Michelle Nichols

Madonna documentary shines light on Malawi

A single phone call prompted United States pop star Madonna to begin charity work in Malawi, and it was while making a documentary on the African country's one million orphans that she found a baby she decided to adopt. I Am Because We Are premiered at New York's Tribeca Film Festival on Thursday.

Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame to induct Madonna, Cohen

Pop star Madonna, folk singer Leonard Cohen, rocker John Mellencamp, British pop band The Dave Clark Five and instrumental group The Ventures will be inducted into the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame on Monday. The five artists have been chosen by 600 music industry professionals.

Spice Girls ‘would love’ to perform for Mandela

The Spice Girls would love to perform for former South African president Nelson Mandela, but said on Monday they had not yet been formally asked to be part of his planned 90th birthday celebrations in June. The Spice Girls met Mandela in 1997 when he invited them to his Pretoria residence for a chat and photos.

2007 deadliest year for journalists since 1994

At least 64 journalists were killed in 2007, making it the deadliest year in more than a decade with Iraq the most dangerous place in the world to report, a United States media watchdog said on Monday. About seven in 10 of the deaths in 2007 were murders, while the rest were combat-related deaths and deaths in dangerous assignments.

Stars rock the globe for climate change

Some of the world's biggest pop stars from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Madonna and The Police played Live Earth concerts worldwide on Saturday to urge fans and governments to fight global warming. Spearheaded by environmentalist and former United States vice-president Al Gore, the concerts spanned over 22 hours, ending at Rio's Copacabana beach and a New Jersey football stadium.

Tutu slams African leaders on Zimbabwe

Africa should condemn human rights violations in Zimbabwe and South Africa should consider threatening action against its neighbour, South African Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu said on Monday. Africa seems ''so reluctant just to call a spade a spade. Human rights violations are human rights violations,'' he said.

UN’s Ban vows defence of media freedom

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday he is alarmed at the increasing number of journalists being targeted because of their work. ''Most alarmingly, in seeking to shed light on the plight of others, journalists themselves become targets,'' he said.

World fails to treat rape as crime, say UN agencies

Rape is weapon of war and the world fails to treat it as a crime, two United Nations agencies said on Wednesday as the Security Council called for justice for women and girls who are victims of violence. To mark International Women's Day on Thursday, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that violence against women and girls continued in every continent, country and culture.

UN drug watchdog ‘ignores HIV’

The United Nations drug control watchdog is hindering efforts to fight the global HIV/Aids pandemic and the agency should be reviewed. Stephen Lewis, a former UN special envoy for Aids in Africa, accused the International Narcotics Control Board of enforcing drug policies that ignore public health.

Rights groups urge US to shut Guantánamo prison

Detainees at a United States military prison camp in Guantánamo Bay need to be charged or released and the jail shut down, human rights groups said on Wednesday ahead of the fifth anniversary of the camp's opening in Cuba. Global vigils have been planned by Amnesty International to mark the anniversary on Thursday and urge closure of prison.

Annan asks how world can allow ‘horror’ in Sudan

Outgoing United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan will ask on Friday how the international community can allow the ''horror'' in Sudan's Darfur region to continue and say there is more than enough blame to shared all around. In a speech to be given in New York, Annan says blame can be shared by those valuing abstract notions of sovereignty over human lives.

UN slaps sanctions on North Korea

The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously on Saturday to impose financial and weapons sanctions on North Korea for its claimed nuclear test in a resolution that Pyongyang immediately rejected. The US-drafted resolution said the reclusive communist state's action was a ''clear threat to international peace and security''.

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