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Friday, February 16, 2007

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky's letter to Prime Minister Meles

Check back with ETP for more news throughout the day

Also in the news: [FREE PRISONERS RALLY IN DC A BIG SUCCESS] - [Agence France-Presse: Crime surges in Somalia's lawless capital] - [UN:Ethiopians dying off the cost of Yemen] - [Ethiopian Govt: Union of Eritrean Opposition Groups (EDA) Meets in Addis Ababa] - [Starbucks to double East Africa spending]

International: [Mauritania plane passengers beat up hijacker] - [Bloggers flock to Obama's Web site] - [Rice to begin a high-profile peace mission to the Mideast] - [31 to stand trial in CIA kidnapping case] - [Putin's selection intensifies question of successor] - [Senegal rappers fight for freedom] and more of today's top stories!

DC-Metro Feb 15, 2007, Ethiopians braved bone chilling cold temperatures to plead the case of unjustly imprisoned opposition leaders, human rights activists and journalists in their homeland. Final verdict for the prisoners of conscience is scheduled for this coming Monday - February 19. According to an-unscientific web poll conducted by ETP, most Ethiopians believe the government will postpone verdict. The Ethiopian government is known for its long trials which take decades to wrap-up.


For more information on the Worldwide demonstrations and Prayer vigils held this week - plus for upcoming weekend events Visit:

'Free Ethiopia’s Prisoners of Conscience'

[Action Center] - [Resource Center]


Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky's letter to Prime Minister Meles

I am writing on behalf of my Ethiopian-American constituents to express our concern about the ongoing detention of opposition leaders, political activists, journalists and others in Ethiopia who are being detained on politically-motivated charges. I strongly urge your government to seek political dialogue to the ongoing political crises rather than continue the unwarranted dentations.(More...)

Crime surges in Somalia's lawless capital

MOGADISHU (AFP) - Dodging bombs and bullets may be routine for many Mogadishu residents but a surge in violent crime in the Somali capital is compounding the years of misery of a war-weary people.

Increasing incidents of rape, robbery and carjacking in the Horn of Africa city pose an unfamiliar threat to many residents since the Ethiopia-backed government ousted an Islamist movement from Mogadishu late last year.

Gunmen prowl the capital's battle-scarred streets preying on people carrying cell phones or bus drivers whose vehicles are commandeered for trade in spare parts, while daily artillery battles roar overhead.(More...) FREE ETHIOPIAN POLITICAL PRISONERS RALLY IN WASHINGTON DC ANOTHER RESOUNDING SUCCESS

The snow covered and frozen white lawns of the US Congress got a dose of face-lift from hundreds of demonstrators waving Ethiopian and American flags, huge banners and placards which demanded the unconditional release of Ethiopian prisoners of conscience.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch Genocide Watch and others have declared the prisoners “Prisoners of Conscience”

The bitter cold and punishing wind was no match for the heightened spirit and resolve of the demonstrators. The program attracted a host of people from far away states. Boston made a strong showing after an eight our chartered bus trip to Washington DC. They brought their own banners, placards and film crew.

Kinijit Support Chapter officials and African-American civil rights activists represented Atlanta. A committee from Chicago joined the crowed and later submitted petition drawn by the Ethiopian and Ethiopian-American community there.(More...)

Ethiopian Govt: Union of Eritrean Opposition Groups (EDA) Meets in Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia February 15, 2007 (ENA) - Eritrean Democratic Alliance launched a six-day congress here on Thursday to facilitate ways and hammer out a strategy towards the realization of a constitutional government to be elected by the people. EDA is Eritrea's opposition umbrella embracing 13 sisterly political organizations.

In his opening address, EDA Chairman Berhane Yemane said this 1st General Congress will dwell at length on the political and economic tribulations in Eritrea, and pass resolutions on how to salvage Eritreans from their ordeals.

These political and economic plights have continued to cause exodus and dispersion of young Eritreans, Berhane said.(More...)

Starbucks to double East Africa spending

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia -- Starbucks will double its purchases of fine coffee from East African countries by 2009 and will invest in several aid measures for farmers, the company said Thursday at a coffee conference in the Ethiopian capital.

The announcement comes amid a dispute between Starbucks Corp. and the Ethiopian government, which wants to trademark the names of three coffees produced in the country.(More...)

UN:Ethiopians dying off the cost of Yemen

More than 100 Ethiopian and Somali migrants drowned when a smugglers' boat capsized off Yemen earlier this week and 130 more are missing after they were forced off a second ship, the United Nations said on Friday

The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) said 107 bodies had already been buried from Monday's sinking, but that 133 people were still unaccounted for, although many of them may have reached land safely.

The missing were mostly from a second boat whose crew forced them to jump into the sea after the first craft went down, the UNHCR said. Two other vessels made it to shore with 235 people aboard.

It was the second mass drowning of African migrants this month in the Gulf of Aden. Fifteen people died after traffickers forced hundreds of passengers off two boats far from the Yemeni coast in early February.(More...)

Today's Top Stories

-Mauritania plane passengers beat up hijacker
-Rice begins a high-profile peace mission to the Mideast this weekend
-Bush Exhorts NATO Allies to Provide More Troops in Afghanistan to Go Up Against the Taliban
-Al-Qaida Releases Video of Afghan Attack
-Bloggers flock to Obama's Web site
-31 to stand trial in CIA kidnapping case
-Putin's selection intensifies question of successor (Putin added intrigue to the undeclared but widely debated question of who might succeed him as Russia's leader in 2008)
-Suspects Claim Innocence At Madrid Bombings Trial
-Cuba's Castro recovering says son
-Gore Launches Live Earth Concerts to Fight Global Warming
-Senegal rappers fight for freedom