Nelson Mandela

Briefs, December 9, 2012

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 December, 2012, 3:57am

Nelson Mandela in hospital for tests

JOHANNESBURG - Former South African president Nelson Mandela was admitted to hospital for medical tests, although the government said there was no cause for alarm. A statement from President Jacob Zuma's office gave few details of the condition of the 94-year-old, saying only that he was doing well. Mandela, who became South Africa's first black president in 1994, went to hospital in February because of abdominal pain but was released after tests showed nothing wrong with him. Reuters


Storm aid bid short of states' requests

NEW YORK - US President Barack Obama asked Congress to approve a US$60.4 billion aid package to help east-coast states rebuild after superstorm Sandy, well short of their initial requests. Officials from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut had said they needed at least US$82 billion combined to make repairs and upgrade infrastructure. New York and New Jersey lawmakers said they expected Obama would seek more aid as the extent of Sandy's damage becomes clearer. Reuters


Obama aide's lip hair trimmed for US$1m

WASHINGTON - The US capital's most famous moustache is no more. Senior Barack Obama adviser David Axelrod shaved his iconic lip hair live on TV after raising US$1 million for epilepsy research. Axelrod said he had sported a moustache - a rarity in official Washington - for 40 years. Axelrod, 57, was saved from a hack job when the hosts of MSNBC news show Morning Joe stepped aside and let a professional barber with a straight razor do the job. AFP


Loyalists and police clash in Belfast

LONDON - Rioting broke out in Belfast in the latest flare-up of violence in Northern Ireland, just hours after US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited the troubled UK province urging peace. Tensions have risen since Belfast's council voted not to fly the British flag all year around, angering Protestant loyalists who believe Northern Ireland should retain strong links to Britain. Eight police officers were injured as they clashed with hundreds of loyalists close to the city centre and five people were arrested, police said. AFP


New Zealand trade protest turns violent

WELLINGTON - A protest aimed at disrupting Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks in New Zealand turned violent as demonstrators attacked security forces, police said. Two police officers were kicked "numerous times" and a woman was accused of stomping on a constable's head when protesters tried to force their way into Auckland's SkyCity building where the talks were taking place. Up to 300 people reportedly squared off against 50 police and building security staff before setting fire to cardboard boxes. AFP