በ2019 የፈረንጆች አመት ብቻ በአፍሪካ በኩል ሜዲትራኒያን ባህርን አቋርጠው ወደአውሮፓ አገራት ለመግባት በጉዞ ላይ የነበሩ ከ1ሺህ 750 በላይ ስደተኞች በጉዞ ላይ ሳሉ ለሞት መዳረጋቸውን ተመድ አስታውቋል፡፡
የተባበሩት መንግስታት ድርጅት የስደተኞች ከፍተኛ ኪሚሽን ከሰሞኑ ባወጣው አዲስ ሪፖርት እንዳለው፣ በአመቱ በወር ቢያንስ 72 ስደተኞች በሰሃራ በረሃ እና በሊቢያ በኩል አድርገው ሜዲትራኒያን ባህርን በመሻገር ወደ አውሮፓ አገራት ለመግባት ሲሞክሩ ለሞት ተዳርገዋል፡፡
ስደተኞቹ ህገወጥ የሰዎች አዘዋዋሪዎች፣ የድንበር ጠባቂዎች፣ ታጣቂዎችና ፖሊሶችን ጨምሮ በተለያዩ አካላት ከፍተኛ የሰብዓዊ መብቶች ጥሰቶችና የተለያዩ አካላዊ ጥቃቶች እንደሚደርሱባቸው የጠቆመው ሪፖርቱ፣ የጥቃት መጠኑ ከጊዜ ወደ ጊዜ በከፍተኛ ሁኔታ ማደጉንም አብራርቷል፡፡
የቫይረሱ ተጠቂዎች ቁጥር ከ17.2 ሚሊዮን አልፏል
የአለም ጤና ድርጅት ዋና ዳይሬክተር ዶ/ር ቴዎድሮስ አድሃኖም የኮሮና ቫይረስ ወረርሽኝ አለማችን ከዚህ ቀደም ከገጠሟትና በአደገኛነት ከተመዘገቡ የጤና ቀውሶች ሁሉ እጅግ የከፋው እንደሆነና ተባብሶ በቀጠለው በዚህ አደገኛ ወረርሽኝ የተያዙ ሰዎች ቁጥር ባለፉት ስድስት ሳምንታት በእጥፍ መጨመሩን ባስታወቁበት በዚህ ሳምንት፣ በቫይረሱ የተጠቁ ሰዎች ቁጥር ከ17 ሚሊዮን እንዳለፈ ተነግሯል፡፡
ቫይረሱ እስካለፈው ሃሙስ አመሻሽ ድረስ በመላው አለም ከ17.2 ሚሊዮን በላይ ሰዎችን ማጥቃቱንና ከ671 ሺህ በላይ ሰዎችን ደግሞ ለህልፈተ ህይወት መዳረጉን ያስነበበው ዎርልዶ ሜትር ድረገጽ፣ በአለም ዙሪያ ከቫይረሱ ያገገሙ ሰዎች ቁጥርም ከ10.7 ሚሊዮን ማለፉን አመልክቷል፡፡
ከቫይረሱ ተጠቂዎችም ሆነ ሟቾች ቁጥር ከአለማችን አገራት በቀዳሚነት በዘለቀችው አሜሪካ ቫይረሱ እስከተጠቀሰው ጊዜ ድረስ ከ4.57 ሚሊዮን በላይ ሰዎችን ሲያጠቃ፣ የሟቾች ቁጥርም ወደ 154 ሺህ መቃረቡን መረጃዎች ይጠቁማሉ፡፡
ብራዚል በ2.5 ሚሊዮን ተጠቂዎችና ከ90 ሺህ በላይ ሟቾች በሁለተኛነት ስትከተል፣ 1.59 ሚሊዮን ሰዎች የተጠቁባት ህንድ በተጠቂዎች ብዛት ሶስተኛ ደረጃን፣ ከ45 ሺህ በላይ ሰዎች ለሞት የተዳረጉባት ሜክሲኮ ደግሞ በሟቾች ብዛት በሶስተኛ ደረጃ ላይ እንደምትገኝም ተነግሯል፡፡
በአፍሪካ አህጉር እስካለፈው ሃሙስ አመሻሽ በቫይረሱ የተጠቁ ሰዎች ቁጥር ወደ 900 ሺህ መቃረቡን የዘገበው አናዶሉ ኤጀንሲ፣ የሟቾች ቁጥር በበኩሉ ወደ 19 ሺህ መጠጋቱን አስነብቧል፡፡
ደቡብ አፍሪካ በ7 ሺህ 500፣ ግብጽ በ4 ሺህ 800፣ አልጀሪያ በ1ሺህ 186 የኮሮና ቫይረስ ሟቾች በአህጉሪቱ ከፍተኛ ቁጥር ያላቸው ሰዎች ለሞት የተዳረጉባቸው ቀዳሚዎቹ ሶስት አገራት መሆናቸውን የጠቆመው ዘገባው፣ በተጠቂዎች ቁጥር ደግሞ ደቡብ አፍሪካ በ471 ሺህ፣ ግብጽ በ93 ሺህ፣ ናይጀሪያ በ42 ሺህ እስከ ሶስተኛ ያለውን ደረጃ ይዘዋል ብሏል፡፡
ቫይረሱ በከፍተኛ ፍጥነት እየተስፋፋ በሚገኝባት አፍሪካ በቅርብ ጊዜያት የኮሮና ቫይረስ መከላከያ ቁሳቁስ እጥረት ሊያጋጥም እንደሚችል የአፍሪካ በሽታ መቆጣጠርና መከላከል ማዕከል ማስታወቁን የዘገበው ቢቢሲ፣ አገራቱ በዓለም አቀፍ ደረጃ ባለው የአቅርቦት ሰንሰለት ችግር ምክንያት ሊያጋጥማቸው የሚችለውን የኮሮና ቫይረስ መከላከያ ቁስቁስ እጥረት ለመቅረፍ ሊዘጋጁ እንደሚገባ መነገሩን አመልክቷል፡፡
በአፍሪካ የኮሮና ቫይረስ መከላከያ ቁሳቁሶች እጥረት ቀደም ብሎም እንደነበር ያስታወሰው ዘገባው፣ እጥረቱ መባባሱ አፍሪካ የኮሮና ቫይረስ ስርጭትን ለመቆጣጠር በምታደርገው ጥረት ላይ እንቅፋት እንዳይፈጥር በብዙዎች ዘንድ ስጋት መፍጠሩንም አክሎ ገልጧል፡፡
የአለማችን ኢኮኖሚ ዕድገት ከኮሮና ቫይረስ ወረርሽኝ ቀውስ ጋር በተያያዘ በዘንድሮው አመት በታሪኩ ከፍተኛውን የ33 በመቶ ቅናሽ ማስመዝገቡን ፎርብስ መጽሄት የዘገበ ሲሆን፣ አለማቀፉ የቱሪዝም ኢንዱስትሪ በበኩሉ እስከ ግንቦት በነበሩት ያለፉት ስድስት ወራት ጊዜ ውስጥ ብቻ 320 ቢሊዮን ዶላር ያህል እንዳጣ የተባበሩት መንግሥታት የአለም ቱሪዝም ድርጅት ማስታወቁን ቢቢሲ ዘግቧል፡፡
