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South Africans crowded into churches, mosques, temples and synagogues on Sunday to remember Nelson Mandela, encouraged by their president to celebrate a life that transcended race and religion. The nationwide day of prayer marked the formal start of a week-long state funeral for the man who forged a new multi-racial South Africa from the discredited remnants of the apartheid era he helped to dismantle. In the Regina Mundi Catholic church in the once blacks-only township of Soweto, parish priest Sebastian Rossouw called Mandela "a light in the darkness" and praised his capacity for "humility and forgiveness". "He fought for us then, now he needs to rest," said Olga Mbeke, 60, who was born in Soweto.
SAINT-EMILION, France (AP) — An FBI agent recently showed Arnaud de Laforcade a file with several labels supposedly from 1947 bottles of Chateau Cheval Blanc, one of France's finest wines. To the Saint-Emilion vineyard's CFO, they were clearly fakes — too new looking, not on the right kind of paper.
By Yara Bayoumy MANAMA (Reuters) - Brazen al Qaeda attacks on top government targets in Yemen are unlikely to abate while security services remain divided, ill-equipped and infiltrated by militants, and efforts to repair the country's fractured political life remain stalled. Responsibility for the attack was claimed by Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law), an offshoot of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which is among the most active arms of the global jihadi network and wants to topple the government and impose its own strict version of Islamic law. "This demonstrates the seriousness of ... terrorist attacks, it demonstrates that al Qaeda obviously has planners, and executors and capabilities," Yemen's Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi told Reuters on the sidelines of a security conference in the Bahraini capital Manama. Islamist insurgents took advantage of the chaos of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh's overthrow after months of mass protests in 2011 to seize several southern cities, but were driven out in a government offensive a year later aided by U.S. drone strikes.
Aurelien Collin scored the eventual winner as Sporting Kansas City beat Real Salt Lake 7-6 in a shootout to capture their second Major League Soccer Cup in franchise history. The clubs remained even into the decisive 10th round of the shootout when Collin, who scored the 1-1 equalizer in the 76th minute of regulation, scored to give the hosts the lead in front of a crowd of 21,650 at Sporting Park. Substitute Lovel Palmer stepped to the spot for Real Salt Lake needing to score to keep his club alive. Real Salt Lake had the better of the play to open the second half and took the lead in the 52nd minute.
By Daniel Wallis CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelans vote in municipal elections on Sunday that are the biggest political test yet for President Nicolas Maduro as he tries to halt an economic slide and preserve the radical socialist legacy of his late mentor Hugo Chavez. The outcome of the ballots to choose 337 mayors and 2,523 councilors will be seen as a sign of Maduro's strength, nine months after Chavez died from cancer and he narrowly beat opposition leader Henrique Capriles to win the presidency.
Rescuers involved in the search for 40 pilot whales still stranded in Florida said they will suspend their operations Sunday after failing to spot the animals via air and sea. The mysterious mass stranding in a remote area off the US state of Florida's Everglades National Park was first reported on Tuesday. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which led the search, said Saturday it could no longer see the whales, whose fate has been unknown since Friday. "We are standing down operations tomorrow (Sunday)," NOAA Fisheries said on its Twitter account.
Greece's parliament approved a tough budget for next year, aimed at ending the country's deep recession, despite continued differences on fiscal policy with the country's international creditors. The coalition government, which enjoys a narrow majority in the 300-seat chamber, scraped through with 153 deputies backing the 2014 budget in a late evening vote. The budget measures included a further 3.1 billion euros ($4.2 billion) in spending cuts from an economy already suffering from successive austerity measures. The move came as Greece's troika of international creditors -- the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund -- announced they had delayed until January their next trip to Athens.
The global video gaming market is set to grow 11.1 percent a year until 2017, boosted by a new generation of consoles and the increasing popularity of online games, according to IDATE digital research and consultancy firm. Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft, which are jostling for control of the gaming market, have each released the latest versions of their consoles ahead of the Christmas shopping season. The wave of new devices is expected to keep the market buoyant until 2017, IDATE said. Home consoles like Sony's PlayStation or Microsoft's Xbox, which make up 31 percent of the market today, are expected to have a 40 percent share of the total market in 2017.
Approval of the bill presented in the Senate would mark the end of the decades-long oil and gas monopoly held by state-run giant Pemex, which is struggling to reverse a sharp slide in oil output due to years of chronic under-investment. The bill, which would keep ownership of oil in state hands, is at the center of a package of economic reforms that President Enrique Pena Nieto hopes will re-energize Latin America's second-largest economy after years of lagging its peers. Furthermore, companies will not be allowed to book oil reserves on their balance sheets. It also goes well beyond the proposal made by Pena Nieto in August, which was limited to profit-sharing contracts.
Scottish singer Susan Boyle revealed on Sunday that she has been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism. Boyle, a 52-year-old church volunteer who became a global singing sensation, told Britain's Observer newspaper she had been diagnosed a year ago and spoke of her relief after years of bullying for her learning difficulties.
For US President Barack Obama and millions of people around the world, Nelson Mandela was a hero. But what are heroes? And will there be another Mandela, or is he the last of a breed? In more modern times, the term came to describe mere mortals credited with exceptional qualities, such as Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Winston Churchill or Martin Luther King.