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  • Britain gives £5.2 million to Ethiopian girl band, prompting outcry

     A female pop group known as “Ethiopia’s Spice Girls” has received £5.2 million in British foreign aid, despite criticism that the funds could be better spent addressing social welfare issues within Great Britain.

    The band, Yegna, has entered into a partnership with Girl Effect (formerly known as Girl Hub), a U.K. project that strives to eliminate gender disparity through “media, technology and girl-centred community engagement.” The initiative is being supported by the Department for International Development (DFID), which gave £16 million in funding to Girl Effect.

    On its website, Girl Effect describes Yegna as “a multi-platform culture brand inspiring positive behaviour change for girls in Ethiopia.” According to a contract uncovered by The Daily Mail, an agency has been solicited to help Yegna develop a radio drama, a talk show, and new music “that champions girls and creates a national conversation about their challenges and their potential to overcome the problems.”

    This is not the first time that the five-person girl group has received money from the British government. In 2013, Girl Effect gave £4 million to Yegna. Last year, the watchdog group Independent Commission on Aid Impact reportedly called on ministers to halt the project, citing “significant concerns” that the funding may not be “merited.”

    News that Yegna received an additional £5.2 million from the DFID has prompted an outcry among some lawmakers. “How can we be spending millions on a girl band when the money could be much better spent at home on helping the elderly?” Tory MP Peter Bone said in an interview with The Daily Mail. “This is the sort of up the wall project which shows why we must not have an aid pledge linked to GDP.

    “This is not helping starving people, this is not helping refugees. We have to get to grips with this.”

    The DFID has defended its decision to continue funding the group, according to The Telegraph. “This innovative partnership is tackling forced child marriage, violence, teen pregnancy, migration and school dropout, which are holding a generation of young Ethiopian women back,” a spokesperson said, but added, “It’s vital those seeking to help the poorest strive to become more accountable so people can be assured money is going to help those less fortunate.”

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  • South Africa's government is investigating a pastor pictured spraying members of his congregation with pesticide


    South Africa's government is investigating a pastor pictured spraying members of his congregation with pesticide.

    In a Facebook post, self-proclaimed prophet Lethebo Rabalago claims a repellent called Doom can heal people.

    The company that produces Doom warned of the risks of spraying the substance.

    The country has seen a wave of practices where church members have been subjected to unorthodox rituals to receive healing.

    In photos circulating on Facebook and Twitter, Mr Rabalago, who runs the Mountzion General Assembly in the Limpopo province, is seen spraying the insecticide directly into the eyes and various body parts of his congregants.

    He also claims the spray can heal cancer and HIV.

     Source:BBC AFRICA

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  • ‘We Thank God for Our Blessing.’ Janet Jackson Announces She’s Pregnant at 50

    2015 BET Awards - Show

    It’s official: Janet Jackson is pregnant at 50-years-old, and feeling great.

    The singer exclusively confirmed to People that she’s expecting and shared photos of her baby bump. “We thank God for our blessing,” she said.

    It will be the first child for Jackson, who is married to Wissam Al Mana.

    “She is super excited about her pregnancy and is doing extremely well,” a source close to the Jackson family told People. “She actually feels very good about everything.”

    Read more at People.com, and in the latest issue of People magazine hitting newsstands Friday.

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  • Ethiopia Protests: Religious Leaders Call For Calm, More Attacks On Businesses


    ADDIS ABABA, Oct 7 (BERNAMA-NNN-AFRICANEWS) -- Leaders from the Inter-religious Council of Ethiopia have appealed for calm and a national dialogue as the country amidst continuing protests and targeting of businesses in the country.

    The government has confirmed that after the attack on Dangote's business concerns on Monday, 10 other businesses have been burnt down and looted in the Oromia region. The government blames the violence on organized criminals.

    The Information Minister Getachew Reda said, the motorbike riding criminal gangs involved in the violence used petrol bombs to attack their targets.

    Trucks and machinery belonging to the Dangote group - owned by Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote - were burned by protesters in restive region following a deadly stampede at a festival last Sunday.

    The government has repeatedly denied claims by the opposition that the security forces were to blame for the panic that resulted in the stampede. Official figures indicate that 55 people died.

    Among the thousands of festival participants, a number of them marched chanting anti-government slogans and their arms crossed above their heads.

    The Oromia region lies south of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and is the center of the Oromia protests last year which Human Rights Watch reported that over 400 protesters were killed.

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