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Archive for Sunday, November 30, 2003

Briefly

November 30, 2003

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South Africa

Star-studded concert raises money for AIDS

Beyonce Knowles, Bono, Peter Gabriel and other musicians from around the world took to the stage Saturday for an AIDS benefit concert presented by former South African President Nelson Mandela.

More than 30,000 people, among them Oprah Winfrey and Richard Branson, filled Cape Town's Greenpoint Stadium for the show, part of Mandela's 46664 campaign to fight AIDS, named after his number when he was imprisoned for his fight against apartheid.

With a massive bronzed image of his face as a backdrop, Mandela came on stage dressed in a black shirt with the number emblazoned across his chest.

"For the 18 years that I was in prison on Robben Island I was supposed to be reduced to that number," Mandela said. "Millions infected with HIV/AIDS are in danger of being reduced to mere numbers if we don't act now. They are serving a prison sentence for life."

South Korea

S. Korean dies in wreck involving U.S. soldier

The top U.S. military commander in South Korea offered condolences Saturday over the death of a South Korean woman in a traffic accident involving an American soldier.

Kee Kyeong-sun, 22, died early Friday in a collision near Osan Air Base south of Seoul, South Korean police said.

"On behalf of the men and women of serving in USFK (U.S. Forces Korea), we express our sincere sorrow for the tragic and untimely death of Kee Kyeong-sun," Gen. Leon J. LaPorte said in a news release.

The U.S. military charged Sgt. Jerry S. Olken, 33, with leaving the scene of the accident Friday. His hometown was not immediately available.

Pakistan

Father arrested over alleged 'honor killing'

Pakistani police arrested a man on charges he killed his 23-year-old daughter for choosing her own husband, an official said Saturday.

President Gen. Pervez Musharraf had learned of the Nov. 12 killing of Afshin Musarrat from Pakistan's Human Rights Commission and demanded an investigation.

Musarrat's father, Musarrat Sahu, initially denied killing his daughter, saying she died of natural causes. But Hamid Mukhtar Gondal, police chief in the eastern city of Multan, said Sahu later confessed in custody. He was arrested Thursday.

"Honor killings" are illegal in Pakistan, but are common. Most marriages are arranged, and in many conservative tribal and rural regions where traditional attitudes hold sway it is considered a crime for a woman to choose her own husband.

Afghanistan

U.S.-led coalition to distribute radios

The U.S.-led coalition will distribute more than 200,000 shortwave radios to people across Afghanistan, the U.S. military said Saturday.

"Truth is one of the most effective weapons against the terrorists and anti-coalition forces that are attempting to reinfect Afghanistan," spokesman Maj. Bryan Hilferty told a news briefing at the coalition headquarters at Bagram Air Base.

The radios would be given to Afghans for free to allow them "unfettered access to many sources of news," he said. Most of Afghanistan lacks a regular supply of electricity.

Hilferty gave no further details about the cost of the radios or their distribution. The radios are powered by a crank.

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