Today 12 December
MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin cast Russia Thursday as a defender of conservative values against the "genderless and infertile" Western tolerance that he said equates good and evil.
AYLESBURY, England (AP) — She is called the most wanted woman in the world, a suspected terrorist charged with plotting to blow up resort hotels in Kenya packed with Christmas tourists, a westerner who wrote an ode praising Osama bin Laden, a jihadist who has eluded the law even as she has traveled through Africa with four young children in tow.
The South African government admitted Thursday it made a "mistake" in choosing a sign language interpreter for Nelson Mandela's memorial who was later exposed as a fake by experts, and who claimed to being schizophrenic. Experts said Thamsanqa Jantjie's signing for US President Barack Obama and other world leaders amounted to little more than "flapping his arms around," prompting an apology from the government. Admitting Jantjie was "not a professional sign language interpreter," junior minister for disabilities Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu said that "we can only apologise to the deaf community." Jantjie insists he is qualified and a "champion of sign language," but said his behaviour was down to a sudden attack of schizophrenia, for which he takes medication.
Chinhoyi (Zimbabwe) (AFP) - Zimbabwe’s ruling party opens its annual conference Thursday with the twin spectres of the moribund economy and infighting over veteran President Robert Mugabe’s succession casting long shadows. The three-day conference is ZANU-PF's last before its elective congress next year and comes against the backdrop of renewed clashes among contenders to succeed Mugabe,who at 89 is Africa's oldest head of state. "The conference is an opportunity to heal the rift between the main factions in the party and to craft a post-election message," said Rushweat Mukundu, a political analyst with the Zimbabwe Democratic Institute. "There is a lot of despondency and uncertainty over the economy.
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Nelson Mandela is gone, but many mourners waiting patiently for a chance to see Mandela for a last time on Thursday said they retain high hopes about South Africa's future. If the heady optimism of the days when South Africa's peaceful transformation to an all-race democracy in the 1994 elections has been diminished by time and economic challenges, many still believe the years ahead can be fruitful, with growing opportunity.