President Obama eloquently delivered remarks on the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela. Here are a few excerpts, transcript courtesy of WaPo:
He achieved more than could be expected of any man.
Today he's gone home and we've lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth...
His journey from a prisoner to a president embodied the promise that human beings and countries can change for the better...
As he once said, "I'm not a saint unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying."
I am one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela's life. My very first political action -- the first thing I ever did that involved an issue or a policy or politics was a protest against apartheid. I would study his words and his writings. The day he was released from prison it gave me a sense of what human beings can do when they're guided by their hopes and not by their fears.
And like so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set...
I only hope that the time spent with him these last few weeks brought peace and comfort to his family.
To the people of South Africa, we draw strength from the example of renewal and reconciliation and resilience that you made real: a free South Africa at peace with itself. That's an example to the world, and that's Madiba's legacy to the nation that he loved.
We will not likely see the likes of Nelson Mandela again, so it falls to us as best we can to (forward ?) the example that he set -- to make decisions guided not by hate but by love, never discount the difference that one person can make, to strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice.
For now, let us pause and give thanks for the fact that Nelson Mandela lived, a man who took history in his hands and bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice.
Details as soon as I get them, South African president now announcing. (I had the wrong birth year at first, now corrected.) NBC News here.
From CNN News Alert-
Nelson Mandela, a revered world statesman who emerged from prison after 27 years to lead South Africa out of its dark days of apartheid, has died, President Jacob Zuma has announced. He was 95.
The former president battled health issues in recent years, including a recurring lung infection that led to numerous hospitalizations.
In a nation healing from the scars of apartheid, Mandela became the moral compass.
His defiance of white-minority rule and his incarceration for fighting against segregation focused the world's attention on South Africa's apartheid system, making him a symbol of the struggle for racial equality.
In his lifetime, he was a man of complexities. He went from being considered a terrorist, to an imprisoned freedom fighter, to a unifying figure, to an elder statesman respected worldwide.
We were lucky enough to catch Lou back in the early 80's, and it was an incredible experience. When we heard today all we could say was "Oh man" in tandem. A true fucking pioneer and someone who gave me days of enjoyment.
Heavy sigh. R.I.P. Marcia Wallace.
Emmy Award-winning actress Marcia Wallace, who voiced the "Simpsons" role of Edna Krabappel and played wisecracking receptionist Carol Kester on the classic sitcom "The Bob Newhart Show," has died at the age of 70.
Wallace died at home in Los Angeles Friday night, surrounded by friends and family, said her son, Michael Hawley.
She had been in failing health for the last several months and died of complications due to pneumonia, Hawley said. Wallace, who had spoken widely about her battles with breast cancer, had surgery for it in March, after which she was considered clear of the disease, her son said.
More details about Marcia Wallace's life and career at the link.
I always like the stories of the "seconds". They don't get the glory, but they were heroes none the less.
DENVER, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- Astronaut Scott Carpenter, the second American to orbit the Earth in NASA's Mercury program, died Thursday in Denver at age 80, his wife announced.
One of the last two surviving astronauts of the Project Mercury space program, he had been in hospice care since suffering a stroke in September, The New York Times reported.
John Glenn, who flew the first orbital mission on Feb. 20, 1962, and later became a United States senator from Ohio, is now the last survivor of the original Mercury 7 astronauts.
Carpenter's 5-hour orbital mission in 1962 was beset with technical problems and ended with his Mercury capsule landing far from the intended touchdown site in the Caribbean.
Despite the problems that marred the mission, Carpenter later said it has fulfilled a life-long dream.
"I volunteered for a number of reasons," he wrote in a book of astronaut recollections. "One of these, quite frankly, was that I thought this was a chance for immortality. Pioneering in space was something I would willingly give my life for."
His chance of any subsequent NASA missions was ended by injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident, and Carpenter left the space agency in 1967.
Born in Boulder, Colo., in 1925, Carpenter entered the U.S. Navy in 1949, flying jet fighters during the Korean War and later becoming a test pilot.
He was one of seven military pilots chosen as the Mercury astronauts in April 1959.
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Kuwaiti Citizen Detained at Guantanamo since 2002
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