Archive for the ‘Ethiopian News’ Category
Michael Jackson is rushed into hospital in Los Angeles [Photo: x17online.com]
Pop star Michael Jackson was pronounced dead today after paramedics found him in a coma at his Bel-Air mansion, city and law enforcement sources told The Times.
Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Steve Ruda told The Times that paramedics responded to a 911 call from the home. When they arrived, Jackson was not breathing. The paramedics performed CPR and took him to UCLA Medical Center, Ruda said.
Hundreds of reporters gathered at the hospital awaiting word on his condition. The sources, who spoke on the condition that they not be named, said family members rushed to Jackson’s bedside, where he was in a deep coma.
Paramedics were called to a home on the 100 block of Carolwood Drive off Sunset Boulevard. Jackson rented the Bel-Air home — described as a French chateau built in 2002 with seven bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, 12 fireplaces and a theater — for $100,000 a month.
The home is about a six-minute drive from UCLA Medical Center.
Jackson has three children — sons Prince Michael 7, and Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., 12, and daughter Paris Michael Katherine, 11.
The news comes as Jackson, 50, was attempting a comeback after years of tabloid headlines, most notably his trial and acquittal on child molestation charges.
In May, The Times reported that Jackson was living in a Bel-Air mansion and rehearsing for a series of 50 sold-out shows in London’s O2 Arena. Jackson had won the backing of two billionaires to get the so-called King of Pop back on stage.
The concerts had been scheduled to kick off July 13.
Johnny Caswell, a principal at Centerstaging, the Burbank soundstage where Jackson rehearsed for his London concerts, watched many of the run-throughs and said he was “absolutely shocked” by the performer’s death.
Jackson, he said, was “very frail” but approached the rehearsals with boundless energy.
“He was working hard. Putting four days a week in here. Six hour a day. Working hard. Dancing,” Caswell said. “We’re in shock over here.”
The performer moved from the Burbank facility to the Forum at the beginning of June, Caswell said.
His backers envisioned the London shows as an audition for a career rebirth that could ultimately encompass a three-year world tour, a new album, movies, a Graceland-like museum, musical revues in Las Vegas and Macau, and even a Thriller casino.
Such a rebound could wipe out Jackson’s massive debt, estimated at $400 million.
Jackson needed a comeback to reverse the damage done by years of excessive spending and little work. He has not toured since 1997 or released a new album since 2001, but he has continued to live like a megastar.
To finance his opulent lifestyle, he borrowed heavily against his three main assets: his Neverland Ranch, his music catalog and a second catalog that includes the music of the Beatles that he co-owns with Sony Corp. By the time of his 2005 criminal trial, he was nearly $300 million in debt and, according to testimony, spending $30 million more annually than he was taking in.
Compounding his money difficulties were a revolving door of litigious advisors and hangers-on. Jackson has run through 11 managers since 1990, according to Frank DiLeo, his manager and friend of three decades.
(Times staff writers Richard Winton, Chris Lee Carla Hall, Ari B. Bloomekatz, Anna Gorman and Nicole Santa Cruz contributed to this report.)
Michael Jackson is rushed into hospital in Los Angeles [Photo: x17online.com]
(CBS) – Pop star Michael Jackson was pronounced dead by doctors this afternoon after arriving at a hospital in a deep coma, city and law enforcement sources told The Los Angeles Times. The entertainment Web site TMZ.com is also reporting his death.
Jackson was rushed to UCLA Medical Center, reports KCBS in Los Angeles.
Jackson was not breathing when paramedics arrived.
Capt. Steve Ruda said paramedics responded to a call at Jackson’s home around 12:26 p.m. The paramedics performed CPR and took him to UCLA Medical Center, Ruda told The Los Angeles Times.
The emergency entrance at the UCLA Medical Center, which is near Jackson’s rented home, was roped off Thursday with police tape.
News trucks were gathered, helicopters flew overhead, and orange cones were laid out to redirect traffic.
“We have no statements as far as transporting Michael Jackson,” Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Devin Gales said.
Jackson had planned to hit the stage at the O2 Arena in London for 50 concerts this summer. Tickets for the series, which kicks off on July 8, sold out in a matter of hours on March 13. By the time the shows end in February 2010, more than 1 million people will have seen Jackson perform.
Jackson, 50, has been in the public eye for more than 40 years.
With his unforgettable catchy Jackson Five tunes and incredible stage presence, the public has been infatuated with the shining child star turned awkward adult, who reached international superstardom. As soon as Jackson glided across the stage with his signature moonwalk dance, it was all over from there – fans were immediately hooked.
His album “Thriller,” released in 1982, was a chart-topper that set the bar for pop music.
