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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 11, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDQE September Selassie's graft shocks Ethiopians ADDIS ABABA Ethiopians have been profoundly shocked by dis- closures that Emperior Haile Selassie apparently reaped vast profits from several publicly owned companies. The scandal is erroding the public sympathy he still retains. Further disclosures of corruption are about to be made, according to govern- ment sources, and it is widely expected that the emperor may very shortly by deposed by one means or another. There are many ordinary Ethiopians, particularly among the middle aged and the middle class, who have retained a fond regard for their elderly leader even while welcoming the reforms being introduced by the army. But the news of the royal profiteering is proving a turning point for many of them. "Now I agree with my said a businessman in one of the main streets where the bullocks, goats and beggars wander among the cars and modern architecture, vividly illustrating the contradictions of the emperor's long reign. A brewery and a bus com- pany would seem plebeian pit- falls for a monarch with such illustrious precedents. But it is specific allegations of cor- ruption involving the St. George's Brewery and the Ad- dis Ababa Bus Company that has more than anything else rocked the people's faith in their monarch. According to the latest allegation, the emperor and his family pocketed profits of some 19-million Ethiopian dollars (approximately 10- million U.S. dollars) from the brewery during a 22 year period even though it was of- ficially a publicly owned company. More generally, the armed forces co-ordinating com- mittee, which is now running the country, has accused the emperor of channeling huge sums of public money into foreign banks. Some sources put the figure involved at about five-billion U.S. dollars. There has been no denial, excuse or explanation, of the allegations from the Jubilee Palace, now renamed the National Palace. "A lot of myths have been said one govern- ment official. "The myth that the church would stick by him." Only one member of .the nobility had resisted the arm- ed forces actions, the official pointed out, and he had attracted no followers. When he was killed while resisting arrest, he had only six people with him, three of them being personal servants. Ethiopians are proud that this has been the only blood- shed in the seven months since the armed forces began whittling "away the emperor's authority. "We were always told that the emperor was said the official, "but the corrup- tion disclosures have shown that the people can stand the truth. For Ethiopians, full stomachs and a better life are more important than outdated loyalties." The armed forces co- ordinating committee, for all its apparently calculated cam- paign to discredit the emperior, seems still to be un- decided over what finally to do about the monarchy. -The co-ordinating com- mittee's members are united on the broad principles of reform, and sources close to the committee have stressed that it suffers from no ethnic or religious factionalism. However, there are thought to be conservative elements that wish to retain the monarchy, now that its absolute powers have been curbed, while radical elements want the introduction of a Republican constitution. In an attempt to avert a possible clash between the army and radical students who are demanding the aboli- tion of the monarchy, the authorities have postponed the start of the new university term which had originally been scheduled for next Mon- day. A date that may precipitate the next constitutional development is Sept. 26, a ma- jor date in the Ethiopian religious calendar marking Maskal, the discovery of the true cross a celebration in which the emperor usually plays a prominent part. For the moment, however, pictures of Haile Selassie con- tinue to occupy their prideful place on the walls of all government offices. Homicides up DETROIT (AP) The weekend tavern shootings of Paul Phelas, 49, and Edward Lewdowski, 48, raised Detroit's homicide toll for the year to 526, compared with 504 for the same period a year ago. RCMP constable backs farmer who saw UFOs LANGENBURG, Sask. (CP) RCMP Constable Ron Morier says he doesn't think a district farmer is trying to pull a hoax with his claim of seeing saucer-shaped objects hovering about a foot over a slough near his rapeseed field six miles north of here. Edwin Fuhr, 36, claims five stainless steel objects stayed for 15 minutes before leaving. He says there were depressions in the foot-high grass about 11 feet in diameter where they had been. Constable Morier visited the farm Monday in this commu- nity 120 miles northeast of Re- gina. "They took me out to where they'd seen these things in the he said. "I saw the rings. "Something was there and I doubt it was a hoax. There's no indication anything had been wheeled in or out and Mr. Fuhr seemed genuinely scared." Constable Morier took photographs and measurements and sent his in- formation to the National Research Council in Ottawa. FARMERS SCARED "Some farmers are afraid to work their the con- stable said. "At least that's what I hear on coffee row." Mr. Fuhr says he got down from his swather and moved to within 15 feet of the objects. "All of a sudden I notfced the grass was moving turn- ing near this thing. I just watched it for about two minutes and then noticed that the whole thing was turning. EDITED NEWSPAPER Walter Scott, first premier of Saskatchewan, was editor of the Regina Leader and a member of Parliament before taking office in 1905. "I backed up slow. I wasn't going to turn my back on the thing. When I got back to the swather, I noticed there were another lour to the left of me, all revolving. I just froze on the seat and didn't move. "I was terrified. I froze. I couldn't do anything. "Then they took off (after 15 minutes) straight up. There was a grey vapor coming from underneath them and a string wind." It took two minutes for the objects to disappear into the clouds and another two minutes for Mr. Fuhr to come down from his swather. "I wanted to be sure they were gone." He then examined the circu- lar depressions left by the ob- jects. "I felt the grass to see if it was warm. There was nothing you could feel and there wasn't any smell." 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