31 October - Madonna brings baby David to America
Superstar Madonna arrived in America yesterday with her son David as she prepares to further defend her controversial adoption of the tot.
Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie were granted an interim adoption of the 13-month-old boy earlier this month, which has sparked anger amongst groups in his native Malawi, who claim the singer broke the country's adoption laws.
The 'Material Girl' appeared on US TV show Oprah last week, declaring her love for the little boy and praised her biological children Lourdes and Rocco for being so welcoming to the little boy.
On Sunday, Madonna and her three children flew out of London's Heathrow Airport to New York City, where she is expected to appear on NBC News, The Today Show and Dateline to defend her adoption. (source: Launch)
31 October - Madonna set to appear on Newsnight
Madonna is to appear on BBC2's Newsnight programme to discuss her adoption controversy.
The pop star will speak to presenter Kirsty Wark in her first British interview since adopting 13-month-old David Banda from Malawi.
It follows her appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show in the US last week.
The Newsnight interview will be broadcast on Wednesday night.
Madonna will also use the chat to publicise her new children's book The English Roses: Too Good To Be True.
The interview will be recorded tonight in the US where the singer has scheduled several other TV appearances.
She flew there at the beginning of the week with David and her other children Lourdes, nine, and Rocco, five. (source: Yahoo)
30 October - 'Feel Up' released on DVD
The dazzling Grammy 2006 performance by the Gorillaz and Madonna of the mix of 'Feel Good Inc.' & Hung Up (now titled 'Feel Up') was released on a Gorillaz DVD today, titled 'Slowboat To Hades'. First Gorillaz opened the ceremony with their hit 'Feel Good Inc.', playing on a 3-D screen then Madonna joined them on the screen singing the chorus of Hung Up in an acoustic version before launching her own live performance of Hung Up (she actually repeated this flow on the Confessions Tour). Click here to see pictures of the performance. You can also buy the DVD via Amazon.com.
30 October - Madonna and David's first public picture
Madonna and her newly adopted son, David Banda, were photographed together in public for the first time yesterday as they left Heathrow for the US.
On Friday a judge in Malawi adjourned a hearing into an attempt by a human rights group to block the American singer’s adoption of the 13-month-old boy.
Yohane Banda, his father, went to the court in the capital city Lilongwe as a protest against moves to prevent the adoption.
He said that he was very happy with the arrangement, and added that Madonna had agreed to bring the boy back every three or four years.
It has been alleged that Madonna offered to give Malawi’s orphanages £1.1 million to bypass official adoption procedures. (source: Times Online)
~ Madonna will be in the US to record a few interviews, as mentioned before.
26 October - New tv interview schedule
Various fansites report that Madonna will be on the Live With Regis and Kelly, NBC's Today Show and Dateline on November 1st. It is unknown whether Madonna will travel to the States or not.
26 October - Live8 inspired Madonna in adoption, not the Pitts
Madonna has laughed off reports suggesting Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie advised her to adopt an African baby, insisting she has never even met the actress.
Reports have suggested Pitt and Jolie urged the singer not to proceed with alleged plans to adopt a Los Angeles orphan and instead turn her attentions to the kids in Africa, where the actress found her second child, Zahara.
Madonna insists that though her husband, film-maker Guy Ritchie, and Pitt are friends, she has never met Jolie - and they've never spoken about adoption.
She says, "I've never had any discussions with Brad or Angelina about adoption. I've never actually met Angelina Jolie."
"My husband is good friends with Brad because they've worked together, and we had dinner with Brad after Angelina had adopted her baby from Ethiopia but we never had a discussion about it."
"I never sought their advice and I never considered adopting a child from Los Angeles, nor did I discuss with anyone but my husband and our social worker, who did the home study, exactly where it is we would like to adopt the child from."
Appearing on yesterday's Oprah show, Madonna revealed it was a meeting with Live Aid and Live 8 organiser Sir Bob Geldof that prompted her to think about adopting a child from Africa.
She explains, "That (performance at Live 8) kind of made me turn my focus to Africa in a more specific way and educate myself about the statistics about what's going on all over Africa."
Madonna and her husband recently rescued Malawian baby David Banda from an orphanage. They are involved in an interim programme to officially adopt the boy. (source: Teen Hollywood)
26 October - Dad's comments were taken out of context
The father of the 13-month-old Malawian boy Madonna is trying to adopt said he is afraid criticism of her plans would persuade the pop star to drop her efforts.
"I am afraid Madonna may get angry and frustrated and decide to dump my son because of these people," said Yohane Banda, referring to criticism from human rights activists in Malawi that officials had bent the law to speed David Banda's adoption.
"These so-called human rights activists are harassing me every day, threatening me that I am not aware of what I am doing," Banda said Thursday. "I'm afraid David may be sent back and the orphanage may not even accept him back. So where will he end up? Here? He will certainly die."
The Human Rights Consultative Committee, a group of human rights groups in Malawi, has asked Judge Andrew Nyirenda to review the adoption process to make sure all the laws have been followed. A hearing is scheduled Friday.
Banda said activists tried to visit him Wednesday.
"I hid from them. I didn't want to see them. They want me to support their court case, a thing I cannot do for I know what I agreed with Madonna and her husband," said Banda.
Banda was reacting to Madonna's appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on Wednesday, in which the 48-year-old singer said she had done nothing wrong, had not used her celebrity to influence Malawian officials and wanted to give David, who had been in an orphanage, a better life.
In an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday, Banda said authorities had not made it clear to him that he was giving up his son "for good" when he signed adoption papers earlier this month. But Thursday, he shifted the blame to human rights groups.
"I was telling these rights groups that I wasn't selling my son. I said I wouldn't ... sell my son for anything but I had agreed with Madonna before a judge so my comments were taken out of context and I hope Madonna is not angry," he said.
Banda said he was not angry with journalists, but added he was spending more time with reporters than tending "to my onions and tomatoes."
Justin Dzonzi, chairman of the human rights group, said the coalition of 67 groups would go ahead with its court petition Friday to protect the rights of any child up for adoption in Malawi.
"It's not like we are blocking the adoption but we want laws followed to the letter," he said.
Dzonzi said under current laws, David, who was taken to Madonna's home in London last week, was not entitled to inherit any of the wealth of the singer and her husband, director Guy Ritchie. He said the child also could suffer psychologically if there is a divorce by the celebrity couple.
"We want these issues clarified," Dzonzi said.
But Banda, a subsistence farmer, argued his son had no wealth to inherit in Malawi.
"That won't change anything for David," said Banda. "Please, let them leave my son alone." (source: AP)
25 October - Ricky Martin defends Madonna
Ricky Martin on Wednesday defended Madonna's adoption of a 1-year-old Malawian boy, calling her an "exemplary" mother, and said he, too, would like to adopt.
"I know Madonna as a mother, and she's exemplary," the Puerto Rican star told The Associated Press in a phone interview from Miami.
"The love she gives her kids is a dream, and I know that her heart is big enough to adopt not just one child but to adopt 20."
