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Drive to start on Mandela's birthday

Drive to start on Mandela's birthday

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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - Nelson Mandela celebrates his 89th birthday Wednesday, launching a humanitarian campaign along with former President Jimmy Carter, ex-U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and other "elders" of the global village.

The initiative stems from an idea by British entrepreneur Richard Branson and musician Peter Gabriel to create a council of elders to tackle issues such as conflict, AIDS and global warming.

Mandela was imprisoned for nearly three decades for his fight against apartheid. He was released in 1990 to lead negotiations to end decades of racist white rule and elected president in South Africa's first free elections in 1994.

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