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World News

  • Land of Paradox - Israel

     

    There are not a lot of countries and communities who can trace their ancestry back to the biblical times or even further back. Knowing this, Israel also exploits these historical heritages effectively and obtains big revenue from tourism. Nevertheless, present day Israel is also known for its high-tech advancement and innovation, observes Neamin Ashenafi. 

    When someone thinks about the State of Israel and its people, the first thing that springs to mind is the rich religious history, as the three monotheistic Abrahamic religions – Christianity, Islam and Judaism – are said to have their roots in what is now present day Israel and eventually spread to the rest of the world.

    Apart from that, the horrific history of the Jewish holocaust in the hands of Nazi Germany and the constant conflict that Israel is in with its Arab neighbors are also among some of the distinctive milestones that Israel is known for.

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  • The captivating Wangfujing Street of Beijing nights

     

     

    The capital of China, Beijing, is the most populous capital city in world. Most agree that it is a mega city with more than 3,000 years of history. However, the 21th century Beijing is truly a unique blend of the old and the new.

    Centuries-old sanctuaries and present-day high-rise buildings with its neon lights are part and parcel of the Beijing skyline. Still, the night life is where Beijing shines the brightest, observes Meheret-Selassie Mokonnen. 

    It is almost midnight; nonetheless, China’s capital Beijing is as lively as the daytime – if not more. While visiting one of the most vibrant cities in the world, one cannot help but stay awake to get the best of a pleasant night out. 

    With more than 3,000 years of history, the city has centuries-old sanctuaries and present-day high-rise buildings.  Among several spots that are recommended to be visited during night-time, Wangfujing Street tops the list offering countless activities. 

    From a pedestrian street to dynamic night market, shopping malls to strip clubs, bookstores to fried scorpion-on-a-stick, you name it – Wangfujing has it all.  Wangfujing, literally translated to mean ‘prince's mansion well’, is one of the well-known touristy streets in Beijing. The name was driven from prince’s residences which were built in the area during Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911). 

    The street, which is located in Dongcheng district of the capital, has been a commercial center for locals and tourists since the middle of the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644).  Though Wangfujing is essentially buzzing 24/7, the night life is more captivating. Not only this street, but most of the city’s best moments can be caught after sunset. 

    Wangfujing is one of the traditional downtown areas of Beijing and until the late 1990s it was open to traffic. Nowadays it is a pedestrian street, which helps to thoroughly observe endeavors of the area.  Bartenders of strip clubs in the area are usually overzealous and most of them walk around outside to summon passersby.

    They go on and on about what their club offers as opposed to the others. The clubs are made of a see-through glass and anyone can see the dancers hopping on the stripper poles. Customers choose the best clubs by looking at the dancers from outside of the clubs.  The clubs on this street are more public as opposed to the so called sex pubs which are more underground.

    They are discrete in a sense of ‘what happens in Beijing stays in Beijing’ kind of way. In these private pubs, although most of the waiters don’t speak much English, they try to elaborate their services using Mandarin and little English.  The 810-meter-long walking street fuses traditional stores and modern shopping malls.

    It includes two book stores—Wangfujing bookstore and Foreign Languages bookstore—which are over five decades old. It is pleasing to see many customers going from one shelf to the other in search of books published in China and imported from other countries. 

    The entire street, embroidered with squares, grasslands, flower beds, fountains, ornamental columns and sculptures is often full of people. Not being bothered by vehicles, walking on the street gives some sense of freedom as one walks in the middle of the road.

     Source - The Ethiopian Reporter News

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  • Ethio-China economic, trade and cultural cooperation forum kicks off

     

     

    Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, December 21, 2017 (FBC) - The Ethio-China Economic, Trade and Cultural Cooperation Forum kicked off yesterday in Hangzhou, China in the presence of State Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Aklilu Hailemichael, leading a high-level Ethiopian delegation.

    Temesgen Bogale- Deputy Minister of Industry Ministry, Remadan Ashenafi- Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism of Ethiopia, Ambassador Berhane Gebrekirstos-Ethiopian Ambassador to China and Ambassador Mulie Tarakegn- Consul General of Ethiopia in Shanghai were also in attendance. 

    On the occasion, Dr. Aklilu noting the long-standing and strong brotherly relations between the two countries and their common aspirations on various areas of cooperation, praised the government and people of China for playing a prominent role in his country’s economic boom. 

    He said that the  Forum is a will further enhance the multifaceted ties between the two countries. 

    The State Minister has also briefed participants of the Forum Ethiopia’s untapped human and natural resources along with the Government’s encouraging investment schemes. 

    He also stressed on the need to promote South-South cooperation and maintain the “excellent collaboration” within the framework of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum (FOCAC), the G-77 and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) among others. 

    Chen Xinhua, Vice Mayor of Hangzhou, stressed on the need to further map out fields of cooperation in different arrays.   

    In similar vein,  Mr Chen An , Deputy Director of Department of Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs said Ethiopia and China have strong and longstanding bilateral relations witnessed on various high-level engagements. 

