Adventist short-term missionary murdered in Solomon Islands
Lance Gersbach, the business manager at the Atoifi Adventist Hospital, was murdered in a surprise machete attack Sunday in the Solomon Islands.

The beheading, which occurred at Oto'ifi on the island of Malaita, is apparently unconnected to the recent kidnappings of missionaries on Guadalcanal.

"It's a one-off incident," said Jackson Ofu, director of the criminal investigation division. "The security assessment from the area is very low. The area used to be dangerous but now it's quiet."

Police haven't released a motive, and they apparently don't have any suspects yet, but there's speculation that the murder was connected to a land dispute.

"I am confident [the murderers] will be caught and handed over to police," said MP Alfred Sasako. "This is an appalling crime and everybody is shocked."

Gersbach leaves behind a wife and two daughters, ages 8 and 11. Weblog will have more details as they emerge.

Conservative religious groups rejoice as Senate passes AIDS bill

Early Friday morning, the U.S. Senate passed the House's Global AIDS Bill, which triples the country's anti-AIDS expenditures to $15 billion. Included in the bill are conditions that one-third of AIDS prevention funds be used to promote sexual abstinence before marriage and that religious groups opposed to condoms would neither be forced to distribute them nor be denied funding.

Conservative profamily groups, which had lobbied hard for those two amendments, rejoiced at the news.

"We now know what works: abstinence and marital fidelity," Sandy Rios, president of Concerned Women for America, told the Associated Press. "The passage of this bill may prove to be one of the greatest events in the history of Africa."

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