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Soweto (South Africa) (AFP) - US President Barack Obama on Tuesday shook hands with Raul Castro, leader of long-time Cold War foe Cuba, at the memorial service in South Africa for Nelson Mandela. Obama offered the handshake before taking the stage to give his speech at the ceremony, in a new sign of his willingness to reach out to US enemies, a US official told AFP. The United States maintains a five-decade-old embargo against the communist island nation, which Havana says has cost the economy $1.1 trillion. The handshake was seen by millions around the world watching the memorial being broadcast live and comes as Obama tries to make good on his vow to reach out even to the most implacable of US foes.
Soweto (South Africa) (AFP) - A rain-sodden crowd at the Nelson Mandela memorial repeatedly booed one of his successors as president, Jacob Zuma, Tuesday, in a sign of growing discontent at this generation of South African leaders. As images of Zuma flashed up on the big screens inside the Soweto stadium, there were sustained and repeated jeers from the tens of thousands of onlookers present. Amid the tuneful celebrations to Mandela's life, the heckles were jarring. Mandela's immediate successor Thabo Mbeki received applause in what often appeared to turn into a political beauty contest.
Israel's parliament has approved a law which allows illegal immigrants from Africa to be detained for up to a year without trial, MPs announced on Tuesday. The government-backed bill amends earlier legislation from 2012 under which illegal immigrants could be held for three years without trial that was overturned by the Supreme Court in September. It was the latest in a series of measures aimed at cracking down on the numbers of Africans entering the country illegally, which Israel says poses a threat to the state's Jewish character. Last year, Israel launched a crackdown on what it said were 60,000 illegal African immigrants, rounding up and deporting 3,920 by the end of the year, and building a hi-tech fence along the border with Egypt.
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — World leaders, family, friends and thousands of mourners who queued for hours to secure a seat in Johannesburg's FNB stadium paid tribute to South Africa's anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.