ድርጅቱ ከሰሞኑ ያወጣውን ሪፖርት ጠቅሶ ዘገባው እንዳለው፣ በአለማችን የተለያዩ አገራት ከኮሮና ቫይረስ ስጋት ጋር በተያያዘ የእንቅስቃሴ ገደቦች በመጣላቸው በተጠቀሰው ጊዜ ውስጥ የጎብኚዎች ቁጥር በአለማቀፍ ደረጃ በ300 ሚሊዮን ያህል ቀንሷል፡፡
የአለማችን ባንኮች ከኮሮና ቫይረስ ወረርሽኝ ቀውስ ጋር በተያያዘ ለደንበኞች ከሰጡት ብድር እስከ 2021 አመት መጨረሻ ሊያገኙት የሚገባውን 2 ትሪሊዮን ዶላር ሊያጡ እንደሚችሉ መነገሩን ቢዝነስ ስታንዳርድ የዘገበ ሲሆን፤ የፎቶግራፍ ካሜራዎችን፣ ማተሚያ ማሽኖችንና ፊልሞችን በማምረት የሚታወቀው የአሜሪካው ታዋቂ ኩባንያ ኮዳክ፣ የኮሮና ቫይረስ ወረርሽኝን ለመከላከል በማሰብ ከመደበኛ ስራው ውጭ መድሃኒት ወደ ማምረት መግባቱንም ሮይተርስ ባወጣው ዘገባ አስነብቧል፡፡
ሃገሪቱ ወደ ከፋ ቀውስ ውስጥ ከመግባቷ በፊት የእምነት አባቶች ፣ የሃገር ሽማግሌዎች፣ ተፅዕኖ ፈጣሪ ግለሰቦች ፣ምክንያታዊ አክቲቪስቶችና የዲፕሎማሲ ተቋማት፤ መንግስት ፖለቲካዊ መፍትሄ የሚገኝበት የውይይት መድረክ እንዲያመቻች ተፅዕኖ ይፈጥሩ ዘንድ ኢዴፓ ጠየቀ፡፡
የኢትዮጵያን ዴሞክራሲያዊ ፓርቲ (ኢዴፓ) የፓርቲውን መስራችና የማዕከላዊ ኮሚቴ አባል አቶ ልደቱ አያሌውን እስር በተቃወመበት መግለጫው፤ ለሃገሪቱ ከቀውስ መውጫ ሁነኛ የፖለቲካ መፍትሄ የሚገኝበት፣ ሁሉን አቀፍ ውይይት ማካሄድ ነው ባሏል፡፡
የአርቲስት ሃጫሉ ሁንዴሳ ግድያን ተከትሎ፣ ከተፈጠሩ ሁከትና ብጥብጦች ማግስት፣ አቶ ልደቱን ጨምሮ የተቃዋሚ ፖለቲካ አመራሮችን ኢላማ ያደረገ እስራት ተፈፅሟል ያለው ፓርቲው፤ ከሁከትና ብጥብጥ ጋር ምንም ግንኙነት የሌላቸውን የሃሳብ ሰዎች ማሰር በአስቸኳይ ሊቆም ይገባል ባሏል፡፡
ሃገሪቱ አሁን ከገባችበት የቀውስ አዙሪት መውጣት የምትችለውም በውይይት ወደ መዋቅራዊ ሽግግር ስታመራ መሆኑን የገለፀው ኢዴፓ፤ ለዚህ አይነቱ መድረክ መንግስት ቀና ምላሽ እንዲሰጥ ኢዴፓ ጠይቋል፡፡ መንግስት ሃገሪቱን ወደነበረችበት የአፈና መንገድ ሊመለስ የሚችለው የጭፍን እርምጃ ትቶ በለውጡ መባቻ ላይ ለህዝቡና ለፖለቲካ ሃይሎች ቃል ገብቶ የነበረውን ሃሳብን በነፃነት የመግለፅ መብት ማስከበር አለበት ብሏል - ፓርቲው፡፡
የግልና የመንግስት መገናኛ ብዙሃን፣ ባለፉት 27 ዓመታት ከተለመደው በጭፍን የመደገፍና በጭፍን የመቃወም ባህሪ ተላቀው፣ ሞያዊ ሃላፊነታቸውን በአግባቡ እንዲወጡ ጥሪ አቅርቧል - ኢዴፓ፡፡
ከዕለታት አንድ ቀን፣ አንድ አዝማሪ፣ በአንድ ገጠር ውስጥ ከሚስቱ ጋር ይኖር ነበር:: ሚስቱ ህልም ባየች ቁጥር ጠዋት ሲነሱ፤ “ዛሬ ምን ህልም አየሁ መሰለህ?” ትለዋለች፡፡
አዝማሪ - “ምን ህልም አየሽ?”
ሚስት - “በጣም ትልቅ አውሎ - ንፋስ አየሩን ሲያናውጠው፤ ከሥር ደግሞ መሬቱ ጐርፍ በጐርፍ ተጥለቅልቆ፣ ህዝብ መጠጊያ አጥቶ፤ ሲራወጥ አየሁ፤ እኔ አገሩን ጥዬ ጠፋሁ”
አዝማሪው - "መምሩን እንጥራና ይፍቱልን፣ ይሄ ከባድ ህልም ይመስላል፡፡”
ይልና ከጐረቤት መምሩን ይጠራል፡፡ መምሩ ይመጣሉ፡፡ ሚስትየው ህልሟን ትነግራቸዋለች:: እንደ ሁልጊዜው ትንሽ ይፀልዩና የህልም ፍቺያቸውን ይጀምራሉ፡፡
መምሩ - “ይሄ መልካም ነው፡፡ አውሎ ነፋሱ ረሀብ ነው፤ ስለዚህ ምግብ አጠራቅሙ:: ጐርፉ በሠፈሩ ላይ ጦርነት ሊመጣ ነው ማለት ነው፡፡ በመጨረሻ መጥፋትሽ ግን ትልቅ መልዕክት አለው፡፡ በተቃራኒው ነው የሚፈታው፡፡ ከቤት አትውጪ ማለቱ ነው፡፡ ስለዚህ አንቺም ባልሺም ከቤት አትውጡ፡፡ እንዳትነቃነቁ ዕዳ ከሜዳ ነው የሚመጣው” ብለው ይሄዳሉ፡፡
አዝማሪው ወደ ጫካ ሄዶ ክራር መጫወት አምሮታል፡፡
ሚስትየውም - “ተው አትውጣ፤ መምሩ ዕዳ ከሜዳ” ነው የሚመጣው ብለዋል’ኮ” ትለዋለች::
አዝማሪው ግን አንዴ ልቡ ተነስቷልና ክራሩን ይዞ ወደ ጫካ ይሄዳል፡፡ ጫካ ውስጥ አንድ ትልቅ ዛፍ ያገኝና፤ ከሥሩ ይቀመጥና ግንዱን ተደግፎ ክራሩን ይጫወታል፡፡ ከጀርባው ብዙ የበሬ ሥጋ በሰሌን ላይ ተዝረክርኮ ይታያል፡፡ እሱ ሥጋ መኖሩን አላየም፡፡
በመካከል የሰዎች ሁካታ ድምጽ ይሰማል፡፡ ወዲያው ድምፃቸውን የሰማቸው ሰዎች ይመጣሉ::
