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Ethiopia release 26 foreign pilots, helicopters

Published: Oct 26, 2014 by bini Filed under: Ethiopian News Politics
Ethiopia release 26 foreign pilots, helicopters

The Ethiopian government last week released five helicopters with 26 foreign crew members who recently entered Ethiopian air space without legal permission.

The five Russian-made civilian helicopters belong to a leasing company based in Khartoum, Sudan. The leasing company is registered in Sudan and operates in different African countries. The helicopters were leased by the Tanzanian government. Three weeks ago the helicopters departed from Khartoum and were heading to Dar es Salaam. Sources at the Ethiopian Ministry of Defense told The Reporter that prior to their departure the pilots did not communicate with the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority (ECAA) to secure a fly-over permission.  Sources said the pilots wanted to land in Bahir Dar town of the Amhara Regional State to refuel.  Since helicopters have limited fuel-carrying capacity they make frequent landings to refuel on long flights. A helicopter consumes up to 800 liters of jet fuel an hour.

It is the ECAA that grants fly-over and landing permits to local and foreign registered aircraft. The authority also allocates flight path. However, sources said the helicopter leasing company got in touch with a broker in Bahir Dar who reported that the helicopters are allowed to land and refuel in Bahri Dar. The helicopters crossed the Ethio-Sudanese border through the Amhara Regional State. The ECAA air traffic control was monitoring the helicopters with a radar. The Ethiopian Air Force and Air Defense Unit were on full alert. The helicopters were locked by the Ethiopian Air Defense Unit North Regiment.  

Sources said since the helicopters were civilian there was no need to intercept and escort them by fighter planes. The helicopters finally landed safely at the Bahir Dar Ginbot 20 International Airport. Immediately, The Ethiopian defense forces escorted the 26 foreign pilots (East Europeans) directly from the helicopters to a detention facility in Bahir Dar. Sources said the Sudanese embassy in Addis Ababa was lobbying for their release.

The Ethiopian National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) was handling the case. The pilots were interrogated before they appeared before the Amhara Regional State High Court in Bahir Dar town accused of entering a sovereign state without permission. “Their intention was to refuel and cross the Ethiopian airspace and to fly to Kenya and then to Tanzania,” sources said. “They made a silly mistake. After confirming their intension they were released,” sources said.

The court released them on bail. The Ethiopian government last week released the 26 pilots and helicopters and they all left the country. Their case is adjourned and they are expected to re-appear before court. “But the case could be solved through diplomatic negotiations,” sources said. The broker who misguided the leasing company is being detained.

Officials of ECAA declined to comment. Officials of the Sudanese Embassy in Addis Ababa were not available for comment by the time The Reporter went to press.       

In 2001, Ethiopian Defense force air defense unit shot down a cargo aircraft which entered Ethiopian air space through Tigrai Regional State without a fly-over permission. The cargo aircraft was coming from Eritrea enroute to Mozambique. At that time the cockpit crew did not communicate with the ECAA. The pilots remained mute when asked to respond by the Ethiopian air defense. The aircraft was leased by an African company from a US-based leasing company. Two European pilots died in the incident. The aircraft was hit by a Russian-made anti-aircraft missile called Volga.

Source: EthiopianReporter

Cancer-killing stem cells engineered in lab

Published: Oct 25, 2014 by girumtebeje Filed under: World News Tech & Science
Cancer-killing stem cells engineered in lab

Scientists from Harvard Medical School have discovered a way of turning stem cells into killing machines to fight brain cancer.

In experiments on mice, the stem cells were genetically engineered to produce and secrete toxins which kill brain tumours, without killing normal cells or themselves.

Researchers said the next stage was to test the procedure in humans.

A stem cell expert said this was "the future" of cancer treatment.
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“Start Quote

    We do see the toxins kill the cancer cells”

Dr Khalid Shah Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

The study, published in the journal Stem Cells, was the work of scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.

