia, SNNPR and Tigray. With the active support of the Ministry of Education, Education volunteers will work as classroom teachers in Secondary schools as you teach English as a foreign language. You will offer training opportunities for teachers, support English language camps and clubs, and participate in a variety of other community based activities to increase the skill sets of students and families in their host towns and villages. I think we can all agree these activities are highly worthy of support by our Peace Corps Volunteers. I share Brannon’s strong commitment to supporting the education sector as key to the comprehensive development efforts that are ongoing in Ethiopia. I am likewise very grateful to the Ministry of Education for welcoming this Peace Corps program as a development partner in Ethiopia. Before I swear you in, let me take a moment to recognize those already in service and those who have served in the past. Would the Volunteers currently in service please stand up and be recognized for your work on behalf of the United States and Ethiopia? Now I’d also like to ask our former Peace Corps Volunteers to stand up. Though not all are able to be here today, there are many of you among us at the Embassy. I can say from personal experience that those of you who have gone on to Foreign Service careers have made tremendous contributions. I can say from experience that those FSOs who were PCVs bring with them the curiosity, conviction and courage that we need to be good diplomats and representatives of the United States abroad. And one more group I’d like to recognize is the Peace Corps Ethiopia staff. Would you please stand up? Finding good, safe sites for all of these Volunteers, preparing them for the service they will experience and providing them support on all days, and at all hours, is definitely not an easy job. We greatly appreciate your commitment to the program and to the Volunteers who depend on you. Amaseganehlu! I am also very grateful for the support the Volunteers receive from the Ethiopian communities in which they live. Far more than simply facilitating the Volunteers’ work, community support is the  basis for the friendships that have bound Volunteers to their countries of service for more than five decades. Trainees, you are the guests of honor today. On behalf of the U.S. Government and the people of the United States, I thank you for that hard work and for the commitment you are about to make. In volunteering for this duty, you have left behind your families, friends and homes – everything that is familiar -- in order to work side-by-side with the people of Ethiopia, thereby rising to President  Kennedy’s challenge of so many years ago. You represent American goodwill and compassion at its best, and all of us here today are proud of you for the commitment you are about to make. Your task will not be easy and much will be expected of you. But I am confident that you will make the most of this unique privilege to serve as Peace Corps Volunteers. I have no doubt that it will be one of the most profound and transformative experiences of your life. Now, if you’re prepared to commit the next two years of your lives to Peace Corps service and to the Ethiopian communities in which you’ll be working, please stand, raise your right hand, and repeat after me: “I, (state your name), do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.” Volunteers, thank you, and good luck!

    Read more
  • North Korean Nuclear Test Draws U.S. Warning of ‘Massive Military Response’

    North Korea released a photograph on Sunday of the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, center, inspecting what it said was a hydrogen bomb that could be fitted onto a missile. Hours later, it carried out its sixth nuclear test. Credit Korean Central News Agency WASHINGTON — North Korea’s detonation of a sixth nuclear bomb on Sunday prompted the Trump administration to warn that even the threat to use such a weapon against the United States and its allies “will be met with a massive military response.’’ The test — and President Trump’s response — immediately raised new questions about the president’s North Korea strategy and opened a new rift with a major American ally, South Korea, which Mr. Trump criticized for its “talk of appeasement” with the North. The underground blast was by far North Korea’s most powerful ever. Though it was far from clear that the North had set off a hydrogen bomb, as it claimed, the explosion caused tremors that were felt in South Korea and China. Experts estimated that the blast was four to sixteen times more powerful than any the North had set off before, with far more destructive power than the bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. Yet after a day of meetings in the Situation Room involving Mr. Trump and his advisers, two phone calls between the president and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, and even demands from some liberal Democrats to cut off North Korea’s energy supplies, Mr. Trump’s aides conceded that they faced a familiar conundrum. While the Pentagon has worked up a series of military options for targeted strikes at North Korea’s nuclear and missile sites, Mr. Trump was told that there is no assurance that the United States could destroy them all in a lightning strike, according to officials with knowledge of the exchange. Cyberstrikes, which President Barack Obama ordered against the North’s missile program, have also been judged ineffective. Read more

    Read more
  • The nudist-friendly space in the Bois de Vincennes is open until October

    A section of a public park in Paris, the Bois de Vincennes, has been set aside by officials as a clothing-optional zone. The 7,300 square metre area, located in a clearing by the park’s bird reserve, will form the site of this temporary experiment. Those taking advantage of the trial space must show "good behaviour", as exhibitionism and voyeurism are strictly prohibited. The space will be open from 8am to 7.30pm every day until 15 October, with signs showing which areas are suitable for stripping off. According to Penelope Komites, a deputy mayor in charge of the city’s parks, the nudist zone "is part of our open-minded vision for the use of Parisian public spaces." A spokesperson from the French Embassy said: “Naturists and nudists are welcome all over our country! There are over 80 centres and 180 clubs throughout the country ready to welcome them, which makes France the country most visited by naturists (over 1.5 million every year) and the best-equipped to meet their needs.” Local nudists have welcomed the trial. Julien Claude-Penegry, a member of the Paris Naturists Association, predicted that thousands of people could flock to the new zone. Read more

    Read more