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  • Athelet Feyisa will get hero’s welcome, government official

    The Olympic runner from Ethiopia who defiantly made an anti-government gesture at the finish line of the men’s marathon Sunday will receive a “heroic welcome” and not face prosecution, a government spokesman said Monday.

    Feyisa Lilesa crossed his arms above his head to draw attention to deadly protests in Oromia, his home region in Ethiopia, as he secured his second-place win at the end of the event of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the Associated Press reported. He told reporters that he may be killed or imprisoned if he ever returns home, where protesting is “very dangerous.”

    “If I go back to Ethiopia, the government will kill me,” Lilesa told Sports Illustrated. “If not, they will charge me. After that, if they not charge, they will block in the airport in immigration. I want to move to another country and try to go to another country.”

    Ethiopia’s Communications Minister Getachew Reda told CNN that Lilesa is an “Ethiopian hero” who “shouldn’t at all be worried” to return to his home country. “I can assure you nothing is going to happen to his family nothing is going to happen to him,” Reda said. 

    CNN, Awramba

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  • Hilton Addis downgraded to three stars

    The hugely awaited star-rating program – led by a team of assessors from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) – has been revealed leaving Hilton Addis with three stars while Sheraton Addis, Radisson Blu, Capital Hotel and Spa and Elilly International Hotel received five-star status. 

    During a press conference held at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, James Mac Gregor, UNWTO team leader defended that the hotels were assessed based on international standards set by the World Bank Group. According to Gregor, the five star rated hotels were able to attain some 80 percent out of the 2,249 points. Hence, out of the 68 hotels assessed, 13 have obtained four stars, 25 have been categorized as three-star hotels. Hilton Addis is part of this group. Another 19 fell under two stars and seven have been rated one star hotels.

    The total number of hotels expected to be fit for the crowing process were some 98. However, 27 have been unable to be assessed failing to receive compulsory safety, hygiene and sanitary certifications from responsible agencies or because they are unable to comply with the requirements. In addition to that, 28 out of the 68 have been unable to be in the star status; they have ended up with “zero stars” as Gregor put it. 

    According to Gregor, hotels like Sheraton were found to be unable to meet the criteria for deluxe status. He argued that to join the deluxe group Sheraton needed to score 90 percent or so, which it did not.

    “Stained, poor, messy kitchens” are some of the expressions Gregor used to speak about the hotels in the capital. “Most of them are ill managed,” he said, referring to the point where relatives of property owners were assigned to run most of them. 

    Gregor, however, said that there are pretty well-equipped and run hotels. The UNWTO team has currently stretched the assessment program to the regions where Amhara, Oromia, Tigray and the Southern regions have been part of the process. 

    Tadlech Dalecho, state minister of Culture and Tourism affirmed that the outcome of the star-rating has so far been welcomed and the ministry firmly said that the results are believed to have a positive impact on the hospitality sector. She also argued that it was the right time for the government to jump into the process since the previous star-rating guidelines have been found to be outdated. Back in 1999/2000 before the establishment of the ministry, the then Ethiopian Tourism Commission had been instrumental in bringing a much-unpopular star-rating system in the country where hoteliers were free to self-rate properties, Tadelech explained.

    According to Gregor, in the coming three to four years the shortage of professional hoteliers will greatly affect the industry if not well considered. He estimated that some 10 thousand professionals will be readily required to serve the industry. But he doubts that such massive professionals will be available in the country.

    Attempts made by The Reporter to include comments from Hilton has failed. For more than half a century, Hilton Addis has been perceived to be a five-star hotel where some of the scenes of the iconic Shaft in Africa movie was shot.  

    A month ago, senior officials of both Hilton Worldwide and Starwood told The Reporter that star-rating system is outdated and added that brands are what customers go for. For Gregor such statements are biased. Web-based ratings and reviews such as Trip Advisor are also false, Gregor added.

    source: Reporer

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  • PM Hailemariam sacks Urban Development and Housing Minister Mekuria Haile.

    Mekuria Haile is member of the executive committee of SEPDM and EPRDF. It has been rumored in the past weeks that SEPDM, Hailemariam's home party, had sacked Mekuria Haile. There was no official statement regarding that.
    Mekuria Haile is the second executive committee member of EPRDF to be sacked in 2016. Two months ago, Zelalem Jemaneh, executive member of OPDO and EPRDF, was sacked and later detained.
    The ruling party has decided to make a series of expulsions and reshuffle in the coming weeks. Source Daniel Birhane

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  • Ethiopia takes delight in watching Turkish drama series

    In recent years, Turkish TV series have become popular in Balkan, Latin American and Arab countries. Now, Ethiopia is following their footsteps, as two prominent Turkish productions are being aired and dubbed in the local language

    Everyone in this family of three is excited. From their apartment living room neighborhood of Summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, they are about to be mesmerized, and transported to another world of Turks fluently speaking Amharic, Ethiopia's national language.

    A fresh wind blows amid the hurly-burly of the bustling 4-million-strong metropolis that lives under a state of emergency, which has led access to mobile data connections being banned.

    The Ethiopian government has imposed martial law since mid-October to help subdue months of violent anti-government protests.

    See more here


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