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City Increases Areas Set for Demolition 135ha

Addis Abeba City Administration is clearing 23.78ha of more slum starting this fiscal year, on top of the 111ha that have already been slated for demolition by the Housing Development & Urban More »

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BREAKING NEWS! 24 Ethiopian migrants drown off Yemeni coast

The Yemeni interior ministry said Monday that 24 Ethiopian migrants were found dead after their boat sank off the Yemeni coast. In a statement posted on its website, the ministry said the More »

ION | Djiboutian Pres. Guelleh puts himself under Ethiopia’s protection

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(By Indian Ocean Newsletter)

THE plan for economic integration devised by Djibouti and neighbouring Ethiopia could ultimately lead to a kind of political unification between the two countries. During the last few weeks, certain Ethiopian dignitaries have hinted at it and one of them even went so far as to utter “a single country with two chiefs”.

Ethiopian desire to secure its Djibouti port outlet is nothing new and some people in Addis Ababa have been talking about “an obligatory merger” with Djibouti for years. So far this trend has been latent but is now coming into the fore, because President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh (IOG) needs an Ethiopian umbrella in various sectors, including that of guaranteeing his immunity when he is no longer in power.

Weakened President

The Djibouti president was born in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia, and owns a house in Addis Ababa. He is beginning to show his age (he is 67 according to his official birth date) and his health is not what it used to be. He is currently getting over an operation at the Val-de-Grace military hospital in Paris and he is losing his mobility. Moreover, the traditional Independence Day garden party on 27 June was not held this year, the first time in decades.

During the military parade, all measures were taken for him to make the least possible effort: IOG did not even get up to return the salute of the commanders of the parading troops. Nor did he appear on 21 June at the Hotel Kempinski for the presentation of Djibouti Vision 2035, even though it is under his High Patronage. The government, and in particular finance ministerIlyas Moussa Dawaleh have been working on this project for many years. Finally, the cabinet meetings, which are normally held every week, are getting further and further apart.

No successor in sight

IOG has several times reiterated that he will not run in the 2016 election and his state of health suggests that this will indeed be the case. However, from 2006 to 2009 he had also promised that he would not amend the constitution so he could run for another mandate, which he did finally do. At present, he does not give the impression of being

WB approves record-high funding to Ethiopia

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The Washington-based World Bank Group this fiscal year has approved and disbursed a historic record high funding to Ethiopia, The Reporter has learnt.

According to the information obtained, this fiscal year alone the WB has approved USD 1.6 billion and disbursed some 1.3 billion for eight projects in the country.

The World Bank published statements on its website saying it had extended loans to more than 150 projects in Ethiopia centered on infrastructure, protection of basic services, food security and education. As of January 2014, the portfolio has 25 active projects with a net commitment value of more than USD 6 billion.

According to the bank’s recent history, it was during the 2008 financial crisis that USD 900 million was committed to Ethiopia. The size of the commitment grew steady except in 2011 when the bank limited the amount to USD 640 million. But one reason for the diminishing size of the commitment was that 2011 was the high time when the Ethiopian government made itself busy in preparing the ambitious five-year term Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP).

Since then the bank has extended sizable loans and grants to the country. This year witnessed many document signings of the commitments and disbursements. Guang Z. Chen, country director of the bank for Ethiopia, frequented the offices of Sufian Ahmed, minister of the Finance and Economic Development, located off King George VI Street, to ink agreements.

Aster aweke receives honorary degree

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Aster—born in 1959 in Gondar, Ethiopia—was raised in the capital city of Addis Ababa. Her father was a senior civil servant in the Imperial government.

By the age of 13, Aster was determined to become a musician, and began her career at Hager Fikir Theatre in Addis Ababa.

Starting in her late teens, she was performing in clubs and hotels in the capital with bands such as the Continental Band, Hotel D’Afrique Band, Shebele Band and Ibex Band, before they became the internationally known as Roha Band.

Aster’s distinct style has been influenced by other Ethiopian singers, such as Bizunesh Bekele.

Launching a solo career, she was encouraged by musical entrepreneur Ali Tango, who financed and released five cassettes and two singles of her music. By 1981, Aster had become disillusioned by Ethiopia’s oppressive political climate following the death of Haile Selassie, and relocated to the United States. Temporarily settling in the Bay Area of California, with plans to pursue higher education within a period of two years, she settled in Washington, D.C., where one of the largest Ethiopian expat communities in the country existed. There, she became increasingly popular within the Ethiopian community, performing in restaurants and clubs.

Aster also remains popular in Ethiopia. In 1997, she performed in Addis Ababa for a crowd of over 50,000 people. In 2003, Aster also performed a two-part concert series to raise funds for relief and school initiatives in Ethiopia. The first concert was held in November on Eid Al-Fitr day at the Addis Ababa Stadium, with an audience of 40,000 in attendance. The second performance was a gala-dinner at the Sheraton Hotel.[1] More recently, on May 9, 2009, Aster performed in front of a crowd of 10,000 spectators during the Peace Through Unity, Unity Through Music concert held in the capital’s Millennium Hall, alongside other Ethiopian music artists.

In a day Gondor University Celebrating its 60th Year and at a Student Graduation Aster Aweke received an honorary Doctorate degree among four other Candidates.

ISIS Map of the World includes Ethiopia

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The ISIS map of the world: Militants outline chilling five-year plan for global domination as they declare formation of caliphate – and change their name to the Islamic State

By JOHN HALL

ISIS has formally declared the establishment of a caliphate, or Islamic state, in the vast stretches of the Middle East that have fallen under its control, and has outlined a vision to expand into Europe.

