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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

European Commission Invites Meles to Brussels

Also in the news: Telecommunications: A Mad Policy, PM holds the opposition at bay, Africa's global warming hotspots named: Ethiopia one of them, Satire/commentary on current issues (Amharic), The real report is with the people:Addis Admass

: 2006 Corruption Perceptions Index Reinforces Link Between Poverty and Corruption, US votes in crucial mid-term poll, Hussein back in court for genocide trial, First HIV Gene Therapy Test Encouraging and more of today's top stories

[Click here for up to the minute coverage of Election 2006 U.S.A - The whole House and a third of Senate seats are up for re-election]

European Commission Invites Meles to Brussels

ETP - Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is invited by the European Commission to participate in the Presidential Plenary Session and discuss the Challenges of Governance on Friday November 17 - 9.30 to 12.00 In Brussels. Perhaps Ethiopians in Europe can provide a sample of some of the challenges he is facing to his governance: and assist in supplying the Prime Minister with more material for his speech. (More...)
-[See list of participants]

Telecommunications: A Mad Policy

There is no better example of the self destructive policies of the Ethiopian government than the one it has on telecommunications. The fundamental importance of telecommunications to a modem economy hardly needs to be elaborated. The highly reputable The Economist magazine estimates that there is a measurable link of proportion of mobile phone coverage and GDP growth in developing countries.

Ethiopia has the lowest penetration of mobile phone coverage in Africa - lower than the Democratic Republic of Congo which is a jungle clogged transport nightmare wracked by civil wars. It is lower than Somalia - which does not have a government. How could it possibly be so bad? Ethiopia boasts the first independent African telephone company, the Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) that is over 100 years old. To their boast that "We were the first," should be added "Now we are the worst". (More...)

Africa's global warming hotspots named: Ethiopia one of them

Rwanda, Burundi, large tracts of southern Niger and Chad, and most of Ethiopia are the most vulnerable parts of a continent that could be the biggest loser from global warming, researchers said.

Africa has contributed least to greenhouse gases that cause climate change but its underdevelopment means it is also least prepared to deal with the consequences.

Many of the areas identified as most at risk from rising temperatures are among the continent's poorest.

"The situation is alarming, not only in relation to climate change," said Mario Herrero of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), while launching a report into poverty in Africa. (More...)

The real report is with the people (Addis Admass, Amharic)


Supreme Court Judge Teshale Aberra defects

Ethiopia's most senior judge, Teshale Aberra, has left the country following threats and "continued harassment" from the government, he has told the BBC. The Supreme Court president accused the government of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of killing its critics but managing to avoid international blame.

He also said the government was planning to appoint new, loyalist judges throughout the system. Mr Meles had been seen as being part of a new generation of African leaders.

Mr Teshale is the latest in a series of senior officials - judges, diplomats and military commanders - to flee the country.(More...)

Also see:
- Ethiopia's top judge to seek asylum in Britain: The Guardian

PM holds the opposition at bay

ADDIS ABABA: Standing on the elegant lawn of a foreign embassy, Bulcha Demeksa (seen here) recounts passionately the daily trials of being an opposition member in Ethiopia.

Sometimes they are mundane: "Opposition members of parliament don’t even have an office. If I want to read a document privately, I have to go out into the garden." Sometimes they are more chilling: "A party member was taken by state security to a distant place in the night and threatened. He fled to Kenya. So we lost a seat just like that."

Either way, the picture painted by the leader of the Oromo Federalist Democracy Movement (OFDM) is one of an opposition movement cowed and corralled by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s government and security apparatus on all fronts.

"I don’t see any intention to democratise this country, no softness of any manner," Bulcha, from the vast Oromia region, laments in a brief aside to a reporter at a cocktail event in the lavish grounds of the US embassy in Addis Ababa.(More...)

Satire/commentary on current issues (Amharic)

(by - Warning! Material not suitable for children)


Today's Top Stories

-Somali Islamists 'under attack' by Puntland forces
-Africa: 2006 Corruption Perceptions Index Reinforces Link Between Poverty and Corruption
-US votes in crucial mid-term poll
-Israeli Forces Pull Out of Gaza Town
-Hussein back in court for genocide trial
-U.S. wary as Ortega appears headed for victory
-First HIV Gene Therapy Test Encouraging
-Snoop Dogg surrenders to police