“ይሄ ነው ሌላው ደሞ፤ የጥጋቡ ጥጋብ በሬያችንን ሰርቆ፣ አርዶ፣ በልቶ የተረፈውን ይሄው ከጀርባው አስቀምጦ፣ እሱ ክራሩን ይከረክራል”
ብለው አስነስተው እንዳይሞት እንዳይድን አድርገው ይቀጠቅጡታል፡፡ ለካ በሬያቸውን የሰረቁት ሌቦች ጫካ አምጥተው፤ አርደው በልተው፣ የተረፋቸውን ትተው ሄደው ኖሯል::
አዝማሪው እንዳይሆን ሆኖ ደማምቶ፣ ቆሳስሎ ቤት ሲሄድ፤ ሚስቱ ደንግጣ፤ “ምን ሆነህ ነው?” ብላ ጠየቀችው፡፡ አዝማሪውም የሆነውን ሁሉ ነገራት፡፡
ሚስቲቱም፤ “ይሄውልህ፤ መምሩ ህልሜን በትክክል ነው የፈቱት፤ “ዕዳ ከሜዳ ነው የሚመጣው፤ ከቤት አትውጡ” ብለውን አልነበረም” አለችው፤ ይባላል፡፡
* * *
የሰው ነገር መስማትና ቢያንስ ልክ ነው፤ ልክ አይደለም ብሎ መጠራጠር መልካም ነው:: አንዳንድ ሰዎች፣ አንዳንድ ነገር ከመከሰቱ በፊት ይታያቸዋል”፡፡ ስለሆነም ያስጠነቅቃሉ:: በዕውኑ ዓለም ከመሆኑ በፊት ምልክት የሚሰጥና በምክንና በውጤት ስሌት ሊደረስበት የማይችል ጉዳይ ያጋጥማል፡፡ እህ ብሎ ማዳመጥ ከብዙ መዘዝ ያድናል:: ከብዙ ጣጣ ያድናል፡፡ ፈረንጆች “Coming events cast their shadow” ይላሉ፡፡ ነገ የሚመጣው ነገር ዛሬ አስቀድሞ ጥላውን ይጥላል እንደ ማለት ነው፡፡ መጠንቀቅ መልካም ነው ማለት ነው፡፡ አይመጣምን ትተሽ ይመጣልን ጨምሪበት እንደተባለው ነው፤ ከፊሉ እየተራጠረው ከፊሉ ተሸጧል ሲለው ከፊሉ ከናካቴው አይሆንም ሲለው የከፋው ሰው ቢኖርም ባይኖርም የግድቡ ሙሌት ተጀምሯል፡፡ ተስፋ ሰጪ ነው መጨረሻው ይናፍቃል:: ወጣም ወረደም ለሀገራችን ኢኮኖሚ አከርካሪ አጥንት በመሆኑ ዕድገትን ማመላከቱ ግልጽ ነው:: ትዕግስት፣ ጥበብ፣ ታታሪነትና ጥንቃቄ አሁንም ወሳኝ ነው
የሀገራችን የኢኮኖሚ ችግር ዘርፈ ብዙ ነው፡፡ ሥራ አጥነቱ እንዳገጠጠ ነው፡፡ የኑሮ ውድነቱ እየተባባሰ ነው፡፡ አቅርቦትና ፍላጐት ርቀታቸው የትየለሌ ነው፡፡ የወጣቱ ትግል እየጨለመ መሄድ ብቻ በመሆኑ፤
“ደሞም ማወቅ ማለት…
ከውጪ ያለውን፣ ሄዶ ከመፈለግ
ከውስጥ የበራውን እንዲወጣ ማድረግ"
የሚለው መልዕክት፤ ገና አልሰረፀበትም፡፡ በሰዓቱ ችግርን መረዳት ግማሽ መንገድ እንደተጓዝን ይቆጠራል፡፡ ከዚያ በሰዓቱ ማቀድ በሰዓቱ መፈፀምና በሰዓቱ ውጤቱን መገምገም::
“ትምርትህን ይግለጥልህ” ብለው ነው፡፡ ከዚያም “መጨረሻውን ያሳምርልህ” ብለው ነው የሚደመድሙት፡፡ ጅምርህ እንዳማረው፣ ፍፃሜውም የተባረከ ይሁንልህ እንደ ማለት ነው፡፡ ትምህርታችንን ይገልጥልን ዘንድ ችግሩ እንዲገባን፣ እጥረቱ እንዲሰማን ያስፈልጋል:: ያ ደግሞ እንዲገባን እጥረቱ እንዲሰማን ያስፈልጋል፡፡ ያ ደግሞ እንዲሰርጽብን ከልብ አገርን መውደድና ከልብ ለህዝብ መቆርቆርን ይጠይቃል፡፡ መካያውም፤ “ምን ተባብለን ነበር? የት ደርሰናል?” ማለት የአባት ነው፡፡ አንድ የፍቅር የምንለው ነገር ግን ለሀገር ጉዳይ ሊያገለግለን የሚችል ግጥም አለ፤
“ተማምለን ነበር እንዳናቀላፋ
ተኝተሽ ተገኘሽ መተማመን ጠፋ”
የዘፈን ግጥም ይሁን እንጂ ህይወትንና አገርን አሻግረን ልናይ የምንችልበት ነው:: መማማል፤ ማቀድ ነው፡፡ አደራ መባባል ነው፡፡ ማንቀላፋት፣ መስነፍ ነው፡፡ አለመሥራት ነው፡፡ መተኛት ኋላ መቅረት ነው፤ ዳተኛ መሆን ነው፡፡ ቃልን አለማክበር ካለ፣ መተማመን ይጠፋል፤ ዕምነት ይጐድላል፡፡ ዕምነት ማጉደል ከሙስናም ጋር ይያያዛል፤ "ዕምነት ሲታመም፣ ሺ ወረቀት መፈራረም" ይላል፤ ሎሬት ፀጋዬ ገ/መድህን:: አካባቢን አለማስተዋል፣ ግራ ቀኙን አለማየት፤ ዙሪያ መለስ አስተሳሰብ አለማዳበር፤ ዕዳ ከሜዳ መኖሩን እንድንዘነጋ ያደርገናል፡፡ ሜዳው ላይ ሌብነት እንዳለ አለማየት፣ ንብረታችን እንደሚሠረቅ አመላካች ነው፡፡ ሜዳው ላይ ብዙ ኢ-ፍትሐዊ ነገር እንደሚፈፀም አለማስተዋል፣ ህጋዊ መንገድን ልብ እንዳንል ያደርገናል፡፡ ሜዳው ላይ ኮሮና እንደሚጠብቀን መዘንጋት፣ ዕዳው የህይወትን ዋጋ የመክፈል ያህል ይሆንብናል፡፡ ካለማስተዋል፣ ካለመጠንቀቅና ከቸልተኝነት የሚመነጩ፣ ለአገርም ለህዝብም የማይበጁ አያሌ ዕዳ - ከሜዳዎች እንዳሉብን አውቀን፣ ለነገ እንብቃ!!