Martin, who in recent years has defended the rights of children through his foundation and as an ambassador for UNICEF, said he was not aware of the challenges to the adoption by human rights groups that allege the pop diva flouted the African country's adoption laws.
Madonna, in an interview aired Wednesday on Oprah, blamed the media for the controversy the adoption has sparked.
"I feel the media is doing a great disservice to all the orphans of Africa, period, not just the orphans of Malawi," she said.
Madonna and her husband, director Guy Ritchie, were awarded temporary custody of the boy, David Banda, earlier this month.
Martin, when asked if he would like to adopt a child someday, said, "Totally. I don't know when, but right now I am sponsoring three children in India and we have a very beautiful connection." (source: AP)
25 October - Oprah: Madonna sets the record straight
From provocative videos to headline-making risqué concerts, Madonna is known for pushing people's buttons. Now it's her actions off stage that are putting her back in the center of controversy.
In the fall of 2006, Madonna traveled to the African nation of Malawi where she is building an orphan care center with her foundation Raising Malawi. Soon after her trip, news broke that she and husband, Guy Ritchie, were adopting a 13-month-old boy named David.
Local human rights groups have since gone to court, challenging the Malawian government's decision to allow Madonna to adopt David. They believe that Madonna used her wealth and celebrity to fast track the adoption. News outlets have also recently reported that David's birth father, whom originally was in support of the adoption, claims to not have fully understood what he was saying when he encouraged the adoption.
Madonna, accustomed to being criticized in the media, says she never expected to be criticized for her family's choice to adopt a son.
"I didn't realize that the adoption was causing any controversy until I came back," she says. "There were a million film crews in the airport and press camped outside my door. I don't read newspapers or watch television, but all of my friends have let me know what everybody's talking about and what's going on in the news. So it didn't really hit me until I got back to England. It's pretty shocking."
Madonna and Guy Ritchie have been granted an "interim adoption" by the Malawian government—David will live in their care for an initial 18 months while a London-based social worker will visit them periodically to ensure David is being cared for and not neglected. After the 18 months, Madonna and Guy may then legally adopt David.
Madonna says that her critics don't really understand how the Malawian adoption process works if they believe she used status to speed up the process of adopting David. "I assure you it doesn't matter who you are or how much money you have, nothing goes fast in Africa," Madonna says. "There are no adoption laws in Malawi. And I was warned by my social worker that because there were no known laws in Malawi, they were more or less going to have to make them up as we went along. And she did say to me, 'Pick Ethiopia. Go to Kenya. Don't go to Malawi because you're just going to get a hard time.'"
Madonna says that she and Guy had planned on adopting a child two years ago, not knowing where they would adopt. It was her ongoing philanthropic work in Malawi that finally brought the Ritchies to David.
"I'm financing a documentary about orphans in Malawi, so I was allowed to view footage and photographs of a lot of the children. An 8-year-old girl who is living with HIV was holding this child. I became transfixed by him. … But I didn't yet know I was going to adopt him. I was just drawn to him."
David had spent most of his life in an orphanage with 500 other orphans. Madonna didn't know the state of David's health when she was visiting Malawi and considering adopting David. She brought a pediatrician to test all of the children's health for their overall well being, and later learned that David tested negative for tuberculosis, malaria, HIV and other common illnesses striking African orphans.
"When I met him, he was extremely ill," Madonna says. "He had severe pneumonia, and he could hardly breathe. I was in a state of panic, because I didn't want to leave him in the orphanage because I knew they didn't have medication to take care of him. We got permission to take him to a clinic to have a bronchial dilator put on him. … He had pneumonia and was given an injection of antibiotics. He's still a little bit ill, not completely free of his pneumonia, but he's much better than he was when we found him."
Madonna and Guy now have David with them at their home in London, along with their two other children, Lourdes and Rocco. Madonna said the children are in complete love with their new baby brother.
"They just embraced him, and that's the amazing thing about children," she says. "They don't ask questions. They've never once said, 'What is he doing here', or mentioned the difference in his skin color, or questioned his presence in our life. That is an amazing lesson that children do teach us."
When Madonna first arrived in Malawi, she says she didn't know anything about David's parents. She was soon told that his mother had died of HIV and that his three siblings had also died of HIV. At the time, the Minister of Children and Mothers Welfare told Madonna that even though David's biological father's whereabouts were unknown, they would have to find him to give consent for the adoption.
"Here's what I knew. David had been living in this orphanage since he was two weeks old," Madonna says. "He had survived malaria and tuberculosis, and no one from his extended family had visited him since the time he arrived. So from my perspective, there was no one looking after David's welfare."
Once David's father was located, he initially said he gave his son up for adoption always hoping that someone like Madonna would be able to give him a better life, and agreed to the adoption. Now, according to the press, David's father is saying he did not fully understand what he was doing when he agreed to let Madonna adopt his son.
"I do not believe that is true. I sat in that room, I looked into that man's eyes," Madonna says. "I believe that the press is manipulating this information out of him. I believe at this point in time, he's been terrorized by the media. They have asked him things, repeatedly, and they have put words in his mouth. They have spun a story that is completely false."
With all the speculation, rumors and overall controversy surrounding Madonna's adoption of David, how does Madonna feel about the media?
"I wouldn't say I'm hurt by it, but I would say I'm disappointed," she says. "I understand that gossip and telling negative stories sells newspapers. But I think for me, I'm disappointed because it discourages other people from doing the same thing—for anybody who had the idea that they, too, would like to open their home and give a life to a child living in an orphanage who might possibly not live past the age of 5. Anybody who had that idea would be discouraged from doing it. For me, that's what disappoints me the most. I feel like the media is doing a great disservice to all the orphans of Africa, period, not just Malawi, by turning it into such a negative thing.
"I beg all of those people to go to Africa and see what I saw and walk through those villages. … To see 8-year-olds in charge of households. To see mothers dying, with Kaposi sarcoma lesions all over their bodies. To see open sewages everywhere. To see what I saw. It is a state of emergency. As far as I'm concerned, the adoption laws have to be changed to suit that state of emergency. I think if everybody went there, they'd want to bring one of those children home with them and give them a better life." (source: Oprah.com)
25 October - Follow Madonna's example (you heard me)
Gee, I'm so shallow, vain and starved for attention. Guess I'll adopt a baby from Africa to show I'm deep.
If that's how cynics want to think of Madonna's Malawi adoption, fine. Only problem is: No one sounds more shallow than them. If it takes an international superstar to make international, interracial adoption hip, who's complaining? Not the 12 million orphans in Africa.
"The Material Girl's misadventures in adopting the boy, David Banda, have made her the newest Ugly American," sneered G. Pascal Zachary on the liberal Web site AlterNet. The baby is just a "prop."
That evil woman! Why, she plied an impoverished child from a life of maize porridge and forced him into a life of grinding opportunity.
