Ethiopia: why the Sidama secession demand needs to be negotiated

Mounting tensions in southern Ethiopia are creating high levels of nervousness in the country. At the centre of the conflict is the clamour for internal secession by the Sidama, the country’s fifth largest ethic group. Most recently, the federal government declared that it, rather than the local authorities, was now in charge of maintaining peace and security. This followed violence which had led to deaths and injuries.

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Airbus A380: from high-tech marvel to commercial flop

This time it really is over. Airbus chief executive, Tom Enders, recently announced the end of the A380, the largest commercial aircraft ever built. Despite reported investments of more than €14 billion, this iconic European project has not been as successful as was originally hoped. With only 234 units delivered out of 313 ordered over 13 years, it is far from the break-even point – originally estimated at 1,200 aircraft over 20 years. With orders drying up and production already running at a minimum, it was time for Airbus to stop the damage.

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Lunar and solar eclipses make animals do strange things

For most animals, the structure of their day – and indeed their year – depends on the light-dark cycle. These regular and rhythmic cycles in the length of days tell animals when they should be foraging, when they should be asleep, when it’s time to migrate and when it’s time to breed. Animals can tell all this from how many hours of daylight they experience, but the moon’s cycles also strongly influence their behaviour.

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Would your mobile phone be powerful enough to get you to the moon?

Many people who are old enough to have experienced the first moon landing will vividly remember what it was like watching Neil Armstrong utter his famous quote: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”. Half a century later, the event is still one of the top achievements of humankind. Despite the rapid technological advances since then, astronauts haven’t actually been back to the moon since 1972.

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Rohingya genocide: the world can’t help until Myanmar changes its ways

After two weeks of extreme violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, where at least 400 people have been killed and 270,000 Rohingyas have fled their homes, the country’s de facto leader, Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, finally spoke up to acknowledge the crisis. But to the disappointment of several international human rights agencies, she didn’t oppose the army’s actions – and even described recent events as “a huge iceberg of misinformation” in a phone call with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

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Why Nigeria should first support rice farmers before it cuts off imports

Nigeria spends an average of US $22 billion (₦7.92trn) each year on food imports. Its major food imports include wheat, sugar and fish.
Another big import, rice, accounts for about US$1.65 billion, or ₦0.59trn. Most of the country’s rice is imported from Thailand and India.
This has led analysts to predict it will be the world’s second largest importer of rice after China in 2019.

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When tree planting actually damages ecosystems

Tree planting has been widely promoted as a solution to climate change, because plants absorb the climate-warming gases from Earth’s atmosphere as they grow. World leaders have already committed to restoring 350m hectares of forest by 2030 and a recent report suggested that reforesting a billion hectares of land could store a massive 205 gigatonnes of carbon – two thirds of all the carbon released into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution.

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