On Wednesday, four of the biggest names in tech will give evidence to members of the US Congress.
Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Sundar Pichai (Google), Tim Cook (Apple) and Jeff Bezos (Amazon) will all be grilled.
Jeff Bezos - the world's richest man - has never testified before either house. They have never all been quizzed together. How these tech bosses do, how they stand up to scrutiny, could be a defining moment in their future relationship with government.
Central to the interrogation will be whether these tech giants are simply too big.
The Covid pandemic has put this into sharp focus. Where other companies have struggled, Big Tech companies have thrived. Together they are now worth $5tn dollars. It's led to accusations that - just like the banks - they are simply too big to fail.
The number of complaints levelled at these companies are so numerous, they are too many to name individually here.
What are they likely to say?
In pre-released comments, Mark Zuckerberg argued that Facebook had become successful "the American way" - providing products that people find valuable after starting with nothing.
"Our story would not have been possible without US laws that encourage competition and innovation," he said.
But he acknowledged that there were concerns about the size and perceived power of technology companies and that there should be a more active role for governments and regulators - and updated rules for the internet.
Jeff Bezos posted his opening statement to Congress.
"At Amazon, customer obsession has made us what we are, and allowed us to do ever greater things," he said.
"I know what Amazon could do when we were 10 people. I know what we could do when we were 1,000 people, and when we were 10,000 people. And I know what we can do today when we're nearly a million."
"I believe Amazon should be scrutinized," he added. "We should scrutinize all large institutions, whether they're companies, government agencies, or non-profits. Our responsibility is to make sure we pass such scrutiny with flying colors."
The general theme is that these companies don't just run services - they own the internet's utilities. The charge is that they use that commanding position unfairly at the expense of others.