Granted, the Material Girl did not go about this in the best possible way. By adopting a child whose dad is still alive, she should have known she was walking onto a minefield. She claims the dad understood the adoption process. The man now claims he did not - but he's still okay with it. So we should be, too. More than okay! Any action that gets any kid adopted is one we should applaud - and emulate.
Jennifer Bessemer-Marando knows this firsthand. As co-director of the agency A Child's Waiting, she was delighted to see a spike in inquiries after Angelina Jolie adopted a baby from Ethiopia. Now she hopes to see the same again, because Third World orphanages are no place for kids.
At one Jennifer visited in Uzbekistan, the babies didn't wear diapers - they were lined up and strapped to empty coffee cans. For hours. Her agency showered the children with food and toys but these were gone the next day, stolen by the workers for their own families.
And Eastern Europe's orphanages look positively luxurious compared with those in Africa.
"There's a level of poverty that's hard to imagine," says Mark Moore, Africa program adviser for American World Adoption. At orphanages he visited in Uganda and Ethiopia, they didn't have diapers, either. They also didn't have running water, or soap.
Years ago, orphanages in Africa were relatively rare. Extended families took in orphans until AIDS created too many. Now there are orphanages all over the continent, but only Ethiopia, Liberia and Sierra Leone have legalized international adoption.
People agitated that Madonna skirted the rules by adopting from Malawi should agitate, instead, for more countries to open up adoptions.
Orphaned children are much more likely to end up abused, even enslaved, than kids with parents. The alternative is to get them out of there.
Madonna did not pick up a prop, she answered a prayer. Let's hope the Madonna wanna-bes still wannabe exactly like her. (source: New York Daily News)
25 October - Uncut Live To Tell for the Dutch?
Fansite MadonnaUnderground.nl posted some interesting news regarding the upcoming tour broadcast:
The Confessions Tour will be shown on Dutch Television by the Dutch TV Channel VARA at the end of this year. VARA states that they will indeed show the entire performance of Live To Tell including Madonna on the cross, while the broadcast in America next month will show different images during this scene. The exact broadcast date and time have yet to be announced.
~ We certainly hope that this is true and at least European countries will do justice to the performance.
25 October - Madonna blames media for adopt firestorm
Madonna told Oprah Winfrey Tuesday she was surprised by the firestorm surrounding her efforts to adopt a 13-month-old boy from the African country of Malawi. And she blamed the media for it.
Madonna taped the interview via satellite from London, for airing Wednesday. It was the first time she'd spoken publicly in depth about the adoption.
According to a member of the "Oprah" audience, Madonna said she was startled by press reports about the toddler's father, Yohane Banda, who was quoted last week as saying he didn't realize he was signing away custody of his son, David, "for good."
"She said she met with the father, she looked him in the eye," audience member Sheryl Lewis recounted.
Madonna, she added, said she acted according to the law and had both "oral and written approval...and now the press have gotten to him," Lewis said.
In an interview posted Tuesday on Time magazine's Web site, Banda said, for his son's sake, he will not contest the adoption.
"I don't want my child, who is already gone to come back," he said. "I will be killing his future if I accept that."
Madonna told the "Oprah" audience that she and her husband, Guy Ritchie, had been thinking about adoption for more than two years, said Lewis, who lives in Deerfield, Ill.
Another "Oprah" audience member, Amanda Bannon of Crawfordsville, Ind., told ABC News that "the biggest thing was that Madonna wants to get the point across that she doesn't want this to be a discouragement to other families to not adopt."
Madonna, 48, traveled to Malawi on Oct. 4 with Ritchie. They spent eight days visiting orphanages she is funding through her charity.
David was taken to London last week after Malawi's High Court granted Madonna and Ritchie an interim adoption order.
Madonna has two children — daughter Lourdes, 9, and son Rocco, 6. (source: AP)
24 October - Preview of emotional Oprah interview
Madonna spoke about her plans to adopt a 13-month-old boy from Africa on the Oprah Winfrey Show Tuesday. The show will air on Wednesday.
The taping ended around 11 a.m. Tuesday. Audience members said the pop star, who is speaking publicly for the first time since the adoption became an international controversy, became emotional when speaking with Oprah about the boy she plans to adopt from Malawi.
The boy's name is David Banda. He was taken to London last week after a court in Malawi granted Madonna and her husband an interim adoption order.
Madonna is facing criticism that she used her influence to sway the country's child-protection regulators, but the pop star says she did nothing wrong.
Still, the toddler's father says he didn't know he was signing away custody of the boy "for good."
According to the audience members, Madonna believes the boy's father had a change of heart after the media go to him.
"I thought it was a good experience. Madonna is an intelligent woman. She made a lot of sense. I am not always the greatest fan of hers, but it was a good thing she did," said Sue Waldman, audience member.
"She had a lout of good things to say. I am proud of Madonna. She tried to do something nice in her life and she is getting slammed for it. I hope it works well," said another audience member.
"They explained to us that there really is no adoption law in this country. So they are just making up rules as they go along," said a third audience member. (source: abc7chicago.com)
24 October - Madonna's definite playlist for a party
InStyle posted Madonna's and Stuart's top 10 songs for a partying:
As Madonna said, 'Music makes the people come together.' And so the pop icon and her producer, Stuart Price, compiled their ultimate party playlist for us. Our only quibble? Modesty kept Madonna from adding any of her own songs to the mix - and nothing gets a party started like a little Madge.
1. Pet Shop Boys - West End Girls
2. Cerrone - Supernature
3. ESG - Dance
4. Gwen McRae - All This Love That I'm Giving
5. Yarborough & Peoples - Don't Stop the Music
6. George Benson - Give Me the Night
7. Destination - Move On Up
8. Tyrone Brunson - The Smurf
9. T-Connection - Do What You Wanna Do
10. Giorgio Moroder - Evolution
24 October - Madonna a fan of Robbie's 'stalker' song
Robbie Williams has claimed Madonna is a fan of his "stalkerish" song about her.
'She's Madonna', written by the singer with Pet Shop Boys Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, is a comical track on his new new album. Its lyrics are about Madonna's current husband Guy Ritchie's dumping of his ex Tania Strecker, whom Williams also went out with, in favour of the pop star.
He says the star has heard his track, despite its cheeky content, and given good feedback.
"I sent the track to Madonna and she really liked it," he told The Sun. "I also sent her 'Rudebox' and she didn't really like it. You could say that the track is a bit stalkerish. She wanted to know what it was about. I lied.
"She said, 'Is it the futility of being in love with Madonna? Is it the futility of being in a relationship with Madonna? Do you like Madonna in the track?' It's quite a day sending a song to Madonna about her. She'd heard I'd done it."
Williams also said the new album was a landmark for his solo experimentation. "I'm more confident now," he explained. "When I left Take That and started my solo career, I developed a songwriting partnership with Guy Chambers that just ran and ran for five albums and you get into a comfort zone."
