United in prayer, South Africans give thanks for the life of Nelson Mandela CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) - In death, Nelson Mandela unified South Africans of all races and backgrounds Sunday on a day of prayer for the global statesman - from a vaulted cathedral with hymns and incense to a rural, hilltop church with goat-skin drums and barefoot dancing. Mandela was remembered in old bedrocks of resistance to white domination as well as former bastions of loyalty to apartheid.
Ukraine sees largest anti-govt protest since 2004 Orange Revolution; Lenin statue toppled KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - Hundreds of thousands of protesters poured into the streets of Ukraine's capital on Sunday, toppling a statue of former Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin and blockading key government buildings in an escalating standoff with the president over the future of the country. The biggest demonstration in the former Soviet republic since Ukraine's pro-democracy Orange Revolution in 2004 led the government to fire back. It announced an investigation of opposition leaders for an alleged attempt to seize power and warned the demonstrators they could face criminal charges.
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Slow-moving winter storm glazes Mid-Atlantic region with sleet, ice; dumps snow in Penn., NJ RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A winter storm delivered a sloppy smorgasbord of snow, freezing rain and sleet to the southern Mid-Atlantic region and other states Sunday, with parts of Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey seeing more than 3 inches of accumulation, making driving dangerous for millions of residents nationwide. The slow-moving storm prompted officials in Virginia, parts of Maryland and other states to urge residents to stay off the roads and forced scattered airport delays. In Wisconsin, there were several vehicle pileups due to snow and dangerous road conditions, with one fatal interstate rollover.
UN says Afghanistan slow in enforcing 4-year-old law protecting 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.
After school closures, Chicago officials call transition smooth; some kids, teachers disagree CHICAGO (AP) - Devion Allen peers wistfully through a door window at the school he used to attend. Those who live outside his gritty, violence-plagued neighborhood might dismiss this towering brick building as just another failing urban school. But to the eighth grader, the school across the street from his mom's subsidized apartment was a haven - "like a family," he says. To the administrators of Chicago Public Schools, though, the neighborhood school was underutilized and underperforming - one of 47 public schools that closed in the city in June, most of them in high-poverty neighborhoods with mostly minority populations. Two more will be phased out by the end of the school year.
Kim's powerful uncle vanishes from North Korean documentary, adding to speculation of sacking 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.
At a Damascus church, Syrian Christians pray for return of nuns held by rebels 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.
After NYC train crash, senators press to require cameras to watch train engineers and tracks NEW YORK (AP) - A week after four people died in a New York commuter train derailment, two federal lawmakers proposed Sunday that trains nationwide be outfitted with cameras pointed at engineers and at the tracks. "I know you're going to hear from Metro-North that there are costs, but the costs of these audio and visual recorders is minuscule, in fact negligible, compared to the hundreds of millions of dollars that this tragic incident will cost Metro-North in the end," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut who joined New York Sen. Charles Schumer for a news conference at Manhattan's Grand Central Terminal.