Originally published on Sat December 14, 2013 2:27 pm
When Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990, Africa's record on democracy was abysmal. One stark fact summed it up: Not a single African leader had ever lost his job at the ballot box in the three decades since African countries began receiving independence around 1960.
But with Mandela leading the way, South Africa became the most prominent example of the emerging democracies and open elections that spread across the continent in the 1990s.
Originally published on Sat December 14, 2013 9:47 pm
On the final leg of 10 days of mourning, Nelson Mandela's body was flown from the seat of government in Pretoria to his ancestral hometown of Quno on Saturday.
"A guard of honor carried his casket from the hearse onto the transport plane that flew the late South African statesman home to the Eastern Cape for burial on Sunday," NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton tells our Newscast unit from Johannesburg. "The two-hour flight was preceded by a moving memorial, organized by his governing ANC Party."
Originally published on Sat December 14, 2013 8:01 am
A Chinese spacecraft made a soft landing on the surface of the moon on Saturday, China's state television is reporting.
Televised images showed the control room at the Aerospace Control Center in Beijing erupted into applause at about 8:10 a.m. ET. Almost immediately, the lander started to deploy its solar panels and began running a systems check.
It's not big enough to be called a shakeup, but the new hire announced this week at the White House is important: John Podesta will come on board in January as a counselor to the president.
Podesta is a Democratic wise man, the founder of the Center for American Progress, a policy and personnel incubator for Democratic administrations, and he just started a new think tank on income inequality — the problem President Obama says will animate his second term.
The factory that makes and bottles Sriracha sauce is in trouble - for the second time this year. First, one of the company's Southern California plants faced a shutdown after neighbors complained about the pungent odor there, and now a California Department of Public Health has placed a 30-day hold on all new bottles of Sriracha, citing health concerns. NPR's Sam Sanders reports.
This week, Peter Higgs and Francois Englert received the Nobel Prize for developing the theory known as the Higgs-boson particle in 1964. But distinguished as they are, Higgs and Englert are just two of six scientists who developed the theory and because of the Nobel committees rule of three; that no single prize can go to more than three individuals, most of these scientists missed out on winning the Nobel, including Carl Hagen, a University of Rochester physics professor.
At 9:30 Eastern Time this morning, houses of worship across Connecticut will rang their bells 26 times.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELLS RINGING)
SIMON: These are the bells of the Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Stamford. Churches, mosques and synagogues in Newtown are holding events today to mark the anniversary of the shooting. Not only prayer services, also some arts and crafts activities for children, even comfort dogs.
While writing their new pocket guide about bars in the Vieux Carré, the authors of The French Quarter Drinking Companion developed an appreciation for Bourbon Street, despite its often-negative stigma.