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Mandela to be buried Dec. 15 JOHANNESBURG (AP) - Flags were lowered to half-staff across South Africa and people in black townships, in upscale mostly white suburbs and in the country's vast rural grasslands commemorated Nelson Mandela with song, tears and prayers on Friday while pledging to adhere to the values of unity and democracy that he embodied. The anti-apartheid leader will be buried on Sunday, Dec. 15 at his rural home in Qunu, and a memorial service in a Johannesburg stadium will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 10, President Jacob Zuma announced. Mandela's body will lie in state at government buildings in Pretoria from Wednesday, Dec. 11, until the burial, and this coming Sunday, Dec. 8, will be a national day of prayer and reflection.
World mourns Mandela, struggles to find the words For most of the world, his name is synonymous with courage and perseverance. Leaders and citizens, athletes and artists remembered Nelson Mandela on Friday - though many struggled to find words big enough to describe the man who changed the face of South Africa and inspired a continent and a world: a colossus, a father figure, a giant baobab tree providing shade for an entire nation. Flags were lowered to half-staff in many countries, a portrait of Mandela adorned the outside of France's Foreign Ministry, mourners left flowers at a statue in London, and children in South Africa ran through the streets carrying his image.
AP PHOTOS: Mandela remembered around the world As news of Nelson Mandela's death spread, current and former heads of state and government, athletes and entertainers, and people around the world spoke out about the life and legacy of the former South African president. Some knew him personally while many only knew him from afar, but they shared how they drew inspiration from his strength and looked to live his message of continuing the struggle against social injustice. Here are some images of people around the world celebrating and remembering his life.
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US unemployment falls to 7 pct. on 203K jobs added WASHINGTON (AP) - A fourth straight month of solid hiring cut the U.S. unemployment rate in November to a five-year low of 7 percent. The surprisingly robust job gain suggested that the economy may have begun to accelerate. It also fueled speculation that the Federal Reserve will scale back its economic stimulus when it meets later this month.
Obama's fixer-upper website races to catch up WASHINGTON (AP) - It looks like President Barack Obama's fickle health insurance website is finally starting to put up some respectable sign-up numbers, but its job only seems to have gotten harder. Two months in and out of the repair shop have left significantly less time to fulfill the White House goal of enrolling 7 million people by the end of open enrollment on March 31.
`Ice Friday' bears down on Texas, much of Midwest DALLAS (AP) - As Texas residents prepared for what one hardware store manager called "Ice Friday," schools started canceling classes and thousands of shoppers jammed store aisles to buy milk, pet food and other supplies. Earlier this week, many in Texas were basking in spring-like temperatures hitting the 80s. But by Thursday, Texas was facing the same wintry blast that's hitting much of the U.S., bringing frigid temperatures, ice and snow.
Russia: Crashed pilot may have had fake license MOSCOW (AP) - Russian investigators said Friday that the pilot who sent a Boeing 737 into a near-vertical dive that killed all 50 people on board might have had a fake license. Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said that the investigators believe some pilots working for small regional Russian airlines aren't properly trained but have received fake licenses in centers certified by the aviation agency.
Students in Libya say slain teacher inspired them TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) - An American chemistry teacher shot to death while jogging in Benghazi was looking forward to his first Christmas in the United States with his wife and toddler son. Ronald Thomas Smith II shared his excitement with his students, and sent his wife and child home while he stayed in Libya a few more weeks to help the young people in his class complete their end-of-semester exams.
World Cup teams hoping for luck of the draw COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil (AP) - The eyes of soccer focused nervously Friday on the draw to determine where, when and, most important, who the 32 teams will play at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The ceremony is being televised live to more than 190 countries from the Atlantic beach resort of Costa do Sauipe, with a security lockdown for the 1,300 guests and 2,000 reporters.
Cargo bikes the new minivan for cycling families SEATTLE (AP) - One fisherman uses a bike to deliver hundreds of pounds of salmon to local markets. A mom who regularly shuttles her two kids around town once tried to haul a twin mattress home. And some companies are using the bikes to deliver beer kegs or pick up recycling. Cyclists are pushing the limits of what they can haul on cargo bikes - sturdy two-wheelers built to haul lots of stuff. The so-called SUV of bicycles are increasingly popular in pedal-friendly communities, from Washington state to Massachusetts.
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