• Spain Attacks: Terrorists Planned to Use Explosives


    The perpetrators of the terror attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils originally planned to use explosive devices to wreak greater devastation but were apparently thwarted because their materials detonated prematurely, police said Friday.

    A house in Alcanar, south of Barcelona, was destroyed in a blast Wednesday night -- hours before one attacker mowed down dozens of people in the heart of Barcelona, killing 13. A group of five attackers then drove into pedestrians in the town of Cambrils, killing one, in the early hours of Friday.

    Catalan police chief Jose Lluis Trapero told reporters that explosives were found in the Alcanar property and that police "are working on the hypothesis that these attacks were being prepared in that house."

    The explosion meant the attackers were unable to use material they were planning to deploy in attacks in Barcelona, Cambrils and perhaps elsewhere, he said. The attack in Barcelona was therefore "more rudimentary than they originally planned," Trapero said.

    The revelations pointed to an alarming conclusion: that a highly organized terror cell had gone undetected until their explosives accidentally blew up the house where they were based -- and despite the setback they still managed to carry out two further improvised attacks without impediment.

    Key developments

    -- Four people have been arrested: one of them in Alcanar and three in Ripoll. Three were Moroccan citizens and another was Spanish and ranged in age from 21 to 34. None was on the radar for terrorism.

    -- People from at least 34 countries are among the injured in the attacks, Catalan authorities said. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said an American citizen was among the dead. The first to be identified was an Italian.

    -- Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy labeled the Barcelona attack "jihadi terrorism." Rajoy's government has declared three days of mourning across Spain.

    -- Rajoy, the Catalan regional president Carles Puigdemont and other officials held a crisis cabinet meeting in Barcelona.

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  • Board to hold Amhara-Kimant Referendum


    The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) is poised to hold a referendum at 12 different Kebeles where the Amhara and Kimant ethnicities who have been living together for long.

    That referendum will be hold based on the decision passed by the House of Federation, the state-affiliated FBC reported on Thursday.

    Amhara region’s cabinet, recently, has agreed a self-administration of the Kimant society. Also, the two (Amhara and Kimant) can delimit an administrative territory according to their wish, the region decided.

    NEBE’s Public Relations Director, Tesfalem Abay was quoted by FBC as saying, “The Board, as a responsible organ to deal with the referendum, has already sent a technical team to those Kebeles”.

    A temporary action plan, which is expected to be endorsed “soon” is also installed following a consultation between NEBE and the Amhara region.

    According to their expectations, 25 thousand people is going to be voted on the referendum.

    Although the Kimant was mentioned in the 18th century, the question of ‘who are the Kimant people?’ has been one of the contentious issues since 1991. Their early history is more obscured and hence it becomes a puzzle for scholars interested to study this people.

    Kimant political movement has largely been a post 1991 phenomenon. Beside their shared experience of marginalization and exclusion, and the new politico-legal environment emerged for mobilizing ethnic identities, their struggle has mainly grown- out of the wider conditions of discontent in the federal arrangement that denied and marginalized their existence as a distinct ‘nationality’.

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  • Egypt is always associated with Nile dam discussions between Ethiopia and Sudan: Ghandour


    The Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour Tuesday praised the exemplary relationship between Ethiopia and Sudan but was keen to underscore that the talks on Renaissance Dame and Nile Water are always done with the Egyptian participation.

    The Sudanese top diplomat was speaking at a press conference held in Khartoum after the arrival of the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn in an official three-day visit where the two neighbors will sign a number of bilateral agreements in various fields.

    "Sudan’s relationship with Ethiopia goes beyond water issues. The water is a national security issue for Sudan, Ethiopia and the rest of the Nile Basin countries. Also, it is one of the most important issues under the Nile Basin Initiative, the Technical Committee of the Nile Basin and the water agreement between the three countries.(Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan), particularly about the Renaissance Dam," he said.

    The issue of water has always been present when two of the three parties meet, but the concern is always "how to have tripartite cooperation between the three countries," he further stressed.

    The Ethiopian multi-billion dollar Renaissance Dam is being constructed on the Blue Nile, about 20 kilometers from the Sudanese border, and has a capacity of 74 billion cubic meters, and is expected to generate electrical power of up to 6,000 megawatts.

    Sudan backs the project because its water will be used to develop the eastern Sudan region while Ethiopia says it intends to produce only electricity and has no interest in the water or any intention to harm Egypt.

    However, Cairo is openly opposed to the project and requests more guarantees that the project will not affect its share of the Nile water.

    Ghandour who held a joint press conference with State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Hirut Zemene told reports that bilateral meetings would be held between the respective ministers in the two countries to discuss issues of security, water, economic cooperation, etc.

