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Monday, June 04, 2007

Press jailings in Africa worrying, says Mbeki

Check back with ETP for more news throughout the day

Also in the news:
[Ethiopian troops kill would-be Somali suicide bomber] - [Outgoing U.S. ambassador blasts Eritrean government] - ['Violent youth - product of Israel'] - [SURGE IN ADOPTIONS RAISES CONCERN IN ETHIOPIA]

[Liberia's Ex-Ruler Taylor Boycotts Start of War Crimes Trial] - [Group Claims Captured Troops Were Killed] - [Contenders clash on Iraq, immigration, health care] - [The end is near for Tony Soprano and his crew] and more of today's top stories!


Joint Summit with Members of the European Parliament and U.S.

Ethiopia: Prospects for Peace, Democracy, and Respect for Human Rights

June 8, 2007, Washington, D.C. 11:30-12:30est

Ana Maria Gomes
Congressman Donald Payne
Professor Chuck Schaefer
Berhanu Tsigu


Ethiopian troops kill would-be Somali suicide bomber

MOGADISHU, June 4 (Reuters) - Ethiopian soldiers shot dead a would-be suicide bomber on Monday, blowing up his vehicle as it raced toward their command headquarters in the Somali capital, a security official said.

"An Ethiopian sharpshooter on a rooftop fired a machinegun at the car, instantly killing the suicide bomber and blowing up the car, which was filled with explosives," the official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

An 18-year-old man walking nearby was injured, the official said. The would-be attacker had already raced his car through two checkpoints, where Ethiopian and Somali government troops had opened fire on the vehicle, the official said.(More...)

Also see:
-CHRONOLOGY-Chaos in Somalia

Press jailings in Africa worrying, says Mbeki

The press freedom watchdog has counted two African countries -- Eritrea and Ethiopia -- among the top four of 24 countries that imprisoned journalists in 2006

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South African President Thabo on Monday noted a worrying trend of jailing journalists in Africa as leaders try to balance sometime competing interests of press freedom and governance, especially in young democracies.

While acknowledging difficulties journalists working in Africa face, Mbeki also urged them to report accurately on the region and to do so in a "properly contextualized" manner.

"There are some countries on our continent where journalists are in prison and this is worrying for all of us," Mbeki told delegates at the 60th World Newspaper Congress and the 14th World Editors Forum in Cape Town.(More...)



'Violent youth - product of Israel'

Hundreds of angry Ethiopian immigrants mourning the death of youth stabbed by rival teen on street corner say State, media neglecting plight of their community. Association for Ethiopian Jews: 'Children aren't born with knives in their hands, their situation is a reflection of the collapse of the education system

The government and the media were highly unpopular amongst hundreds of Ethiopian Israelis who came to pay their respects to the family of 17-year-old Adameh Tarikan who was murdered early Saturday morning in the neighborhood of Kiryat Moshe by a 16-year-old from a rival group of Ethiopian youths with a switchblade.

Police have not yet determined the motive behind the killing, but early reports said Tarikan's stabbing was apparently related to the settling of scores between rival groups. A relative of the family who currently goes to pre-army prep school, said that Adameh was a good boy "who rarely left the house. At his age I barely left the house either."(More...)

The United Nations Human Rights Council: A Disastrous First Year

The Heritage Foundation

The United States was one of only four countries that voted against the U.N. General Assembly reso­lution that created The United Nations Human Rights Council. The U.S. cast its vote out of concern that the new council would lack safeguards against the problems that afflicted the CHR. Regrettably, this concern has proved to be well founded:
  • It has become a platform for human rights abusers to deflect criticism rather than being held to account.
  • The abusive states are leading an effort to under­mine the few effective aspects of the council, such as the special procedures dedicated to examining human rights abuses in specific countries, and are supporting efforts to weaken the universal periodic review of the human rights practices of all U.N. member states.
..Well-known human rights abusers Burma, China, Cuba, Ethiopia, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, and Zimbabwe voted in favor of the new council.(More...)

Outgoing U.S. ambassador blasts Eritrean government

ASMARA, June 4 (Reuters) - The outgoing U.S. ambassador for Eritrea has lashed out at Asmara over human rights abuses in a sign of deteriorating relations between Washington and the Red Sea state.

Ties between the United States and Eritrea have become increasingly frayed as Washington accuses Asmara of aiding rebel groups trying to destabilise Ethiopia, the main U.S. counterterrorism ally in the region.

Washington has also accused Eritrea of backing insurgents fighting Ethiopian and government troops in Somalia.(More...)


...Ethiopia now ranks 5th among countries for adoption by Americans, up from 16th in 2000. In the same period, the number of American agencies licensed to operate there has skyrocketed from one to 22.

The increasing interest in Ethiopia comes at a time when the leading countries for international adoption, China, Guatemala and Russia, are, respectively, tightening eligibility requirements, under scrutiny for adoption corruption and closing borders to American agencies.

Ethiopia’s sudden popularity also comes with risks, say government officials there and in America.(More...)

Liberia's Ex-Ruler Taylor Boycotts Start of War Crimes Trial

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor is boycotting the start of his war crimes trial in The Hague, saying he does not believe the proceedings will be fair.

Taylor said Monday in a letter read by his lawyer that he has lost confidence in the U.N.-backed "court's ability to dispense justice." The former president did not appear in court and says he will not attend any hearings.

Taylor is charged with 11 counts of war crimes committed during Sierra Leone's civil war between 1991 and 2002. He has pleaded not guilty to accusations of murder, rape, terrorism and other atrocities. The charges arise from his support for rebel militias during the conflict.(More...)

Contenders clash on Iraq, immigration, health care

(CNN) -- Democratic presidential hopefuls traded barbs over the war in Iraq Sunday night in New Hampshire, with former Sen. John Edwards blasting two rivals for not taking the lead on a recent war spending bill.

Edwards said his opponents "have been quiet" on calling for a plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq. "They went quietly to the floor of the Senate, cast the right vote -- but there is a difference between leadership and legislators," Edwards said at the Democratic presidential debate in Manchester, New Hampshire.

"The importance of this is, they're asking to be president of the United States," he said. "And there is a difference between making clear, speaking to your followers, speaking to the American people about what you believe needs to be done, and I think all of us have a responsibility to lead on these issues."(More...)

Also see:
-Democratic Debate Report Card

Today's Top International Stories

-Mugabe says Zimbabwe security forces on high alert
-Africa's Oil Dreams
-Group Claims Captured Troops Were Killed
-Fighting in Lebanese Camp Worsens
-I'm the world's only true democrat, says Putin
-The end is near for Tony Soprano and his crew