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10 Dec

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

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ObamaMandelaService

US President Barack Obama arrives to deliver a speech during the memorial service for late South African President Nelson Mandela at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg on Tuesday.Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty

World leaders eulogize Mandela – a ‘giant of history’

by Michael Pizzi @pizzi89 December 10, 2013 9:30AM ET
Obama, Castro praise Mandela’s legacy at mass memorial service in Soweto on Tuesday
US President Barack Obama arrives to deliver a speech during the memorial service for late South African President Nelson Mandela at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty

An unlikely cadre of world leaders spanning the political spectrum muted their differences to eulogize Nelson Mandela at a mass memorial in Soweto on Tuesday, an occasion that afforded an unprecedented handshake between U.S. President Barack Obama and Raul Castro, president of Cuba, a longtime foe.

He has done it again,” said UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon. “We see leaders representing many points of view, and people from all walks of life. All here, united.”

Obama and Castro met on stage, where both served as orators for the late South African president, who passed away Thursday night. Cuba and the U.S. cut off diplomatic ties during the Cold War and the U.S. maintains an embargo on the island nation — which a majority of Americans feel is the relic of a long-dormant feud…….

Topics:

Nelson Mandela

South Africa

Africa

Canada

In this March 31, 2007 photo, Ranger Joe Amarualik, from Iqaluit, Nunavut, drives his snowmobile on the ice during a Canadian Ranger sovereignty patrol near Eureka, on Ellesmere Island, Nunavut. Jeff Mcintosh/AP

Canada lays claim to North Pole and resource-rich Arctic

Move adds to strains with Russia as Putin asks the military to increase its presence in the Arctic region.

Topics:

International

Canada

Russia

Energy

Military

Politics

The Guardian

Barack Obama pays tribute to the late South African president and anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela at a memorial service on Tuesday in Soweto, Johannesburg. Speaking at the stadium in Soweto, the US president urges the world to carry on Mandela’s legacy by fighting inequality, poverty and discrimination

Liu Xia

US calls on China to release Liu Xiaobo

Secretary of state John Kerry says Nobel prize winner should be freed and his wife released from house arrest

Toronto Skyline With Smog

Newly discovered greenhouse gas ‘7,000 times more powerful than CO2’

Perfluorotributylamine is an unregulated, long-living industrial chemical that breaks all records for potential climate impacts

A UK passport

Want to buy citizenship? It helps if you’re one of the super-rich

Malta has announced it is selling passports to foreign investors for £546,000. But that’s cheap compared with other countries, discovers Tom Meltzer

GM CEO Mary Barra.

Mary Barra named GM CEO to become America’s first female car chief

• Head of product development Barra, 51, joined GM at 18
• ‘I’m honored to lead the best team in the business’

2.55pm Gay marriage

Same-sex wedding

Same-sex weddings can take place in England and Wales from March 2014

First gay weddings can take place from 29 March, equalities minister Maria Miller announces

On Human Rights Day, I’ll be thinking of my father in a Chinese prison

My father is serving a life sentence for pro-democracy activism. He’d see little optimism in China’s admission to the UNHRC
China human rights protesters

Campaigners protest against China’s human rights record outside the UN’s headquarters in New York. Photograph: Mustafa Bader/Demotix/Corbis

Ti-Anna Wang

Today is Human Rights Day, an occasion commemorating the United Nations‘ passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The standards established that day built upon universal freedoms proclaimed by the allied forces during the second world war. In the aftermath of that horrific war, they were intended to deter systematic human rights violations, and to raise awareness and action when they do occur.

For these reasons, it’s important to celebrate the tremendous progress in global human rights over the past 65 years, including the integration of language from the declaration into many constitutions all over the world. However, we must also remember that the UN’s vision of these values being “universal,” is far from complete, and the recent admission of China into the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) further highlights this reality.

 

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