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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Barefoot Runner

Also in the news: Government looters Attack ONC Regional Office, children forced to work in Ethiopia,Fears for Safety of Detained Ethiopian and more of today's top stories!

The legendary Ethiopian runner Abebe Bikila celebrates after a win at the Rome Olympics. Not only did Abebe win the race running barefoot, but he also set a new world record at 2:16:2. He was the first African to ever win an Olympics medal. Asked later why he ran barefoot, Bikila replied, I wanted the world to know that my country, Ethiopia, has always won with determination and heroism"(Without the advantages of western advances) .

Government looters Attack ONC Regional Office

Agents of the incumbent regime in Ethiopia have on the 26th of September broken in to the Oromo National Congress office in Jimma Arjo, East Wallaga Zone and confiscated properties of the organisation.They then went to the homes of the political organisation' s district leaders and threatened them saying :
" you people are still haunted by the gohsts of the OLF ! ".

One of the individuals thus threatened has said his life is in a dangerous situation although the party is legally organised and operating accourding to the laws of the land . It is to be remembered that the TPLF agents have recently stopped a car and confiscated the annual Oromo students' graduation bulletin as part of the crack down on the freedom of expression of students.

Barefoot Runner, by Paul Rambali

The story of Abebe Bikila is a modern fairy tale. He was the first African to win an Olympic gold medal, and his underdog status was unmissable: Bikila won the marathon at the 1960 Rome Olympics in bare feet. He was the son of peasants and unused to footwear, but his upbringing on Ethiopia's high plateau gave him an enormous advantage.

Runners raised at altitude can run further and faster because they need less oxygen and are less vulnerable to dehydration.Bikila complemented this unusual physical capacity with rare competitive spirit. Even confinement to a wheelchair following a car crash did not finish his athletic career; he soon switched to the Paralympics. Bikila's first gold medal was political capital for his emperor. Haile Selassie I, King of Kings and the Elect of God, was then an autocrat with power of life and death over his subjects. Selassie wished Ethiopia - and Africa as a whole - to assume equal status with the developed world , but by the 1960s the gap between the emperor's medieval governance and Ethiopia's need to modernise was becoming unbridgeable.(More...)

Hundreds of thousands of children forced to work in Ethiopia

The United Nations children's agency UNICEF estimates there are hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian youngsters, many as young as five years old currently involved in child labour.

Ethiopia is one of the world's poorest countries and many children are forced into employment or even sold in order to help their families financially. Working children often end up missing out on both their education and their childhood.(More...)

Amnesty International Fears for Safety of Detained Ethiopian Teachers

A global human rights organization says it fears for the safety of two teachers who were arrested in Ethiopia after their union criticized the government. Amnesty International says Wasihun Melese and Anteneh Getnet are being held without charge and are at risk of torture, ill-treatment or "disappearance." The pair was arrested September 23 in the capital, Addis Ababa.(More...)

Today's Top Stories

-Reward For Murder of Businessman
-Ten government journalists defect: EMF
-S Africa is losing its way - Tutu
-Lawmakers scold HP as top lawyer resigns
-Al-Qaeda tape: More than 4,000 foreign militants killed in Iraq
-Iran will not suspend uranium enrichment for a 'single day'
-Russia Recalls Ambassador From Georgia
-Law student thief caught in getaway cab
-Confucians say, women now welcome
-Here comes the bride ... and her new baby