Take one of the criticisms against Amazon, for example, that it promotes its own products over others on its Amazon marketplace.
Or Apple charging a 30% cut on the money generated from apps that use the App Store.
The complaint from app makers: where else do we go to sell our apps? Apple and Google (which respectively own iOS and Android, the operating systems of almost all the world's smartphones) control the market, and so control who gets to play and who doesn't. And they of course get to set the charges.
Google too, with its dominant search engine, has been accused (and fined) before, for burying competitor searches. Once again, the accusation is that no one company should have such a commanding position in an essential part of our internet.
And there are general criticisms that can be levelled at all the tech giants too. For example the alleged Copy/Acquire/Kill strategies that all four are accused of using.
Copy others' ideas, buy a company that threatens you - and even potentially kill it off. Is this just shrewd, albeit ruthless business? Or is this Big Tech flexing its muscle unfairly?
Here's why this has been such a difficult area to police. Traditionally, anti-competition law - in this case "anti-trust" law - has been focused on consumer pricing.
In a typical monopoly or cartel, there's a simple test. Are consumers paying more because of a lack of competition?
The US "trusts" of the early 20th Century - from which the anti-trust legislation derives its name - were found to be driving up prices. Companies like Standard Oil and railway companies used their dominant position to hurt consumers.
That's much harder to prove with these tech companies.
For example Facebook, Instagram and What Sapp are free. Amazon often drives down prices to beat competition. Google's search engine is free. YouTube - owned by Google - is free. And apps on iPhones can often be downloaded for free.
So what's the problem?
That is the heart of the argument. Critics say that these companies hurt consumers in a more subtle way, killing off smaller companies and strangling other businesses. The charge is that they are in fact damaging the economy. That's what legislators are looking to examine.