In recent years, however, the pop icon has become more of a recluse and somewhat of a lost soul.
Headlines about Jackson were no longer about his music; instead there were stories of plastic surgery and strange behavior. He dangled his baby from a balcony and most damaging to his image was his 2005 trial for child molestation.
Michael Jackson is rushed into hospital in Los Angeles [Photo: x17online.com]
Media reports have said the star, 50, was taken to hospital in Los Angeles, California, after he was found not breathing following a suspected heart attack in his Bel Air home earlier.
Celebrity website TMZ said 911 operators received an emergency call about 12.12pm local time (5.12am AEST).
“We’re told when paramedics arrived Jackson had no pulse and they never got a pulse back,” the website reported.
Jackson is believed to have gone into cardiac arrest and paramedics performed CPR on him en route to UCLA hospital.
The website quoted family members as saying the Thriller singer was in “really bad shape.”
“We just got off the phone with Joe Jackson, Michael’s dad, who says ‘he is not doing well.” the website had earlier reported.
Jackson was reportedly planning a comeback and was living in Los Angeles while rehearsing a series of 50 sold-out shows in London, the LATimes has reported.
Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics had rushed to the singer’s $100,00-a-month rented home near Sunset Boulevard to find him not breathing, according to the newspaper.
Michael has three children, Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr, Paris Michael Katherine Jackson and Prince Michael Jackson II.
Biography Michael Jackson
Michael Joseph Jackson (born August 29, 1958) is an American recording artist, entertainer, and businessman. The seventh child of the Jackson family, he debuted on the professional music scene at the age of 11 as a member of The Jackson 5 and began a solo career in 1971 while still a member of the group. Referred to as the “King of Pop” in subsequent years, five of his solo studio albums have become some of the world’s best-selling records: Off the Wall (1979), Thriller (1982), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995).
In the early 1980s, he became a dominant figure in popular music and the first African-American entertainer to amass a strong crossover following on MTV. The popularity of his music videos airing on MTV, such as “Beat It”, “Billie Jean” and Thriller—credited for transforming the music video into an art form and a promotional tool—helped bring the relatively new channel to fame. Videos such as “Black or White” and “Scream” made Jackson an enduring staple on MTV in the 1990s. With stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of physically complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk. His distinctive musical sound and vocal style influenced hip hop, pop and contemporary R&B artists.
Jackson has donated and raised millions of dollars for beneficial causes through his foundation, charity singles and support of 39 charities. Other aspects of his personal life, including his changing appearance and behavior, generated significant controversy, damaging his public image. Though he was accused of child sexual abuse in 1993, the criminal investigation was closed due to lack of evidence and Jackson was not charged. The singer has experienced health concerns since the early 1990s and conflicting reports regarding the state of his finances since the late 1990s. Jackson married twice and fathered three children, all of which caused further controversy. In 2005, Jackson was tried and acquitted of further sexual abuse allegations and several other charges.
One of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, his other achievements include multiple Guinness World Records—including one for “Most Successful Entertainer of All Time”—13 Grammy Awards, 13 number one singles in his solo career—more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era—and the sales of over 750 million albums worldwide. Cited as one of the world’s most famous men, Jackson’s highly publicized personal life, coupled with his successful career, has made him a part of popular culture for almost four decades.
Alfa Demmellash helps low-income entrepreneurs in New Jersey start or grow their businesses.
“Entrepreneurs are at the very heart of what the American dream is all about,” says Demmellash, a native of Ethiopia. And from her small office in Jersey City, her nonprofit, Rising Tide Capital, is helping small businesses flourish.
Robin Munn, who runs a flower shop in Jersey City, says the skills she learned through Demmellash helped her transform the way she operates her business. “I was thinking about closing, but once I started taking the classes I found that the fire came back.”
Kim Bratten, a 39-year-old painter and mother of six, says she’s seen her yearly income increase by 50 percent since she started working with Demmellash and her team. “They put hope back into the community,” Bratten says.
Demmellash’s own struggle began in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, amid instability and unrest. Thousands of Ethiopians — including her aunt — disappeared or were tortured and/or killed under the ruling military regime.
When Demmellash was 2, her mother fled the country, leaving the toddler in the care of her grandmother and aunt. Demmellash lived on less than a dollar a day but never considered herself poor.
Nearly a decade later, Demmellash and her mother reunited in Boston, Massachusetts. But Demmellash found her mother wasn’t living the American dream she’d envisioned.
“I [thought] I would find my mom in a beautiful mansion with trees [and] gold everywhere,” recalls Demmellash, now 29. “I was shocked when I found her in her tiny apartment … working very, very hard.”
