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  • Soap actor Znah-Bzu Tsegaye flees Ethiopia

    Znah-Bzu Tsegaye in Sew Le SewProminent Ethiopian actor Znah-Bzu Tsegaye has sought asylum in the US after leaving the country about two months ago, he told Voice of America.

    The actor was in a weekly soap opera Sew Le Sew on state television.

    He left because of "repeated harassment and for being Amhara" reports the opposition Zehabesha website.

    Human Rights Watch says security forces killed at least 100 people at protests in the Amhara region in August but the government denies this.

    In an interview with Voice of America's Amharic service, the actor said the Ethiopian security forces had carried out "atrocious actions" and he had decided not to return home until the "regime is changed".

    "It is sad to respond with bullets to people's demand for their rights," he added.

    At the root of the recent demonstrations in Amhara is a request by representatives from the Welkait Amhara Identity Committee that their land, which is currently administered by the Tigray regional state, be moved into the neighbouring Amhara region.

    The Oromo people in Ethiopia have also been protesting against the government, saying they have been excluded politically and economically.

    During the Rio Olympics, marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa crossed the line in second place with his arms above his head in solidarity with Oromo activists.

    He said he wanted to seek asylum after the high-profile anti-government protest, and he is now in the US.

     

    Suorce; BBC

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  • For Some, Bush-Obama Rapport Recalls a Lost Virtue: Political Civility

    Michelle Obama hugged George W. Bush on Saturday at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times

     

    WASHINGTON — Maybe it was the unexpected warmth of the gesture, the sheer enveloping display of affection.

    Maybe it was his response, the beatific expression on his face, eyes almost closed, head tilted toward her shoulder.

    Maybe it was the moment: tenderness at a time when presidential politics has become a festival of cruelty.

    But when Michelle Obama hugged former President George W. Bush on Saturday, at a ceremony to open the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the image quickly took flight online.

    However one chose to interpret it — and overinterpretation is a hazard in such exercises — it became an instant metaphor. Some saw the lost virtue of civility in politics; others, the unlikely friendships that blossom at the rarefied heights of public life. To critics on the left, it was a shameful case of political amnesia by the wife of a president who spent years cleaning up the mess left by his predecessor.

    Mrs. Obama and Mr. Bush have had a few such memorable moments. In July in Dallas at a memorial service for five police officers killed by an Army veteran, the two held hands while singing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” When Mr. Bush began swaying to the music, Mrs. Obama gamely let him swing her arm back and forth. At one point, as the choir sang “glory, glory hallelujah,” he turned to her in a burst of enthusiasm, causing the first lady to crack up, despite the solemnity of the occasion.

    In June 2012, when Mr. Bush returned to the White House for the unveiling of his official portrait, he aimed a few wisecracks at President Obama. But he saved his best material for Mrs. Obama, reminding her that when British soldiers set fire to the White House in 1814, another first lady, Dolley Madison, rescued the portrait of the first George W. — as in Washington.

    “Now, Michelle,” he said, gesturing to his own painting, “if anything happens, there’s your man.”

    Some of these encounters are explained by proximity. When the Obamas and the Bushes appear in public together, protocol dictates that Mrs. Obama stand next to Mr. Bush. Some of it is a function of the former president’s playful manner, which by all accounts has become more playful in his retirement.

    But some of it also has to do with the relationship between the couples, which current and former officials say has deepened over the past seven and a half years, both because of the shared bond of living in the White House and because of Mr. Bush’s decorum as an ex-president.

    “President Bush was very gracious to us during the transition, and he has been unfailingly gracious and respectful since,” said David Axelrod, a former adviser to Mr. Obama. He recalled the president telling him that the Bushes “had taught him lessons in how to be a former president.”

    Mr. Bush has studiously avoided criticizing Mr. Obama or his policies. And Mr. Bush has lent his presence to occasions that meant a lot to the president, like the 50th anniversary of the civil rights march in Selma, Ala., when Mr. Obama delivered what some believe was the finest speech of his presidency, on race relations in the United States. Mrs. Obama sat next to Mr. Bush on that day, too, frequently leaning over to talk or share a laugh with him.

    Mrs. Obama’s rapport with Laura Bush is less playful, but Mrs. Obama’s aides say it is no less genuine. In early 2009, Mrs. Bush invited Mrs. Obama to visit the White House with her daughters, Malia and Sasha, for a private tour before her husband’s inauguration. Mrs. Bush’s daughters, Barbara and Jenna, showed the girls their new home, including good hiding places and banisters made for sliding.

    The two first ladies have appeared together regularly since, including this month at a conference at the National Archives to promote support for families of service members. In 2013, in Tanzania, Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Bush bonded during a conference on education for women and girls.

    “I like this woman,” the first lady said of Mrs. Bush.

    Mrs. Obama added that “it’s hard to find people who know what you’re going through, who understand the burdens and the fears and the challenges.”

    “It’s sort of a club,” Mrs. Bush replied. “A sorority, I guess.”

    The fraternity of presidents is well documented, though some members are closer than others. Bill Clinton and George Bush became famously chummy, with Mr. Bush inviting the man who defeated him to the family compound in Kennebunkport, Me., to “play golf, spend the night” and “hurdle the waves at breakneck speed,” according to the book “The President’s Club,” by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy.

    Mr. Clinton’s relationship with Mr. Obama took longer to thaw, largely as a consequence of the bitter 2008 primary race between Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton. There were a few golf games, an ice-breaking lunch at an Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village, and, above all, Mr. Clinton’s memorable speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2012 defending the president’s economic record, after which Mr. Obama took to calling Mr. Clinton his “secretary of explaining stuff.” Now, Mr. Obama is campaigning vigorously for Mrs. Clinton to succeed him, cementing the political alliance between them.

