1,000 children per day got aids in '06, U.N. says
By TIMES WIRES
Published January 18, 2007
Despite progress in preventing HIV transmission from pregnant mothers to their babies, more than 1,000 children around the world were infected with the disease each day in 2006, according to a U.N. report. Some sub-Saharan African countries - such as Namibia, Swaziland, South Africa and Rwanda - greatly increased access to treatment for vulnerable mothers from 2004 to 2005, said the report issued Tuesday by the New York-based U.N. children's fund. But worldwide, 410,000 to 660,000 children under the age of 15 were infected with the disease last year - mostly during or immediately after birth - the report said. Half of them will die of AIDS-related diseases within two years if they do not receive appropriate medical treatment. UNICEF said the AIDS epidemic claims about 2.9-million lives worldwide each year, including some 380,000 children.
U.S. opens door to bilateral talks
If North Korea gives up its nuclear programs, the United States is willing to engage in "a bilateral process" to establish "a normal relationship," the chief U.S. negotiator said Wednesday in Berlin after two days of one-on-one talks with his North Korean counterpart. "We are prepared to go on that road and to really offer North Korea a hand as it moves along the road," Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said. Hill's comments mark the first time a U.S. official has publicly emphasized the possibility of such bilateral discussions, something the Pyongyang government has long sought.
Banker is charged in shooting death
Prosecutors on Wednesday charged bank officer Alexei Frenkel with organizing the murder of a senior Central Bank official who sought to clean up Russia's banking industry. Andrei Kozlov was shot at point-blank range on Sept. 13 as he left a soccer game in Moscow. Frenkel, who was detained last week, has vehemently denied the accusations. Kozlov oversaw a cleanup of Russia's banking sector, closing dozens of banks - including Frenkel's - in the past three years for alleged money-laundering and other practices. Analysts have speculated Kozlov's shooting was ordered by criminals under pressure from his efforts.
Militants say they released 1 hostage
Militants in Nigeria said today they released one of three Italian hostages seized last month in an attack in the country's oil-rich southern delta region. The militant Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, which has launched crippling attacks against the energy industry in Africa's oil giant since last year, announced the release in an e-mailed statement and identified the freed hostage as Roberto Dieghi. Three Italians and one Lebanese man had been seized in the Dec. 7 raid.
THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS: Three Croat generals charged with orchestrating a deadly campaign to drive Serbs out of part of southern Croatia will go on trial at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in May, the U.N. court said Wednesday.
SOMALIA: The Somali Parliament stripped the speaker position from a top lawmaker closely associated with the ousted Islamic movement, a move the European Union said could hurt reconciliation efforts.
[Last modified January 18, 2007, 00:53:19]
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