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  • Ethiopia: Capital of Amhara region shut down in memory of 2016 protest deaths

    Bahir Dar, capital of Ethiopia’s Amhara region was almost shutdown on Monday but police and residents accounts seem to differ on the cause of the shutdown.

    According to local media reports, the shutdown was in commemoration of deadly security crackdown on protesters last year. It affected businesses and the transport system in the otherwise bustling city.

    Photos shared on social media showed deserted streets with most small businesses closed. Reports also indicate that some businesses in the other region hit by the protests, Oromia, also closed in solidarity.

    Police chief of Amhara State Walelegn Dagnew, also confirmed a bomb blast in the region had occured on Sunday, but he blamed ‘anti-peace elements’ for both situations – the blast and closure of some businesses.

    Spreading anti-government protests reached the city on August 7, 2016 after it had taken place in Addis Ababa and in the Oromia region.

    The protesters at the time accused regime affiliated to the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) of marginalising the poor largest northern regions of Amhara and Oromia. They also demanded the release of arrested activists.

    “This is a mass civil disobedience movement that is not being organized by political parties. People are tired of this regime and express their anger everywhere,” chairman of the Oromo People’s Congress, Merera Gudina, told AFP. Gudina is currently being held on charges of terrorism.

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  • Ted Alemayhu entered the U.S Congressional race as an independent candidate

    Ted Alemayhu entered the U.S Congressional race as an independent candidate

    Elias Meseret for DireTube
    Los Angeles, California

    Ethiopia- born philanthropist and politician, Ted Alemayhu, has announced his bid for the U.S Congress on Friday from Los Angeles in California. The move has made the 44 year old, who is best known for founding the charity U.S Doctors for Africa in 2006, the first Africa- born person to run for the U.S. Congress ever.

    He will be running as an independent for the 2018 Congressional Race from the 37th District of California.

    “People are becoming increasingly frustrated on the two political parties (Democrats and Republicans) with the current political climate in Washington,” he said after announcing the shot for the Congress at the Veterans Memorials Building in Los Angeles. “They don’t even get together to talk on many issues. There is now a need for a new and fresh choice that cares about what the people need. That’s why I’m running now.”

    Ted Alemayhu, known for his bold leadership on U.S and international platforms, first came to America in 1987 as a fourteen year old boy under the guardianship of an American family.

    He has previously testified before the United States Congress to help mobilize global partnership in defeating the deadly Ebola and Zika viruses. He was also credited for leading personalities who stepped up to help U.S citizens during the deadly Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Francis.

    His official profile shows that he has worked with the City and County of Los Angeles, The State of California, The State Department, The Rand Corporation, The Clinton Foundation, The United Nations, The World Health Organization, The White House, as well as various members of Congress.

    Several dozens of people have attended Ted’s formal announcement to run for the U.S Congress on Friday whose Primary is set for June 5th, 2018.

    Ted has earned various awards and recognitions for his extraordinary work for his community and communities from across the United States and around the world. Among the many Awards and recognitions; he has received a special recognition from the Los Angeles City Consul and former Mayor of Los Angeles Viaragoza, Columbia University Teachers College, NASDAQ Market, as well as from the United Nations and Clinton Global Initiative.

    “The Republican and Democratic parties have promised but not delivered so people are just so fed up here. That why I chose to run as independent instead of alongside these two parties,” Ted said.


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  • Koshe Survivors Still Struggle


    Though it has been five months since the deadly garbage hill slide occurred in Koshe Open Garbage Dumpsite in Addis Ababa, survivors of the incident are still complaining about unfulfilled promises and harsh living conditions, The Reporter has learnt.

    Survivors told The Reporter this week that they have faced harassment from officials for sharing their current conditions to the media.

    “Previously, you came to us to hear about our problem,” a survivor, who requested anonymity, told The Reporter. “The fact that you came brought more problems and harassment from officials from the wereda.”

    “The officials came with a story published in your newspaper and harassed us for disclosing information to media,” the survivor said.

    “Because of the story, they stopped food rationing for almost two weeks,” the anonymous survivor claimed.

    A week ago The Reporter paid a visit to a temporary shelter, which also served as youth sport center. Even though the survivors were promised that they would get a house, close 90 individuals including women, children and the elderly are still living in the youth center.

    The people that were met by The Reporter expressed their fear and concern for sharing their conditions to the media. On the other hand, there were others who said that they are fed up with the conditions and that they do not fear of openly talk about what is happening.

    The Reporter observed that the people, who were originally arranged to live in two separate rooms, are now residing in a very congested fashion. In that regard, in one of the rooms, which is made of corrugated sheets, close to 60 people have been living since the tragedy. This room is shanty at best with the wind and rain creating unfavorable conditions to children who are exposed to the kiremt cold.

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