    Paradoxically, Mr. Obama’s relationship with the younger Mr. Bush has always seemed less complicated. Though Mr. Obama ran on his opposition to the war in Iraq — and has never stopped deploring that war — he appears to have an easy rapport with his predecessor. After the ceremony at the museum on Saturday, Mr. Bush was trying to take a photograph of himself with a family, only to find he could not fit everyone in the frame. The solution? He tapped Mr. Obama on the back, handed him the phone, and asked him to take the picture.

    As Mr. Obama was wrapping up his speech, he could not resist a gentle poke at his predecessor, who is known for his restlessness, laying odds on the length of his own remarks.

    “Enough talk,” Mr. Obama said. “President Bush was timing me. He had the over/under at 25” minutes.

    Source: nytimes.com

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  • Srinagar Streets Just Got Safer - 300 Stone Pelters Arrested By Jammu & Kashmir Police

    Stone Pelters

    The arrest of 300 suspected instigators of stone-pelting by the Jammu and Kashmir police over the last one month has drastically reduced the number of such protests, and made the streets of Srinagar and surrounding areas much safer, officials monitoring the situation in the Valley said.

    The current spell of such protests, which are targeted at government buildings and security installations and personnel, was triggered by Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani's killing on July 8. As part of the Centre's strategy to curb the protests, the J&K police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have systematically nabbed stone-pelters and sent them to jail under the Public Safety Act. They have also arrested some Hurriyat members.

     

    A list of 423 suspects, including local leaders associated with separatist hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Jamaat-e-Islami, as well as overground workers of Hizbul Mujahideen and other outfits, was prepared, and a decision taken to pick them up. According to top home ministry officials, J&K police and CRPF went to remote villages in Anantnag, Pulwama, Shopian, Bandipora, Sopore and Kulgam, among other areas, over the past few weeks to hunt for the suspected instigators of violence in the valley.

    Stone Pelters

    During each operation, CRPF and J&K police teams, sometimes in the hundreds, created a corridor before entering a village. After a suspect was nabbed, they were produced before a magistrate and sent to jail. "A decision was taken by home minister Rajnath Singh last month that the security forces should crack down on people behind the violence, which has taken close to 90 lives, and go after them aggressively," a senior government official said. "The forces have reclaimed the areas which were dominated by stone-pelters in July and August," the official added. Local informers had helped prepare the list of instigators.

     

    According to the investigation so far, the suspects allegedly travelled from one village to another over the last three months to instigate stone-pelting, and directed youngsters on where to carry out attacks on the forces. They also planned the supply of stones, and who would lead the charge. Most of them, sources said, were paid for organising the attacks, while the main attackers in a mob were given Rs 500-700 each per day.

    Stone Pelters

    BCCL

     

    "The organisers of the violence were giving inflammatory speeches in large gatherings, instigating the youth to continue the unrest and attack police/CRPF and Army installations," the official said.

    Some of the known names detained include Shafi Waqai, considered to be very close to Geelani, Mohammad Tantray of Hurriyat, and Fayaz Ahmad. PSA allows security agencies to detain persons accused of disturbing peace in J&K for three months to one year without a trial.

    Source: indiatimes.com

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  • Cristiano Ronaldo cursed Zinedine Zidane on the bench; Dressing room clash also revealed

    Is Cristiano Ronaldo v Zinedine Zidane going to become a thing?

    Cristiano Ronaldo cursed Zinedine Zidane on the bench; Dressing room clash also revealed (Video)

    Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench

    Ronaldo curses Zidane

    Spanish newspaper Sport have been heavily reporting on the supposed “falling-out” between Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo.

    Ronaldo was not happy to be subbed off against Las Palmas this weekend and Real Madrid ended drawing 2-2, putting the French coach in the line of fire.

    Cristiano Ronaldo could be seen on the bench cursing Zinedine Zidane after being substituted.

    Cristiano said “your f***ing mother” [su puta madre – can also mean “F*** you”], referring to Zidane. Not just that but he also said “Foda-se”, a Portuguese expression somewhere between “f*** yourself” and “for f***’s sake”.

    Dressing room conversation revealed

    Sport also reported on the conversation which reportedly took place between the pair in the Real Madrid dressing room after the game.

    “I’m disappointed in you,” said Ronaldo to his coach. Zidane tried to calm the situation. “Calm down Cris, you needed to rest, you will play 90 minutes against Dortmund.”

    A cold silence broke out which Sergio Ramos decided to break – “You shouldn’t get like this (Cristiano).”

    It is worth noting that Sport are a Catalan newspaper and quite obviously have an agenda.

    James Milner: Liverpool are a different side to last year

     

    James Milner believes Liverpool are a much different team from last season

     

    James Milner believes Liverpool are a much different team from last season

    James Milner reckons Liverpool are starting to build momentum, with Saturday's 5-1 victory over Hull taking them fourth in the Premier League table.

    Their only defeat so far was a 2-0 loss at Burnley in August, and vice-captain Milner believes they are a much different team to last season.he 30-year-old midfielder told the club's TV channel: "I'm seeing a different team this year, completely different to last year.

    Even Burnley wasn't too bad a performance, it was the final third that let us down.

    Milner (right) celebrates after scoring from the penalty spot  against Hull
    Milner (right) celebrates after scoring from the penalty spot against Hull

    "I think maybe last year some games we would play like we wanted to play, but in other games we wouldn't.

    "Consistency has been really good and you look down the squad list and the quality is unbelievable."

    SOURCE: skysports.com/

     

     

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