By Ed Cropley and Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - With hymns and eulogies, South Africans of all colors and creeds remembered Nelson Mandela in a day of prayers on Sunday, holding him up as a symbol of freedom, forgiveness and hope for the nation and the world. Mandela, South Africa's first black president who steered his nation out of apartheid and into multi-racial democracy, died on Thursday at the age of 95 after months of illness. Crowds have piled flowers, candles, balloons and messages outside his Johannesburg home. At the cavernous Regina Mundi church in Soweto, South Africa's largest Catholic Church, hundreds of mourners, young and old, gathered to pray for Mandela and the nation's future.
U.N. inspectors visited an Iranian plant on Sunday linked to a planned heavy-water reactor that could yield nuclear bomb fuel, taking up an initial offer by Tehran to open its disputed nuclear program to greater scrutiny. The increased transparency is the result of a thaw in relations between Iran and the West that culminated in a deal struck last month under which Tehran is to curb its nuclear program in return for some easing of sanctions. Iran's heavy water work is a big concern for the West because it could be used in the process of making a nuclear bomb. Tehran says its program is for peaceful purposes.
North Korea announced on Monday the dismissal of Jang Song Thaek, the once powerful uncle of leader Kim Jong Un, for what it described as a string of criminal acts including corruption, womanising and drug-taking. South Korea's spy agency last week said it believed Jang, long regarded as the second most powerful man in the secretive state, had been relieved of his posts in November. The sacking means Pyongyang is undergoing its biggest leadership upheaval since the death in 2011 of former leader Kim Jong Il, the younger Kim's father. "Jang and his followers committed criminal acts baffling imagination and they did tremendous harm to our party and revolution," the North's KCNA news agency said in a report following a meeting of the ruling Workers' Party politburo on Sunday.
By Steve Scherer ROME (Reuters) - Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi won a primary vote to become leader of Italy's center-left Democratic Party (PD), preliminary results showed on Sunday, giving him influence over the fragile coalition government and the timing of the next elections. "With the new secretary, Matteo Renzi, we will work together with team spirit that will be productive for the country and the center left," Letta said in a statement after Renzi's victory.