"And as that ran its course, I had no other option but to go out and explore and go and work with other people." (source: Digital Spy)
~ Robbie's 7th album 'Rudebox' features more inspirations by Madonna: the sound of most of the record is retro-electronica, just like Madonna's recent work; Ray Of Light-producer William Orbit worked on two tracks and the Pet Shop Boys, who remixed Sorry and whose number one hit 'West End Girls' clearly influenced Jump also did two songs; 'The Actor' features a rap reminiscent of Vogue with mentioning actors and actresses like Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn, along with "Madonna Ritchie"; not to mention the references to various Madonna songs in 'She's Madonna'...
24 October - Oprah interview to be via satellite
Madonna finished her concert tour and is starting a new one today - her don't-hate-me-because-I-adopted-a-Malawian-baby tour.
It starts tomorrow with a satellite interview with Oprah.
It also appears that she will talk to the "Today" show early next week about the firestorm of controversy surrounding her secretive adoption.
The Oprah interview - set to be taped today - will be the first time the pop star will answer questions about the international furor the adoption sparked earlier this month.
A spokeswoman for the Oprah show said the interview will take place via satellite, with Madonna in London and Winfrey in Chicago.
Madonna has a long-standing commitment from last summer to appear on "Oprah" this fall - most likely during the critical November ratings period - according to industry sources.
But the baby drama appears to have pushed up the date by a few weeks.
Madonna had also agreed to appear on NBC in an exclusive sitdown to promote an upcoming concert special set for late next month.
But yesterday she was said to be in the process of negotiating for an interview with Matt Lauer for the "Today" show, according to a source close to the singer.
That could happen as soon as Monday, the sources said.
NBC News officials declined to comment yesterday.
Madonna is attempting to adopt a 13-month old baby she has named David Banda who had been living in an orphanage in Malawi.
Banda, whose mother died, but still has a father, was taken to London last week after Malawi's High Court granted Madonna and her husband, film director Guy Ritchie, an interim adoption order.
Madonna, 48, has said she acted according to the law, but the toddler's father, Yohane Banda, said he didn't realize he was signing away custody of his motherless son "for good."
A senior Malawian government official yesterday dismissed Banda's claim, saying they were untrue remarks by an illiterate father. (source: New York Post)
24 October - Jump remix-edits on US iTunes
An EP of Jump was released today on US iTunes with 5 versions of the single, plus the awaited non-album track History which clocks at 5:55. As mentioned yesterday, Jump is still gaining airplay at radio and with the video being added at tv channels it might have some heathy digital sales. According to hardcore chart-watchers, it's best to buy each remix individually.
23 October - Remarks by misled father dismissed
A senior Malawian government official on Monday dismissed as untrue remarks by an illiterate father who said he was misled into signing over his son for adoption by pop diva Madonna.
Yohane Banda, father of the 1-year-old boy, told Reuters Television on Saturday that he never intended for his son to be adopted by Madonna. He accused senior officials in government of not telling him the truth about the papers he signed.
"Had they told us that Madonna wanted to adopt my son and make him her own son, we would not have agreed to that," Banda said in his local language of Chichewa.
"It would have been better for him to continue staying at the orphanage because I see no reason why my child should be given away forever when I can feed him," he said, speaking at his village of Lipunga near the Zambia border.
But his comments were categorically denied by Penson Kilembe, director of child welfare in the Ministry of Women and Child Development, who told Reuters the ministry explained every detail of the process to Banda and his family.
"We explained every detail, and Madonna herself explained her intentions in the face of the judge and in Banda's presence," Kilembe said. "He (Banda) was asked several times in court if he understood what was going on, and he said he did."
Kilembe is one of the senior government officials whom Banda said he met several times over his son, David, and whom he said had made him sign papers he later said he never understood. Banda told Reuters he could not read or write and relied on what government officials told him.
Kilembe said Banda was told 12 children had been presented to Madonna, who picked David, and that the singer would select another child if Banda did not want his son adopted.
Madonna spent nine days in Malawi from October 4 on what her publicists described as a humanitarian visit to help thousands of orphans in the southern African country hard hit by AIDS.
But she left a storm of controversy over her plans to adopt David, who was flown to London last week to join the singer.
Malawian child rights groups, accusing the government of breaking its own laws in granting an interim adoption order to a non-resident, are challenging the process in court.
In the Reuters interview, Banda said what he was told by the officials was that the papers he signed said Madonna would look after David, educate him and bring him back.
"What he has told you now is not true," Kilembe said, but refusing to provide the adoption papers that the father signed.
The High Court in Lilongwe will on Friday start hearing the case lodged by the Human Rights Consultative Committee, an alliance of 67 rights groups, which argues that Malawi laws forbid international adoption.
The American singer, who is married to British film director Guy Ritchie, hopes to make David a brother to her 10-year-old daughter Lourdes and son, Rocco, who is six. She has denied cutting corners to speed the adoption process.
David will stay with Madonna for 18 months and be monitored by Malawi officials before final approval is given for him to officially join her family, according to the interim order. (source: Reuters)
23 October - Madonna should spark the good will in us
Whatever you think of her music or her acting or her lifestyle, give Madonna credit. Thanks to her, we now are focusing on Malawi. We know something about the plight of its orphans – to whom she has pledged $3 million – and we know that it is one of the poorest nations in Africa. All because she is adopting a little boy and fighting red tape that has tried to derail that effort.
Why should this child be left behind, especially because his biological father approves of the adoption? His mother is dead. The father arranged, we are told, to have Madonna bring the child back to Malawi on a regular basis. So this baby, born to a miserable life, will have a gourmet lifestyle while still having connections to his roots.
Unless I am more stupid than I give myself credit for, this is a win-win-win scenario.
Oprah, Queen of the World, has us thinking about South Africa and the education of girls. Angelina Jolie has us thinking about kids victimized by the AIDS pandemic, especially in Ethiopia where she adopted a daughter. And this modern-day Audrey Hepburn and United Nations goodwill ambassador has us also thinking about health care because she and her beau, Brad Pitt, chose to have a baby in a clinic in Namibia. Gorgeous George Clooney and his father, Nick, have us focusing on genocide in the Darfur area of Sudan. (http://www.theirc.org/resources/george-clooney-visit-chad-sudan.html) Bono has taken on the entire Third World debt issue: How can developing countries actually develop if they are saddled with the debt run up by, in most cases, corrupt potentates who filled their pockets on the world’s dime and moved on? He’s pushing for a forgiveness of these debts – a kind of opportunity for a do-over. But he’s also corralling major corporations into supporting his fight against AIDS in Africa through his Project RED. (http://www.joinred.com/home.asp)
It is so easy to poke fun at the celebrities who intrude into international relations through these acts of kindness and hubris. It should be as easy for the rest of us to find ways to do something that your average middle-classer can afford. Thank you, Oprah. Thank you, Angelina. Thank you, Madonna. Thank you, Bono. Thank you, Bill and Melinda Gates for your gazillions of Microsoft dollars to make this a healthier African world.
But where are the rest of us, really?
