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Wealthy Americans Bill Gates and Warren Buffett say they are encouraged to see that China”s super-rich have enthusiasm for philanthropy.

Philanthropy was at the top of the agenda for America”s richest man, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who met with about 50 of China”s wealthiest people at a highly publicized banquet in Beijing.

On Thursday, he compared the United States and China, and said wealthy donors in both countries have similar concerns, such as how to make an impact and how family members should be involved. But he says there are important differences.

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In the heart of the bustling capital of Cairo, Egypt, a lone female taxi driver navigates her bright yellow cab through the unforgiving traffic.

“I wanted to take this adventure, as I consider it an adventure, rather than an experience. Thank God, I believe it is a nice adventure so far and I feel happy with it,” Inas Hassan Ali says.

Ali is one of only eight female cab drivers in a city where the profession is dominated by men.

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Long before recycling became a household word, a Paris prefect called Eugene Poubelle, introduced three separate containers for household waste – glass and pottery, oyster and mussel shells, and the rest – and had horse-drawn carts empty them. Six years later, his surname entered the Academy dictionary as the word for “dustbin”. Now, over a century later, a growing number of French towns are returning to horse-drawn kerbside waste collection, as a better way to recycle.

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Cricketing star Marcus Trescothick is calling on the public to get active on World Mental Health Day to help end discrimination.

The special day this Sunday, October 10th, is part of the campaigning Time to Get Moving week, with round 80,000 people expected to participate in hundreds of sporting events across England.

They will not only make a stand against mental health stigma but will also reap the rewards of exercise for their mental wellbeing.

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Eleven new countries have added their names to a growing United Nations-backed list of States that have pledged to halt child recruitment, support the release of children from armed groups and help reintegrate them into civilian life.

Cape Verde, Gabon, Georgia, Iceland, Latvia, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Togo and Uruguay yesterday endorsed the Paris Commitments on Children Associated with Armed Forces or Armed Groups, raising the number of supporting countries from 84 to 95.

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Donor countries, private foundations, corporations and individuals meeting at the United Nations have pledged over $11.5 billion in new funding over the next three years for the global partnership to fight three killer diseases – HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

“At a time when so many Governments are tightening their belts, these commitments send a powerful message. It shows that many world leaders want to do the right thing beyond their borders, too,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who chaired the two-day replenishment meeting for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.

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The United Nations’ goals for fighting extreme poverty—an effort being assessed at a summit this week in New York—will fall short unless nations also work to bring electricity and modern, safe cooking technology to the billions of “energy-poor” people around the globe, a new report says.

The worsening problem of energy poverty, however, can be solved without breaking the banks of nations—and without a significant worsening of the climate change problem, said the study released Tuesday by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and two UN bodies, the Development Programme (UNDP) and the Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

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SAN JOSE MINE, Chile (Oct. 8) — Drillers neared the lower reaches of a gold and copper mine where 33 men have been trapped for more than two months, preparing Friday for a breakthrough that would unleash a national outpouring of joy.

Engineers had just the last 128 feet (39 meters) of rock to carve through, and were working carefully to keep the T130 drill from jamming or punching through with too much force, Mining Minister Laurence Golborne said.

“We are very close,” Golborne said. “It would be very complicated if after all the work we have done … you lose the hole. We have to be very careful and do it in a controlled way.”

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Now for some more whimsical news! This from AOL.

(Oct. 7) — Come on, baby, don’t fear the reaper.

That’s the message, not from Blue Oyster Cult, from a Singapore nonprofit that recently revealed a series of coffins featuring fanciful designs and festooned with cheery slogans, such as “Say hello to my wonderland” and “Hello, coffin. You seem to be nice.”

The 12 caskets, or “Happy Coffins,” represent the winning designs from an international competition held by the Lien Foundation to create caskets that take the stigma and fear out of death.

“The traditional negative associations surrounding the coffin were transformed to a celebratory symbol of courage, life and beauty,” foundation spokeswoman Genevieve Kuek said in an e-mail to AOL News.

Many of the 733 entries from 33 countries, however, appear not only to destigmatize the Grim Reaper but kick him in the ‘nads while jabbing him in the eyes.

Take, for example, the design by a 30-year-old Martin Matera of the Czech Republic. His coffin resembles a pair of worn jeans, complete with button collection and beer bottle jutting from the rear pocket. A slogan on the lid exhorts mourners, “Don’t cry. I had a good life.”

Then there’s the design by 23-year-old Aurel Cablan of France. Imitating a wine crate, her coffin appears to hold a bottle of wine resting amid straw packing material. A tag dangling from the stem of the bottle says “Special Vintage.”

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Afghanistan: Peace council holds inaugural session:-

Calling the meeting a ‘source of hope’ for the Afghan people, President Hamid Karzai on Thursday hosted the inaugural session of a new peace council set up to guide efforts to reconcile with the Taliban and other insurgent groups.

Karzai has long called on insurgents to renounce violence, sever ties to terrorists and embrace the Afghan Constitution. Contacts are increasing between the government and insurgents to find a political resolution to the conflict, which is key to any U.S. exit strategy in Afghanistan.

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The following is a personal appeal by Ambassador Akbar Ahmed to the Supreme Leader of Iran, Grand Ayatollah Ali Hoseyni Khāmene’i, to show Islamic compassion during Ramadan, the month of fasting, and free the three young American hikers who have been held in Iran for over a year. The appeal comes in advance of the Night of Power, which falls in the last days of the month. It is the time when Muslims are called to show special mercy and kindness. Ambassador Ahmed delivered this appeal, the first on behalf of the hikers by an Islamic scholar, to the senior most Iranian diplomat in Washington, D.C. last week.

The following is the text of the letter:

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This uplifting story comess from our friends at The Optemist:-

A new series of The Apprentice has kicked off with the oldest participant aged just 31. But new figures released by the organisation Age UK shows apprenticeships are embraced by growing numbers of people aged 50-plus.

It says this deals a major a major blow to the stereotype that people in later life are reluctant to learn new skills.

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