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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 April, 2004, 08:46 GMT 09:46 UK
Michael Jackson 'may tour Africa'
Michael Jackson
Jackson said few words during the press conference
Singer Michael Jackson may stage a concert tour of Africa to support the Aids fight if he gets permission from the judge in his child abuse trial.

A US Congress member revealed the plan at a press conference in Washington DC where Jackson appeared but said little.

Sheila Jackson Lee said the tour could be held in May or June after invites from ambassadors.

Jackson will need a judge's permission to travel outside the US after handing over his passport following his arrest.

He is charged with seven counts of child molestation and two counts of administering intoxicating liquor to a child with the intent of committing a crime.

The star, who is currently out on $3m (1.6m) bail, denies all the charges. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Friday.

Smiled

When details of his possible tour were announced, there was mild applause at the press conference. "That wasn't loud enough," said Jackson - his only words during the event.

Another Congress member, Bobby Rush, said Jackson "is going to lead the global effort" against Aids as the singer bowed his head and smiled.

Wearing a red jacket with military-style stripes, he was met by loud screams, applause and chants of "Michael, Michael" from waiting fans.

He was later due to visit patients at Walter Reed Hospital where many soldiers wounded in Iraq are being treated.

On Thursday, an association of spouses of African ambassadors will present him with a humanitarian award for his contributions to fighting Aids in the continent.


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