I hail from a town near Atlanta – Conyers, Ga. – and until a few years ago I had no clue that we in that part of the country had any connection to that wide world beyond, besides an eccentric White woman born in 1885 who was a very publicized feminist on the national scene and, back home, famously drove on the wrong side of the street in her Ford Model A. If you ran into her car you were in the wrong. There was another such lady, born in 1866, who was a missionary in South America for many years and lived to the age 103. Later in my research I learned of Black men in Conyers, Ga., who preceded them and outdid them in adventures and altruism. One, essentially adopted by a beneficent White man at a Conyers hotel soon after the official end of slavery, became a missionary in Africa; another helped spread the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) word to Africa in the 1890s and promote higher education at what we now call an HBCU – Morehouse in Atlanta through 1912. Later in the 20th century, as I discovered, my father and his cohorts who had experienced World War II came home and forced our county to build a state-of-the-art school for Black kids, formed a Boy Scout troop and did other things we of my generation pretty much took for granted by the time we were cognizant.
We regular folks in 2006 have got to DO SOMETHING!
Let’s do a slam-dunk rap on this. Let’s knock it out of the park. Let’s talk the talk while walking that red carpet or strutting along that runway. Get my drift?
Just look around you. If you are sophisticated enough to be aware of this Web site, then you know where to start looking. But here are some rather old-school suggestions: religious institutions, YMCA, library, youth athletic programs, the Scouts, shelters, NAACP, National Urban League, elected officials. My point? DO SOMETHING besides saying Oprah and Madonna have it covered. (source: BET)
23 October - Liz Smith on the adoption
It's hard for me to understand exactly what it is Madonna has done personally to all who are so violently critical of her recent plunge into Third World child-caring, money-giving and adoption. The press continues to turn her into a monster.
Here's my take: Madonna is sincere in her efforts but she just doesn't give a damn about how it all looks. Media relations are not her priority, and listening to astute P.R. advisers is not her long suit. She didn't care that people would say she was up to some contrived, copycat Angelina Jolie/Brad Pitt kind of thing. Given her disdain for newspapers, she might not even be aware of how her actions are often perceived. She doesn't do the things she does for publicity - that all just happens whenever she makes a move.
Madonna has a lot of power. And we have said over and over in this space that the ill-wishers who constantly pronounce her as all washed up are just wrong. Her last tour broke worldwide records and put her into a new cash category of top-grossing acts. This makes her more of a formidable target for those who want to tear down all success stories. (Somebody said to me, after the 1990 Blond Ambition tour "She won't be doing this in 10 years." Well, it's 2006 and she's still going strong.)
Now personally I think Madonna would have been better off attempting to adopt a parentless child, not a 1-year-old with a living (and probably soon to be demanding) father. And she'd have been far better off never bringing up the word "kabala" in connection with any of her announced good works for children left without families because of AIDS. I'm not much for charity with any proselytizing religion mixed in on top of it.
A better P.R. question for a positive outcome regarding giving away money and adopting children in the Third World might be to ask: Where did Jolie go right and where did Madonna go wrong? I think both of these phenomenal women are good-hearted and eager to do good deeds in a naughty world. Perhaps the answer is to take a leaf from the book of the amazing Bono before one jets off to Malawi or wherever. He knows how to do good deeds, make friends and influence people! The Bible says, never let your right hand know what your left hand is doing, so perhaps it doesn't really matter so long as these big stars have sincere intentions. How much money are you giving away to help children?
P.S. And lest we forget, the "trend" for adopting Third World babies seemed to have begun with the remarkable Mia Farrow, who took nine or 10 children, some with disabilities.
No big fuss was made over Mia's adoption techniques. But then again, Mia is ... small-bosomed. She has never worn a vial of blood around her neck, broken Jennifer Aniston's heart, written a sex book, hung herself on a cross, or, well, you get the picture. Mia had plenty of controversy in her time, but her soft, wistful manner always made it seem the scandal was being thrust upon her. (source: Baltimore Sun)
23 October - Book signing cancelled
It seems the Barnes & Noble book signing, set for November 1st has been cancelled. Madonna will still sign copies of The English Roses - Too Good To Be True for selected fans, through a lottery. (thanx to Madonnaundergound.nl)
23 October - Jump chart news
We are two weeks away from the commercial release of Jump, so lets's look at how it is doing on the airplay charts. While it rests at #10 on this week's Billboard Hot Dance / Club Play chart (it rockets to #3 on next week's already leaked chart), unfortunately US radio still doesn't embrace Madonna, Jump didn't even match the audience impressions of Sorry yet, it's just below 5 million. Across the pond, however the single jumps a staggering 41 places on the UK airplay chart, right up to #5! It is a huge achievement for a 4th single, let's hope it can get a healthy top 10 peak on the singles chart in November.
23 October - Madonna set for Oprah over adoption
Madonna will appear on Oprah Winfrey's US chat show this week to defend her controversial adoption of David Banda.
The singer will answer the latest claims by the 13-month-old boy's biological father, who now says he never intended to give up his son "for good".
Yohane Banda said he only ever meant for the pop superstar to raise and educate his child before bringing him back to Malawi.
Madonna will talk about her decision to adopt David - and whether or not she intends to keep him in touch with his African heritage - on Oprah this Wednesday.
A spokesman for the show said: "You've read the headlines, heard the rumours and seen the photos. Now, for the first time, Madonna speaks out with her side of the story on the adoption controversy."
It is not known if the 48-year-old intends to fly David to the US with her.
He is believed to have been issued with a US visa shortly before he left Malawi for a new life in London with the star and her film director husband Guy Ritchie.
Controversy over the adoption is also raging in the US.
One poster on the Oprah website writes: "Why are these celebrities allowed to adopt children in record time while us 'regular' folks go through years of hell?"
Dates with other US talk shows are set for coming days but Oprah will be her first stop. (source: Yahoo)
22 October - Father says had no idea Madonna adopting son
The father of the Malawian boy Madonna plans to adopt added a fresh twist to the saga, saying he never intended his son to be adopted by the pop diva, but only for her to raise the child on his behalf.
In an interview with Reuters Television in his home village of Lipunga on Saturday, Yohane Banda said Madonna asked that she be able to raise his one-year-old son on his behalf, rather than that the child should become her own.
Banda's statement is a major shift from his earlier remarks last week when he railed against human rights groups that have gone to court to stop Madonna from adopting his son David.
"Had they told us that Madonna wanted to adopt my son and make him her own son, we would not have agreed to that," Banda said in his local language of Chichewa.
"It would have been better for him to continue staying at the orphanage because I see no reason why my child should be given away forever when I can feed him," he said, speaking at his village of Lipunga near the Zambia border late on Saturday.
Madonna, 48, has angered rights groups with her plan to adopt young David Banda, who left his native country on Tuesday last week for the entertainer's home in London after she was granted temporary adoption rights by Malawi authorities.
The High Court in Lilongwe will on Friday start hearing the case lodged by the Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC), an alliance of 67 human rights groups, which argues current Malawi laws forbid international adoption, even by celebrities.
