Headlines: AIDS Crisis Worsens in South Africa

Host Farai Chideya runs through the day's headlines of news affecting black life and culture. Wednesday's headlines include a report on AIDS setbacks in South Africa and the Second District of the AME Church announcing their support of a merger between XM and Sirius Satellite Radio.

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From NPR News, this is NEWS & NOTES. I'm Farai Chideya.

Coming up, we've got our weekly look at politics, including the New York mayor's jump from the Republican Party. A special Roundtable on homophobia in hip-hop is also coming up.

But first, let's kick things off with headlines. Today, we start in South Africa. A story in today's Washington Post says the AIDS crisis there is getting worse and not better - that's despite more medicine, antiretroviral drugs, specifically - than ever before. The problem, says The Post, is that for every patient who started taking the drugs last year, five more South Africans have gotten the disease. You do the math.

And it's not just South Africa's problem. The numbers are the same throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Why? More time is being dedicated to treatment but less to education. We'll see if this imbalance continues while infections skyrocket.

Our next headline takes us to the airwaves. You've got two big companies playing in the same wading pool - XM Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio. They've said they want to merge but the Federal Communications Commission is mulling it over. Now, the preachers and congregations want their say. The second district of the AME Church has 150,000 members. It wants the FCC to okay the merger. Why? Right Reverend Adam J. Richardson Jr., bishop of the second district, says, quote, "while African-American music and culture have moved more into the mainstream in the last decade, our community still remains neglected by major media companies," end quote.

Reverend Richardson hopes the new hybrid company would offer more options for black listeners, from gospel to sports and news. The AME Second District covers Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and the District of Columbia.

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