Flowers and tributes are left on the Nelson Mandela statue on Parliament Square in London December 6, 2013. South African anti-apartheid hero Mandela died peacefully at home at the age of 95 on Thursday after months fighting a lung infection, plunging his nation and the world into mourning for a man revered as a moral giant. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett (BRITAIN - Tags: SOCIETY POLITICS OBITUARY)
By Peroshni Govender and Pascal Fletcher JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africans woke on Friday to a future without Nelson Mandela, and some said they feared the anti-apartheid hero's death could leave their country vulnerable again to racial and social tensions that he did so much to pacify. As dawn broke and commuters headed to work in the capital, Pretoria, the commercial hub, Johannesburg, and Cape Town in the south, many were still in shock at the passing of a man who was a global symbol of reconciliation and peaceful co-existence. South Africans heard President Jacob Zuma tell them late on Thursday that the former president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate passed away peacefully at his Johannesburg home in the company of his family after a long illness. Despite reassurances from leaders and public figures that Mandela's passing, while sorrowful, would not halt South Africa's advance away from its bitter apartheid past, some still expressed a sense of unease about the physical absence of a man famed as a peacemaker.
There may come a day when President Barack Obama has to say whether he’d rather hand the keys to the White House to Vice President Joe Biden or former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. That day is not today.
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.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing a standoff in the Senate, the top Democrats and Republicans on Congress' military panels are working on a backup plan to ensure that they complete a far-reaching defense policy bill before year's end.
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.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Detectives arrested a teenager Thursday accused of stealing some wreckage from the Porsche that "Fast & Furious" star Paul Walker was in when he died in a crash, and a second suspect was planning to turn himself in, authorities said.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A prosecutor's decision to not bring charges against Florida State quarterback and Heisman Trophy favorite Jameis Winston has removed a cloud from over the team, which is focused and prepared to face Duke in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game, Coach Jimbo Fisher said.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida State quarterback and Heisman hopeful Jameis Winston will not face any charges in a sexual assault case, mostly because there were too many gaps in his accuser's story, a prosecutor said Thursday.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Invoking the chance to remake the world, Vice President Joe Biden pledged Friday that the U.S. will play a leading role in creating a new century of prosperity and security in Asia. But he warned that without trust and common ground-rules, that collective goal could be threatened by mounting tensions on the continent.
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — As the news of Nelson Mandela's death spread across South Africa, residents of the black township of Soweto gathered in the streets near the house where he once lived, singing and dancing to mourn his death and celebrate his colossal life.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House said Thursday that President Barack Obama briefly lived with an uncle who faced deportation from the United States, correcting its previous statements that the president had never met Onyango Obama.
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.
Nelson Mandela at the law office he opened with his colleague, Oliver Tambo in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1952. This was the first black legal practice in Johannesburg. Both men were founding members of the African National Congress Youth League.
U.S. House of Representative Speaker John Boehner said on Thursday he wants his fellow Republicans to be more "sensitive" as they seek to appeal to women voters in next year's congressional elections. "I try to get them to be a little bit more sensitive," Boehner said at his weekly news conference, when asked what advice he was giving his fellow Republicans as they campaign against Democratic women candidates, and try to attract female voters. There are 81 women members of the House, of whom 62 are Democrats, compared with 19 Republicans. In the Senate, 16 of the 20 women are Democrats and four are Republicans.
A group of American and South African students, aged from 11 to 19, met with Nelson Mandela at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg, on June 2, 2009. This was part of a series of activities ahead of Mandela Day on 18 July, 2008.
A French military operation in the Central African Republic has started with French soldiers patrolling in the capital Bangui, Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Friday. "The operation has started," Le Drian told Radio France Internationale, saying patrols of Bangui had already begun. France ordered more troops into its former colony on Thursday, hours after a sectarian bloodbath left more than 120 people dead in Bangui. Shortly after the UN Security Council issued a green light for the military intervention, French President Francois Hollande ordered an additional 600 troops to the African country, doubling the force it already had in and around the capital.
Opposition activists again accused President Bashar al-Assad's forces of using poison gas in Syria's civil war on Thursday, and said victims had been discovered with swollen limbs and foaming at the mouth. The activists told Reuters two shells loaded with gas hit a rebel-held area in the town of Nabak, 68 km (40 miles) northeast of Damascus, on a major highway in the Qalamoun region. Separately, the Syrian Revolution Coordinators Union also accused Assad's forces of using poison gas. "We have documented nine casualties from poison gas used by the regime in neighborhoods of Nabak," it said on its Facebook page.
Areas further east are bracing for the frigid blast as the storm creeps into the Southern plains, the Tennessee Valley and the Northeast later this week. Yahoo News is collecting anecdotes from residents in the storm’s path. Below are lightly edited excerpts from stories they shared with us this week.
By Emily Flitter and Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. prosecutors have charged 49 current and former Russian diplomats and their family members with participating in a scheme to get health benefits intended for the poor by lying about their income. The charges come against a backdrop of tense exchanges between Russia and the United States over law enforcement actions in both countries. Russia's deputy foreign minister expressed disappointment Thursday that the U.S. had not tried to discuss the charges with Russia through diplomatic channels, but a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department said she did not expect the issue to harm relations between the two countries. Meanwhile, according to the charges, the family members had their housing costs paid for by the Russian government and spent "tens of thousands of dollars" on vacations, jewelry and luxury goods from stores like Swarovski and Jimmy Choo.
By Chris Francescani NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bill Bratton, a veteran police chief who has led departments across the country, was named on Thursday as New York City's next police commissioner, taking over a force credited with a sharp drop in violent crime but criticized for its tactics. Bratton, 66, who was police commissioner under New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and has run police departments in Los Angeles and Boston, will return to the NYPD on January 1, taking over from Ray Kelly.
DENVER (AP) — The jet stream hunkered to the south Wednesday, promising to bring nearly a week of temperatures that could dip to minus 20 or worse in the northern midsection of the country, and forcing much of the rest of the nation to deal with unexpectedly cool temperatures.