Obama and Castro shake hands, Zuma humiliated at Mandela memorial
10 Dec 2013 | 3:35 pm
By Stella Mapenzauswa and Steve Holland JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama shook hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at a memorial for Nelson Mandela on Tuesday, a rare gesture between the leaders of two ideological opponents that reflected the anti-apartheid hero's spirit of reconciliation. But the peace and harmony did not stretch to South African President Jacob Zuma, whom the crowd at the rain-soaked Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg booed and jeered as he prepared to give his closing address. Mandela's death at the age of 95 has diverted attention from a slew of corruption scandals in Zuma's administration, while underscoring the gulf between South Africa's first black president, a giant of the 20th century, and its fourth. "But what Zuma speaks, he doesn't live.
Obama hails Mandela as "last great liberator"
10 Dec 2013 | 3:33 pm
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Amid cheers and song for the prisoner who became peacemaker, President Barack Obama energized tens of thousands of spectators and nearly 100 visiting heads of state Tuesday with a plea for the world to emulate Nelson Mandela, "the last great liberator of the 20th century."
France wants C.Africa elections in second half of 2014
10 Dec 2013 | 3:32 pm
France wants elections in the Central African Republic to be held "as quickly as possible," preferably by late 2014, its envoy to the United Nations said Tuesday. "If the elections could take place in the second half of 2014, in the fall of 2014, that could be positive," Ambassador Gerard Araud told reporters. Speaking at UN headquarters in New York, Araud referenced an early 2015 deadline to hold legislative and presidential elections in the troubled nation. French President Francois Hollande arrived in the Central African Republic's capital of Bangui late Tuesday amid ongoing efforts to disarm rogue rebels.
Obama-Castro handshake - a sign of Mandela-like reconciliation?
10 Dec 2013 | 3:31 pm
By Rosa-Tania Valdes HAVANA (Reuters) - For sure it's just what Nelson Mandela would have wanted, but does it amount to more than that? The historic handshake between U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuba's Raul Castro at a memorial for Mandela on Tuesday in Johannesburg was greeted on the streets of Cuba with surprise and hopes of improved relations. Reaction was more muted in Miami, where Cuban exiles have had a hard time accepting Mandela's respect for Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Castro's smile as Obama moved to shake his hand on the way to speak at the ceremony was seen by many Cubans as a signal of reconciliation, after more than a half-century of bitter ideological and political differences between the two countries whose shores are separated by only 90 miles.
Violence persists in Central African Republic as Hollande visits
10 Dec 2013 | 3:16 pm
By Emmanuel Braun and Paul-Marin Ngoupana BANGUI (Reuters) - President Francois Hollande flew into Central African Republic hours after two French soldiers were killed in fighting and praised his troops for tackling "horrendous violence" against women and children and helping avert a slide into civil war. Hollande ordered a 1,600-strong French force into its former colony last week with United Nations backing to disarm Muslim and Christian militias and halt fighting that was spilling over into killing of civilians. Crowds attacked a mosque, looted houses and torched cars in the capital, Bangui. Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres said 72 people had been treated, mainly with gunshot wounds, in two Bangui hospitals.
Western Saharans protest EU-Morocco fishing accord
10 Dec 2013 | 3:13 pm
LAAYOUNE, Western Sahara (AP) — Police clashed with stone-throwing demonstrators in a city of Western Sahara on Tuesday during a protest against a new fishing accord that gives EU boats access to rich coastal waters.
Mandela memorial brings together enemies, rivals
10 Dec 2013 | 3:12 pm
A thread of reconciliation ran through Tuesday's memorial service for peace icon Nelson Mandela, which was marked by a historic handshake between arch foes America and Cuba. Several speakers at the memorial service, which gathered tens of thousands of people at Soweto's Soccer City stadium despite persistent rain, referred to Mandela's ability to unite people from opposing camps, even in death. "He has done it again," said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, gesturing around the Soccer City stadium where rivals both local and international had gathered to honour the memory of South Africa's first black president. US President Barack Obama shook hands with Raul Castro, leader of long-time Cold War foe Cuba, before mounting the stage to give his speech.
Disillusioned S.Africans boo Zuma at Mandela memorial
10 Dec 2013 | 3:07 pm
Soweto (South Africa) (AFP) - South Africans who jeered their president at freedom icon Nelson Mandela's memorial service spoke of their disillusion at the failure of 20 years of democracy to yield a better life for all. Jacob Zuma was booed repeatedly by some among the tens of thousands of people gathered to bid a final farewell to the man whose shoes he has sometimes battled to fill. "They (South Africans) have gained freedom but have not had the gains of freedom. Zuma hasn't delivered on his promises," unemployed Ezekiel, 37, said as he exited Soweto's Soccer City stadium, which hosted the mass homage for Mandela.
Obama's eulogy for Mandela echoes his own agenda
10 Dec 2013 | 3:02 pm
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — President Barack Obama's eulogy was for Nelson Mandela, but it laid out for a global audience the work that Obama himself would like to be remembered for: an unending fight against injustice and inequality. Obama acknowledged he sometimes wonders whether he is doing enough to live up to Mandela's historic legacy.
Mandela memorial -- the second-hand view
10 Dec 2013 | 2:29 pm
As tens of thousands of South Africans gave their beloved Nelson Mandela a joyful send-off in Soweto on Tuesday, millions more watched the memorial live at home, in bars and restaurants or on giant screens. "I'm just enjoying the world coming together for the sake of Mandela," said Zama Shibe, 29, one of four people watching the live broadcast in a restaurant and bar in Gugulethu township outside Cape Town. Proud that Mandela "belongs to us", Tony Balanco, 51, said it was impressive that Mandela had retained his iconic status despite having been out of office for so long. Close to 100 world leaders, including US President Barack Obama, had travelled to South Africa to participate in Tuesday's memorial ceremony in Soweto's World Cup stadium.
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