March 22, 2009
The Dutch government will officially return the head of the former King of Ghana (then Ashanti), Badu Bonsu II.
The Ashanti tribe’s ruler was lynched by the crew of a Dutch trading galleon in 1838 as part of a mafia-style “offer the country could not refuse”. The King’s head was taken to the Netherlands, where it has rested in a jar of formaldehyde for the past 170 years in the Anatomical Museum of Lieden University.
The Dutch government issued a statement on Friday, saying that the head would be returned to Ghana very shortly, where it will receive a state funeral…
The Leiden University Medical Centre, which houses the anatomy museum, said in a statement that it had “made contact with the Ghanaian embassy to prepare for a careful restitution”.
Museum officials refused to provide further details and said that no images of the severed head would be released “out of respect for bodily remains”, in a similar fashion to the rest of its collection.
March 18, 2009
Pope Benedict XVI, who is making his first papal visit to Africa, has said that handing out condoms is not the answer in the fight against HIV/Aids.
The pontiff, who preaches marital fidelity and abstinence, said the practise only increased the problem.
“A Christian can never remain silent,” he said, after being greeted on arrival in Cameroon by President Paul Biya.
The Pope is also due to visit Angola on his week-long trip, where thousands are expected to attend open-air Masses.
Some 22 million people are infected with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, according to UN figures for 2007.
This amounts to about two-thirds of the global total…
While in Africa, the pontiff is expected to talk to young people about the Aids epidemic and explain to them why the Catholic Church recommends sexual abstinence as the best way to prevent the spread of the disease.
He gave a similar message to African bishops who visited the Vatican in 2005, when he told them that abstinence and fidelity, not condoms, were the means to tackle the epidemic.
- BBC News
December 12, 2008
President Robert Mugabe has said Zimbabwe has contained cholera – as the UN and a UK charity warned the deadly outbreak was getting worse.
Save the Children said: “If anything is certain in the chaos of Zimbabwe today it is that the cholera outbreak is not under control.”
Mr Mugabe also said Western powers were plotting to use cholera as an excuse to invade and overthrow him. “Now that there is no cholera there is no cause for war,” he said.
- BBC News