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Mandela's Son Dies Of Aids

Nelson Mandela's eldest son, Makgatho Mandela, died of AIDS in a hospital in Johannesburg on Thursday. A lawyer by profession, the former South African president's son was 54. He had been critically ill since early December. The Nelson Mandela Foundation, which made the announcement on Thursday didn't immediately disclose Makgatho Mandela's illness, but his father later confirmed the disease with reporters. Full story
  • Andrea Yates’ capital murder convictions for drowning her children were overturned Thursday by an appeals court, which ruled a prosecution expert witness gave false testimony at her trial. Yates’ lawyers had argued at a hearing last month before a three-judge panel of the First Court of Appeals in Houston that psychiatrist Park Dietz was wrong when he mentioned an episode of the TV show “Law & Order” involving a woman found innocent by reason of insanity for drowning her children. After jurors found Yates guilty, attorneys in the case and jurors learned no such episode existed. Full story
  • The bodies of 18 young Iraqi Shiites taken off a bus and shot dead last month while seeking work at a U.S. base have been found in a field near the volatile city of Mosul, police said Thursday. The Iraqi government, meanwhile, extended a state of emergency for another 30 days because of continued violence ahead of landmark elections on Jan. 30. Full story
  • Microsoft Corp., whose popular Windows software is a frequent target for Internet viruses, is offering a free security program to remove the most dangerous infections from computers. The program, with monthly updates, is a step toward plans by Microsoft to sell full-blown antivirus software later this year. Full story
  • World leaders opened an emergency summit Thursday with a moment of silence for the tens of thousands of tsunami victims, before focusing on the best way to rush nearly $4 billion US pledged worldwide to millions of survivors. Full story
  • The United Nations is promising a full audit to ensure that countries pay up the billions of dollars pledged to help in the Asian tsunami disaster. Jan Egeland, the UN's emergency relief co-ordinator, has vowed to collect all funds pledged to help the tsunami victims. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and others have warned that in previous catastrophes, including the Iranian earthquake in December 2003, only a fraction of the aid promised actually showed up. But Jan Egeland, the UN emergency relief co-ordinator, vowed on Thursday to have a full accounting of funds – now at $3.6 billion – promised after the Dec. 26 tsunami in the Indian Ocean. Full story
  • Ten former directors of WorldCom have agreed to pay $54 million US – a third of it from their own pockets – to settle their portion of a lawsuit brought over the company's billion-dollar accounting scandal and collapse, according to newspaper reports Thursday. If true, the unprecedented move could change how non-executive directors may be held accountable for the failure of a company on whose board they sit. Usually directors rely on company insurance to pay any fines or liabilities they incur in connection with their position. Full story
  • Former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna, a friend of President George W. Bush's family and other influential Washington power brokers, will accept the post of ambassador to the United States, pending U.S. approval. Reports that Mr. McKenna has already accepted the job are "pretty accurate," said a U.S. source who added "an official notice within the next few weeks is expected." Full story


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