For many years, they had been researching a stem-cell-based therapy for cancer, which would kill only tumour cells and no others.

They used genetic engineering to make stem cells that spewed out cancer-killing toxins, but, crucially, were also able to resist the effects of the poison they were producing.

They also posed no risk to normal, healthy cells.

In animal tests, the stem cells were surrounded in gel and placed at the site of the brain tumour after it had been removed.

Read More at BBC

Man found guilty for breaking password and stealing data

Published: Oct 25, 2014 by girumtebeje Filed under: Ethiopian News Law & Order
Man found guilty for breaking password and stealing data

A man named Yonas Kassahun who stole valuable information from the e-mail of a woman named Akiko Siyoum by breaking into her account found guilty.

The man has also sent the information he stole to a third party and allegedly asked Mrs Akiko to pay him 40 mln br for retuning the data.

Since Mr Yonas couldn’t defend the witnesses’ testimony and a confirmation from INSA as to his deeds, the court found him guilty; Addis Admass Newspaper writes.

Mr Yonas is now in police custody and the court will give its ruling on this landmark court case on October 27, 2014.

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UNAMID staff paid their last respects to three Ethiopian peacekeepers

Published: Oct 25, 2014 by bini Filed under: Ethiopian News
UNAMID staff paid their last respects to three Ethiopian peacekeepers

UNAMID staff paid their last respects to three Ethiopian peacekeepers that were killed in an attack by an unidentified group near Korma, North Darfur, on Thursday the 16 October.

This happened when a patrol of Ethiopian peacekeepers guarding a water borehole came under sudden attack. The perpetrators seized a patrol vehicle and fled the scene.  
The memorial ceremony took place at the Mission's headquarters in El Fasher, capital of North Darfur. It was led by UNAMID Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Paul Mella, and attended by outgoing Joint Special Representative (JSR) Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Acting JSR Abiodun Bashua, and other senior UNAMID personnel.
This incident brings the number of peacekeepers who lost their lives in hostile action in Darfur to 61 since the inception of the Mission in December 2007.

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Meet the Tour Operator: Yohannes Zeleke

Published: Oct 24, 2014 by bini Filed under: Ethiopian News Business
When you hang with somebody, when you get down, travel around, eat meals together, hike around, discuss, argue, dance, drink, sing, laugh and various other things, you don’t often think about the initials after people’s names. But in truth Yohannes Zeleke, a member of the party that traveled to Ethiopia on the recent NTA Product Development trip, is a Ph.D.

As remarkable as those initials are, it’s one of the least interesting things that comes to mind about Dr. Zeleke. He is an anthropologist, an archaeologist with decades of digs in Europe, Asia and Africa under his belt. He’s an author. He’s a research associate with the Smithsonian Institution. He’s an alumnus of the University of California at Berkeley, The Russian Academy of Sciences and St. Petersburg State University. He teaches anthropology at the American University in Washington DC. He’s the president of the Mid-Atlantic chapter of the Africa Travel Association and he’s a tour operator.

The problem is where to begin. Any attempt to sum up his multi-faceted existence would fall short.

Yohannes Zeleke’s own long, winding journey began at Gondar, where he was born in one of Ethiopia’s largest cities and the site of Gondar Castle, a cluster of impressive stone structures built in 1636 by King Fasilides.

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Ethiopia should wake up and smell the coffee

Published: Oct 24, 2014 by bini Filed under: Ethiopian News Business
Ethiopia should wake up and smell the coffee

Ethiopia, Africa’s biggest coffee producer, will benefit from unusually dry weather in Brazil that has lowered the output and helped lift the price of Arabica beans. Arabica prices surged to a three-year high – to over 200 US cents per pound – in October, which is expected to lift Ethiopia’s coffee export earnings by 25 per cent to $900m this year.

But Ethiopia is missing an opportunity to make a lot more money from arabica, which originated in the country’s highlands, and is considered the superior of two main varieties of coffee bean (the other, robusta, is more bitter and tends to be used to make instant coffee).

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