Today 10 December
South African security forces had only days to implement a rough plan for Nelson Mandela's grand funeral, based partly on blueprints of past major events like the 2010 World Cup final. South Africa's first black president had been seriously ill for some time, but his death still posed a major organisational challenge as a small army of world leaders, dignitaries and celebrities asked to attend the state send-off. Security preparations which would normally take months for the likes of US President Barack Obama had to be compressed into a few days. After that, Mandela's body will lie in state for three days in Pretoria before being taken for burial Sunday in his rural boyhood home of Qunu.
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — My mother was furious. The operators of the gas station in rural, racist South Africa had taken her money to fill the car, but would not give her the key to the toilets. They were for whites only.
By Stella Mapenzauswa and David Dolan JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - World leaders, from U.S. President Barack Obama to Cuba's Raul Castro, will pay homage to Nelson Mandela at a mass memorial in South Africa on Tuesday that will recall his gift for bringing enemies together across political and racial divides. Obama and Castro, whose countries maintain an ideological enmity lasting more than 50 years, are among the designated orators at a Johannesburg soccer stadium where 23 years earlier Mandela - freshly freed from apartheid jail - was hailed by cheering supporters as the hope for a new South Africa. Coinciding with U.N.-designated Human Rights Day, the memorial service for Mandela in the 95,000-seat Soccer City stadium is the centerpiece of a week of mourning for the globally-admired statesman, who died on Thursday aged 95. Tens of thousands of ordinary South Africans will be joining scores of leaders from across the world to honor a leader whose life of imprisonment and political struggle made him a global symbol of integrity and forgiveness.
Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority on Monday signed a water-sharing agreement that includes the building of a desalination plant on the Gulf of Aqaba and a pilot study for a pipeline linking the Red Sea with the Dead Sea, the World Bank said. The plant will be built in the southern Jordanian port of Aqaba on the Red Sea and will desalinate water to be shared by the neighbors. The salty by-product, known as brine, will be sent north in a 112-mile (180-km) pipeline to the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea has been found to be receding at a rate of more than 3.3 feet (1 meter) every year.
The global community needs to move fast to stop the violence in Central African Republic spiralling out of control and must send in international peacekeeping troops to restore security, a leading US aid organization said Monday. While the weekend deployment of French troops has calmed tensions in the capital Bangui, "there's a lot more that can be done and it needs to be done immediately," said Su'ad Jarbawi, interim director in Central African Republic for the non-governmental group Mercy Corps. "The situation in Central African Republic is declining rapidly in terms of security, which is leading to a humanitarian crisis that will continue to augment and become larger in scale unless the international community intervenes now," she told AFP in Washington. Washington announced Monday it was to help fly African Union troops deploying as part of the French-led effort, transporting them from Burundi to the Central African Republic.
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