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Friday, June 08, 2007

Somali Radio Stations Silenced After Ethiopian PM's Visit

Check back with ETP for more news throughout the day

Also in the news:
[Amnesty: Tech firms 'colluding' in web censorship ] - [Ethiopia blames donors for troop enforcement delay in Somalia] - [Ethiopian and other Businesses owned by foreigners under attach in S.A] - [U.N. study finds Ethiopians putting in extra long work hours ]

[G-8 Approves $60B Africa Aid] - [US: Immigration reform bill dealt major blow] - [Reports allege British arms deal money to Saudi prince] - [Hundreds of students riot in central China] and more of today's top stories!

NPR -- Teddy Afro, the New Reggae star of Ethiopia: Though the late Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie was considered a god by Rastafarians, in Bob Marley's day, reggae music wasn't popular in Ethiopia. Now, though, reggae is huge in the East African nation, and there's no bigger star than Teddy Afro. His single, 'Yasteseryal', which is perceived as "anti-government", because it attempts to highlight the injustices perpetrated by his own government, is banned in Ethiopia.



written to the EU, US JOINT SUMMIT ON ETHIOPIA from Mr. Keif Schleifer Executive Director of Empowerment Initiative, Human Rights, Social Justice, Non-Violence Advocacy

Remembering June 8, 2005: Time for the U.S to change its policy on Ethiopia


Somali Radio Stations Silenced After Ethiopian PM's Visit

VOA News

The Somali government has closed down three main FM stations in the capital, Mogadishu. Katy Migiro reports for VOA that the media clampdown follows a surprise visit by the Ethiopian Prime Minister aimed at shoring up confidence in the Somali government.

Shabelle Media Network, Horn Afrik and IQK, a Koranic radio station, were all shut down by a Somali government decree. This is the second time these three radio stations have been targeted in the past six months. No reason has been given for this latest closure.

But announcer Mohamed Kawashito, of Radio Puntland that operates in the semi-autonomous northern region of Somalia, says private radio stations are shut down when they criticize the government.(More...)

Also see:
-Watchdog Condemns Somalia Media Closure
-IFJ Says Somali Government Must End Its Repeat Attacks on Radio Stations
-Ethiopia tops the list of countries where press freedom has most deteriorated
-CPJ: the backstory of “Backsliders” (Slide Show)

Ethiopia blames donors for troop enforcement delay in Somalia

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - Weak reasons from donor countries have delayed the deployment of African Union (AU) forces in Somalia, said Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday.

According to Seyum Mesfin, Minster of Foreign Affairs, though a number of countries like Malawi, Burundi, Nigeria and Ghana are ready to send their troops to Somalia, enough resources could not be allocated for the deployment.(More...)

U.N. study finds Ethiopians putting in extra long work hours

"An estimated 22 per cent of the global workforce, or 614.2 million workers, are working "excessively long hours," the new study which spotlights working time in over 50 countries said.

Shorter hours, the report says, can have positive consequences including benefits to workers' health and family lives, reduced accidents at the workplace, as well as greater productivity and equality between the sexes.

According to a report released Thursday, the U.S. workforce comes in sixth among developed countries surveyed when it comes to punching out late. Among developing nations surveyed in the report, the highest percentage of workers putting in more than 48 hours are in:

Indonesia: 51.2%
Peru: 50.9%
Republic of Korea: 49.5%
Thailand: 46.7%
Pakistan: 44.4%
Ethiopia: 40%
Macao: 39.1%

The expanded workweek for a segment of the working population is due to several factors, ILO researchers wrote, "including the workers' need to work long hours to ensure adequate earnings and the widespread use of overtime by employers to attempt to increase productivity rather than alternative approaches."(More...)

Also see:
-Ethiopia: One in Five Workers Worldwide Putting in 'Excessive' Hours - ILO

Canadian begs for Ethiopian rescue

Canadian citizen imprisoned in Ethiopia has made his first public plea to the federal government to rescue him from a "brutal and merciless regime" that he says threatened him with torture before videotaping an interrogation.

Former Torontonian Bashir Makhtal has asked his family and fellow Canadians for help in getting Ottawa to safeguard his rights as a citizen under illegal detention in Ethiopia without access to Canadian diplomats or a lawyer. His plea for help, in a letter received last week by a cousin, describes a six-month odyssey of detentions in three countries that has left him languishing in solitary confinement in a country he fled 30 years ago as child.More....)

Tech firms 'colluding' in web censorship

Amnesty International has accused technology firms of hypocrisy for their stance on helping authorities around the world to censor the internet.

The human rights organisation has alleged that Cisco, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are "colluding" in aiding repressive governments around the world to block some internet content.

Amnesty International's latest report claims that at least 25 countries now apply state-mandated internet filtering, including Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Burma, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Thailand and Tunisia.(More...)

