VIDEO: Today's Headline News from Associated Press
NELSON MANDELA, 20TH CENTURY COLOSSUS, DIES AT 95
JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- Nelson Mandela, who became one of the world's most beloved statesmen and a colossus of the 20th century when he emerged from 27 years in prison to negotiate an end to white minority rule in South Africa, has died. He was 95.
South African President Jacob Zuma made the announcement at a news conference late Thursday, saying "we've lost our greatest son."
His death closed the final chapter in South Africa's struggle to cast off apartheid, leaving the world with indelible memories of a man of astonishing grace and good humor. Rock concerts celebrated his birthday. Hollywood stars glorified him on screen. And his regal bearing, graying hair and raspy voice made him instantly recognizable across the globe.
As South Africa's first black president, the ex-boxer, lawyer and prisoner No. 46664 paved the way to racial reconciliation with well-chosen gestures of forgiveness. He lunched with the prosecutor who sent him to jail, sang the apartheid-era Afrikaans anthem at his inauguration, and traveled hundreds of miles to have tea with the widow of Hendrik Verwoerd, the prime minister at the time he was imprisoned.
His most memorable gesture came when he strode onto the field before the 1995 Rugby World Cup final in Johannesburg. When he came on the field in South African colors to congratulate the victorious South African team, he brought the overwhelmingly white crowd of 63,000 to its feet, chanting "Nelson! Nelson! Nelson!"
For he had marched headlong into a bastion of white Afrikanerdom - the temple of South African rugby - and made its followers feel they belonged in the new South Africa.
COLD SNAP FREEZING THE US
From California to Ohio, a big chunk of the U.S. is getting a blast of wintry weather. Frigid temperatures are following a storm that's bringing snow and ice to many areas.
The conditions are making travel difficult, raising concerns about citrus crops and prompting the cancellation of fights, holiday festivities and football games. Even one outdoor ice rink in cold-accustomed South Dakota is shutting down.
GIFT GUIDE: LOTS OF HIGH-END LAPTOPS TO PICK FROM
NEW YORK (AP) -- Whether you're looking for something thin and light, or want a tablet that performs like a laptop, there's plenty to choose from if you're willing to spend a bit more for a high-end laptop computer.
Regardless of how much cash you have, you need to take into account the needs of the person you are shopping for. Is a super-sharp touch screen important? What about a fast processor? How much weight is the gift recipient willing to cart around?
This gift guide covers laptops with starting prices of more than $1,000, including a class of thin, light Windows laptops known as ultrabooks. If that's too pricey, check our earlier review of budget and mid-priced laptops at http://bit.ly/1bdUMXz . Prices listed are manufacturers' suggestions, and you can often shop around for deals.