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  • Beauty and Color: Scenes From Ethiopia

    Ethiopia is home to more than 100 million people—the second most populous nation in Africa. It is also composed of wildly varying landscapes, and an incredible diversity of ethnic and religious groups. Getty Images photographer Carl Court reports that “Lonely Planet recently ranked Ethiopia among the top ten 2017 world tourist destinations,” and that it earned more than $870 million from tourism in the first quarter of 2017 alone. Gathered here are a handful of recent images from across Ethiopia, showing just some of its people and regions.

    1. A priest stands on the edge of a cliff in front of the entrance to Ethiopian Orthodox rock-hewn church of Abuna Yemata Guh in the Gheralta Cluster in the Tigray mountains, on January 28, 2011, in Megab, Ethiopia. 
    2. The colorful volcanic landscape of Dallol in Ethiopia's Danakil Depression, on February 26, 2016. #
    3. Portrait of an Afar tribesman with traditional hairstyle, in Assayta, Ethiopia, on March 1, 2016.

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  • Cristiano Ronaldo: Is the Real Madrid forward set to leave Spain?

    Cristiano Ronaldo signed a new five-year deal with Real Madrid in November that helped him become the best-paid athlete in the world.

    But now a source close to the player now says he "doesn't want to stay in Spain" because he is "upset" after being accused of tax fraud in the country.

    Ronaldo, 32, joined Madrid from Manchester United for a then world-record £80million in 2009.

    The Portugal legend has scored a club-record 406 goals in his 394 appearances for Real.

    Only two weeks ago, he helped Zinedine Zidane's side win a 12th European Cup with two goals in a 4-1 victory over Juventus in the Champions League final in Cardiff.

    Will that turn out to be his last appearance for Los Merengues? Where could he go? And what would Madrid do without him?

    Maybe he's just upset. Maybe it is something he said in a moment when he's really angry. We don't know yet. He's been happy here, he helped us to win three Champions Leagues over the past four years, so I hope he will stay.

    But, if he's made his mind up, I don't think it's going to be easy to change. He's very strong-minded and clear in what he wants. If he leaves I don't see him in a place like China or the Middle East. He will be always playing for a big club and trying to get more titles and more personal awards.

    He's a fighter and he's in good shape. He can play again for the best club and I think that club now is Real Madrid. I can't tell you what he's doing but I hope he will stay, I'm sure he'll stay.

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  • The man 'whose faulty fridge started tower inferno': Neighbour reveals how Ethiopian taxi driver raised the alarm when deadly blaze started in his fourth-floor kitchen

    This is the mini-cab driver whose faulty fridge is alleged to have started the Grenfell Tower inferno.

    Behailu Kebede, a father of one, raised the alarm after flames took hold in his flat at number 16 on the fourth floor.

    Maryann Adam, 41, who lived at number 14, told how Mr Kebede banged on her front door in the early hours of Wednesday to tell her that there was a fire in his kitchen.

    She said: 'He knocked on the door, and he said there was a fire in his flat. It was exactly 12.50am because I was sleeping and it woke me up. 

    'The fire was small in the kitchen. I could see it because the flat door was open. There was no alarm.' 

     

    Mr Kebede friend Eshete Meried said the 44-year-old taxi driver originally from Ethiopia, escaped the building - but was still in shock.

    Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, Mr Meried said: 'Behailu did raise the alarm, that is what I am hearing.

    'He is fine but he is not in a position to talk about anything right now. I understand that he in a temporary shelter, staying with friends.' 

    Another friend said Mr Kebede had spoken to police who are investigating the fire.

    Maryam left her phone with her belongings in her flat and has been unable to check on other residents. She later attended the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital after feeling dizzy, but was given the all-clear. 

    Speaking today from emergency accommodation close to the scene of the disaster, Mr Kebede told of his distress at witnessing the very beginning of the inferno, which it is feared to claimed more than 100 lives.

    He told MailOnline: 'I am very upset'. Asked whether the fire started in his flat by MailOnline Mr Kebede replied: 'I'm busy, I'm busy. Goodbye.'

