Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Ethiopia Sunday for the start of a four nation Africa tour, his first visit to the continent since assuming his position a little over a year ago.
Li is scheduled to also visit Nigeria, Angola and Kenya during the week-long trip, and give a keynote speech on Monday at the Chinese-built headquarters of the African Union in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
The trip follows one Chinese President Xi Jinping made to the continent last year, shortly after taking office, a journey that underscored resource-rich Africa's importance to the world's second-largest economy.
"Ethiopia is the first stop because there is a deep friendship between our two countries and Ethiopia is a major country in Africa and the seed of African union," Li said in a news conference after his arrival and talks with Ethiopia Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn.
"The relationship between China and Ethiopia is not only a relationship for one year or two years. China and Africa have destinies that are closely linked," he added.
Officials said the two premiers signed a number of legal accords covering diplomatic visa exemptions, cultural corporation and extradition, plus agreements on economic, trade and technical cooperation.
China's economic growth has been partially fuelled by African natural resources, including oil.
"China and Ethiopia have agreed on enhancing Ethiopia's industrialisation and on supporting Ethiopia's great vision to become Africa manufacturing house," Dessalegn said, hailing "many decades of strong economic and diplomatic relations".
Pictures credit: Elombah.com
Colorado may not have made U.S. News' list of states where Americans are likely to live the longest, but 103-year-old Denver resident Mekey Yetashawork says there's more to his age than where he lives.
For the past 12 years, Yetashawork has taken to the concourse in the city's Cherry Creek Shopping Center where he walks a half a mile everyday.
“Exercise must be done daily,” he told NBC News affilate KUSA. "Until you die, you have to move," Yetashawork said, adding that he only eats once a day (letting his stomach "rest" in between) and prays for the remainder of his strength.
The Ethiopian refugee joins a growing number of people who are living past 100, according to recent Census Bureau data showing that the centenarian population has grown 65.8 percent over the past thirty years.
And while Yetashawork touts his secrets, the Census Bureau cites a few other keys to centenarians' success.
According to a report analyzing data from the 2010 Census, an overwhelming percentage of those who live to 100 are female -- 82 percent to be exact. In addition, the population tends to be white (82.5 percent, compared to just 12 percent of African American), and more live with others, either in a nursing home or household, than alone.
City living, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest, were also shown to be characteristic of living into old age, though South Carolina native Mamie Rearden defied those odds, celebrating 114 birthdays and making history as America's oldest living person until her death last week.
Eskinder Nega and 23 others were found guilty last month.
They were accused of links with US-based opposition group Ginbot Seven, which Ethiopia considers a terrorist organisation.
Opposition activist Andualem Arage was given a life sentence by the court in the capital, Addis Ababa.
In May, Eskinder was awarded the prestigious Pen America's Freedom to Write annual prize for his work.
Human rights groups have criticised Ethiopia's anti-terrorism legislation for being too far-reaching.
"The court has given due considerations to the charges and the sentences are appropriate," Reuters news agency quotes Judge Endeshaw Adane as saying.
Eskinder and Andualem, a member of the opposition Unity for Democracy and Justice party, were in court on Friday to hear their sentence - 16 members of the group found guilty in June are in exile, AFP news agency reports.
The two men waved to family members as they walked into the courtroom which was filled with friends and family of the activists, as well as journalists and diplomats, the agency says.
Eskinder was arrested last September after publishing an article questioning arrests under the anti-terrorism legislation, especially that of well-known Ethiopian actor and government critic Debebe Eshetu.
In 1993 Eskinder opened his first newspaper and has been detained at least seven times by the government of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.
Right group Amnesty International said the trial fell short of international standards.
"The imprisonment… is emblematic of the Ethiopian government's determination to gag any dissenting voice in the country," Amnesty's Ethiopia researcher Claire Beston said in a statement.
"The Ethiopian government is treating calls for peaceful protest as a terrorist act and is outlawing the legitimate activity of journalists and opposition members."
An Ethiopian guard working for the UN was jailed for seven years for communicating with the banned Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) in June.
In December, two Swedish journalists were sentenced to 11 years in prison for supporting the ONLF.
Both the ONLF, which has been fighting for greater independence in the Ogaden area that borders Somalia, and Ginbot Seven, have been designated as terrorist groups by the Ethiopian parliament.