Four US presidents, six UK prime ministers, the president of Brazil, the vice president of China and even the leader of Cuba all converged on a single event Tuesday morning: the funeral of former South African President Nelson Mandela.
In a widely-praised speech, President Barack Obama urged those assembled to remember that nothing of Mandela' success was pre-ordained, and challenged them to learn from Mandela's model. According to The New York Times, while the crowd cheered many of the speechmakers, some of the loudest was reserved for Obama.
Obama also shared a handshake with Cuban leader Raul Castro, who was another speaker at the memorial service. Mandela had a long relationship with Fidel Castro and made Cuba one of his first stops when he was released from prison in 1990.
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Now that's cold
At least 41 US states are at least partially snow-covered, and the nation's mid-section has been gripped by an Arctic air mass. But nowhere is it nearly as cold as the coldest-ever-recorded temperature on Earth. That would be minus 136 degrees Fahrenheit (-58 degrees Celsius), reported on Aug. 10, 2010, in a pocket in an ice ridge on the East Antarctic Plateau, according to the Christian Science Monitor. The temperature was measured by satellite. The temperature is a full 56 degrees colder than the coldest temperature ever measured in the US: minus 80 near Fairbanks, Alaska, in 1954.
National genome mapping, in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabian leaders have launched a program to map the human genome of its population in an effort to understand the cause of diseases and conditions that are prevalent in Saudi society.
Over five years, the project will sequence the genes of 100,000 different people. The idea is to create personalized medical treatments based on the genetics of Saudi Arabians, The National reports.
A zipline as extreme as the mountains you fly past
In Nepal, a gigantic zipline has been strung across a span that's more than a mile wide. Riders reach speeds of 85 or 90 mph and, if they dare, get some a amazing views of the Himalayan mountains at the same time. See a video from the ride at PRI's The World.
Peacekeeping in the Central African Republic turns deadly fast
France's peacekeeping mission in the chaotic Central African Republic (CAR) became deadly for two soldiers overnight in the capital city of Bangui. According to the BBC, they're the first French deaths since France deployed 1,600 soldiers to the country last week as part of a UN-sanctioned peacekeeping mission.
Political and general chaos has descended on the CAR since a coup toppled the government 9 months ago. The violence has fallen across religious and secular lines, with atrocities against civilians the main common denominator.
A video game where the villain is alcoholism
Vander Caballero played a lot of video games when he was a kid, but none helped him defend himself against his real-life threat growing up in Colombia. His father was an alcoholic, who would beat him.
Now the video-game developer has released "Papo y Yo" ("Dad and I" in english). In the game, the main character has a tortured relationship with a monster — sometimes having to escape it, other times needing its help. The game's been a popular hit and won awards, as PRI's The World reports.
What we're seeing on social
— The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) December 10, 2013
Weather around the world
Tropical Cyclone Madi has formed in the Bay of Bengal, threatening rain on southeastern India and northwesernt Sri Lanka. The storm system is actually being pulled apart, with the majority of the storm heading southwest, but much of the storm's moisture heading northeast. About four inches of rain are forecast to fall in a short time over India and Sri Lanka, according to AccuWeather, and flooding is also predicted for Myanmar, the country to the northeast, formerly known as Burma.