Following the events in Benin, where a ship allegedly carrying 250 child slaves docked safely in Cotonou, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions has urged its affiliates in West Africa to step up the pressure on their governments to end child slavery. The call comes just as the ICFTU has launched a new global campaign to end child labour.

Local libraries should adopt new technologies to process and store information, a workshop in Kenya was told recently. The director of Unesco, in Nairobi Dr Paul Vitta, challenged libraries to embrace new storage systems where library card catalogues are replaced by online ones for indexing, retrieval and interchange techniques.

The Senate agreed last night that the United States should double current spending on the global battle against HIV/AIDS to more than $1 billion within the next two years.

Officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said they considered the privatization of the Egyptian state-owned banks not important as the country's banking system depends largely on these banks' power and competition, on the contrary the privatization may yield adverse outcomes if the government gives up these significant tool in controlling the monetary policy.

When prices for a farmer's harvest fall, as they have in recent years, despair haunts rural families and communities. Farmers invest less in their own land and children leave home, searching for a better life in cities. But farmers, especially those in the poorest nations, are not just battling a global oversupply of grain. In a distressing number of cases, they are fighting against the financial power of the world's richest governments.

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