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  • 5 Ethiopian Multi-Millionaires You Should Know

    A few Ethiopians have built multi-million and billion dollar empires in industries as diverse as agriculture, food, construction, energy and distribution and earned multi-million dollar fortunes to boot. Their names don’t ring with the African public, and you’ve probably never heard about them before, but they are very successful — and very wealthy. Meet 5 Ethiopian entrepreneurs, who own businesses with annual revenues of $50 million or more.

    Belayneh Kindie

    Source: Agricultural Commodities

    Belayneh Kindie Import And Export (BKIEA), the eponymous company Belayneh founded and runs, is the largest agricultural commodities trading company in Ethiopia. He founded the company in 2005 to primarily export oil seeds and subsequently expanded into other commodities such as sesame seeds and nuts. Its commodities trading business has revenues of a little over $60 million in 2016. The company also has a thriving transportation business that boasts a fleet of more than 100 dry & fuel cargo trucks. BKIEA also owns hotels in Ethiopia and a port handling service company.

     

    Tewodros Ashenafi

    Source: Oil

    Ashenafi is the chairman and co-owner of Ambo Mineral Water, Ethiopia’s bestselling naturally-carbonated bottled mineral water, along with beverage giant SABMiller. He is also the founder and CEO of oil exploration firm SouthWest Energy, one the largest oil and gas acreage holders in East Africa. SouthWest has a leading acreage position in the Jijiga Basin, Ethiopia’s largest proven hydrocarbon-bearing sedimentary basin, covering an area of approximately 350,000 km2 and in the eastern region of Ethiopia bordering Somaliland.

    Buzuayehu T. Bizenu

    Source: Diversified

    Bizenu is the chairman and controlling shareholder of East African Holding, a leading industrial conglomerate in Ethiopia that operates in a variety of sectors such as manufacturing of Fast Moving Consumer Goods, tea processing, printing and packaging, transport, real estate, cement production and coal mining.

    Ato Ketema Kebede

    Source: Diversified

    Kebede is the founder of KK PLC, an Ethiopian company that manufactures blankets primarily to export across Africa and North America. The company also owns an acrylic yarn dyeing plant, and is also engaged in the import and distribution of heavy-duty machineries and equipment for mining, construction, road making and quarrying. The company is also one of the largest exporters of Ethiopian coffee, cereals and spices.

     

    Akiko Seyoum Ambaye

    Source: Construction

    Akiko Ambaye, one of Ethiopia’s most prominent female business leaders, is the founder of Orchid Business Group(OBG), an Ethiopian construction company engaged in road construction, the supply of construction materials, rental services of construction machinery and haulage.

     

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  • The world’s most welcoming countries – as voted by you

    Whether it’s a friendly face at check in or a taxi driver who’s full of useful tips, nothing beats getting a warm welcome on your travels – and our interactions with local people have a huge impact on how we view countries as a whole. This month, we asked our Facebook and Twitter followers to share where they’ve found the most hospitable places around the world. Here’s what they said.

    10. Bolivia

    This South American country has been voted among the world’s least friendly tourist destinations in the past – but we’ve always thought Bolivia has been a bit misunderstood. And it looks like our readers agree. As long as you make an effort to learn some key phrases in the local languages, you’ll find out exactly how hospitable Bolivians can be. From the otherworldly Salar de Uyuni to the vast, sapphire-blue Lake Titicaca, the country’s spectacular sights make it worth going the extra mile.

     

    Woman enjoying an ice-cream in Bolivia

    Sandeep Achetan/Flickr

     

    9. Finland

    Finns are famous for being uncommonly reserved, but that doesn’t mean they’re not a welcoming bunch – all you have to do is join them in the sauna to find out. Sweating it out together has become a national obsession, and you’ll no doubt come away from the experience with plenty of new friends. Once you’ve beaten each other with a bunch of leafy twigs and plunged feet first into a pool just a shade above freezing, you’ll at least have plenty to talk about.