Her mother had worked as a waitress during the day and a seamstress at night to earn money to bring her daughter to the United States. Watching her mother sew beautiful gowns for low profits, Demmellash thought there had to be a way for her to increase what she was making as a seamstress.
“Even though she had the skills, she did not necessarily have the business skills,” she says, adding that her mother’s pricing “was completely off.”
Still, her mother worked tirelessly to keep her daughter adequately fed, clothed and in school. Demmellash was later admitted to Harvard University, which she was able to attend with the help of “wonderful financial aid.”
At Harvard, Demmellash and classmate Alex Forrester discussed what their generation could do to alleviate poverty on a local level. They set out to learn what resources people needed — or as Demmellash says, “to find people like my mom.”
In 2004, the pair started Rising Tide Capital (RTC) to help those who had ideas and abilities but needed the education and support to launch or grow their businesses.
“You hear a lot of talk about Main Street and Wall Street, but no one really talks about how exactly you go about helping the Mom-and-Pops,” says Demmellash.
The group runs the Community Business Academy, an intensive training session coupled with year-round coaching and mentorship to help individuals “really work on the hands-on management side of their business,” Demmellash says. The organization supports underserved populations, including women, the formerly incarcerated, minorities, unemployed and working poor, and immigrants and refugees.
RTC raises money from corporations and works with local governments for funding in order to provide classes and support its participants at affordable costs. Participants pay a small materials and registration fee based on their income range: either $100 or $225 for the course that Demmellash says would cost thousands of dollars otherwise.
The organization has also built partnerships with micro-lenders, so when students are ready, the lenders provide financing.
“The ability to become self-reliant, to have economic hope, [that is] the fabric of this country and we have to fight for it,” Demmellash says.
Many of RTC’s students use the increased earnings from their new business to supplement their wages, allowing them to better provide for their families and transform the face of their communities, according to Demmellash.
“There are thousands of entrepreneurs, millions across this country, who do incredible things and make money to put food on the table, to pay their bills, and to save for the future and their children,” she says.
“If we were to literally bank on them, invest in them [and] support them … that’s the kind of stuff that changes lives and strengthens families.”
(Want to get involved? Check out Rising Tide Capital’s Web site and see how to help.)
Gen. Asaminew Tsige is one of the 46 suspects charged by Ethiopia’s tribal junta
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – A group of men accused of plotting to topple Ethiopia’s government were tortured in prison during lengthy interrogations, relatives said on Monday.
At a pre-trial hearing in Addis Ababa, a judge refused a request from a lawyer for one of the 32 men for a doctor chosen by the families to visit the detainees in prison to compile a report on any injuries.
The arrest of the group in the biggest such crackdown for several years has worried rights group, who say Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s government has become increasingly authoritarian and tough on any critics in the Horn of Africa nation.
Officials say the group planned bombs and assassinations.
At Monday’s hearing, the judge said the group had access to a prison doctor, which was adequate. Some members of the group discussed with the judge how, with their meagre means, they should hire lawyers. A few threw waves and smiles at relatives.
After the hearing, three family members told Reuters suspects had spoken of mistreatment in jail.
“Some of them have been tortured and are injured,” one relative, who asked not to be named, said outside court. “They have been interrogated for up to nineteen hours. One man with injuries to his penis had to be treated in hospital.”
Lawyers said five of the group were being held in solitary confinement. The 32 accused were mainly former and current army personnel, including two generals.
A Government spokesman said the allegations were “baseless”.
“They have the right to relate any indignities they allege they have suffered openly in court,” Shimeles Kemal said. “If this had been the case, they would have, but they didn’t.”
The government has identified only two of the prisoners despite calls by rights groups to give all the names.
Another 14 people, some resident in the United States and Britain, have been charged in absentia.
The government says the accused, arrested more than a month ago, belonged to a “terror network” formed by Berhanu Nega, an opposition leader who teaches economics in the United States.
Berhanu denies the accusations.
Addis Ababa says the group had planned to kill senior government officials and blow up power and telecommunications facilities to provoke protesters who would then march on government buildings and attempt to topple the government.
Opposition parties have called the charges trumped-up.
Security forces killed about 200 protesters after elections in 2005 when the opposition disputed the government’s victory. The next national election is due in 2010.
Berhanu was elected mayor of the capital Addis Ababa in the 2005 ballot, but was arrested and accused of orchestrating the street protests. He was pardoned and released in 2007.
His “May 15th” organisation was named after the date of the 2005 poll. He has made statements in the United States saying it wants to overthrow Meles’ government.
The Ethiopian government says the plotters received money to buy weapons from Berhanu and other diaspora opposition members.
The accused will appear in court again on June 30th.
(Editing by Matthew Jones)