VIDEO: Today's Headline News from Associated Press
OBAMA HAILS MANDELA
JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- Amid cheers and song for the prisoner who became peacemaker, President Barack Obama energized tens of thousands of spectators and nearly 100 visiting heads of state Tuesday with a plea for the world to emulate Nelson Mandela, "the last great liberator of the 20th century."
Obama's eulogy was the rhetorical highlight of a memorial service in which South Africans celebrated Mandela's life with singing and dancing, often during dignitaries' speeches. They also booed their own president and were chided by a top government official who said: "Let's not embarrass ourselves."
Lashing rain lent a freewheeling aspect to the memorial, with people taking shelter in the stadium's wide hallways, where they sang anti-apartheid anthems from the 1970s and 1980s. Foul weather kept many away, and the 95,000-capacity stadium was only two-thirds full.
Obama implored people to embrace Mandela's universal message of peace and justice, comparing the South African leader to Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln. Mandela spent 27 years in prison under a racist regime, and promoted forgiveness and reconciliation when he was finally freed.
"We will never see the likes of Nelson Mandela again," Obama said. "But let me say to the young people of Africa, and young people around the world - you can make his life's work your own."
He hailed Mandela, who died Thursday at 95, as the unlikely leader of a movement that gave "potent voice to the claims of the oppressed and the moral necessity of racial justice. "
LOCAL LEADERS PLANNING FOR CLIMATE EFFECTS
WASHINGTON (AP) -- When it comes to climate change, local officials have a message for Washington: Lead or get out of the way.
Local governments have long acted as first responders in emergencies and now are working to plan for sea level rise, floods, hurricanes and other extreme events associated with climate change.
As a presidential task force began its work Tuesday, local officials said they want and need federal support but worried that congressional gridlock and balky bureaucratic rules too often get in the way.
"Government, whether the White House or Congress, is not there to make you whole after a disaster," said Bob Dixson, mayor of Greensburg, Kan., which was leveled by a 2007 tornado.
Federal assistance was crucial after the tornado, which destroyed 95 percent of the town. But federal agencies "are there as a resource. You have to be engaged and involved if you really want your community to thrive afterwards," Dixson said after a meeting of a White House task force on climate preparedness and resilience.
President Barack Obama appointed the task force last month to advise the administration on how to respond to severe storms, wildfires, droughts and other events affected by climate change. All but four of the 26 task force members are Democrats.
The task force meeting occurred as the White House announced that John Podesta, a former chief of staff under President Bill Clinton, will join Obama's inner circle, focusing on energy and climate change issues.
Dixson, a task force member and a Republican, called climate resilience a key part of environmental stewardship. Neither issue should be partisan, he said, nor should it be left to the federal government.
"It has to come from the community level," he said. "It can't be an edict from the Beltway."
GIFT GUIDE: NAVIGATING MAZE OF PHONE, PLAN CHOICES
NEW YORK (AP) -- So you're ready to buy a new smartphone for your loved one. Which do you choose?
Before you do anything, you have to decide whether to buy the phone outright or go the traditional route of buying a carrier-subsidized one with a two-year service contract.
In most cases, you're better off with the contract price, as long as the person you're buying it for plans to keep the phone for two years and doesn't change carriers. Prices vary, but expect to pay $500 to $700 without a contract, or $100 to $300 with one.
Even with the $15 monthly discount that AT&T and Sprint offer to those who bring their own phone, you or your loved one will be paying $27-a-month installments for a high-end device. The discounts are great if you want to upgrade phones frequently or find a used or cheaper phone. And with T-Mobile, you must buy or bring your own device, but its service fees for voice, text and data have been reduced for everyone.
Next, you need to decide on an operating system. Here's a guide to that, along with some of the devices available. Keep in mind some phones are limited to certain wireless carriers.
Click to read guide
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