Key South Sudan town braces for fresh fighting

By Charles Lomodong | AFP

South Sudan’s key oil hub of Malakal was Thursday bracing for fresh fighting as government troops vowed to wrest back control of the town from rebel fighters. The country’s army spokesman said the town was divided, and that government troops loyal to President Salva Kiir were preparing to try and force out the rebels allied to ex-vice president Riek Machar. “It is a contested town, and you may expect gunfire at any moment. The SPLA will resolve this mess at any moment,” army spokesman Philip Aguer told AFP. The rebels, he alleged, “have killed people in the hospital, have killed people in the church.” Continue Reading →

With friends like these, who needs democracy?

From Ethiopia to Nicaragua, countries that go through civil war are much less likely to become democratic if the winning side gets help from rival nations, a Michigan State University political scientist argues. In a new study examining democratization after civil wars since World War II, Michael Colaresi found the majority of groups that eventually took power failed to establish democratic governments if those groups took money or weapons from a foreign enemy during the war. Receiving such aid can create mistrust among the nation’s citizens and make it more difficult for the new regime to institute a democracy, which requires public consent for effective governance, said Colaresi, professor of political science. “Leaders want to stay in power,” Colaresi said. “If they try to build democratic institutions, they would then need public support and trust to continue to govern, which is no easy task if you have received support from enemies the public does not trust.” Continue Reading →

Poor Ethiopia is rich in spying

Amid all the reports of spying on Americans by the U.S. government, through the National Security Agency, FBI and others, the complaint filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation on behalf of a man identified only by the pseudonym of Mr. Kidane takes allegations to a whole new level. The complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington alleges the Ethiopian government infected his computer so that it could wiretap his private Skype calls and monitor his family’s every use of the computer for months on end. “We have clear evidence of a foreign government secretly infiltrating an American’s computer in America, listening to his calls, and obtaining access to a wide swath of his private life,” said EFF Staff Attorney Nate Cardozo. “The current Ethiopian government has a well-documented history of human rights violations against anyone it sees as political opponents. Here, it wiretapped a United States citizen on United States soil in an apparent attempt to obtain information about members of the Ethiopian diaspora who have been critical of their former government. Continue Reading →

Boeing says Air India unhappy with its 878 Dreamliner performance

oeing Co. (BA) said Air India Ltd. is dissatisfied with the performance of its 787 Dreamliner, joining other carriers including Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA in slamming the manufacturer for repeated faults on its marquee jet. “Yes, they are not happy with the reliability portion, neither are we,” Dinesh Keskar, a senior vice president at the Chicago-based planemaker, said in an interview at the Singapore Air Show today. “Over the last few months, we understood which are the components that were causing issues, which software needs to be upgraded.” Continue Reading →

What’s Next for Simon Cowell?

That British import known as Simon Cowell is heading back across the pond after Fox pulled his show ” The X Factor,” but don’t think that’s the last American audiences will see of him. “I’ve had a fantastic time over the last 12 years, both on ‘The X Factor’ and ‘American Idol.’ And apart from being lucky enough to find some amazing talent on the shows, I have always had an incredible welcome from the American public (most of the time!),” Cowell said in a statement. “America, I’ll see you soon!” Fox pinned the move, announced Friday, on Cowell’s decision to return to the U.K. version of the series. Continue Reading →

One of the factors, essential for economic development, is a successful and thorough transformation of subsistence agriculture into commercial farming. This is not just a technical transformation.  It is also a social transformation. It requires changing existing property relation through land reform that can privatize land and create owner farmers who will produce for market. In the eighteenth century, United Kingdom achieved agricultural breakthrough by breaking up communal land into private farms so that major technical and biological advances could be introduced into agriculture. Private ownership of land allowed enterprising individuals more scope and opportunities for permanent farming and independent experiments. Continue Reading →

Soccer: Libya top of Group C

Libya remained top of Group C at the African Nations Championship courtesy of a 1-1 draw with Ghana on Friday, while Congo sent Ethiopia packing with a 1-0 win in Bloemfontein.  Libya have four points from two matches after they beat Ethiopia 2-0 in their opening group game. Ghana also have four points and are second in the group after they defeated Congo by a lone goal in their first match. Congo are now third on the table on three points after they upset Ethiopia 1-0 in the late game. Continue Reading →

Ethiopia – Land for Sale

ust a few decades ago, Ethiopia was a country defined by its famines, particularly between 1983-1985 when in excess of half a million people starved to death as a consequence of drought, crop failure and a brutal civil war. Against this backdrop, it is impressive that in recent years, Ethiopia has been experiencing stellar economic growth. The headline statistics are certainly remarkable: the country is creating millionaires faster than any other in Africa; output from farming, Ethiopia’s dominant industry, has tripled in a decade; the capital Addis Ababa is experiencing a massive construction boom; and the last six years have seen the nation’s GDP grow by a staggering 108 percent. But it is not all positive news, because for all the good figures there are still plenty of bad ones. Around 90 percent of the population of 87 million still suffers from numerous deprivations, ranging from insufficient access to education to inadequate health care; average incomes are still well below $1500 a year; and more than 30 million people still face chronic food shortages. Continue Reading →

Ethiopians Sweep Houston Marathon

HOUSTON (AP) — Ethiopians swept the Houston Marathon again Sunday. Bazu Worku successfully defended his Houston title, breaking away in the last mile to win with the third fastest time in the marathon’s history. Abebech Bekele won the women’s race for her first marathon title. This was the sixth straight year an Ethiopian man won in Houston and the eighth straight year an Ethiopian woman did so. Worku and countryman Getachew Terfa were running side by side approaching the last mile when Worku pulled away to finish in 2 hours, 7 seven minutes, 32 seconds. Continue Reading →