Ethiopia’s Nobel-winning leader launches million-copy book

ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning prime minister is launching a book of his ideology, with one million copies already printed. Saturday’s launch again raised concerns among some in the East African nation that a cult of personality could spring up around Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who announced sweeping political reforms after taking office last year. The book called “Medemer” aims at inclusivity and consensus in a country with scores of ethnic groups and a rising problem of ethnic unrest. The book comes as the country faces a national election next year that Abiy has pledged will be free and fair. Exhibitors in the capital, Addis Ababa, told The Associated Press they were forced out of a conference hall for the launch. “We were told to evacuate,” said Bethlehem Bahran, a communications director for the event. Abiy’s book is launching both in Ethiopia and the United States, which has a large diaspora community. The press secretary for the prime minister’s office, Nigussu Tilahun, told the AP no state money was involved in promoting the book. “And all proceeds from the book will be used to build schools across Ethiopia,” he said. The Nobel committee awarded the 43-year-old Abiy the prize for making peace with neighboring Eritrea and ending one of Africa’s longest-running conflicts, and for his political reforms. “No doubt some people will think this year’s prize is being awarded too early,” the Nobel committee said. But “it is now that Abiy Ahmed’s efforts deserve recognition and need encouragement.”

Deep-sea explorers find Japanese ship that sank during WWII

MIDWAY ATOLL - Deep-sea explorers scouring the world’s oceans for sunken World War II ships are focusing in on debris fields deep in the Pacific, in an area where one of the most decisive battles of the time took place. Hundreds of miles off Midway Atoll, nearly halfway between the United States and Japan, a research vessel is launching underwater robots miles into the abyss to look for warships from the famed Battle of Midway. Weeks of grid searches around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands already have led the Petrel to one sunken warship, the Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga. This week, the crew is deploying equipment to investigate what could be another. Historians consider the Battle of Midway an essential U.S. victory and a key turning point in WWII. “We read about the battles, we know what happened. But when you see these wrecks on the bottom of the ocean and everything, you kind of get a feel for what the real price is for war,” said Frank Thompson, a historian with the Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington, D.C., who is onboard the Petrel.

“You see the damage these things took, and it’s humbling to watch some of the video of these vessels because they’re war graves.”