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Friday, March 30, 2007

Court Postpones decision again - Reason: Judge has 'Gunfann'

Check back with ETP for more news throughout the day

Also in the news:
[Fresh Ethiopian troops arrive in Somalia] - [Ethiopian Helicopter shot down in Somalia] - [Ethiopia stops plans to close Jewish camp ] - [Travel Agencies to Campaign for Release of Colleagues]

[African nations go softly, softly on Zimbabwe] - [White House has new plan for immigration] - [Heads of Arab States Prod Israel to Embrace Peace Offer] - [Halle Berry reveals suicide attempt] and more of today's top stories!

An Ethiopian military helicopter hit by insurgents is seen in the skies above Mogadishu March 30, 2007. Insurgents shot down an Ethiopian helicopter gunship in Mogadishu on Friday during a second day of fighting after Ethiopian and Somali forces launched a major attack on Islamists and clan militia. (Picture by REUTERS)


-Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Invite Meles to Summit

-Letter from the Ethiopian community in Europe protesting PM Meles's invitation

-To speak out against Prime Minister Meles’s Invitation to the Summit, click here, find the MEP you wish to contact -- write or call

-ALDE event schedule

Court Postpones decision again - Reason: Judge has 'Gunfann'

(by Lewit) -- The same white walls and peeling blue chairs. The same speculations and prayers. The same crowd shifting nrevously in their seats. The same delays. The same excuses.

Well, pretty much. Today, after over an hour delay, a summary of half the evidence presented by the prosecution was read. All 3 judges were there this time; one was apparently ill (though I couldn't tell which one--maybe the one that sniffled a couple of times?) and so, of course, the trial was postponed until Monday.

This time, it was clear that everyone had had enough, and the frustrations of both family members and the defendents was more than evident.(More...)

(by EZ) -- The trial is postponed again. This time for Monday, 2 April. The court presented the summary of the Audio, Video and documentary evidence today. It said the rest of the prosecutor's evidence will be summarized and presented on Monday. The court was packed. The judges said that they wouldn't continue in the afternoon as one of the judges was sick.

Fresh Ethiopian troops arrive in Somalia

Somalia - Hundreds of Ethiopian soldiers crossed over the common border and entered Somalia overnight, according to sources in Galkayo.

The soldiers, estimated to number 500-strong with armored vehicles, were stationed in the outskirts of Galkayo, the capital of Mudug region in central Somalia.

Reliable sources in Galkayo told Garowe Online on the condition of anonymity that the Ethiopian troops were heading for the northern Somali city of Bossaso, a bustling port town that serves as Puntland’s economic hub.

There was no reason given for the arrival of fresh Ethiopian troops, even as that country’s leader, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, pledged to withdraw his remaining troops from Somalia.(More...)

Ethiopian Helicopter shot down in Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia - An Ethiopian helicopter attacking insurgent positions in Somalia's capital was shot down Friday as government and allied troops battled hundreds of gunmen in the streets, witnesses said.

Government soldiers and troops from neighboring Ethiopia, who are in Somalia to protect the fragile government, were under a severe attack for a second day as they tried to quash a growing insurgency by Islamic militants.

"The helicopter looked like a ball of smoke and fire before crashing," said Ruqiya Shafi Muhyadin, who watched as the helicopter rolled over in the sky and went down in a residential area near the airport.(More...)

Also see:
-Reuters: Battles rage in Mogadishu, helicopter hit
-AP: Fighting rages for 2nd day in Mogadishu
-CBS: Insurgents Down Helicopter In Somalia
-ABC: Helicopter Shot Down in Somalia

Travel Agencies to Campaign for Release of Colleagues

In a show of solidarity with the eight Ethiopians still held captive in Eritrea, and joining the campaign for their safe release, travel agencies working in Ethiopia yesterday formed an alliance.

Owners and General Managers of three travel agencies namely Origin Ethiopia, Kibre and Ethiopian Quadrants, said they were working jointly to create awareness for the release of the captives who, they said, didn't have any political involvement.

They also criticized the international media who they said were "shouting 24 hours a day" but forgot the issue immediately after the release of the five Europeans.(More...)

Also see:
-Committee set up to lobby for the release of Ethiopian captives

Ethiopia stops plans to close Jewish camp

Ethiopia said it has canceled plans to shut a camp used as a community center for 7,000 Ethiopian Jews seeking emigration to Israel.

The government announced Friday that synagogue and food services would be allowed to continue in the camp for the Falashmura Ethiopians but school services and activities promoting immigration to Israel will be cut off, Haaretz reported Friday.

The decision follows diplomatic pressure from the The United Jewish Communities of North America, which funds the camp, and other groups on the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington.(More...)

Today's Top Stories

-African nations go softly, softly on Zimbabwe
-White House has new plan for immigration
-Gates Seeks Way To Close Guantanamo
-Iran Broadcasts New Video of Seized Britons
-Heads of Arab States Prod Israel to Embrace Peace Offer
-Putin rejects call to serve longer (Russia's upper house speaker called for changes that would allow Putin to remain in office beyond 2008 -- a proposal that was quickly rejected by the Kremlin)
-Breastfeeding alone cuts HIV risk
-French nun credits John Paul for sudden healing
-Halle Berry reveals suicide attempt