Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 8:49 am
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
We're remembering, this morning, the life of Nelson Mandela, who died last night in Johannesburg. He was a public and charismatic figure for more than 60 years. Let's take a few moments to revisit some of his memorable speeches.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
In 1963, he went on trial in South Africa. Mandela and others in the African National Congress were accused of plotting the violent overthrown of the white minority government. And he spoke in his defense when the trial began.
We turn now to someone who knew Nelson Mandela well, and indeed lived through history with him. Ahmed Kathrada fought apartheid with Mandela and was jailed with him in the notorious prison on Robben Island. He told us that when they were sent to the prison, they felt lucky to be alive.
AHMED KATHRADA: The life sentence was a bonus because until the very last day our lawyers and we ourselves expected the death sentence.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. It takes a moment to realize just what made former South African President Nelson Mandela so much more memorable than other leaders. He was not the only man to fight for racial equality. He was not the only man jailed for his beliefs, nor the only man who came out of jail to lead his country, nor even the only African leader to capture the world's attention as the colonial era came to an end.
Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 4:41 am
For the first time in its history, Pakistan is poised to put a former president and army chief of staff on trial. A special court has been convened to hear allegations against General Pervez Musharraf. He's charged with committing treason after he suspended the nation's constitution in 2007 and declared a state of emergency.
Tributes to Nelson Mandela have been pouring in from all over the world. South Africans are mourning the loss of the symbolic anti-apartheid leader. His leadership and legacy affected the entire African continent.
Let's hear some more reaction to the passing of former South African President Nelson Mandela. On CNN, F.W. De Klerk, the country's last white minority president, had this to say about a man who was both a colleague and rival.
We're hearing a song that was popular in South Africa in the 1980s, popular even though it was banned. The song was called "Asimbonanga," which means "We Have Not Seen Him." He was Nelson Mandela, who by then had been in prison for more than two decades. This morning we reached the writer of that song, Johnny Clegg, in South Africa.
Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in an address marking his 86th birthday, called on his people to do their duty "for stability, security of our nation" in an apparent reference to ongoing anti-government protests.
While avoiding a direct reference to the sometimes violent demonstrations that have rocked the capital, Bangkok, in recent weeks, the world's longest-serving monarch, said "All Thais should ... behave and perform our duties accordingly, our duty for the sake of the public, for stability, security for our nation of Thailand."
After months of worsening violence, the United Nations voted Thursday to send French and African troops to the Central African Republic in an attempt to restore stability.
Brutal sectarian violence has engulfed the mostly Christian country since March, when the first Muslim leader assumed power after a coup.
Armed gangs of Muslim extremists joined by mercenaries from neighboring countries now control most of the country. Armed Christian forces are fighting back. Slaughter, rape and torture are widely reported.
On Feb. 11, 1990, upon his release from prison, Nelson Mandela stood on the steps of City Hall in Cape Town, South Africa. He told the gather crowd of more than 100,000 people to seize what he called "a decisive moment." In the audio above, you can listen to a segment of that speech.
For 27 years, Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island for his fight against South Africa's apartheid regime. Saki Macozoma served time on Robben Island alongside Mandela in the 1970s, and he joins Robert Siegel to remember Mandela, who died Thursday at age 95.
NPR's former longtime correspondent in South Africa, John Mattison, knew Nelson Mandela. He covered him, and later, he actually worked for him. He's just outside Cape Town and joins us now. John, tell me what your most vivid memory of this great historic figure is.
In April 1994, the world watched as millions of South Africans — most of them jubilant, but many wary — cast their ballots in that nation's first multiracial election. The outcome: Nelson Mandela became president of a new South Africa.
Mandela's journey from freedom fighter to president capped a dramatic half-century-long struggle against white rule and the institution of apartheid. This five-part series, originally produced in 2004, marked the 10th anniversary of South Africa's first free election.
Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 6:18 am
Nelson Mandela, who became an icon of the struggle for racial equality during a decades-long struggle against South Africa's apartheid system, is being remembered across the globe on Thursday following his death at age 95.
Mandela died after a prolonged lung infection, which had been a recurring problem for him since his days as a prisoner of conscience on South Africa's Robben Island. He served 27 years at the notorious jail.
"He is now resting. He is now at peace," South African President Jacob Zuma said in an address to the nation.
Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 4:56 pm
There are many examples of triumphant liberation leaders and successful political leaders, but it's rare to find someone who has managed the transition from one to the other.
George Washington did it in the 18th century. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk of Turkey did it after World War I. And Nelson Mandelaalso belongs to this exclusive club.
"It is hard enough to find someone courageous enough to lead a revolution, rarer still for them to have remarkable leadership skills," says Jack Goldstone, director of the Center for Global Policy at George Mason University.
Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 5:08 pm
The White House has acknowledged that as a student at Harvard Law School in the 1980s, the president briefly lived with his Kenyan-born uncle, after it first denied the two had ever met.
Earlier this week, Onyango Obama, 69, faced a deportation that resulted from a 2011 drunken-driving arrest. At the hearing, which he won, the judge asked about his family, and Onyango replied that he had a nephew named Barack Obama, adding, "He's the president of the United States."
Experts said Dr. Ola Orekunrin's dream to create air ambulance service in Nigeria was impossible. But as a doctor and helicopter pilot, she had the skills and dedication to make it work. Orekunrin tells host Michel Martin about Flying Doctors Nigeria.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're going to spend some time today talking about issues in health, particularly in the developing world. Later, we're going to hear what it's like to be a trauma doctor in one of Africa's most populous and, yet, still underserved areas. And, hint, her house calls involve a helicopter. That's just ahead.
Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 8:19 am
Attackers used guns and bombs to assault Yemen's Defense Ministry compound Thursday, in a bold daytime attack that was reportedly carried out by gunmen dressed in Yemeni military uniforms. At least 20 people reportedly were killed during the attack in the capital city of Sanaa.
"The attack took place shortly after working hours started at the ministry, when a suicide bomber drove a car into the gate," a Defense Ministry source tells Reuters.
So there's a long history behind this conflict. There appears to be an agreement to hold off on the conflict, at least for a bit, and NPR's Anthony Kuhn is still with us. And Anthony, can you tell us, does it appear then that a crisis has been averted?
ANTHONY KUHN, BYLINE: Well, at least postponed. I mean, you know, they covered topics in their talks, Steve.
China has been building up its military strength for some time now, and pushing ever farther from its coastline and into international waters. The real concern now is for miscalculation — particularly with Japan — that ends up in gunfire.
Just six months ago, the Pentagon released its annual report on China's military. Its defense budget was growing. The country was building more stealthy aircraft and submarines. It even bought an aircraft carrier from the Ukraine.
Pentagon official David Helvey highlighted particular areas of concern.
As it has done for the past 16 years, the Embassy of Norway decorated a Christmas tree at Union Station in Washington, D.C. — a gift to the American people to say thanks for helping Norway during World War II.
This year is no different. The tree was lit in a ceremony Tuesday evening, but what stands out is the nature of the ornaments that adorn the artificial tree: In addition to small American and Norwegian flags, the tree is decked out with 700 shining decorations with the iconic image from Norwegian Edvard Munch's painting The Scream.