Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 1:11 pm
As President Obama travels to South Africa for Nelson Mandela's memorial service on Tuesday, it might seem as though Mandela was an eternal object of admiration for U.S. presidents and the American public. But that wasn't the case by a long shot.
During Mandela's 27 years behind bars, successive U.S. administrations worked with, or at least tolerated, South Africa's white leaders. Only in his final years of incarceration did he and the anti-apartheid movement become a cause that gained traction in the United States.
While the world remembers Nelson Mandela as the great reconciler, some ordinary South Africans are remembering him in their own way — as a powerful figure of resistance. And they're looking toward the country's future with both hope and uncertainty.
Vitali Klitschko, head of the opposition UDAR party, waves a flag during a rally in downtown Kiev, Ukraine, on Dec. 1. The WBC heavyweight boxing champion has emerged as one of Ukraine's most popular political figures, as massive anti-government protests grip the country.
Credit Sergei Grits / AP
Klitschko celebrates his win over Manuel Charr of Germany during their WBC bout for the heavyweight title in Moscow on Sept. 9, 2012.
In the Arab world, TV watchers were buzzing this weekend about the finals of a popular contest show, "Arab's Got Talent." Runner up was the competition's dark horse contender, Jennifer Grout, a young American. She's not an Arab. She just loves Arabic music. And the presence of a Westerner in the running for this prize caused a bit of a stir. NPR's Deborah Amos was at the finale Saturday in Beirut and she sent this postcard.
David Greene talks with Sylvain Groulx, head of mission for Doctors without Borders in the Central African Republic, about the state of the violence there and the hopes for peace now that French troops have arrived.
Officials of 159 countries have taken a big step forward in promoting global trade. This happened over the weekend at World Trade Organization talks in Indonesian.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.
JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: The countries attending the WTO meeting agreed to a treaty that they say will lower trade barriers and speed up the passage of goods across borders. Officials say the deal could increase global trade by nearly a trillion dollars over time and also create millions of jobs.
An increasing number of people are signing up for health insurance through the government's new exchange, suggesting the Obama administration has made progress in fixing its broken website. But the exchange is just one part of the health care law, which remains politically divisive almost four years after its passage.
Anybody who grew up watching football has seen video of Tom Dempsey's historic field goal. In 1970, the New Orleans Saint kicked a field goal from a record 63 yards to win a game. He did it though he was born with no toes on his right foot. The record stood for decades, sometimes equaled never exceeded, until Sunday. Denver's Matt Prater kicked one from 64 yards, though it was not decisive since his team won by 23 points.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.