oprah_secret7 Students Punished at Winfrey’s School for Girls
Seven students have been punished for violating the code of conduct at Oprah Winfrey’s school for disadvantaged girls in South Africa. A representative for Winfrey says four students were recently expelled and three suspended at her Leadership Academy for Girls outside Johannesburg. Publicist Don Halcombe declined to say Wednesday what led to the violations because there are minors involved. He says Winfrey has no plans to fly to the school. (Continue Reading…)

Documentary Shows Emaciated Zimbabwean Prisoners
Newly released images that provide a rare look inside a Zimbabwean prison show emaciated inmates too weak to stand and eating as if they can barely bring food to their mouths. Human rights activists and former prisoners have spoken of horrifying conditions in the country’s jails and prisons but there has been little firsthand evidence available. Producer Godknows Nare spent four months on the behind-the-walls documentary, training insiders to capture the footage. His work, “Hell Hole,” aired Tuesday on SABC, the South African state broadcaster, and was being syndicated internationally by Associated Press Television News Wednesday. Nare said he hoped the footage would persuade Zimbabwe’s new coalition government and the international community to step in to help. “Just hearsay, without visual proof, is not enough to change people’s minds,” he said. Attempts to reach the Zimbabwe Cabinet minister in charge of prisons Wednesday were not immediately successful. (Continue Reading…)

Madonna’s African Adoptions Part of Growing Trend
Madonna’s efforts to adopt two youngsters from Malawi have drawn the paparazzi. But she isn’t alone: Westerners are increasingly seeking to bring home children from Africa as traditional sources like China and Russia cut back on adoptions by foreigners. The rising number of adoptions from Africa — particularly by Americans in Ethiopia — comes as the AIDS epidemic ravaging the continent leaves more orphans in impoverished countries and surviving relatives are unable to care for them. Americans adopted 1,725 Ethiopian children in the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, 2008, about 70 percent of all U.S. adoptions from Africa, according to the U.S. State Department. The year before, 1,255 Ethiopian children were adopted by Americans. (Continue Reading…)

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