Denver’s Ethiopian community mourns countrymen killed by Islamic State

The beheading and shooting of 30 Ethiopian migrants by Islamic State fighters last week in Libya is tormenting metro Denver’s 30,000-strong Ethiopian-American community.

Some say they couldn’t eat or sleep after watching horrific videos.

On Saturday night, more than 500 gathered at St. Mary’s Ethiopian Orthodox Church to mourn. They held candles, sang, wept and prayed before photos of the victims.

“It is incomprehensible for our minds to understand how any human being could do such a thing to another. We stand together to mourn our brethren and pray for peace,” community spokesman Neb Asfaw said. “The terrorists will not break our spirit. We stand together with our faith strengthened by the courage our brothers showed.”

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Iraq Kurds collect history at CU, want ‘new Israel’ Kurdistan

BOULDER — A Kurdish delegation in Colorado retrieving cached documents detailing Iraqi persecution say Kurdish fighters can provide the increasingly sought ground force to defeat the Islamic State — because this will help Kurds gain independence and be “the next Israel.”

But battle-hardened Kurdish forces, credited with gains in Syria, need better weapons like night vision, artillery, anti-tank, delegation members said Tuesday.

And U.S. officials must realize that trying to keep semi-autonomous Kurdish Iraq as part of a united Iraq ultimately “will fail,” said Woshiar Rasul, an adviser to the governor in Kurds’ main city Sulaymaniyah.

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Gates: Russia is building new bloc; U.S. and Europe must mobilize

Former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Tuesday warned that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is part of a broader push to create a pro-Russia bloc and called for a stronger U.S.-European strategy of economic sanctions with military backup.

Otherwise, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other aggressors will disrupt stability, Gates said in a Denver Post interview.

“We need to see this as not just a singular act by Putin but rather as a continued effort to create a pro-Russia bloc of states on Russia’s periphery,” Gates said. “We don’t need to demonize Putin. We need to look clearly at what he has done — both inside Russia and with respect to his neighbors.”

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Denver “Lost Boy” caught in South Sudan war leads escape, vows return

“Lost Boy” refugees from Denver and other cities who went back to Sudan to bolster the multibillion-dollar U.S. effort to nurture Africa’s newest nation are caught in the outbreak of fighting and fleeing.

And University of Colorado graduate Daniel Majok Gai, 33, risked his life helping lead civilians away from gun battles.

Denver-based Project Education South Sudan — which reconnected Gai and seven others with parents they had not seen for decades — is trying to bring him, his wife and infant son back to Colorado. Gai has been running schools and youth groups in South Sudan for three years.

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How an Ethiopian torturer hid in Denver for 7 years in plain sight

He played the role of a jovial father figure with a new generation of Ethiopian-Americans in metro Denver, far from the Red Terror atrocities of another time, another continent.

To the young men at the Cozy Cafe, Kefelgn Alemu Worku was Tufa, a paunchy, gray-haired mentor who was quick to burst into song, sit down at the piano or settle an argument when others had too much to drink. They welcomed his advice, his company and his jokes.

“Work hard. This is a good place to live. Change your life,” he told one of them, 34-year-old Nas Siraj.

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CU researchers wade into effect of shrinking Himalayan glaciers on Asia’s water supply

BOULDER – The U.S. government is deploying Colorado scientists to lead a $5.4 million effort to gauge the impact of shrinking Himalayan glaciers on water supplies across Asia.

The question is whether rivers that sustain more than 2 billion people are fed primarily by water from rainfall, by seasonal snowmelt or by the glaciers that are vulnerable to climate change.

A significant drop in water supply could lead to food shortages and, according to U.S. Agency for International Development officials, create new conflicts in already volatile areas.

The high-mountain glaciers, seen as water towers for Asia, have been shrinking at a rate of 0.5 percent a year – similar to glaciers in South America’s Andes and the European Alps . As Asia’s glaciers recede, Chinese and Indian governments are moving to control headwaters with at least 19 proposed dam projects, adding to eight or so existing major dams.

U.S. intelligence agencies were among those interested in enlisting University of Colorado senior research scientist Richard Armstrong and geography professor Mark Williams.

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CU anthropologist finds a route back to Mayans’ history

BOULDER – A University of Colorado anthropologist who worked through Central America’s civil wars of the 1980s to unearth a 1,400-year-old Mayan village has made another unexpected discovery: an ancient roadway that may solve the mystery of how the villagers survived a sudden volcanic disaster.

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In Denver, U.N. chief calls for human-rights protections, more R2P to protect civilians

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Wednesday said the “responsibility to protect” civilians from war crimes has become an operational basis for intervening in crises worldwide and urged expanded efforts to protect people.

In an interview before attending the annual University of Denver Korbel Dinner, Ban also said that “R2P” interventions — which in Libya and Ivory Coast involved military force — must include better post-conflict work to bring the rule of law.

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Colorado lawmakers urge Obama to help Libyan students stay in U.S.

Colorado lawmakers on Wednesday called on the Obama administration to relax a freeze on Libyan assets — or extend visas — so that Libyan students aren’t deported back to war-torn Libya.

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Libyan students in Colorado anxious about their plights

Libyan students stuck as upheaval back home threatens civilians and cuts off their finances are dreading possible deportation and considering asking for asylum.

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