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Africa Wanders From Mandela's Path To Democracy

Mandela showed the way as African states began to democratize in the 1990s. Today, African countries are holding elections with greater regularity than ever before, but it's still relatively rare for power to change hands at the ballot box.

South Africans Reflect On Mandela's 'Rainbow Nation'

Equality for all South Africans, regardless of race or color, was at the core of the struggle against apartheid. Nineteen years after Nelson Mandela was sworn in as the first black president in the country's first democratic elections, what is the status of race relations?

U.S. Reassesses Relationship With Rebel Groups In Syria

In Syria, the moderate rebel groups supported by the United States have largely been marginalized, as more radical Islamists have moved to the fore. The new developments are forcing the U.S. to reassess its options and to consider reaching out to Islamist groups from whom it had previously kept its distance. The new criterion for U.S. support may simply be a willingness to oppose al-Qaida in Syria.

Mandela's Home Town Prepares For Thousands Of Visitors

Nelson Mandela will be laid to rest Sunday in his rural homestead of Qunu, which leaves this modest region to cope with the influx of thousands wishing to pay their last respects.

Poem: Nelson Mandela, 'An Ordinary Man'

South African spoken word artist Thabiso Mohare performs under the name Afurakan. He shares a poem he wrote about Nelson Mandela.
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The Pope, Poverty And Policy

Pope Benedict stunned the world when he stepped down earlier this year. His successor, Pope Francis, has been shaking things up ever since. The first Jesuit to head the Vatican, Francis is renewing the Church's focus on poverty and putting a new face forward. We find out more about the history of the Jesuits, the Holy See and consider the influence Francis is having on policy around the world, including the United States.


Game Director Shifts From 'Grand Theft Auto' To Iranian Revolution

A blockbuster video game director is working on a game where you don't shoot back. It puts the player inside the Iranian Revolution of 1979, and it's a financial and personal risk to the game makers.

White House: American Seized In Iran Wasn't On CIA Payroll

The Obama administration reiterated its long-held position that Robert Levinson was not "a U.S. government employee when he went missing in Iran" in 2007. The assertion comes a day after The Associated Press reported that Levinson was on a rogue mission for the CIA.

A Winter Storm Brings Misery, Rare Snow To Mideast

The storm dubbed Alexa has blown tents down in Syrian refugee camps and flooded parts of the Gaza Strip. It has also given Jerusalem its heaviest snowfall in 50 years, and Cairo its first snow in decades.

Golden Globe Nominees: 'An Embarrassment Of Riches'

Thanks to films like 'Twelve Years A Slave,' 'Lee Daniels' The Butler' and 'Fruitvale Station,' it's been said that 2013 was the 'Year of the Black film.' But do the Golden Globe nominations support that? Host Michel Martin finds out more from Grantland's film critic Wesley Morris.