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In brief: U.N. chief calls for more AIDS funding

Tue., June 11, 2013

UNITED NATIONS – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says the overall U.N. goal of halting and reversing the spread of AIDS will be met by the target date of 2015.

But the U.N. chief told the General Assembly on Monday that despite “important progress,” more must be done to target AIDS in countries and communities where it is still spreading – and this will require additional funds.

“In more than 56 states, we have stabilized the epidemic and reversed the rate of new infections,” Ban said.

He said more than half the people in low- and middle-income countries are receiving treatment, but antiretroviral therapy must be expanded.

“This is a human rights imperative and a public health necessity,” Ban said.

Mexico looks to stop telecom monopolies

MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s president signed into law a monopoly-busting telecommunications law Monday that’s expected to drive down telephone prices for consumers and cost the country’s richest man billions of dollars.

Carlos Slim, the tycoon whose America Movil SAB controls 70 percent of Mexico’s cellphone business and 80 percent of the country’s landlines, has seen his net worth plummet $5 billion since March, when the law was proposed, as investors sold off the company’s stock for fear of the law’s impact. The law’s implementation is likely to further undercut his business empire.

President Enrique Pena Nieto took less than three months to push the proposal through Congress, a sign of his race to obtain major changes before a broad pact of Mexico’s major political parties unravels. Moments before signing the measure into law, Pena Nieto said it would strengthen Mexican companies and favor consumers with lower prices. That, in turn, will attract foreign investment and speed economic growth, he said.

The new law also aims to reduce the dominance of Mexico’s two powerful television broadcasters, Televisa and TV Azteca.


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