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Arts, Culture & Media

African American Ira Aldridge, a Shakespearean actor in the early 1800s, honored in England

Shakespeare buffs, actors and ordinary citizens in England turned out to honor an extraordinary American actor this week. Ira Aldridge came from New York to England in the 1820s and became one of the best Shakespearean actors of his day. He was black and had to overcome intense hostility. Nevertheless, he persisted.

Business, Economics and Jobs

South Africa's cautionary tale

It wasn't so long ago that South Africa was seen as the natural leader of its continent, with bright economic prospects and a nascent, post-apartheid democracy. It developed strong trade ties with China, and, in 2010, was named one of the BRICS countries — with Brazil, Russia, India and China, the economies seen by some investors (the term was coined by a Goldman Sachs executive) to be the era's dynamic up-and-comers. But it hasn't quite turned out that way. This year, South Africa dipped into recession, with unemployment near 30 percent. What happened?