Banda told Reuters he signed papers he could not understand, but government officials assured him that the agreement was similar to what he had with the orphanage -- to nurture and educate the boy but not take him away for good.
"I cannot read and write so I relied on what the (government) officials told me that the papers said Madonna would look after the child the way the orphanage planned to educate him and then he comes back to me," Banda said.
Asked if he had any copies of the agreements he signed with Madonna, Banda said: "I am still waiting to get my copies."
He said the copies were still in the hands of the government officials who mediated the agreement. Banda said he would wait to see them before deciding what action to take after consultations with his mother and other family members.
Neither government officials nor Madonna's spokeswoman in London were immediately available for comment.
Banda said he gave the boy to the orphanage mainly for medical care and breast-feeding after the boy's mother died of malaria days after giving birth to him.
"We sent this child to an orphanage because at one month we could not look after him, we did not have a health center nearby and the orphanage was the ideal place for him," he said.
The American singer, who is married to British film director Guy Ritchie, hopes to make David a brother to her 10-year-old daughter Lourdes and son, Rocco, who is six. She has denied cutting corners to speed the adoption process.
David will stay abroad with Madonna for 18 months and be monitored by Malawi officials before final approval can be given for him to officially join her family.
Banda said people did not give him a chance to explain his position better because the media was only interested in knowing about David and Madonna.
"What we agreed with Madonna was that she looks after my child until he finishes school, becomes independent and comes back home to us," Banda said. (source: Reuters)
21 October - Madonna's upcoming tv appearances
Next week, Madonna is scheduled to have some appearances on US television, promoting The English Roses: Too Good To Be True, but with the recent events, she's expected to discuss the adoption too.
The schedule is the following:
Oct 25 - The Oprah Winfrey Show
Oct 30 - The Today Show
Oct 30 - The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
(Thanx to AllAboutMadonna)
20 October - Madonna agrees to drop crucifixion scene
Pop superstar Madonna has agreed to pull the mock crucifixion scene from her televised concert on NBC due to backlash from watchdog groups.
The Confessions concert is set to air the night before Thanksgiving, Nov. 22, the New York Daily News reported Friday.
In the scene, Madonna climbs onto a cross with a crown of thorns on while singing Live To Tell.
Catholic leaders around the world have consistently slammed the singer since the tour began, attacking her for using a cross as a concert prop.
Madonna, however, defended the scene and urged people to see it before condemning it.
"This is not a mocking of the church," she said in a statement. "Rather, it is my plea to the audience to encourage mankind to help one another and to see the world as a unified whole. I believe in my heart that if Jesus were alive today he would be doing the same thing."
NBC released a short statement that said, "The Live To Tell song has been revised for NBC's broadcast special."
"I know it was Madonna's desire to have the show air in its entirety, but it didn't work out that way," Madonna rep Liz Rosenberg told the Los Angeles Times. "She is not mocking the church." (source: United Press International)
~ The Live To Tell performance won't be entirely cut out, but while Madonna is on the cross, the cameras will cut to other images. The Don't Talk, Don't Speak interlude is believed to be cut out completely. So much for Freedom of Speech...
19 October - NBC cuts Live To Tell
NBC released its first official statement regarding the controversial Live To Tell performance:
NBC is editing out a controversial portion of a Madonna concert scheduled to air November 22nd. During the song Live To Tell, the artist performed while on a cross which upset several family and religious groups.
The network said, in a statement issued Thursday, that it is now taking that part of the concert out of the special.
As soon as details of the concert were released, NBC2 began receiving e-mails critical of the performance.
The special was recorded during Madonna's Confessions tour over the summer.
The American Family Association was one of the most vocal groups against the special. The group even threatened to have its members boycott companies that ran commercials during the show, but their ability to conduct a boycott that would harm advertisers has been questioned in the past.
In its statement, NBC didn't not say why the controversial song was being cut from the special.
If you'd like to express your opinion about the NBC's decision or the controversy, click here: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact the network directly here: http://www.nbc.com/Footer/Contact_Us/
~ This contradicts earlier reports from the AFA and Madonna's own statement. The Mad-Eyes team still hopes NBC will live to show the performance and religious groups will eventually know where beauty lives...
19 October - Dad slams critics of Madonna's adoption
The father of the 13-month-old boy Madonna wants to make part of her family criticized human rights groups who have challenged how the adoption is being handled and said his child should stay with the pop star.
Yohane Banda told The Associated Press on Wednesday he had entrusted his son to a Malawian orphanage after his wife died of childbirth complications, saying he was too poor to raise him alone. Now, he says, Madonna has given the boy a chance to have a family.
"Where were these people when David was struggling in the orphanage? These so-called human rights groups should leave my baby alone," he said. "As father I have OKed this, I have no problem. The village has no problem. Who are they to cause trouble? Please let them stop."
The Human Rights Consultative Committee, a coalition of 67 organizations, launched a legal challenge Tuesday, noting that Malawian regulations require prospective parents to stay with a child in Malawi for 18 to 24 months for assessment before the adoption is formalized. Madonna, though, was allowed to take the boy to England, where she has a home, and Malawian officials have said the family would be monitored there.
Children's advocates in Malawi have stressed they are not opposed to Madonna adopting David, but want to ensure rules meant to protect children aren't ignored.
Madonna and British film director husband Guy Ritchie spent eight days in Malawi and last Thursday signed adoption papers for David Banda. The boy's father countersigned the papers and High Court Justice Andrew Nyirenda issued the couple an "interim order" allowing them custody, a step toward adoption. The boy was flown to London on Monday.
Penston Kilembe, director of Child Welfare Services in Malawi's Ministry of Gender, Child Welfare and Community Services, told the AP the laws to which the civil rights groups referred in their challenge are "archaic." He said his government took into account the rights of children and families in allowing Madonna to pursue adoption.
"Madonna and her husband has broken no laws as far as government is concerned. They have followed all the legal steps," he said.
Madonna's attempt to adopt David has sparked a debate about how best to care for the millions of orphans in places like Malawi, a desperately poor country beset by drought and AIDS. Some children's advocates say children are best raised close to home, but AIDS has killed many of those in extended families who might once have cared for children in Malawi and elsewhere in Africa, leaving orphans in the hands of elderly grandparents, older siblings, strained orphanages — or on the streets.
The case has drawn international attention.
The Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema compared Madonna's taking custody of David to a "kidnapping" and called for clearer international rules, according to his spokesman, confirming accounts of his remarks in Italian media.
In a statement last week, the British development group ActionAid lauded Madonna for helping David and her wider projects for AIDS orphans in Malawi. It also called on rich Western nations to make good on promises to get AIDS drugs to patients in poor countries, and said individuals could make donations to help communities care for AIDS orphans, so that children could "grow up in their own culture, and if orphaned, with any remaining family they have left."
Madonna, rejecting the criticism of recent days, said in a statement Tuesday: "We have gone about the adoption procedure according to the law like anyone else who adopts a child. Reports to the contrary are totally inaccurate."
