MANDELA MEMORIAL TODAY
• Mourners gathered for former South African leader Nelson Mandela's memorial service in rainy Soweto today.
• In his remarks at the memorial, President Barack Obama characterized Mandela as “a giant of history, who moved a nation toward justice, and in the process moved billions around the world.”
• Notably, and in keeping with Mandela's legacy of reconciliation, Obama shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro at the memorial, AP reports.
• Click here to see who is attending the historic event and to see which dignitaries were also on hand for the last comparable event, the funeral of Pope John Paul II.
• Reuters has a live feed of the event that is being attended by more than 100 world leaders and other notables.
Photo: Meng Chenguang/Xinhua/ZUMA
POLICE CLEAR KIEV PROTESTERS
The Ukrainian police cleared out barricades to government buildings installed by Kiev protesters early this morning, ousting hundreds of demonstrators in the process. No arrests were made, but reports from news agency Ria Novosti say that 10 people were injured in the clashes, including two policemen. According to the Financial Times, EU Foreign Affairs representative Catherine Ashton is traveling to Kiev today to meet with President Viktor Yanukovych.
TWO FRENCH SOLDIERS KILLED
Two French soldiers were killed in the Central African Republic capital of Bangui, five days after the beginning of their crackdown on armed groups in the city, Le Monde reports. French journalist Nicolas Bertrand reported looting and violent clashes this morning between Christians and Muslims in Bangui, as the city falls deeper into chaos.
CANADA TO CLAIM NORTH POLE
Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird announced that the country intends to include the North Pole in its territorial claims in the Arctic seabed, extending Canadian ownership of natural resources in the region as a result, CBC reports.
CHINA HACKED FOREIGN MINISTRIES
A report by a California computer security company suggests that Chinese hackers with links to government authorities hacked into the computers of five European foreign ministries and repeatedly spied on them. The ministries of Czech Republic, Portugal, Bulgaria, Latvia and Hungary were infiltrated thanks to an email inviting the targets to click on a link for naked pictures of Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, The New York Times reports.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye has warned of further divisions with North Korea, as she criticized Kim Jong-un’s “reign of terror.”
NASA has detected the coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth. Guess just how cold it is in East Antarctica?
A NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
A Chinese man was so tired of shopping with his girlfriend that he jumped from a balcony to his death after she insisted they go to one more store.
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Praying inside a Dutch mosque.
Broken trust in Islamic community
Leaders of the Muslim organizations that were secretly probed say they feel betrayed.
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