Anti-trust campaigners have already lost one battle before the hearing even begins. They wanted to have the tech bosses grilled one by one.
"We want to leave as little room as possible for them to hide behind each other," Sarah Miller, from the American Economics Liberties Project, told me last week.
But that's not going to happen. They'll be questioned together and the hearing will - perhaps aptly - be virtual.
There are also worries that members of Congress will use the occasion to grandstand - to strut and preen - rather than asking the more difficult technical questions that might catch them out.
Off-topic questions are also likely - particularly for Mark Zuckerberg. For example, Facebook is currently the focus of an advertising boycott. It's accused of being too slow in removing racist and hateful content, and that could well be a line of questioning.
And of course, ahead of the US elections, Facebook should expect incoming from both Republican and Democratic members of Congress. Democrats are generally concerned about far-right content on the platform, Republicans that the company is structurally left-wing. And of course there are still concerns of foreign interference.
Expect China to come up too - and for it to be brought up by the tech bosses. With companies like TikTok and Huawei attracting the ire of the Trump administration, one defence will go something like: "Break us up, overregulate us, and you give Chinese tech companies more power."
Trying to prize the four away from their scripts is going to be the toughest job. That worked most effectively during Mr Zuckerberg's interrogation on Capitol Hill in 2018. But that's harder said than done.
Congress has a big opportunity here. The chance to really cross-examine these powerful men doesn't come often, and the evidence they give could shape their future relationship with government and their customers.
But whatever happens on Wednesday, this won't be end of the story. Earlier this week, the Senate Judiciary Committee's anti-trust panel said it would hold a hearing in September to discuss Google's dominance in online advertising.
ሁለት ሌሎች ኢትዮጵያውያንም በዝርዝሩ ተካትተዋል
ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ዐቢይ አሕመድ ከ2020 ዓ.ም 100 ስመ ጥር አፍሪካውያን መካከል አንዱ ሆነው ተመረጡ፡፡
#ሪፒዩቴሽን ፖል ኢንተርናሽናል; የተባለው ተቋም፣ በፈረንጆቹ 2020 በተለያዩ የሙያ መስኮች ስመ ጥር የሆኑ 100 አፍሪካውያንን ዝርዝር ይፋ ያደረገ ሲሆን፤ ጠ/ሚኒስትር ዐቢይ አሕመድም በመሪዎች ዘርፍ ከተመረጡት አንዱ ሆነው ተካትተዋል፡፡
የዴሞክራቲክ ሪፐብሊክ ኮንጎ ፕሬዚዳንት ፌሊክስ ሺሴኬዲ፣ የላይቤሪያው ምክትል ፕሬዚዳንት ጀዌል ሃዋርድ፣ የዓለም ባንክ ምክትል ፕሬዚዳንት ሃፊዝ ጋነምን ጨምሮ በተለያዩ ዓለም አቀፍ ተቋማት ውስጥ የሚሰሩ አፍሪካውያንም በዝርዝሩ ውስጥ ተካትተዋል፡፡
ኢትዮጵያዊው #የአፍሪካ ዘላቂ ልማት ግብ ማዕከል; ዋና ዳይሬክተር የሆኑት አቶ በላይ በጋሻውም ከ100 ስመ ጥር አፍሪካውያን አንዱ ሆነው የተመረጡ ሲሆን ስራ ፈጣሪዋና የሶል ሬብልስ መሥራች ወ/ሮ ቤተልሄም ጥላሁንም በቢዝነስ የስራ እድል ፈጠራ ዘርፍ ተመርጠዋል፡፡
ከዚህ በተጨማሪም፤ የሰብዓዊ መብት ተሟጋቾች፣ ደራሲያን፣ የኢኮኖሚ ባለሙያዎችና የስራ እድል ፈጣሪዎችን ጨምሮ በበርካታ የሙያ ዘርፎች ውስጥ የተሰማሩ አፍሪካውያን በዝርዝሩ ውስጥ ተካትተዋል፡፡
#ሪፒዩቴሽን ፖል ኢንተርናሽናል; ታታሪነት፣ ግልጽነትና ተፅዕኖ ፈጣሪነትን በ100 ስመ ጥር አፍሪካውያን ዝርዝር ውስጥ ለማካተት በመስፈርትነት መጠቀሙን ለማወቅ ተችሏል፡፡
Addis Ababa, 27 July 2020 – JLL, one of the world’s leading real estate investment and advisory firms, released its overview of the Hotel industry in Ethiopia. The report examines the factors that make Ethiopia a unique tourist destination as well as the impact of COVID-19 on tourism in the region.
As of March 2020, international arrivals in Ethiopia decreased by 35.5% year-on-year to 118,950 mainly due to decreased flights, as well as cancellations by Ethiopian Airlines, which flies to over 80 destinations worldwide from Addis Ababa. According to the report, the country’s tourism sector shows tremendous potential for growth given it is home to nine world heritage sites, as well as government measures to improve the investment landscape. This includes relaxed visa policies, enabling nationals as well as residents from the African Union to obtain visa’s on arrival, which saw the Africa Visa Index go up by 32 places to secure a top 20 position in 2019.
