Jolie says Iraq surge can assist aid efforts
New York - Actress and humanitarian advocate Angelina Jolie said Thursday that the reinforcement of U.S. troops in Iraq has created an opportunity for humanitarian programs to boost assistance for Iraqi refugees.
In an op-ed piece published by the Washington Post, titled "A Reason to Stay in Iraq," Jolie details the plight of refugees and says their conditions have not improved since she visited the country last August to urge governments to provide more support.
Jolie, who has been a U.N. goodwill ambassador since 2001, was in Baghdad earlier this month to again highlight the refugee problem. She talked with Gen. David Petraeus, the American military commander in Iraq, and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the U.S. Embassy said.
Petraeus "told me he would support new efforts to address the humanitarian crisis" as much as possible, "which leaves me hopeful that more progress can be made," the actress wrote.
College fund to honor Denzel Washington
New York - The United Negro College Fund is planning to honor Denzel Washington and his wife at its 64th anniversary dinner in New York.
The actor and Pauletta Washington will receive the Frederick D. Patterson Award on March 7 for helping historically black colleges and universities and helping minorities pay for education.
The award is named for a co-founder of the United Negro College Fund and former president of what is now Tuskegee University in Alabama.
Washington recently starred in and directed "The Great Debaters." The movie was inspired by a historically black college debate team that debated an all-white team at an Ivy League university during legal segregation in the 1930s.