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  • Students Protest Police Crackdown in Oromia

    Dozens of university students protested in Ethiopia's capital on Tuesday, demanding an end to police crackdowns that followed months of demonstrations oStudents Protest Police Crackdown in Oromiaver plans to requisition farmland in the country's Oromiya region late last year. The government wanted to develop farmland around the capital, Addis Ababa, and its plan triggered some of the worst civil unrest for a decade, with rights groups and U.S.-based dissidents saying as many as 200 people may have been killed.

    Officials suggest the figure is far lower but have not given a specific number. Ethiopia has long been one of the world's poorest nations but has industrialized rapidly in the past decade and now boasts double-digit growth. However, reallocating land is a thorny issue for Ethiopians, many of whom are subsistence farmers.
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    Image: Students Protesting: source FB.

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  • Fire Damages Africa Vacation in Langano

    Africa Vacation Club, a luxury retreat alongside Lake Langano, was caught on fire last night, February 29, 2016, with severe damage reported on several bungalows, eye witnesses told Fortune. The cause of fire remains unknown, while extent of damage is yet to be established.

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  • Ethiopia's Forgotten Drought

    El Niño was first discovered in the 1600s when fishermen noticed that in some years, water temperatures in the Pacific became warmer than usual. Hence, according to the National Ocean Service, El Niño today refers to “large-scale ocean-atmosphere climate interaction linked to a periodic warming in sea surface temperatures across the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific.” These anomalous weather patterns vary across regions, ranging from heavy rainfall and flooding to severe drought.

    Ethiopia has suffered from chronic food insecurity for over thirty years as a result of intense population growth, whose overcultivation of small landholdings has put immense pressure on the soil in an already fragile environment. Yet, the drought occurring now has brought a level of devastation that, according to the United Nations, could rival the major famine in 1984 that killed upwards of 900,000 people. As of February, 75 percent of harvests have been lost, one million livestock have died, and 10-15 million people require emergency humanitarian food assistance, with 430,000 children experiencing severe malnutrition.

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  • Can Ethiopia's 'secret smokers' stub out their cigarettes?

    A lone dancer weaves arabesque shapes with the red tip of his cigarette to the rhythm of loud Amharic music in a dark closeted bar in Ethiopia's capital - oblivious to a recent ban on smoking in public places.

    The night-time corners of Addis Ababa have long allowed revellers in a deeply conservative society to embrace activities that might otherwise be frowned upon - including smoking cigarettes.

    Cigarettes remain deeply divisive in Ethiopian culture and Addis Ababa smokers well into their 20s will not tell disapproving parents of their habit.

    "It is the health implications, money, everything - they worry you will get addicted," says 23-year-old Haile, who like other smokers interviewed did not want to give his second name.

    Smoking at home is not an option - so Haile and his contemporaries tend to turn to the dive bars in the old city's Piazza, the dark alleys off the main thoroughfare of Bole Road and the red-light district of Chechnya to light up.

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  • Running with the hyenas of Addis Ababa

    By James Jeffrey Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    There can't be many early morning urban running routes that result in a hyena or two lumbering past you. But that's what I get after lacing up my trainers and heading out before dawn in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

    During the night, while everyone sleeps, the hyenas come into the city's suburbs to scavenge for scraps of meat and animal carcasses that the human carnivores leave behind. Then, just before sunrise, like vampires, they flee to hide in the deep surrounding forests - thereby coinciding with me wheezing my way up a hill called Yeka, on the city's north-eastern edge.

    More often than not, it's a solitary beast, with a huge head atop the sort of shoulders you'd associate with a nightclub bouncer. It has the oddest running gait, as if limping after being shot in the buttocks by an air rifle.

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