Friend: Mandela not on life support in final hours JOHANNESBURG (AP) - Nelson Mandela wasn't on life support and had many family members and doctors close by in his final hours, a family friend who was at his bedside said Sunday. Bantu Holomisa told The Associated Press that he had been called to Mandela's home on Thursday by the family so he could visit the anti-apartheid icon before he died.
South Africans hold day of prayer for Mandela JOHANNESBURG (AP) - South Africans of all races flocked to houses of worship Sunday for a national day of prayer and reflection to honor Nelson Mandela as a large contingent of foreign dignitaries, including royalty, begin arriving in the country to pay their final respects to the liberation struggle icon. The government said Sunday that 53 heads of state and government as well as a broad range of eminent persons had confirmed that they would be attending a national memorial service and state funeral for the country's first black and democratically-elected president. The memorial service is expected to be one of the biggest in modern times.
Madiba, father, troublemaker - Mandela's names JOHANNESBURG (AP) - South Africans of all races often referred to Nelson Mandela as simply "Madiba" or "Tata," terms of endearment that promoted a sense of familiarity for a towering figure who was widely revered. The use of the more informal names reflected the personality of a man who could break the bounds of formality by cracking a joke, stopping a news conference to greet a child or strolling over to his neighbors for a "pop-in" visit.
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Ukraine sees largest anti-govt protest since 2004 KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians rallied Sunday in Kiev, denouncing President Viktor Yanukovych's decision to turn away from Europe and move toward Russia. It was the country's biggest protest since its pro-democracy Orange Revolution in 2004. The sea of angry people who flooded across the Ukrainian capital raised the stakes in a tense political standoff gripping this ex-Soviet republic.
Sleet, ice, deep freeze hit large swath of US RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Rain, snow, sleet and freezing rain began to glaze most of the Mid-Atlantic on Sunday, with officials urging people to stay off the roads, as North Texas and other states shook off the early remnants of the powerful storm. Virginia, parts of West Virginia and the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area braced for a winter's smorgasbord as utility crews were at the ready. The treacherous conditions were to continue most of Sunday.
UN: Afghanistan slow to enforce law on women KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - The United Nations complained Sunday that Afghan authorities have been slow in enforcing a law protecting women against forced marriages, domestic violence and rape. A report issued by the U.N. mission in Afghanistan found that although Afghan authorities registered more reports of violence against women under the four-year-old law, prosecutions and convictions remained low.
Kim's uncle removed from NKorean state documentary SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Images of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's uncle have been removed from an official state TV documentary, a disappearing act that appears to lend credence to Seoul's claim that Pyongyang's second most powerful official may have been purged by his nephew. South Korea's spy agency told lawmakers last week that it believes Jang Song Thaek was likely sacked after the executions last month of two close associates, allegedly over corruption. The National Intelligence Service hasn't explained how it obtained the information, and skepticism followed the claim because of past intelligence failures in Seoul regarding the inner workings of the North's secretive government. But some worry that, if true, the purge of such a powerful figure could lead to dangerous instability.
AP reporter's quest to find bodies ends in desert TIMBUKTU, Mali (AP) - Across the desert, the wind combs the sand into smooth ripples that roll out evenly for miles. So when a hole is dug, you see it immediately. The sand looks agitated. Its pattern is disturbed. That's how you know where the bodies are buried.
Seizure of nuns stokes Syrian Christian fears DAMASCUS (AP) - Syrian Christians offered prayers Sunday for a group of more than a dozen nuns and orphanage workers held by rebels for nearly a week, fueling fears in the minority community that they are being targeted by extremists among the fighters seeking to oust President Bashar Assad. The seizure of the 12 Greek Orthodox nuns and at least three other women is the latest attack to spark panic among Syria's Christians over the strength of al-Qaida-linked militants and other Islamic radicals in the nearly 3-year-old revolt against Assad's government. A priest and two bishops previously kidnapped by rebels remain missing, and extremists are accused of vandalizing churches in areas they have captured.
Survivors recall Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) - For the first time since the war, Alvis Taylor returned to Pearl Harbor and recalled the surprise Japanese air attack that plunged America into World War II. He was serving as an Army medic when the Dec. 7, 1941 attack began. His superiors, who were doctors, rushed to hospitals to care for the wounded. He went to Pearl Harbor, about 18 miles south of his Army post at Schofield Barracks, with dozens of ambulances.