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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

European hostages freed

Check back with ETP for more news throughout the day

Also in the news:
[*NEW* Professor Mesfin Woldemariam's letter from Kality Prison- (Amharic)]

[CNN: Somalia's president under attack in palace] - [Ethiopia and Starbucks-another trademark row brewing?] - [Ethiopia: Where is the Media?] - [Humans in North Africa earlier than thought]

[U.S.S. Cole lawsuit against Sudan going to trial in Virginia] - [BBC correspondent kidnapped in Gaza] - [Russia nuclear delay angers Iran] - [Viacom Sues Google & YouTube for $1 Billion] and more of today's top stories!

World Bank Headquarters (Washington DC, USA)

Financing a friendly dictator: Ishac Diwan, World Bank country director for Sudan and Ethiopia, disclosed that his team is preparing for a Country Assistance Strategy which was first interrupted following the electoral violence of May 2005. This will bring back direct budget support to the government of Ethiopia, amounting to 50 million dollars (More...)

*NEW* Professor Mesfin Woldemariam's letter from Kality Prison- (Amharic) here to read


100,000 Letters Campaign: UPDATE AND FAQs

The Coalition for H.R. 5680

The Coalition for H.R. 5680 is pleased to provide the following update on the international Ethiopian Diaspora response to the campaign to deliver 100,000 letters-in-ten-days to President Bush.(More...)

European hostages freed

Five British embassy hostages kidnapped in Ethiopia have been released, Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett has revealed. She said they were all in "good health" after being released in neighbouring Eritrea. They are currently undergoing medical checks.

The group went missing on March 1 on a tourist trip to visit geological sites in the remote Afar region, in the country's north. Two vehicles belonging to the group were later found abandoned in the north-eastern village of Hamedali.

The vehicles were riddled with bullets, but still contained luggage and mobile phones. The Afar region straddles the border of Ethiopia and Eritrea.(More...)

CNN: Somalia's president under attack in palace

MOGADISHU, Somalia -- Somalia's president came under mortar attack in his palace Tuesday, hours after arriving for a rare visit to the violent capital, eyewitnesses said. A 12-year-old boy was killed by a mortar that missed the palace, the boy's father said.

(Picture - Somali President, Abdullah Yousuf)

"Six mortars have been fired at the presidential palace," said Abdiwahid Haji Mumin, who lives near the hill top palace, known as Villa Somalia.

"Two have hit inside the palace and four outside." Abdullah Ahmed said his son was killed by a mortar that missed the palace. Three of his children were also injured by shrapnel, he told The Associated Press.

"They were sleeping when the mortar hit us. It is sad to see your children to be killed in front of you and you can't do anything. How can the government say it will restore peace when our children are killed?" (More...)

Ethiopia: Where is the Media?

In a country where information is so hard to come by, the costs of the constant gap in public information are significant. Without proper information, mistakes are made all the time, inefficiencies are rife and people are more easily manipulated. This is something that must be resolved by media agencies themselves.

Ethiopia's government, like so many around the world, has no interest in seeing a free and accurate flow of information. But Ethiopians do, and they crave accurate news.

Have yourself a good time and read the Ethiopian News Agency's (ENA) website. There you will find a series of random official announcements from around the country, without background or detail, which appear far more like simplistic propaganda than news. The nature of what is written on these web pages comes as no surprise. After all, it is a government website and no government willingly criticises itself.More...)

Humans in North Africa earlier than thought

Study reveals Homo sapiens may have appeared in northern Africa 35,000 years earlier than previously thought.

WASHINGTON - Man may have emerged on the south shore of the Mediterranean 35,000 years earlier than previously thought, said a study out Monday.

That would push the appearance of Homo sapiens in northern Africa back to 160,000 years ago, according to scientists who studied the remains of a three-year-old found in Morocco in 1968.

Using microscopic and X-ray examination of tooth growth, which stores information as tree rings do, scientists said the date Homo sapiens arrived in the north of Africa may have been earlier than previously believed.(More...)

CUD chairman Hailu Shawl’s eye condition deteriorating in prison

Due to prison authorities refusal to allow the appropriate medical care to CUD chairman Hailu Shawl, the eye condition he has been suffering from in the past is getting significantly worse, says a report by Tensae radio.

Hailu and the other CUD official incarcerated in Kality prison are classified by human rights groups, such as amnesty and HRW - as prisoners of conscience.(More in Amharic...)

Ethiopia and Starbucks-another trademark row brewing?

MEKELE, Ethiopia (Reuters) - As Ethiopia and U.S. coffee shop giant Starbucks fight it out in a high profile trademark dispute, little notice is being taken of another potential row brewing in the backstreets of a highland town.

Small businessman Ambes Tewelde has a roaring trade selling some 400 cups a day of fine Ethiopian coffee in a perpetually packed coffee-shop named ... Starbucks!

"An Ethiopian friend of mine in Atlanta suggested the name, and people seem to like it," Ambes said in his shop.(More...)

Today's Top Stories

-Bruised but defiant, Zimbabwe opposition appear in court
-Sudan Activists Warn of Massive Deaths in Darfur
-U.S.S. Cole lawsuit against Sudan going to trial in Virginia
-Viacom Sues Google & YouTube for $1 Billion
-BBC correspondent kidnapped in Gaza
-Russia nuclear delay angers Iran (Iran has fiercely criticised Russia for a delay in shipments of nuclear fuel which will put back the launch of Iran's first nuclear power station)
-Putin in landmark Vatican visit
-$28M Diamond Heist In Antwerp
-Rock and roll accepts hip hop into Hall of Fame