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December 15, 2013

Around the World and Nation

(Continued)

The bells rang 26 times at St. Rose of Lima church in Newtown beginning at 9:30 a.m. — the moment the gunman shot his way into the school on Dec. 14, 2012 — and names of the victims were read over a loudspeaker. Connecticut’s governor had asked for bells to ring across Connecticut and directed that flags be lowered to half-staff.

Mandela’s casket arrives in Qunu; mourners gather along motorcade route

QUNU, South Africa (AP) — Nelson Mandela came home Saturday.

A hearse carrying Mandela’s body drove into his hometown in rural South Africa ahead of burial Sunday, returning the country’s peacemaker to the place where he had always wanted to die.

It was here in Qunu that Mandela roamed the hills and tended livestock as a youth, absorbing lessons about discipline and consensus from traditional chiefs. From here he embarked on a journey — the “long walk to freedom” as he put it — that thrust him to the forefront of black South Africans’ struggle for equal rights that resonated around the world.

As motorcyclists in uniform and armored personnel carriers escorted the vehicle carrying Mandela’s casket to the family compound, people lining the route sang, applauded and, in some cases, wept.

“When I saw the hearse passing, I couldn’t hold my excitement. I felt like I was holding him by the hand,” said Norma Khobo. “It was very exciting, I saw him!”

Desmond Tutu changes plans, says he will attend Mandela funeral

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu changed course Saturday night and announced plans to attend the funeral of anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela after all.

Spokesman Roger Friedman did not explain Tutu’s abrupt reversal but said Tutu would catch a flight early in the morning and be in attendance at Mandela’s funeral Sunday in the village of Qunu.

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