The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

December 9, 2013

Obama heading to South Africa for Mandela memorial

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has taken off for South Africa to attend a national memorial service for anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.

Obama and his wife, Michelle, boarded Air Force One under cold, rainy skies Monday morning for the long flight. The occasion presented an opportunity for a rare get-together of American presidents. Former President George W. Bush was already on board the plane, along with former first ladies Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton.

Former President Bill Clinton was traveling separately from Rio de Janeiro, where he was attending a Clinton Global Initiative event. And former President Jimmy Carter also planned to join the group in Johannesburg.

George H.W. Bush is the only living president who will not attend. His spokesman said the 89-year-old no longer is able to travel long distances.

The American leaders will join dozens of other dignitaries and tens of thousands of mourners at the memorial service at a Johannesburg stadium. Mandela will be buried Dec. 15, following a state funeral in his hometown of Qunu.

Obama has called Mandela a personal hero, and his own political rise has drawn inevitable comparisons to the former South African leader. Each was his nation's first black president and a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize — though those close to the U.S. leader say he is aware of the vast differences in the politicians' experiences.

"President Obama would believe that the challenges he has faced pale in comparison to those faced by President Mandela," Valerie Jarrett, Obama's senior adviser, said in an interview this summer before the president made a trip to South Africa.

Mandela was hospitalized during Obama's visit, preventing a meeting between the two men. Obama did, however, meet with several members of Mandela's family and made an emotional visit to Robben Island, standing with his wife and two daughters in the tiny cell where the South African leader spent 18 of his 27 years in prison.

Text Only
AP National
  • US economy, though sluggish, may now be sturdier WASHINGTON (AP) — Out of a seemingly hollow recovery from the Great Recession, a more durable if still slow-growing U.S. economy has emerged. That conclusion, one held by a growing number of economists, might surprise many people. After all, in the f

    July 23, 2014

  • Judges in health care rulings vote party line WASHINGTON (AP) — In rapid succession, six federal judges on two appeals courts weighed in on a key component of President Barack Obama's health care law. Their votes lined up precisely with the party of the president who appointed them. It was the l

    July 23, 2014

  • House, Senate chart separate courses on border WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats and House Republicans are moving separately to slash President Barack Obama's $3.7 billion emergency spending request for the southern border, but they're unlikely to end up with a deal that could pass both chambers

    July 23, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know for Today Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. THE FINAL DAYS AND HOURS OF FLIGHT 17'S PASSENGERS The Boeing 777 traveling from Amsterdam to Malaysia held the promise of beginnings and endin

    July 23, 2014

  • Agents get subsidized 'Obamacare' using fake IDs WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress will hear testimony Wednesday detailing how undercover investigators used fake identities to get taxpayer-subsidized health insurance under President Barack Obama's law. The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office says

    July 23, 2014

  • Police custody death tests 'Broken Windows' tactic NEW YORK (AP) — Eric Garner, who died in police custody last week after he was put in an apparent chokehold, was suspected of committing the relatively minor crime of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes on the street. The encounter was an unintended co

    July 23, 2014

  • Obama urges immediate access to Ukraine crash site WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama sternly called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to compel Kremlin-backed separatists to stop hampering the probe at the Ukraine site of a downed passenger jet and allow international investigators unfettere

    July 22, 2014

  • American Jews, other 'lone soldiers' serve Israel JERUSALEM (AP) — The two Americans killed in fighting in the Gaza Strip followed in the footsteps of scores of Jews from around the world who have volunteered to fight for Israel. Israel calls them the lone soldiers: They are men and women in the pri

    July 22, 2014

  • 2008 law unexpectedly at center of border debate WASHINGTON (AP) — A 2008 law to address human trafficking is at the center of the debate over the immigration crisis at the nation's Southern border. The law was passed at a time when fewer than 10,000 unaccompanied minors showed up each year at the

    July 22, 2014

  • Lawmakers face long to-do list, uncertain success WASHINGTON (AP) — A gridlocked Congress failed to do the big things: overhauling the nation's immigration system, reforming the loophole-cluttered tax code and stiffening background checks on gun buyers. Now it's time to see whether it can just do th

    July 22, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National