Banda's wife, Marita, 28, died a week after giving birth to David. The couple, who had been married for over 10 years, had two other sons who died in infancy from malaria.
"I was alone with a baby. I had no money. I couldn't buy him milk. That's why I surrendered him to the orphanage," said Banda.
Madonna found David at the Home of Hope Orphanage, which looks after more than 500 children who have lost one or both parents.
"Orphanage life is no good. We leave kids there because we can't look after them properly ourselves. Now my son has been taken by a kindhearted woman, these people want to bring him back to the orphanage," said Banda, standing in his small garden of onions and tomatoes.
He said Madonna and Ritchie promised him nothing apart from "love and care for my David." (source: AP)
19 October - In Britain, Madonna's either a saint or a sinner
I think I can safely assume I'm not the only one that is amazed by the negative criticism that Madonna has been receiving over her decision to adopt a Malawian boy. Where adoption by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt is labeled an ultimate act of charity and kindness, the same thing done by Madonna causes an international outrage. Is it such a crime to save a child from a life of poverty and sickness? Would Madonna take on the care of a third child just for reasons of publicity? Or could it possibly be that the British media have found another reason to send out their vultures to one of their favorite victims?
As a Madonna fan, I can't say, cause people would surely call me biased. So I invite you to read the following article of a professional analyst, which appeared in the Washington Post:
~ Bartie, webmaster Mad-Eyes
Now playing in London: two views of Madonna and Child.
One: Madonna is a spoiled and self-absorbed pop-bimbo who used her enormous wealth and fame to buy an African baby, sneaking him away from his country and family to become her latest celebrity accessory, like a new navel ring.
Two: Madonna is a decent and generous woman who has legally adopted an African orphan, opening her home to save one little boy from poverty while using her fame to draw international attention to the tragedy of millions of African orphans.
Versions of both opinions have been expressed relentlessly this week in Britain, where Madonna's adoption of a 13-month-old boy from Malawi in southern Africa has become a national spectacle. Little David Banda's arrival Monday at Heathrow Airport, his cherubic and slightly startled face peeking out from under a floppy gray hood in the arms of one of Madonna's assistants, was viewed here as a symbol of the singer's selfless charity or her cynical selfishness -- and rarely anything in between.
It has sparked a furious debate over power and privilege, the moral and legal issues involved with international adoption and the world's obsession with celebrity.
But mostly it's just about Madonna, who can't seem to roll out of bed in the morning without getting somebody mad.
"The British are jealous of people; there's a lot of green eyes out there," said Max Clifford, perhaps Britain's most influential public relations agent, who specializes in celebrity and scandal. "In the States you tend to enjoy other people's success and fame, but over here we hate it. The British public like to see the rich and famous attacked."
Mary Ann Sieghart, a columnist for the Times of London, said she and her husband have been debating the issue lately, a conversation that mirrors the national divide. She said her husband believes that for 20 years Madonna has been manipulating her public image with carefully choreographed publicity stunts, so "you've got to assume this is also a marketing ploy."
But Sieghart said that taking on the full-time responsibility of rearing a child is a lifetime commitment, not a cheap grab for headlines. "I don't see what more you can do to demonstrate your unselfishness," she said.
But she said Madonna tends to bring out the cynic in people: "Suppose it had been Kate Winslet. I don't think everybody would have gone berserk about it."
Madonna is often front-page news here, partly because this is her adopted home. The Material Girl and husband Guy Ritchie have a multimillion-dollar mansion in central London and a huge estate in the countryside southwest of the capital.
Madge, as they call her, goes to the gym and it makes the papers. Miles of newsprint are expended to dissect whether the 48-year-old singer doctored photos of her hands to make them look younger. It was hold-the-presses stuff last year when she fell off a horse and broke her collarbone, ribs and hand. And, of course, when Madonna sang while propped up on a giant crucifix during her most recent tour -- her latest transparent publicity stunt or brave artistic expression, you choose -- the British claimed the scandal as their very own, as English a story as the day last April when Keith Richards fell out of a tree in Fiji and cracked his chemical-weary skull like a coconut.
But nothing compares to the nasty little volcano that has erupted over Madonna's adoption of a little boy with big brown eyes, whose own mother died of complications from his birth.
It began, in public anyway, when Madonna flew to Malawi earlier this month to visit orphanages. The singer is reportedly raising several million dollars for her project, called Raising Malawi, which aims to provide food, education and shelter to Malawi's orphans. Malawi is one of the world's poorest nations and has high rates of HIV and AIDS. It has a population of about 12 million people, says Raising Malawi's Web site, and about 1 million of them are orphans.
In a statement issued last month to explain the crucifix scene in her tour, Madonna said, somewhat cryptically, that her "specific intent is to bring attention to the millions of children in Africa who are dying every day, and are living without care, without medicine and without hope."
The singer recently told Time magazine that her African project arises from her "better perspective" on life, which she attributed to Kabbalah, a form of Jewish mysticism to which she adheres. "One of the main precepts of Kabbalah is that we're put on this Earth to help people," she said.
The precise details of the adoption remain unclear, including whether Madonna was adopting David under U.K. or U.S. laws, which have different requirements.
Press reports here said Madonna picked David out of a photo array supplied by Malawian government officials, and then met him in the orphanage where he lived. She and Ritchie then met the boy's father, Yohane Banda, in a courtroom where a judge granted the adoption, pending an 18-month trial period during which the Malawian court will evaluate whether the boy is being properly cared for.
News reports said the judge exempted Madonna from a Malawian requirement that adoptive parents live in Malawi for at least a year before the adoption. British media have also reported that several members of the boy's extended family have complained that Madonna unfairly took advantage of Banda, a poor farmer.
Human rights officials in Malawi are also reportedly opposing the adoption on the grounds that proper procedures were not followed. Emmie Chanika, of the Civil Liberties Committee in Malawi, told the Daily Mail that the adoption was "tantamount to buying a baby" and showed there was "one rule for the rich and one for the poor."
For his part, the boy's father has been quoted as saying he was told Madonna was "a good Christian lady who does a lot of charity work." He has also been quoted as saying he put David in the orphanage because he couldn't handle the child after his wife died, and that he never intended to give him up permanently.
But Monday he said, according to the Daily Mail, that he was "ecstatic" about the adoption and blasted critics: "I appeal to the self-styled lovers of David to leave my baby alone. Where were they when David didn't have milk when his mother died?"
Madonna and Ritchie left Malawi last week and returned to London. On Monday, baby David was carried to a private plane by one of Madonna's assistants and a bodyguard. They flew to Johannesburg and then boarded a commercial flight to Heathrow, arriving Tuesday morning.
On Monday, Madonna released a statement (signed Madonna Ritchie) saying that she and Ritchie had followed the law, "like anyone else who adopts a child." She said that the process had been in the works for many months, but she had not made it public because she considered it a "private family matter." She said she decided to adopt after learning about the million orphans in Malawi.
