Bono To Be Awarded Liberty Medal

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(AP) PHILADELPHIA Bono, the international rock star who has helped bring worldwide attention to medical and economic problems in Africa, will receive this year’s Liberty Medal.

The annual award given by the National Constitution Center honors an individual or organization that has "demonstrated leadership and vision in the pursuit of liberty of conscience or freedom from oppression, ignorance, or deprivation."

Bono and the organization he co-founded, Debt AIDS Trade Africa, will receive the medal at a ceremony in September, officials announced Thursday.

The Irish rocker, who fronts the band U2, co-founded DATA in 2002 to work with religious groups on global disease and hunger issues. In 2005, U2 was a headliner in the Live 8 concerts, which were held to raise awareness about African poverty and pressure world leaders to cancel debt for the poorest African nations.

The medal will be the second recent honor in Philadelphia for Bono, whose real name is Paul Hewson. He also received an honorary degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2004 and addressed the graduating class.

Last year, former presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton won the medal for putting politics aside to help raise more than $1 billion for disaster relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 tsunami in southeast Asia.

The medal was first awarded in 1989, and six recipients have subsequently won the Nobel Peace Prize. (© 2007 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)