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  • The Weeknd Makes Donation to University of Toronto for New Ethiopian Studies Program



    The Weeknd, born Abel Tesfaye, has donated 50,000 Canadian dollars (approximately $38,000) to the University of Toronto to establish an Ethiopian Studies program after a call went out to the Ethiopian community.

    The 26-year-old’s singer’s parents emigrated from Ethiopia to Toronto, Canada, in the 80s.  On his Twitter page, he posted links to the program and donation page.

    “Currently, the lack of resources and knowledge for adequately preserving cultural materials in Ethiopia means our cultural and historical heritage is disappearing at an alarming rate,” it states on the program page. “The Ethiopian studies program at the University of Toronto will play a vital role in teaching Ethiopia’s heritage to consecutive generations of students, in supporting digitization efforts, and to the dissemination of source material to the research community within and outside the University.

    The page addresses the Ethiopian Community, explaining that U of T professor of history Michael Gervers donated $50,000, which was matched by the university.

    An article in the Toronto Star states that Tesfaye responded “immediately” to the monetary request fromBikila Awards organization. “It’s unbelievable,” Tam Gebeyehu, board member of the Bikila Award told the Toronto Star. “He grew up in Toronto as an Ethiopian-Canadian, and now he’s giving back to the community.”

    Tesfaye is a past recipient of a Bikila Award, created in honor of Ethiopian long distance runner Abebe Bikila, to “empower young people reach their highest potential and to celebrate their achievements.” Its mission is “to foster academic, professional and business excellence and promote volunteerism among persons of Ethiopian origin, primarily through award and recognition.”In 2014, Tesfaye received its Professional Excellence Award. “Back then he was doing a lot of stuff, but was still a boy from Scarborough just rising to fame,” Gebeyehu told the Star. “His donation helps us preserve our culture and share it with everyone else.”“This initiative is a rare opportunity and of historical significance in the discovery of Ethiopia’s ancient civilizations, for the preservation of our rich culture, history and traditions,” Bikila Award president Tessema Mulugeta told the newspaper.


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  • ISIS in Egypt Says Israel Will Soon 'Pay Heavy Price'

     In new video, Islamic State's Sinai branch threatens Israel's Jews, saying 'your account with us has become weighty and you will soon pay.'


    A video purportedly by Egypt's Islamic State affiliate has delivered a rare direct threat to Israel, saying the Jewish state will soon "pay a high price."

    The 35-minute video released on Monday directly threatens Jewish Israelis, saying "your account with us has become weighty and you will soon pay a high price."
    The authenticity of the footage could not immediately be verified, though its contents and production style mirrored previous ISIS propaganda material.


    An armored Israeli military vehicle drives along Israel's border with the Sinai peninsula in Egypt. January 30, 2014.


    "Oh Jews, wait for us. The punishment [we've prepared for you] is severe," a translation of the video quotes the narrator as reportedly saying.
    "This is only the beginning," said the narrator, according to the Middle East Research Institute's translation, vowing to meet "in Rome and Beit Al-Maqdis" – or Jerusalem.

    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.735130

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  • Obama orders troops to South Sudan to protect US Embassy



    President Obama has ordered 47 U.S. troops to South Sudan to help protect the American embassy there after an outbreak of violence in the newly formed nation.

    The troops were airlifted into the country Tuesday as part of an effort to evacuate U.S. personnel. Another 130 troops are pre-positioned in nearby Djibouti ready to provide support, Obama told Congress in a letter Wednesday.

    Obama’s notice fulfills the requirements of the War Powers Resolution, which requires notification of the movement of combat troops into a new country. “Although equipped for combat, these additional personnel are deployed for the purpose of protecting U.S. citizens and property,” Obama said in his letter to Congress. “These deployed personnel will remain in South Sudan until the security situation becomes such that their presence is no longer needed.”

    Noting a "sudden and serious deterioration in the security situation in the capital," the State Department ordered the departure of all non-emergency personnel from South Sudan on Sunday, although the embassy said it was "a reduction in staff, not an evacuation."

    The northeastern African nation was carved out of Sudan in 2011 after a U.S.-supported referendum backed its independence. But it's been embroiled in a civil war since 2013, as rival political factions have turned to violence.

    It's not the first time the U.S. military has deployed troops to protect U.S. personnel in South Sudan. Obama ordered a similar deployment of 46 U.S. early-response forces in 2013.

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