Today 06 December
By Emmanuel Braun and Paul-Marin Ngoupana BANGUI (Reuters) - France rushed troops to Central African Republic on Friday but violence between Muslim and Christian militias continued unabated, spiraling into widespread killings of civilians. Hundreds of soldiers started arriving in CAR from neighboring countries, hours after Paris was given a U.N. green light for the mission to restore order. French troops patrolled the main roads and warplanes flew low over town. The Red Cross said it had collected 281 bodies from two days of violence in Bangui, but many more had been killed.
BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — Christian civilians fled by the thousands to the airport guarded by French forces in this chaotic capital Friday as the mostly Muslim armed fighters who have ruled the country since March hunted door-to-door for their enemies and the death toll from inter-communal violence increased to 280 people.
The world united Friday to mourn Nelson Mandela, the iconic South African anti-apartheid hero, as the people of his beloved rainbow nation marked his passing with flowers, songs and dance. President Jacob Zuma announced a 10-day mourning period for Mandela, the founding father of modern South Africa and its first black leader, after he died late Thursday aged 95, surrounded by friends and family. Barack Obama, America's first black president, will travel to South Africa next week, the White House said, joining a raft of world leaders for a huge December 10 memorial service. Mandela's body will lie in state in Pretoria for three days after that before he receives a state burial on December 15 in his boyhood home of Qunu.
By Brian Winter BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil insists its airports will be ready for up to 600,000 foreign visitors during next year's World Cup, but an internal report said severe overcrowding and long flight delays are likely, with passenger traffic exceeding capacity by as much as 50 percent even if extensive renovations are finished on time. Reuters recently reviewed the full report, including its forecasts on air traffic that the government never made public. "The situation at airports is critical given the current saturation seen in the sector," the report said. "Some airports are in need of urgent solutions." Senior officials in President Dilma Rousseff's government say the forecasts in the 2011 report are now outdated, thanks in part to major renovations underway at airports in all 12 of the World Cup's host cities.
EDITOR'S NOTE — On Feb. 11, 1990, AP reporter Greg Myre was in Cape Town when Nelson Mandela was released from prison after 27 years. Mandela walked out of Victor Verster prison hand-in-hand with his then wife, Winnie, as people worldwide rejoiced. The momentous event rivaled the fall of the Berlin Wall just a few months earlier as a symbol of newfound freedom. Twenty-three years after its original publication, the AP is making this story available to its subscribers.