"It was my wish to open up our home and help one child escape an extreme life of hardship, poverty, and in many cases death, as well as expand our family," said Madonna, who has two other children, Lourdes, 9, and Rocco, 6. "This was not a decision or commitment that my family or I take lightly."
Clifford, a public relations man not known as a softie, noted that unlike Madonna, Angelina Jolie received almost universally positive attention when she adopted children from Ethiopia and Cambodia. "There has been very little mention of all the money Madonna's given to orphanages to help hundreds of thousands of children," Clifford said. "She should be getting the same reaction as Angelina Jolie is getting. But don't expect it, because this is Britain."
18 October - An open letter from Madonna
My husband and I began the adoption process many months prior to our trip to Malawi. I did not wish to disclose my intentions to the world prior to the adoption happening as this is a private family matter. After learning that there were over one million orphans in Malawi, it was my wish to open up our home and help one child escape an extreme life of hardship, poverty and in many cases death, as well as expand out family.
Nevertheless, we have gone about the adoption procedure according to the law like anyone else who adopts a child. Reports to the contrary are totally inaccurate. The procedure includes an l8 month evaluation period after which time we hope to make this adoption permanent. This was not a decision or commitment that my family or I take lightly.
I am overwhelmed and inspired by my trip to Malawi and hope that it helps bring attention to how much more the world needs to do to help the children of Africa.
My heartfelt thanks for all the good wishes I have received and I hope the press will allow my family some room for us to experience the joy we feel to have David home.
Madonna Ritchie October 17, 2006 London, England
17 October - Madonna's adoption child arrives in Britain
A one-year-old Malawian boy Madonna is seeking to adopt arrived in Britain on Tuesday, witnesses said.
David Banda arrived at London's Heathrow airport at around 0530 GMT after flying via Johannesburg from Malawi overnight with one of the U.S. superstar's bodyguards and her personal assistant.
Malawian authorities waived local rules to grant Madonna and her British film director husband, Guy Ritchie, an interim adoption on Monday, prompting charges from human rights groups that the star used her status to bypass normal adoption rules.
Witnesses said they saw the 13-month-old boy, who was wearing a blue and orange baseball cap, being carried off the flight by the female assistant who quickly covered his head with a grey coat to shield him from waiting cameras.
Three armed police officers together with airport officials escorted the party through Heathrow's terminal one to the baggage hall. From there they were taken out of a back door to a silver Mercedes car which drove them away from the airport.
Banda, who is leaving behind his father Yohane, will swap his home in a dilapidated orphanage near the Zambian border for a life of luxury in London with one of the world's most famous couples and their two children. The boy's mother died after she gave birth to him, according to media reports.
Malawian law bans adoptions by non-residents, but officials are granting an exemption to Madonna.
"Madonna and her husband ... have been granted an interim adoption of baby David by the courts in Malawi. He was issued a passport and a visa was granted earlier today which allows him to travel outside of Malawi," Madonna's New York publicist said in a statement late on Monday.
"This interim adoption grants David's new parents temporary custody for 18 months."
Madonna, 48, is hoping to make David a brother to her nine-year-old daughter Lourdes, and her son, Rocco, who is five.
In addition to two homes in Britain, the singer also has a home in Beverly Hills in the United States. (source: Reuters)
Picture: An unidentified woman believed to be a nanny carries a baby as she makes her way through London's Heathrow airport with a police escort early Tuesday Oct. 17, 2006. Armed police officers escorted the African infant being adopted by Madonna off a British Airways flight Tuesday, whisking him past photographers hoping to get a glimpse of the baby making his way to the pop star's London home. (AP Photo)
16 October - Lotsa de Casha illustrations exhibit
Today, an exhibition of the original illustrations by Rui Paes that were used in Madonna's "Lotsa De Casha" book opened at the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, Praça de S. Carlos, Lissabon in Portugal. The exhibition will be open to the public from the 17th till the 26th of October 2006, between 13h and 19h.
16 October - Review of thuddingly literal Jump video
I know, I know, PopWatch has already discussed the perplexing lack of airplay for Madonna's post-Hung Up singles from her mighty fine Confessions on a Dance floor set. And yet, almost a year after the album's release, Madge is still looking for some chart love with a new video for the album's fourth single, Jump. (Click here to see it on YouTube.) I am sorry to report it's a thuddingly literal clip; I mean, can you imagine if the Take a Bow video featured shot after shot of hoodie-clad hipsters taking bows? Or if Frozen had followed dozens of urban dwellers refilling their ice-cube trays? Forget about low concept, we're talking no concept! For all the money spent capturing footage of impressive rooftop leaps, I wish Madonna had chosen instead to offer us a visually sumptuous slice of storytelling, something along the lines of Express Yourself or Bedtime Story.
That said, at least Madonna's hung up the leotard and the Valerie Cherish 'do for a striking blonde bob and a black leather number that reminds us all that her 48-year-old body still looks better than yours (and mine). And as far as Jump goes, it's got a killer beat, an actual melody (remember those?), and a nice little message about self-empowerment, complete with a tree metaphor. Which, of course, means there's probably not a radio station in America that'll play it. Sigh. Too bad girlfriend didn't swallow her pride and call in a Sacha Baron Cohen cameo, eh? (source: EW)
A small private jet carrying the one-year-old Malawian boy pop star Madonna hopes to adopt took off from the southern African country on Monday, a Reuters witness said.
The child, David Banda, was accompanied by one of Madonna's bodyguards on his flight out of his native Malawi and is believed to be en route to Johannesburg.
Human rights groups had planned to file an application on Monday asking the court to block the adoption. (Watch why activists fear this adoption will start the sale of people -- 1:30)
Malawian law prohibits adoptions by non-residents, but officials are granting an exemption or waiver to Madonna, who has confirmed her intention to adopt the child who lives in a dilapidated orphanage near the Zambian border.
Monday's events came less than a week after Malawi's High Court granted the entertainer and her filmmaker husband Guy Ritchie an interim order allowing them to take custody of the child.
The couple, who arrived in Malawi on October 4 on what was described as a humanitarian trip, left last Friday without the boy, who did not have a passport.
Eye of the Child, the leading child advocacy group in Malawi, said on Saturday the request for an injunction would be filed in a magistrate's court in the capital Lilongwe on behalf of about five dozen non-governmental organizations.
"They (government) haven't followed the law. What has happened is a shortcut," said Boniface Mandere, a spokesman for Eye of the Child, which is among the groups seeking the injunction.
Madonna spent most of her time in Malawi visiting orphanages and meeting charity workers as part of a campaign to publicise the plight of some 900,000 orphans in this nation of 13 million people, where AIDS has destroyed many families.
She has pledged to donate about $3 million to the campaign to help these children, many of whom are infected with HIV. The effort is being spearheaded by her Raising Malawi charity.
A final court decision on the adoption was expected within two years, after officials have a chance to monitor how the child relates to his new environment in the United States and Great Britain where Madonna and Ritchie have homes, according to a senior government official.
Madonna is the mother of two children. (source: CNN)
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