NAIROBI - It is almost impossible to predict accurately the impact of HIV and AIDS on African economies, but one thing is certain - it is the poorest people and the poorest countries who are most at threat from the epidemic. Campaigners argue that AIDS is a serious threat to African economic growth, particularly as its impact is greatest on the 15 to 44 age group - the economically most productive part of the population.
DADAAB, northern Kenya - Tens of thousands of refugees in remote northeastern Kenya have deserted their camps after torrential rainfall in the past two weeks. A Reuters journalist who visited the area found all 122,000 Somali, Ugandan, Ethiopian and Sudanese refugees had fled three camps in Garissa district for higher ground after their makeshift homes were swamped by up to a metre (three feet) of water.
KINSHASA - Democratic Congo music star Tabu Ley Rochereau dismissed a ban on his new album as inappropriate and said he would appeal the ruling that lyrics of one song were immoral.
YAOUNDE - Cameroon`s customs department is auctioning 560 cars which have spent more than four months in the port of Douala awaiting payment of customs duty, officials said.
BAGHDAD - U.N. arms monitors including Americans ended a first day of renewed inspections on Saturday without trouble and Iraq`s goal of removing sanctions appeared to make no progress.
UNITED NATIONS - Despite Russian efforts to get sanctions against Iraq lifted, a U.N. arms panel on Saturday said far more work needed to be done before Baghdad can be declared free of weapons of mass destruction.
DENVER - U.S. President Bill Clinton spoke with Russian President Boris Yeltsin on Saturday about Iraq but they remained at odds over steps to ease sanctions, senior U.S. officials said.
VANCOUVER - Pacific Rim ministers were unable to agree on Saturday on whether new countries should be admitted to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and decided to defer the question to their leaders, officials said.
TOKYO - Japan`s oldest brokerage, Yamaichi Securities Co Ltd was poised on Sunday to shut its doors after a last-ditch review convinced the company there was no chance of survival, Japanese media and financial sources said.
MOSCOW - Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin said on Saturday there would be no more changes in his cabinet, signalling the end of a shake-up that has curbed the influence of leading young reformers.
WASHINGTON - Iraq`s ambassador to the United Nations on Saturday warned that tensions over U.N. arms inspectors could flare again but said a Russian-brokered deal to defuse this month`s crisis had to be given time to work.
BANJA LUKA, Bosnia - Poll organisers reported a low voter turnout on the first day of Bosnian Serb parliamentary elections which will test the strength of feuding political leaders in Serb territory.