With a population of over 110 million, Ethiopia is said to have one of the fastest growing economies in Africa. It has experienced strong economic growth and is undergoing rapid political reforms as a result of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s initiatives for international cooperation, including historic peace with neighboring Eritrea. In addition, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved $2.9 billion to finance Ethiopia’s Home Grown Economic Reform program, which aims to alleviate challenges faced by the economy. According to the report, these events have provided tailwinds that are expected to benefit the hotel sector, in particular.
“With domestic tourism likely to recover first following the pandemic, Ethiopia should tap into the domestic and regional market as a short-term solution to revive its tourism industry. With poor hotel infrastructure in major tourism destinations throughout the country, there are opportunities to develop hotels and lodges in these areas to attract domestic and international travelers,” commented David Desta, Associate, JLL Hotels and Hospitality group.
The report highlights that Addis Ababa will likely see an increase in corporate, NGO and diplomatic demand over the next few years. Ethiopia currently has upward of 21 internationally branded hotels under development which in theory could add around 4,300 rooms.
“The impact of COVID-19 in Addis Ababa has seen 88% of hotels either full or partially closed and the market will take some time to recover. The opening up of the economy represents the most significant opportunity to fuel this recovery, as this would increase the number of multinationals that are based in the country, and in doing so increase hotel demand,” says Wayne Godwin, Head of Hotel Advisory, JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group.
The trials of leading Oromo politicians Jawar Mohammed and Bekele Gerba are underway in what is a test case for Ethiopia’s democratic transition
On 16 July, two leading figures from the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress, Jawar Mohammed and Bekele Gerba, stood before the Federal First Instance Court, Arada Branch. For Jawar, the influential activist and founder of Oromia Media Network, it was the second court appearance, and for Bekele, previously jailed under the former ruling coalition, it was the third since they were arrested on 30 June along with 33 others. So far, only four state-owned or party-affiliated media outlets have been allowed in the court room.
According to defence lawyers, the 35 are suspected of four crimes: initiating ethnic conflict; killing and wounding members of Oromia Special Forces; forcefully taking and mishandling the body of Hachalu Hundessa; and attempting to assassinate officials from Oromia. As of 16 July, there were 10 case files for all 35 suspects. So far, there have only been hearings for four case files for 16 suspects. The police have asked for another 14 days to conduct further investigations and apprehend other suspects. The court granted police 12 more days for Jawar’s case and 10 for Bekele’s. Accordingly, the cases were adjourned to 29 and 27 July, respectively.
During the 16 July session, prosecutors from the Federal Office of the Attorney General presented the overall direction of the investigation, according to reports. Prosecutors stated they have formed 14 teams to investigate property damage, injuries and fatalities that took place during the unrest that followed the 29 June assassination of Oromo singer Hachalu on the outskirts of Addis Ababa.
Although the prosecution didn’t present evidence that the investigation has uncovered so far, they elaborated on the nature of it, and submitted a written statement. Prosecutors stated that Jawar instigated clashes and conflicts based on ethnic and religion differences via social and broadcast media, and said they have witness testimony from 34 individuals about his conduct.
Media reports other testimonies will show Jawar and his close followers had forcefully taken Hachalu’s body at Burayu check point, opening fire on security forces that were present. After taking the body, Jawar’s group brought it back to Addis Ababa to the headquarters of Oromia branch of Prosperity Party, demanding that Menelik II statue near Piazza should be taken down and Hachalu be buried there instead.
The Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Zelalem Mengiste told pro-government Fana Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) on 1 July that there were plans being coordinated through the media to dismantle Menelik II statue in Addis Ababa and bury Hachalu there. He said the use of media for this purpose was being investigated by the Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority.
Federal Police Commissioner Endeshaw Tassew told FBC and Ethiopian News Agency on the evening of 30 June that a confrontation at Oromo Cultural Center near Meskel Square happened between government security forces and a group led by Jawar over the burial, leading to the killing of a member of Oromia Special Force. He accused Jawar’s security detail of the killing.
While Jawar and the individuals arrested alongside him attempted to enter the headquarter of the party, one Oromia Regional Police Special Force was allegedly shot and killed, while three others were wounded by Jawar’s armed group. The prosecution stated it has gathered 10 witness testimonies and forensic test results which show the group was responsible.
In addition, 10 Kalashnikovs, one semi-automatic rifle, 10 handguns and nine communication radios were found in the hands of Jawar’s group. The appropriate authority has proven that these firearms and radios were illegally possessed, said the prosecution.
Regarding the campaign of violence through social and regular media Jawar is suspected of, the prosecution has acquired the contents of Oromia Media Network’s (OMN) output from the Broadcasting Authority. Following OMN transmissions, 14 people were killed in Addis Ababa while 167 more deaths occurred in Oromia. The extent of property damage in Oromia is still being calculated, however 200 million birr worth of damage took place in Addis Ababa, according to prosecutors.
