South Africa's Tutu celebrates 80th with new book

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CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu is celebrating his 80th birthday with a new book of photographs, tributes and biography.

Thursday’s release of “Tutu: The Authorized Portrait,” comes a day before the anti-apartheid hero’s birthday.

Earlier this week, Tutu called the ANC-led government worse than the apartheid regime for not issuing a visa to allow the Dalai Lama to join the celebrations.

South Africa denies it was under pressure from China, its biggest trade partner. China accuses the Dalai Lama of seeking Tibet’s secession from China; he says he wants only more autonomy.

In a forward to the new Tutu book, the Dalai Lama lauds Tutu, often described as South Africa’s conscience, for supporting Tibetans “even when it meant criticizing his own government.”

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.