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U2's Bono Talks About African AIDS, Poverty Crises On 'Oprah'

Posted on Saturday, September 21 @ 01:44:05 UTC by Macphisto

(Launch.com) -- Bono's appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show, which was taped Wednesday (September 18), is scheduled for broadcast Friday (September 20). The frontman of U2 didn't perform or flog the Irish band's upcoming best-of CD and DVD--he was on the show to talk about various causes he's been supporting, including reducing Third World debt and battling the AIDS epidemic in Africa.

"If you want to talk to the American people, you come to Oprah," Bono told the audience at an afternoon taping of the program, which is viewed by more than 20 million people weekly.

Wearing a black suit, dark gray dress shirt, and a short haircut, Bono looked like a businessman, apart from his ever-present tinted glasses and sliver hoop earrings. And he was all business about his cause.

"This is an emergency," he said. ""We can throw pennies at the problem, but God doesn't want alms, God wants action."

Bono said that because of crushing debt owed to nations in the developed world, most emerging African nations cannot provide the most basic of human necessities, including clean water, education, and medicine. He also compared the AIDS crisis to the Holocaust of World War II, urging that the rest of the world not to stand by and simply watch the death toll in Africa increase. "We're watching people being put on the trains," he told the Oprah audience.

Regarding pressuring politicians in Washington, Bono told the talk-show host he'd been a "real pain in the arse," though his relentless lobbying convinced President Bush earlier this year to set aside an additional $5 billion in aid for Africa. However, Congress has yet to approve the funds, and he asked that Americans support the campaign and contact their local representatives.

Also appearing on the program was U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and comedian Chris Tucker, who both traveled with the U2 singer on a trip to Africa in May of this year. Bono also directed audience to the website datadata.org for more information.

-- Darryl Morden, Los Angeles

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