Today 11 December
PRETORIA (AFP) - Nelson Mandela's family gathered around his open casket Wednesday, marking the beginning of three days in which the former president will lie in state.
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — A flag-draped casket containing the body of Nelson Mandela arrived with a military honor guard Wednesday for display in an amphitheater where he was sworn in 19 years ago as South Africa's first black president.
Nelson Mandela's flag-draped casket made a solemn journey through the streets of Pretoria Wednesday, arriving at the seat of South Africa's government where he will lie in state for three days. "I never met Mandela, so this is my only chance and it's important I pay my respects. I'm South African -- I have to be here," said 28-year-old Vaughan Motshwene. Some cheered but many were tearful, aware that Mandela's death on Thursday aged 95, opened a new chapter in South African history.
Soweto (South Africa) (AFP) - US President Barack Obama may have moved the masses attending Nelson Mandela's memorial service with his stirring eulogy, but it was his grinning "selfie" with the Danish and British premiers that set social networks abuzz. In a candid moment captured by AFP photographer Roberto Schmidt, Denmark's Helle Thorning-Schmidt can be seen holding up her smartphone, with Obama lending a helping hand, as they pose for a picture with David Cameron, all three of them smiling broadly in their seats at Soweto's World Cup stadium. First Lady Michelle Obama, sitting to the left of her husband, does not join in with the lightheartedness, keeping her eyes firmly trained on the podium where world leaders were paying tribute to South Africa's anti-apartheid hero Mandela, who died Thursday aged 95. The so-called selfie -- short for self-portrait -- was quickly picked up by major international news outlets and went viral on social media sites, with many questioning whether the moment of mirth was appropriate for the occasion.
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.