Ethiopian and other Businesses owned by foreigners under attach in South Africa

The South African Police Service has again been accused of standing by as about 40 foreign-owned businesses were attacked and looted in Schweizer-Reneke’s black township last week.

Businesses in Ipelegeng were also burned as the Ethiopian, Pakistani, Somali and Bangladeshi traders, many of them lawful asylum-seekers, fled the township and went into hiding.

And, as with the attacks on Somali traders in the Cape townships, the resentment of South African businessmen toward foreign competition is seen as the root cause of the violence. The mob did not attack South African-owned businesses.(More...)

The model of perfection

LONDON, England (CNN) -- Born in 1978 and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Liya Kebede attended the French Lycee in Addis. It was here that she was talent-spotted by a French film director and began her rise to supermodel status.

On finishing her schooling she moved to France where she joined a Parisian model agency. After three months she moved to Chicago to live with her brothers (she has four in total) and continued her nascent modeling career doing catalog work. It wasn't until she moved to New York that Liya received her break into big time modeling.

In the fall of 2000, Designer Tom Ford handpicked her to walk the runway in Milan for his fall/winter Gucci collection. Soon she was walking the runways for Donna Karan, Chanel and Dolce and Gabbana.(More...)

Also see:
-Liya Kebede - Q&A

G-8 Approves $60B Africa Aid

KUEHLUNGSBORN, Germany (AP) - Members of the Group of Eight have agreed on a program worth more than $60 billion to combat the spread of HIV/AIDs in Africa, Germany's development minister said Friday.

(Picture - U.S. President George Bush, Algerian President Abdelaziz Butelfika and Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, from left, talk at the G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Friday, June 8, 2007. Left is Ethiopian Prime Minister Melez Zenawi.(AP Photo/ Christophe Ena)

Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul made the announcement on state ZDF television before G-8 leaders sat down with African and international officials to discuss African issues.

Wieczorek-Zeul said the money was earmarked for fighting malaria and tuberculosis, as well as HIV/AIDS and about half of it would come from the United States, with Germany contributing $5.4 billion between now and 2015.(More...)

Also see:
-G8 Africa pledge is a smokescreen, says Bono
-G8's $60 billion AIDS and Africa pledge criticized

Israel tells Syria willing to return Golan: report

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Israeli newspaper said on Friday that Israel has told Syria it is prepared to withdraw from the Golan Heights in return for lasting peace, adding to growing signals that Israel is looking to resume negotiations.

Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper said Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had sent messages through foreign envoys to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that Israel is ready to "fulfill its part" in a peace deal, even if it means giving up the strategic Golan Heights, captured in the Six Day War of June 1967.

Spokesmen for Olmert and the Foreign Ministry declined comment on the report although a Foreign Ministry spokesman noted Israel had long been willing to give Syria the Golan area, which commands the approaches to Damascus, in return for peace.(More...)

Also see:
-In "secret" message to Assad, Olmert concedes Golan Heights
-The Big Question: Is Israel heading for a peace deal with Syria?
-Israel, offering Golan, waits Syria proposals

Journalists fired over Tiananmen Square tribute

June 8, 2007 -- A Chinese newspaper has fired three editorial staff for failing to censor a one-line classified ad that paid tribute to the mothers of protesters killed during the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

(Picture - The Unknown Rebel. A Chinese man stands alone to block a line of tanks heading east on Beijing's Cangan Blvd. in Tiananmen Square on June 5, 1989. The Chinese government crushed a student-led demonstration calling for democratic reform. AP Photo/Jeff Widener)

Breaking one of the state's strongest political taboos, the obscurely worded ad was slipped into the Chengdu Evening News on Monday, the 18th anniversary of the bloody crackdown. Its publication shows how commercialism, ignorance and technology have created chinks in the one-party state's block on information.

Six-four (June 4) is the most common expression for the crackdown on that day in 1989, when hundreds, possibly thousands, of pro-democracy demonstrators and their supporters were killed by People's Liberation Army tanks and troops.

The government insists the actions were needed to restore order, but it has blocked public debate on the issue and continues to hold some protesters in prison. Despite the ban, several mothers of the victims have defiantly called for an open investigation into the killings.(More...)

Also see:
-Nancy Pelosi: Statement on the Anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre
-Violence against student protest continues 18 years after Tiananmen

Today's Top International Stories

-Call for clear definition of Africa’s borders
-Bush Skips Some Sessions at Group of 8 Due to Illness
-US: Immigration reform bill dealt major blow
-Reports allege British arms deal money to Saudi prince
     -Britain's Attorney General Denies Cover-Up
-Hundreds of students riot in central China (students clashed with police and overturned and burnt their car after street inspectors beat up a female student)
-Japan Suicides Top 30,000 In 2006 (Nation Tops 30,000 For 9th Straight Year, National Police Agency Reports)
-Guardian: Patient oozes green blood
-Stolen keys delay start of military mission