    Ethiopia and China have enjoyed long-standing relations for many years. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, the two countries have steadily strengthened a relationship based on their common interests. 

    According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia (MoFA), the two countries have also been and are working closely together in regional and international fora. 

    Posted by Amare Asrat

     

     

     

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  • Egypt’s FM will visit Addis Ababa to discuss GERD

     

     

     

    Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, December 21, 2017 (FBC) - Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry will visit Addis Ababa next week.  

    According to Ahram Online, the objective of his visit is to discuss on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam’s (GERD) technical negotiations. 

    Ahmed Abu Zeid, Egypty’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, announced the trip today during an interview on a morning talk show on CBC Extra channel. 

    Abu Zeid also pointed out about the ongoing preparations for Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s visit to Egypt. 

    The Spoksperson said Ethio- Egypt relations had witnessed important developments during the past two years, represented by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s visit to Addis Ababa and the establishment of a high joint committee between the two nations, in addition to the continues ongoing communication between the foreign ministers to build mutual trust. 

    “We don’t want to lose [this trust] after all that we have achieved in building a unique relation between the two countries,” Abu Zeid said, describing the GERD issue as “highly significant” for both Egypt and Ethiopia.  Ethiopia has been constructing the GERD since 2011.The dam is 62 percent complete now. 

    Posted by Amare Asrat

     

     

     

     

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  • U.S. appeals against withdrawal of AU troops from Somalia

    The United States has appealed against the withdrawal of African Union troops in Somalia warning that extremism could escalate in the region if the withdrawal goes through. 

    The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) announced last week that 1,000 soldiers will be withdrawn from the country by the end of 2017, following a decision by the AU and UN Security Council to hand over security responsibilities to Somalia army. 

    The U.S. State Department has said that the decision calls for concern and promised their support for the mission until Somalia forces are ready to take over.  “We do not support further drawdown of forces beyond that level at this time, due to ongoing security concerns.

    The United States supports a conditions-based Amisom drawdown that is tied to the development of capable, professional Somali security forces.” Foreign Service Officer at the State Department, Wohlers Marion said, the Africa news reports. 

    AMISOM chief Francisco Madeiro had said that the withdrawal will be gradual and 500 police officers will be deployed to train and mentor the Somali Police who will enforce law and order in the country. 

    Ethiopia, Uganda, Burundi, Kenya and Djibouti form bulk of the multinational peacekeeping force first deploy to the country in 2007 to end an armed insurgency that’s now entered its tenth year.  It has extended Mogadishu’s control across the country but leaves behind a militant group now ranked the deadliest in Africa. 

    Authorities have over the years been training thousands of troops that are expected to replace AU soldiers who’ve waged a ten-year campaign against al-Shabaab – the al-Qaeda proxy in the Horn of Africa.  The withdrawal will see five countries reduce their troops by four per cent. Each of them will contribute to the 500 police officers needed to train the Somali Police Force. 

    Al Shabaab has killed thousands of civilians and soldiers through car and suicide bombings as it seeks to topple the western-backed government and impose its strict version of the Sharia law.  Its deadliest attack on October 14 killed at least 350 people when a truck carrying explosives was detonated at a busy junction in Mogadishu. 

    Source: CGTN 

    Posted by Amare Asrat

     

     

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  • EU members agree to establish new military union

    Twenty three countries from the 28-member European Union (EU) have signed a pact to fund and develop a new military union, an idea that the United Kingdom has opposed but may now have no say in as it prepares to leave the bloc. 

    The agreement on the Permanent Structured Cooperation, or PESCO, was signed at the European Council in Brussels on Monday and is part of efforts led by Germany and France to bring the EU closer to having a permanent joint military force parallel to NATO but exclusive to the EU. 

    The UK, which has long resisted a pan-European military force, voted to quit the EU in June last year, and the administration of US President Donald Trump has asked Europe to pay more for American participation in NATO. 

    The EU’s foreign policy director, Federica Mogherini, hailed the new agreement as a “historic moment,” saying PESCO “will enable member states to use the economy of scale of Europe and in this manner to fulfill the gap of output that we have.” 

    Backed by a five-billion-euro fund, PESCO will come into force in December, after which members will for the first time be legally bound to conduct joint projects.  Those EU members that did not join the new union were the UK, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal, and Malta. 

    Austria, which is not a member of the NATO military alliance, agreed to join at the last moment.  Unlike similar efforts in the past, PESCO is not being opposed by the US-led NATO, which aims to benefit from stronger militaries.  Some members have also brandished the new union as an attempt to counter Russia. Western governments have been at odds with Moscow since the Crimean Peninsula, formerly territory of Ukraine, voted to unify with Russia in 2014. 

    “This is a commitment for countries to do better together,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.  “It comes at a time of significant tension,” he added, apparently referring to Russia. 

    Source: PressTV 

    Posted by Amare Asrat

     

     

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