South Africans pay tribute to Mandela JOHANNESBURG (AP) - People across South Africa are commemorating Nelson Mandela with song, tears and prayers as the government prepares funeral ceremonies that will draw leaders and other dignitaries from around the globe. In a church service Friday, retired archbishop Desmond Tutu said the anti-apartheid leader who became South Africa's first black president would want South Africans themselves to be his "memorial" by adhering to the values of unity and democracy that he embodied.
Mandela, anti-apartheid icon, mourned world over In nearly seven decades spent fighting for freedom and equality, Nelson Mandela inspired and challenged the world to stand up for others. As word of Mandela's death spread, current and former presidents, athletes and entertainers, and people around the world spoke about the life and legacy of the former South African leader. From Harlem to Hollywood, Paris to Beijing, people hailed Mandela's indomitable courage in the face of adversity as an inspiration for all. In a testament to his universal appeal, political leaders of various stripes joined critics and activists in paying tribute to Mandela as a heroic force for peace and reconciliation.
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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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.
Dems, GOP craft backup for stalled defense bill 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. Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and the panel's top Democrat, Rep. Adam Smith of Washington state, expressed optimism on Thursday that they could agree with their Senate counterparts on a pared-back bill that would cover a pay raise for troops, buy new ships and aircraft and address the epidemic of sexual assault in the military.
20 years after the Long Island Rail Road massacre MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) - Before Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora and Newtown, there was the Long Island Rail Road. On Dec. 7, 1993, a gunman opened fire on a train car filled with commuters leaving New York City. By the time passengers tackled Colin Ferguson, his fusillade had left six people dead and 19 wounded.
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.
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.
Teen arrested in theft of part from Walker crash 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. The theft occurred as the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT was being towed from the accident scene Saturday night, Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said.