World briefs 5/17/04

Monday, May 17, 2004

Quincy Jones launches 'We are the Future'

ROME -- Nearly two decades after music greats gathered to record the hit song "We are the World" to benefit Africa's hungry, a new generation of stars came together Sunday for a follow-up concert to benefit children in war zones. The "We are the Future" concert, which started as the sun set over Rome's Circus Maximus, got off to a heart-pounding start with a performance by the garbage can-clanging percussion group Stomp.

Israel to destroy more Palestinian refugee homes

JERUSALEM -- Despite U.S. criticism, Israel plans to demolish hundreds more homes in a Palestinian refugee camp if violence and weapons smuggling persist there, officials said Sunday. Israel also plans to make wider use of airstrikes in Gaza, the defense minister was quoted as telling the Israeli Cabinet.

Pope names six new saints in ceremony

VATICAN CITY -- Pope John Paul II named six new saints Sunday, including a woman who became a symbol for abortion opponents because she refused to end her pregnancy despite warnings that it could kill her. The Vatican has long championed the case of Gianna Beretta Molla, an Italian pediatrician who died in 1962 at the age of 39 -- a week after giving birth to her fourth child. Doctors had told her it was dangerous to proceed with the pregnancy because she had a tumor in her uterus. In proclaiming her a saint, John Paul praised her "extreme sacrifice."

Philippine incumbent leads independent tally

MANILA, Philippines -- President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo widened her lead Sunday over opposition front-runner Fernando Poe Jr. in an independent count of votes from last week's national elections, but Poe's party claimed to be gathering evidence of widespread cheating. With ballots from nearly 25 percent of electorates tallied, Arroyo had 3.5 million votes and Poe about 2.6 million.

-- From wire reports

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