     

    Sauna lake in Finland, Europe

    Cécile/Flickr

     

    8. Myanmar

    Cut off from the rest of the world for decades, Myanmar only recently began emerging from its period of isolation – and now is a fascinating time to go. Visit any one of the traditional teahouses to meet the friendly locals, who generally still view tourists as a novelty. In 2016, Myanmar was voted the world’s most generous country in the World Giving Index for the third year running. The index takes into account the kindness to strangers, so you can expect to be warmly received on your travels.

     

    Myanmar, Asia

    Pixabay/CC0

     

    7. Kenya

    It’s likely that the spindly acacia trees, dusty plains and ochre-hued sunsets that come to mind when you think of Africa belong to Kenya. It hosts a breathtaking range of natural habitats, from the reefs and lagoons of the Indian Ocean to the fertile plains of the Maasai Mara. And its cultural heritage – with more than 40 ethnic groups – is just as rich. It’s common for locals here to speak three languages – their own, Swahili and English – so you’ll find it easy to start up a conversation.

     

    Zebras in Maasai Mara, Kenya

    Pixabay/CC0

     

    6. Indonesia

    Home to everything from rumbling volcanoes to orangutan-filled rainforests, and surrounded by some of the best dive sites in the world, Indonesia’s 17,000 tropical islands are extraordinarily diverse. Meanwhile, the people that live here share around 300 ethnicities and many hundreds of languages between them. Locals are outgoing and accustomed to seeing new faces, so you shouldn’t be surprised if a complete stranger introduces themselves.

     

    Children fishing in Indonesia, Asia

    Pixabay/CC0

     

    5. Japan

    Stepping off the plane and into Japan can feel a bit like strolling onto another planet. There’s everything from ramen vending machines to futuristic capsule hotels to get your head around – and the rules of etiquette can seem just as tricky to navigate. But there’s no need to worry, as Japan is regularly heralded as one of the most welcoming and hospitable countries in the world. That means you don’t have to fret if you’ve accidentally forgotten to switch to toilet slippers or committed a chopstick-related faux pas.

     

    Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

    People on the streets in Tokyo, Japan

    Moyan Brenn/Flickr

     

    4. Colombia

    Colombia is widely regarded as one of South America’s rising stars, with the gradual decline of the drug cartels and improving security conditions finally granting access to its charming colonial cities, cloud forests and palm-fringed beaches. Locals here are famous for their hospitality, and you’ll no doubt get to experience this first-hand with a visit to the country’s underrated capital city or thriving Medellín.

     

    Street view of a comuna in Medellin, Colombia

    Pedro Szkely/Flickr

     

    3. Uganda

    Once dubbed “the pearl of Africa” by Winston Churchill, Uganda still has plenty to be proud of, including a healthy population of mountain gorillas, the source of the world’s longest river and the Mountains of the Moon, the continent’s tallest range. Many years of civil strife have largely kept it under the tourist radar, though travellers have begun flocking back in recent times with the fostering of stability. Now, you’ve voted it one of the most welcoming countries on Earth, so it’s the perfect time for a trip.

     

    Mountain gorilla in Uganda

    Rod Waddington/Flickr

     

    2. India

    In big Indian cities such as Delhi and Mumbai, you’re almost guaranteed to meet a new person every minute – and the welcome could initially seem a shade too warm. Everywhere you go, local people may introduce themselves, stare at you, or take photos, and you might even find yourself faced with awkward questions such as “Do you have a boyfriend?” or “How much money do you earn?” All of this is perfectly normal in India, and it’s simply a friendly way of showing interest in a new face.

     

    Colourful dresses in India

    Pixabay/CC0

     

    1. Ethiopia

    Top of the list sits Ethiopia, a profoundly beautiful East African country with a history that stretches back many thousands of years. It was never colonised, so the tribal customs and hospitable traditions you can see here are largely just as they’ve always been. Take the Ethiopian coffee ceremony: the women of the household meticulously roast, grind and boil the aromatic beans, before presenting three consecutive cups of exceptionally fresh coffee to their guests. The process can last for hours, but it’s considered a real mark of friendship.

     

    Ethiopian coffee ceremony, Africa
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