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    South Africa Honors Mandela with Day of Reflection

    Thousands of people gathered at churches across South Africa Sunday for a national day of prayer and reflection in honor of Nelson Mandela, remembering him as the father of a new South Africa.

    South African President Jacob Zuma, at a church service in Johannesburg, thanked God for giving Mr. Mandela to South Africa.

    His ex-wife, Winnie Mandikizela-Mandela, joined one of his grandsons, Mandla Mandela, and other members of the family for Sunday's service.

    World leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, are traveling to Johannesburg to attend the official memorial service for Mr. Mandela on Tuesday.

    The service will be held at Johannesburg's Soccer City stadium - the site of the 2010 World Cup final. Memorial services will also be held in all provinces and regions.

    The White House announced that Mr. Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will depart from Andrews Air Force Base near Washington for South Africa on Monday morning.

    Former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush will also attend.



    Mandla Mandela thanked mourners during a special service held Sunday by veterans of the African National Congress' guerrilla wing.



    "Today you remind us, the Mandela family, of my grandfather's commitment for the liberation of our people. His commitment to the struggle for liberation was indeed cemented in the young men and women that took up arms to liberate our country."



    Mr. Mandela's remains will lie in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria - the official seat of the South African government - on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

    Officials said Saturday that Mr. Mandela's funeral cortege will travel through the streets of Pretoria, and they encouraged people to line the route.

    Mourners have been flocking to sites around South Africa to pay homage to their beloved freedom fighter.

    Organizers say they expect about 9,000 people to attend a public state funeral on December 15, in Mr. Mandela's ancestral village of Qunu.

    On Saturday, a large crowded gathered in Soweto township where people sang, danced and held up pictures of Mr. Mandela. He lived in the township when he was a young lawyer.

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    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
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    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
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    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
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    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

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    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

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    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
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    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
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    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
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    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
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    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
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    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
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    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

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