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UNITED NATIONS

Soros gives $27.4 million to village project

George Soros has pledged $27.4 million to aid development in targeted villages across rural Africa, the billionaire financier said Monday.

Mr. Soros also pledged up to $20 million in loans to support business projects within those villages over the next five years.

The founder and chairman of the Open Society Foundations thanked his board of directors Monday for backing his pledge to the Millennium Villages project despite early misgivings.

Mr. Soros said that board members opposed his giving any donations to the project when it was first launched five years ago, considering it risky.

But he said he gave money anyway “because it was my money” and the idea seemed “worth a shot.”

The project’s record has proved its success, said Mr. Soros. “It has been a big challenge, but the project has come a long way,” he said.

The project aims to help 500,000 people in 10 countries across Africa to reach U.N. development goals and offer a model for the remainder of the continent.

SWEDEN

Just-deceased scientist wins Nobel Prize in medicine

STOCKHOLM — A pioneering researcher was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine Monday, three days after dying of pancreatic cancer without ever knowing he was about to be honored for his immune system work that he had used to try to prolong his own life.

The Nobel committee said it was unaware that Canadian-born cell biologist Ralph Steinman had already died when it awarded the prize to him, American Bruce Beutler and French scientist Jules Hoffmann.

Since the committee is only supposed to consider living scientists, the Nobel Foundation held an emergency meeting Monday and said the decision on the $1.5 million prize will remain unchanged.

“The Nobel Prize to Ralph Steinman was made in good faith, based on the assumption that the Nobel laureate was alive,” the foundation said.

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