Family, loved ones, celebrities and political leaders, including former U.S. President Bill Clinton, were among the thousands who gathered at Detroit's Greater Grace Temple Friday for an all-day funeral to honor Aretha Franklin. The star-studded event with performances by Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson and Faith Hill among others was at times somber and often joyful, a larger than life tribute to the woman known and loved around the world as the "Queen of Soul." VOA's Cindy Saine has more.
The longest-serving NATO commander in Afghanistan is stepping down Sunday. Before his confirmation in 2016, U.S. General John Nicholson told Congress the U.S. campaign in Afghanistan has "largely defined" his service. Nicholson has served about six years in the war-torn country since Sept. 11, 2001, and, as VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports, experts say only time will tell if his legacy set the Afghan government up for success or simply maintained a stalemate with the Taliban.
A U.S. senator who was held as a prisoner of war (POW) in Vietnam and then ran for U.S. president twice was given the honor of lying in state in the U.S. Capitol Friday, two days before his burial. Arizona Senator John McCain lost his battle with cancer. But the 81-year-old will probably be best remembered for his ability to cross party boundaries. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.