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  • Statement from US-Embassy, Addis Ababa

     

    We have seen questions on Facebook about a quota system for Ethiopian visa applicants. 

    Last week, the President of the United States initiated a review of national security procedures which applies to visitors and potential immigrants from seven countries. Ethiopia is not among those seven countries and Ethiopian citizens are not addressed nor affected by the President’s executive order.

    The U.S. Government remains committed to facilitating legitimate travel for international visitors. In fact, in 2016, the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa issued more than 18,000 non-immigrant visas, with the majority to Ethiopian applicants. 

    For more information on the recent Executive Order or on the application process for U.S. visas:https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en.html

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  • 100 USA Visas per Year for Ethiopia. Donald Trump Signs Executive Order

     

    The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has signed an executive order placing a quota on thenumber of visas to be issued by the United States Embassy in Addis Ababa to Ethiopians.

    The executiveorder, which bans seven countries from visiting the United States granted Ethiopia only 100 visas per year. This means that the embassy is entitled to issue visas to only 100 lucky applicants yearly until may be a new government takes over to make changes to such laws.

    Also, Ethiopians who hold dual nationality will be banned from entering the United States if their other passport is from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen — the seven Muslim-majority countries “of concern”.
    A lot of attention has been on the temporary visa ban on citizens of the seven Muslim-majority countries, but the impact on Ethiopians is far more than previously thought.

    United States visas to the lucky 100 people would be valid for only three months as a clause in the orderrequires reciprocity.

    Section 9 of the Executive Order states: “The Secretary of State shall review all nonimmigrant visa reciprocity agreements to ensure that they are, with respect to each visa classification, truly reciprocal insofar as practicable with respect to validity period and fees, as required by sections 221(c) and 281 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1201(c) and 1351, and other treatment. If a country does not treat United States nationals seeking nonimmigrant visas in a reciprocal manner, the Secretary of State shall adjust the visa validity period, fee schedule, or other treatment to match the treatment of United States nationals by the foreign country, to the extent practicable…”

    Given that the Trump order takes immediate effect, Ethiopians holding valid long term US visa are most likely to be affected.

     

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  • Nigerian Pastor beaten into a coma after condoms fell from his bible while preaching

    Mayhem broke out at Toyota Bus stop, in front of the popular Ladipo Spare parts market, this morning, when a Nigerian Bus Preacher was dragged out of a bus and beaten to a coma after Condoms allegedly fell out of his bible as he preached the 'Word of God'.

    The Pastor had embarked on his journey at Apapa and proceeded to preach to the people on the bus, using very strong words like "If you wear trouser you'll go to hell! The Devil invented Make up! Weave on is from Marine Kingdom! If you have pre-marital sex you will burn in hell and your skin will peel!"

    The people in the bus were so moved; some started falling under the anointing. Our eye witness, Mr. John Mbakogu, who was on his way to his shop at Ladipo told us:

    "People were just falling as he was laying hands. One man even fell out of the bus under the influence of the Spirit. It was amazing – until he raised his hands to cast demons out of one girl, and 2 Durex condoms fell out"

    The angry men on the bus who had been having pangs of guilt due to the pastor's preaching about sex suddenly got really angry and pounced on the pastor, who all of a sudden started shouting "I also preach safe sex! Safe sex is good!"

    Police in Nigeria had to be called to the scene to save the pastors life. So far 2 arrests have been made, and the Condoms have been kept as evidence.

     

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  • City Hall goes dark in support of trapped civilians in Aleppo

     

    Toronto City Hall is going dark Wednesday night as a show of support for civilians still trapped in heavily besieged eastern Aleppo.

    According to a media representative at City Hall, the Toronto Sign at Nathan Phillips Square will be dimmed at 7 p.m. in solidarity with Aleppo.

    The message was also Tweeted out by Cllr. Norm Kelly Wednesday afternoon.

    Aleppo, once the largest city in Syria, has been decimated by the ongoing civil war, and in recent weeks has seen scores of civilians killed in airstrikes and gunfights as government forces retake the eastern part of the city that served as an enclave for opposition rebel fighters.

    In late November, the UN estimated 275,000 residents were trapped in the area that’s been under siege since July.

    Civilians have been posting goodbye messages on social media in recent days as government troops advanced further into the streets of the former rebel stronghold, and although a ceasefire deal was reached Tuesday, it effectively collapsed by Wednesday morning as shelling resumed.

    With files from Associated Press

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  • Muslims and Hindus more likely to help someone being attacked than Christians, survey finds

     

    In a world that seems to be getting angrier and more hectic, lots of people have witnessed violent or aggressive incidents and wondered whether or not they should intervene.

    A thousand questions race through the mind: do you risk your own safety, are you actually witnessing what you think you are witnessing, and could getting involved even make things worse?

     

    new survey questioned 2,000 people about their willingness to intervene in an “extreme situation” and came up with some interesting findings. One was that greater percentage of people who identify as Muslims and Hindus said they would spring into action than Christians.

     

    Just 24 per cent of people said they would get out their phone and start videoing if they saw a police officer harassing an African American man for no reason, while 21 per cent said they would get out of it. Meanwhile - both typically and depressingly -  nearly twice as many people say would step in if they witnessed violence against a dog, rather than a person.

    The survey, entitled Bystander Backlash and which makes no claims to being entirely scientific, was conducted on behalf of Bay Alarm Medical, a California-based medical services company. 

     

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