World News

US President to Pay Respects to Nelson Mandela

TEXT SIZE - +
The White House says President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will travel to South Africa next week to pay respects to late anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Friday the Obamas will participate in memorial events, adding that he will announce more details when they become available.

Every living U.S. president is expected to attend Mr. Mandela's funeral, health permitting.

Celebrities close to Mandela, including Oprah Winfrey, also plan to fly in to pay their respects.

South Africa will hold a state burial on December 15 to honor the nation's first black president, who died Thursday at age 95.

President Obama says he was one of countless millions who have been inspired by the South African leader's "moral courage, kindness and humility." Flags in the U.S. will fly half-staff through December 9 to honor Mr. Mandela.



U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Mr. Mandela's courage "and then his forgiveness inspired us all and challenged us to do better."

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Friday the creation of the Nelson Mandela School for Social Justice. The new high school will be located in the Boys and Girls High School campus in New York's Brooklyn borough, where Mr. Mandela visited in 1990.

Feature Story

FILE - President Barack Obama waves as he boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland en route to Southeast Asia, November 17, 2012.

Video Obama to Reassure Asian Allies

China is not on the itinerary, but with its efforts to control parts of the East and South China Sea, Beijing is on the minds of Obama and the allies he is visiting More