The team is yet to conduct further investigation of a satellite receiver and other electronic items found in Jawar’s house, find out the relationship the suspect had with OMN and other groups creating disturbance, or make further arrests of other suspects. It’s also waiting on evidence from 14 investigative teams. Thus, the Federal Police requested another 14 days, although the court granted only 12.
Defense lawyer Tokuma Tefa also made arguments and complaints during the hearing. He said while Jawar and Bekele’s were being reviewed under separate case files, they are suspected of committing more or less the same crimes, and so should be prosecuted together. Both deny committing any crime. The defense stated that the police doesn’t have enough evidence to arrest them at this point and their clients should therefore be released from custody.
Tokuma also refuted prosecution statements, saying that their clients did not cause a police officer to be killed, or preach and incite violence through social media and television, nor did they give any order to that effect. Rather, a police officer was fatally shot after they had left the premise of Oromo Prosperity Party’s headquarter, and they had nothing to do with this. Tokuma argued that the police have not sufficiently demonstrated that Jawar and Bekele campaigned for violence or explained exactly how they did so.
Regarding the alleged possession of illegal firearms, another defense lawyer, Kedir Bulu, told Ethiopia Insight in a phone interview that the firearms that were found in the hands of Jawar’s personal security details were registered.
In addition to the arguments presented by the defense, Jawar spoke to the court, according to Ethiopian state-owned radio. He stated that no police officer or individual was shot during the time he was present and that Hachalu’s body was brought from Burayu to Addis Ababa because the road to Ambo was blocked. He added that the issue is political and should be solved through dialogue.
On 16 July, the defense team also spoke about the custody conditions of their clients. Kedir stated that they are being held underground in a building owned by the Federal Police located around Mexico Square. There are issues with accessing food brought by visitors and the visiting rights of family members and lawyers is not being respected. According to the media, the prosecution replied that visiting rights were limited as per the state of emergency declared to control the spread of COVID-19, and also that the suspects aren’t being held for their political role; rather the police have a reason to believe that they committed crimes. After hearing both sides, the court ordered the police to improve the custody conditions of the suspects and that the state of emergency is applied in a reasonable manner.
Furthermore, the defense team also stated that their clients are being defamed by state media, whose reports have spread the assumption of their guilt among the public. Lawyers asked the court to order this to cease. The court rejected the request, stating that the complaint isn’t clear and convincing. Kedir told Ethiopia Insight that the pre-trial reports undermine the presumption of innocence. Kedir believes part of the reason the pro-government media is doing this is to undermine the public support their clients have.
Bekele appeared in court on 16 July after his hearing on 13 July was adjourned without the court giving ruling on the police request for an additional 14 days’ investigation time. The court granted another 10 days. According to state media, Bekele was arrested the day after Hachalu’s death along with his two sons and other suspects. Kedir said Bekele’s sons are suspected of committing many of the same crimes as their father.
At the 13 July hearing, the prosecution said Bekele incited violence by calling upon youth groups to escalate the damage and chaos when he was about to be taken into police custody. According to an Ethiopian News Agency 14 July report, this resulted in the death of hundreds of individuals and the destruction of property worth millions of birr. In addition, two pistols were found inside the suspect’s residence, which were sent to a forensic team for analysis.
Tokuma told Ethiopia Insight that the Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Zelalem Mengiste told the media that Jawar’s security detail attempted to enter Oromo Cultural Center – which is adjacent to the Prosperity Party office – while armed when high officials were holding a meeting in the compound. He accused Jawar and Bekele of attempting to repeat the 22 June 2019 multiple assassinations in Bahir Dar and Addis Ababa. According to Tokuma, there is no basis for this, and Bekele would not have brought his sons and daughter if he was planning an armed insurrection. Also, he wouldn’t have left his pistol at home.
Ethiopia Insight was unable to attend the hearing because only four state-owned and pro-government media – Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation, Ethiopian News Agency, Oromia Broadcasting Network, and Fana Broadcasting Corporation – were allowed in the courtroom. Defense lawyer Kedir said families also couldn’t access the hearings. Federal Police officers outside the court told Ethiopia Insight that a media permit was needed from the Federal Attorney General’s Office to gain access.
A Federal Supreme Court official told Ethiopia Insight that the four media had been selected in advance by the authorities and that there was no facility for other outlets to apply for permission to report. No formal explanation was given by the official as to why private media were not allowed access. Ethiopia Insight spoke to Tesfaye Neway, the Vice President of Federal First Instance Court, who said that the coronavirus is the main reason for the restricted access. Because of the interest in these cases, many journalists want to attend but the courts cannot accommodate a large number and ensure social distancing. Tesfaye said the court didn’t select the four media on the basis of who owns them and that additional outlets may get access.
Currently, the government thinks that the newfound freedom of the press has been exploited by some to promote ethnic conflict. On 12 July, Fekadu Betsega, the Director of the Border Crossing and Organized Crime Prosecution Team, told FBC that the night Hachalu was murdered, OMN was already inciting ethnic conflict.
(Source:- Ethiopia Insight)