African nations demand Security Council seats
African leaders, ending a two-day summit Tuesday, said they want two permanent seats on the U.N. Security Council and asked the international community to fulfill pledges to help their continent battle poverty.
The declaration by the African Union summit comes ahead of today's Group of Eight industrialized nations meeting in Scotland and amid growing international calls for the world's richest nations to do more to help Africa combat poverty and encourage development.
The declaration passed Tuesday sent a plea to the G-8 summit to fulfill past promises made to help Africa end poverty and increase development and investment.
It also said two African countries should be given permanent seats on the Security Council and five non-permanent seats.
Officials at the conference have said five countries are vying for the two permanent seats: Egypt, South Africa, Senegal, Angola and Nigeria.
The U.N. has been discussing expanding the council - which currently has 15 seats, including 5 permanent ones - with proposals to include more voices from the developing world and all regions.
Mother asks countries to deny brothers asylum
The mother of a U.S. teen who disappeared in Aruba made a tearful plea Tuesday for countries to deny asylum to two brothers she accused of a violent crime against her daughter after a court released them from jail.
An Aruban court on Monday released the two Surinamese brothers who had been held since June 9 along with the 17-year-old son of a high-ranking justice official in Aruba. The three were the last people seen with 18-year-old Natalee Holloway the night of May 30, when she disappeared near the end of a vacation with classmates to celebrate their high school graduation.
"Two suspects were released yesterday who were involved in a violent crime against my daughter," Beth Holloway Twitty told a news conference, her voice cracking with emotion.
Holloway Twitty made an urgent plea to the Aruban government not to let the brothers leave the island and to inform the State Department if they try. She did not say why she thought they would do so.
The brothers are from the South American country of Suriname.
A judge on Monday ordered the release of brothers Deepak Kalpoe, 21, and Satish Kalpoe, 18, saying there was not sufficient evidence to continue holding them.
Annan announces birth of Democracy Fund
Secretary-General Kofi Annan has announced the creation of a fund to promote democratic institutions and practices around the world - an idea first proposed by the United States.
President Bush suggested the creation of a fund in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly in September. He said it would help countries lay the foundations of democracy by instituting the rule of law, independent courts, a free press, political parties and trade unions.
Annan announced its establishment in a speech Monday at the African Union summit in Sirte, Libya.
The United Nations said Tuesday that since many members have offered to contribute, Annan wanted to set up the fund this summer so interested countries could make donations by September. That's when Annan has invited world leaders to a summit to tackle U.N. reform and agree on measures to meet U.N. development goals, including cutting extreme poverty by half by 2015.