Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pope Says Condoms Won’t Stop AIDS in Africa

Pope Benedict XVI said on his way to Africa Tuesday that condoms were not the answer in the continent's fight against HIV, his first explicit statement on an issue that has divided even clergy working with AIDS patients.

Benedict arrived in Yaounde, Cameroon's capital, Tuesday afternoon to a crowd of flag-waving faithful and snapping cameras. The visit is his first pilgrimage as pontiff to the African continent.

Benedict had never directly addressed condom use, though his position is not new. His predecessor, Pope John Paul II, often said that sexual abstinence — not condoms — was the best way to prevent the spread of the disease.

Benedict said that the Roman Catholic Church is in the forefront of the battle against AIDS.


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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

African Leaders: Financial Crisis Threatens Chaos

Some African countries could "go under" if they are not helped through the global downturn, threatening "total chaos and violence", Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi warned the G20 on Monday.

At a meeting of African leaders in London ahead of next month's summit of the Group of 20 rich and emerging countries, presidents and prime ministers from across the continent warned of the costs of ignoring Africa.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was meeting African leaders to hear their concerns about the world economic downturn in the G20 build-up.

"They should care about Africa because it is in their interests," Meles, who will attend the G20 as the chair of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), told reporters.

"Any stimulus money spent in developed countries is going to have less global impact than if the same amount of money were to be spent in Africa.


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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Black News: Sudanese Soldier Says He Was Told to Rape Children

The story

I wanted to believe the man in front of me wasn't a rapist. I knew he was a former Sudanese soldier, I knew he wanted to talk about rape in Darfur. A humanitarian group working on Darfur issues had introduced him to us. They told us his testimony was important to hear.

Last year in Darfur aid workers told me children as young as five were being raped in the huge displacement camps that are home to several million Darfuris. In some camps, they told me, rape had become so common that as many as 20 babies a month born from rape were being abandoned.

As I sat inches from Adam --not his real name -- I feared the revulsion I knew I would feel at my own questions as I asked about rape and his involvement. I have interviewed rape survivors in Darfur. I have two daughters. I am a human being with a conscience. It would be hard to listen to his replies.


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