Bono Appeals To U.S. Congress; "Million Dollar" Movie To Open Berlin Festival

U2 frontman Bono joined a number of politicians and religious leaders Thursday in urging the U.S. Congress to approve $1 billion to wipe out the debt owed to the United States by impoverished countries.

According to the news organization Reuters, Bono told Congress that the debt burden of the world's poorest countries was "economic slavery and bondage," adding that "It is immoral to have a farmer in Chad service debts to the richest countries in the world rather than feed his starving children."

Among those accompanying Bono were Representative Spencer Bachus, a Republican from Alabama; Representative John LaFalce, a Democrat from New York; Bishop Michael Glynn, the Catholic auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese for military services; and Reverend Francis Campbell Gray, the assistant Episcopal bishop of Virginia.

Bono has become a familiar face for the debt-reduction cause; along with several salvos in political arenas, the performer put in an appearance at last

month's NetAid concert at Giants Stadium in New Jersey, where he performed both on his own, and with Wyclef Jean. Among NetAid's many goals is the reduction of global debt (see "Wyclef, Bono, Mary J. Blige, Jewel, More Hit Stage For NetAid").

While the singer continues to negotiate in the billions with politicians, the film "Million Dollar Hotel," based on a story by Bono, will make its world premiere when it opens the 50th anniversary Berlin International Film Festival on February 9, according to the "Hollywood Reporter."

The movie is directed by Wim Wenders (a frequent U2 collaborator) and stars Mel Gibson and Milla Jovovich. U2 is expected to contribute music to the film (see "Bono's "Million Dollar Hotel" Film To Be Made At Last").