Errol Brown, an early black British star whose funky numbers with Hot Chocolate such as "You Sexy Thing" became sensations in the disco era, died Wednesday. Brown, who was born in Jamaica but spent most of his life in Britain where he was given a knighthood for his cultural contributions, died at his home in The Bahamas from liver cancer, his manager Phil Dale. The fledging band recorded a reggae rendition of "Give Peace a Chance," but the producer objected and said the band needed permission from top singer-songwriter John Lennon. Hot Chocolate became a rare black British act to achieve commercial success in the 1970s, and the band's danceable numbers enjoyed a spike in popularity as disco came into vogue.
Pope Francis on Wednesday formally gave his blessing to the canonisation of Junipero Serra, an 18th-century missionary credited with evangelising California at a high price for native Americans. John-Paul subsequently made a 1992 statement in which he formally asked for the forgiveness of native Americans for crimes committed during California's colonisation by European Christians.
Europe faces an obesity crisis of "enormous proportions" as unhealthy diets and physical inactivity inflate waistlines and health costs, the World Health Organization claimed Wednesday. Nearly all adults in Ireland -- one of Europe's fattest nations -- will be overweight by 2030, the European Congress on Obesity in Prague was told. "Even in countries with a traditionally lower prevalence of obesity such as Sweden, obesity rates are predicted to rise sharply," said a statement issued by congress organisers. The ballooning burden of overweight and obesity, a preventable condition mainly caused by lifestyle factors, is a growing cause of disease and disability around the world.