The announcement was described as the ‘most significant development in international jihadism since 9/11′.

Upon declaring a caliphate, the Sunni militants – whose brutality in attempting to establish control in Iraq and Syria has been branded too extreme even by Al Qaeda – demanded allegiance from Muslims around the world.

With brutal efficiency, ISIS has carved out a large chunk of territory that has effectively erased the border between Iraq and Syria and laid the foundations of its proto-state.

The announcement, made on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, could trigger a wave of infighting among Sunni extremist factions that have until now formed a loose rebel alliance.

A spokesman for ISIS declared the group’s chief, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as the leader of the new caliphate, or Islamic state, and called on Muslims everywhere, not just those in areas under the organization’s control, to swear loyalty to him.

‘The legality of all emirates, groups, states and organizations becomes null by the expansion of the caliph’s authority and the arrival of its troops to their areas,’ said Abu Mohammed al-Adnani.

‘Listen to your caliph and obey him. Support your state, which grows every day,’ he added in an audio statement posted online.

Charles Lister, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, said the announcement was likely the ‘most significant development in international jihadism since 9/11′.

Al-Adnani loosely defined the state territory as running from northern Syria to the Iraqi province of Diyala – a vast stretch of land straddling the border that is already largely under ISIS control.

He also said that with the establishment of the caliphate, the group was changing its name to just the Islamic State, dropping the mention of Iraq, Sham and the Levant.

However, in a map widely-shared by ISIS supporters on social networks, the Islamist group outlined a five-year plan for how they would like to expand their boundaries beyond Muslim-majority countries.

As well as plans to expand the caliphate throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and large parts of western Asia, the map also marks out an expansion in parts of Europe.

Spain, which was ruled by Muslims for 700 years until 1492, is marked out as a territory the caliphate plans to have under its control by 2020.

Elsewhere, ISIS plans to take control of the the Balkan states – including Greece, Romania and Bulgaria – extending its territories in eastern Europe as far as Austria, which appears to be based on a pre-First World War borders of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Robben apologises for diving against Mexico

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The Bayern Munich winger won a spot-kick in injury time to enable Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to score the winner but admitted going to ground too easily earlier in the match

By Robin Bairner Goal.com

Arjen Robben has apologised for diving during Netherland‘s dramatic comeback victory over Mexico in the World Cup round of 16 at Arena Castelao on Sunday.

Robben tormented the Mexican defence on numerous occasions with his pace, skill and direct running, and had several penalty appeals turned down before finally winning a spot-kick in the second minute of injury time when he went down under a challenge from Rafael Marquez.

Substitute Klaas-Jan Huntelaar converted from 12 yards to send the Oranje into the last eight of the tournament, after Giovani dos Santos’ opener had been cancelled out by a late Wesley Sneijder equaliser.

Luis Suárez banned for four months for biting opponent in World Cup clash

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In an unprecedented move Fifa has banned Uruguay’s Luis Suárez from all “football-related activities” for four months for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini, ruling him out of the rest of the World Cup and the start of the domestic season.

The Liverpool striker will not be able to play or train for his club or country for four months after Fifa’s disciplinary committee handed down the hefty sanction, which is sure to provoke dismay from both Uruguay and Liverpool.

The biting incident, the third in which Suárez has been involved in his career, has also led Fifa’s disciplinary committee to ban the player from even entering any football stadium during the ban.

Suárez has also been banned for nine competitive international matches, beginning with Uruguay’s last-16 clash with Colombia on Saturday, and fined £66,000.

“Such behaviour cannot be tolerated on any football pitch, and in particular not at a Fifa World Cup when the eyes of millions of people are on the stars on the field,” said Claudio Sulser, the chair of the disciplinary committee, which met late into the night at the Sofitel Hotel on Copacabana.

Meriam Ibrahim ‘freed’ after Sudanese court orders release

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A Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death for converting from Islam to Christianity has been released from prison, according to her lawyer.

According to the official state news agency in Sudan, a court has ordered 27-year-old Meriam Yahya Ibrahim be freed after her case sparked outrage around the world.

Ms Ibrahim’s Christian American husband Daniel Wani was notified earlier this month that the appeals court in Sudan was deliberating the case, though the government had previously promised she would be released.

Sudan’s SUNA news agency said today: “The appeal court ordered the release of Mariam Yahya and the cancellation of the (previous) court ruling.”

Mr Wani had earlier described how Ms Ibrahim was forced to give birth in prison with her legs chained, after she refused to renounce her Christian faith during a four day ‘grace period’ when she was eight months pregnant.

Addis Abeba Setting Up Medical Zone To Boost Health Tourism

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The Ethiopian North American Health Professionals Association (ENAHPA), a body formed by Ethiopian professionals in the diaspora to promote healthcare in Ethiopia, will establish a medical zone in Addis Ababa to turn the city into a centre for medical tourism.

According to Feisel Aliyi, an official of Directorate-General of Diaspora Engagement Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the ENAHPA and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) have signed an agreement to develop the zone to become East Africa’s centre of excellence for cancer treatment to benefit member states of IGAD.

Cancer patients from East African countries, including Ethiopia, have been travelling to European countries and Bangkok to seek better medical treatment at a high cost.

Feisel said the establishment of the zone will reduce the need to travel and save hard currency, further noting that the centre will provide advanced medical treatment currently not available in this region.

ENAHPA has over 300 Ethiopian health professionals living in North America and Europe.