Government and politics
SUN CITY, South Africa - The first time he met Nelson Mandela, Gary Player got on his knees and kissed the former political prisoner's feet.
Remembering his "very tearful" first encounter with Mandela, the nine-time major winner paused Friday to compose himself and hold back more tears.
Mandela, the beloved former South African president and Nobel laureate, died Thursday at 95.
MOSCOW - Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev hinted Friday that members of the punk band Pussy Riot, former tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and others widely referred to as political prisoners will not be freed in Russia's upcoming amnesty.
The bill granting long-awaited amnesty for thousands of Russian prisoners is expected to be sent to parliament in the coming days. But the lawmakers and President Vladimir Putin have yet to fine-tune its details, determining who will be covered by the biggest amnesty in 20 years.
The world knows Nelson Mandela as a man who forever changed the course of modern history and who will surely continue to leave his mark long after his death Thursday at the age of 95.
You may know that he spent 27 years in prison, that he led South Africa out of apartheid and that he served as his nation's first black president.
WASHINGTON - Counting himself among the millions influenced by Nelson Mandela, President Barack Obama on Thursday mourned the death of the anti-apartheid icon with whom he shares the distinction of being his nation's first black president.
"He no longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages," Obama said in a sombre appearance at the White House.
When it came to sport, Nelson Mandela had the ability to inspire even inspirational figures and leave global stars completely star-struck.
The anti-apartheid leader, former South African president and Nobel Peace Prize winner died on Thursday at the age of 95, prompting a vast outpouring of tributes from the world's best-known athletes and top sporting bodies.
Muhammad Ali, himself a role model for so many, said Mandela inspired others to "reach for what appeared to be impossible."
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - A rocket carrying a secret payload for the U.S. government has successfully launched from the central California coast.
The Atlas V rocket lit up the night sky at about 11:15 p.m. Thursday, lifting off from Vandenberg Air Force Base toward low-Earth orbit.
The 19-story-tall rocket carried a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office, which operates the nation's system of intelligence-gathering satellites. The agency has not released any details about the payload.
SEATTLE - Friday marks the first anniversary of the day Washington's legal marijuana law took effect, and hundreds of people are expected to celebrate by lighting up beneath the Space Needle at a party permitted by the city of Seattle.
Marijuana activist Ben Livingston says it took him three months to persuade city officials to grant him the permit, which was amended on Thursday to double the party's capacity to 999 people. The free event begins at 4:20 p.m. in a tent set up behind a double perimeter fence at Seattle Center, with any pot smoking occurring out of public view.
July 18, 1918 — Born to Hendry Mphakanyiswa, a Thembu chief, and Nosekeni Qunu in the Umtata district of the Transkei, at a time when virtually all of Africa was under European colonial rule.
1940 — Expelled from University of Fort Hare, a leading institution for blacks, for role in a student strike.
1942 — Joins African National Congress, South Africa's main campaigner for black equality.
1943 — Receives BA from Fort Hare after completing correspondence courses through University of South Africa.
WASHINGTON - The White House said Thursday that President Barack Obama briefly lived with an uncle who faced deportation from the United States, correcting its previous statements that the president had never met Onyango Obama.
The 69-year-old, Kenyan-born half-brother of Obama's estranged father was granted permission this week to stay in the U.S. after ignoring a deportation order two decades ago. The uncle is also known as Omar Obama.
JOHANNESBURG - Nelson Mandela was a master of forgiveness.
South Africa's first black president spent nearly a third of his life as a prisoner of apartheid, yet he sought to win over its defeated guardians in a relatively peaceful transition of power that inspired the world.