Gates Foundation, HIV Testing, N. Pole Trailblazer
FARAI CHIDEYA, host:
From NPR News, this is NEWS & NOTES. I'm Farai Chideya.
Let's start today's headlines with a story that spans the globe. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hit a snag last Friday. The Los Angeles Times dug into the foundation's finances, and they uncovered a moral dilemma. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett recently pledged to give $31 billion to the foundation.
There's only one problem. The Times found that Buffett's company, Berkshire Hathaway, has invested considerably in energy companies that also invest in Sudan. The Sudanese government is alleged to have used that money to pay for militia attacks on rebels and civilians in Sudan's Darfur region.
For Buffett, business is business. He says he has no plans to divest, even though he's a trustee of the Gates Foundation. For its part, a representative of the foundation told the Times, quote, "Bill and Melinda have initiated a process to assess the asset trust investments in Sudan." That means stay tuned for more.
In other news, the National Newspaper Publishers Association reports that U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters is shaking up the AIDS debate. She's introduced two controversial bills in the House of Representatives. One would require insurance companies to foot the bill for HIV and AIDS testing. The other bill would make HIV/AIDS test mandatory for inmates - that means all inmates on their way into or out of the prison system. The Centers for Disease Control says African-Americans make up roughly half of all current HIV/AIDS cases. More than 40 percent of current inmates are African-American.
And in some inspirational news, Barbara Hill became the first African-American woman on record to reach the North Pole last month. That's according to the Associated Press. Hill was raised in Harlem and spent her career in nursing. She overcame lung cancer to make the trek.
The first African-American man to reach the North Pole was Matthew Henson. In 1909, Henson helped guide Captain Robert E. Perry to the pole. Perry's long gotten credit for being the first person ever to set foot there. Henson later wrote an account of his record-setting journey with Perry called "A Negro Explorer at the North Pole."
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