US President Barack Obama delivers a speech during the memorial service for late South African President Nelson Mandela at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg on December 10, 2013. Mandela, the revered icon of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and one of the towering political figures of the 20th century, died in Johannesburg on December 5 at age 95. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
It’s been exactly a year since Nelson Mandela passed away, but his legacy continues. People across the globe are paying homage to South Africa’s first black president; a man who broke barriers and made sacrifices to evoke social and political change. President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama today released a statement reflecting on the legacy of Mandela. “One year ago the world lost a leader whose struggle and sacrifices inspired us to stand up for our fundamental principles, whose example reminded us of the enduring need for compassion, understanding, and reconciliation, and whose vision saw the promise of a better world,” read the statement released by the White House. “As we pause today to remember the legacy of Madiba, I hope we can all take a moment to reflect on how Mandela’s life has inspired our own, and will impact the paths of generations to come – including the next generation of world leaders. While Mandela left behind a world more just and free, there is much more work to be done. On this day, and on every day, we honor his spirit and his memory.”
Liberia’s President Bans Political Rallies in Fear of Ebola Outbreak
Although talks about the Ebola outbreak have been calmed down in the United States, the issue is still widespread in Africa. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia recently banned rallies and gatherings in Monrovia before the senatorial election. President Sirleaf has also extended to ban to 30 days after the election. Although the decision was made as a safety precaution, the move pits concerns of public safety against freedom of speech within the democratic process. Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 6,100 people; half of those deaths have been in Liberia. Read more.
Aretha Franklin to Receive Billboard’s First Ever Women in Music Icon Award
Billboard will show legendary songstress Aretha Franklin a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T for all that she’s done in the music industry. Franklin will be presented with the first ever Women in Music Icon Award. Billboard describes the recipient of the award as a woman who’s career has had a “lasting impact” in the realm of music. Other artists who are slated to be recognized at the December 12th event include Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and Idina Menzel. Read more.