Nelson Mandela, South Africa's peacemaker, dies JOHANNESBURG (AP) - Nelson Mandela was a master of forgiveness. South Africa's first black president spent nearly one-third of his life as a prisoner of apartheid, the system of white racist rule that he described as evil, yet he sought to win over its defeated guardians in a relatively peaceful transition of power that inspired the world. As head of state, the ex-boxer, lawyer and inmate lunched with the prosecutor who argued successfully for his incarceration, sang the apartheid-era Afrikaans anthem at his inauguration and traveled hundreds of miles to have tea with the widow of Hendrik Verwoerd, the prime minister at the time he was sent to prison who was also the architect of white rule.
Mandela, anti-apartheid icon, mourned world over The death of Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president who fought apartheid both as a prisoner of that system of white rule and later as a political leader, drew an outpouring of messages from around the globe. Here is some of the reaction: Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who fought for human rights advances around the globe during his administration, said he and wife Rosalyn were saddened. Carter had worked closely with the former South African president as part of a group of world leaders formed by Mandela in 2007.
South Africans mourn, celebrate Mandela JOHANNESBURG (AP) - South Africans are reacting to the death of Nelson Mandela with deep sadness at the loss of a man considered by many to be the father of the nation. Mourners also say it is a time to celebrate the achievements of the iconic former South African president and anti-apartheid leader.
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Gracious and tough, Mandela was fun to cover NEW YORK (AP) - The thing about Nelson Mandela was that he made the rest of us want to be almost as noble as he. Imprisoned for 27 years, the anti-apartheid leader who had declared at his 1964 trial that he was willing to die for his beliefs in human dignity and racial equality emerged from that experience not filled with hatred, but courtly, magnanimous, humble and good-humored.
AP PHOTOS: Art honoring Mandela around the world Colorful murals of Nelson Mandela by an Indian artist adorn walls in the cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town. A snow-dusted bronze likeness stands with arms outstretched in London's Parliament Square. South Africa's first black president became one of the world's most beloved statesmen when he emerged from 27 years in prison to negotiate an end to white minority rule in South Africa. His generosity of spirit made him a symbol of sacrifice and reconciliation in his country and beyond.
Clashes sweep Central Africa Republic capital BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) - Wielding rifles and machetes, armed Christian fighters who support the Central African Republic's exiled president assaulted the capital at dawn on Thursday, leaving nearly 100 people dead. Shrouded bodies were lined up in a mosque as dozens of wounded lay on blood-stained hospital floors. The ambush on Muslim neighborhoods of Bangui came as the United Nations voted to send a contingent of French troops to try to stabilize the country, and French President Francois Hollande announced plans to double the force. The daylong gunbattle touched even the most protected parts of the capital, including the residence of the prime minister, underscoring the volatile mix of arms and ideology facing the arriving French force.
Jobs report to help show if US economy is for real WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. economy is growing faster, corporate profits are rising and companies are laying off the fewest workers in six years. The latest government reports point to economic momentum in the midst of the critical holiday shopping season.
Budget deal? Big obstacles, New Year's deadline WASHINGTON (AP) - With hopes of a "grand bargain" long gone, congressional negotiators now are seeking a more modest deal before year-end to ease the automatic spending cuts that are squeezing both the Pentagon and domestic federal programs. But the going is getting rougher. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she would withhold support from any compromise to ease across-the-board cuts until Republicans also agree to renew expiring unemployment benefits for America's long-term jobless, adding a major complication.
Oil crews endure even when wind chill drops to -40 BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - With the wind chill falling to almost minus 40, Steve Hendershot's mind was elsewhere Thursday as he and his crew of roustabouts worked an oil rig in North Dakota's booming oil patch. On palm trees and beaches, in fact.
No charges for Heisman hopeful Jameis Winston TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida State quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Jameis Winston will not be charged with sexually assaulting a woman who accused him of raping her about a year ago, a prosecutor said Thursday. State Attorney Willie Meggs made the announcement at a news conference, saying the woman's memory lapses of the events last December were problematic and there was not enough evidence to win a conviction. The woman told police she had been drinking at a bar with friends before the alleged assault took place at an off-campus apartment.