• ABCNews.com(PRETORIA, South Africa) -- The South African government will honor Winnie Madikizela-Mandela with an official national funeral.The anti-apartheid icon, who was married to Nelson Mandela for 37 years, died in a hospital Monday after being admitted for a recurring kidney infection.South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that she will be laid to rest at a state funeral on April 14. A national memorial service will be held three days earlier.Speaking outside Madikizela-Mandela’s home on Soweto’s Vilakazi Street ‚ Ramaphosa said the country lost a leader and an icon.“There will be many other memorial functions across the country‚ in almost every province‚” said Ramaphosa. “We would like to express our gratitude and our thanks to many across the country and the world who are wishing us well‚ who are wishing her movement well.”In a statement, Ramaphosa described Madikizela-Mandela as a voice for the voiceless.“In the coming days, as we mourn the passing of this heroine of our struggle, let us reflect on her rich, remarkable and meaningful life,” she said. “Let us draw inspiration from the struggles that she fought and the dream of a better society to which she dedicated her life.”
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(PHEONIX) -- A mother in Arizona is in trouble after allegedly getting too overzealous in waking her son for Easter church service.According to Phoenix ABC affiliate KNXV, the mother was arrested after she used a stun gun to wake her son for Sunday service.Phoenix police say 40-year-old Sharron Dobbins "contact tazed her teenage son on the leg" in order to wake him."I said, 'Get up! It's Jesus' Day!'" Dobbins told KNXV.Dobbins admits she was holding a Taser, but says she only flashed its lights and made it spark in order to warn her 16-year-old son."I made the noise with the Taser, but I did not tase my son."Phoenix police say they found two marks on the teen's leg and took Dobbins into custody. Dobbins spent 12 hours in jail on Easter, KNXV reported."He was like, 'Mom, I'm calling the police.' I said, 'You can call the police, UPS, DPS, whoever you want to call,'" Dobbins told KNXV. "Police were on the phone and I told the dispatcher, I told her, 'You need to be with Jesus right now.'"Police records show Dobbins was charged with one count of child abuse with intent to cause harm."I don't think I did anything wrong because you're supposed to put God first and that's all I was trying to do is tell my kids to put God first," said Dobbins.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Jonathan J. Dunbar/Department of Defense(WASHINGTON) -- The American and British soldiers killed last week in Manbij, Syria were "conducting a mission to kill or capture a known ISIS member," Pentagon spokesperson Maj. Adrian Rankine-Galloway confirmed on Monday.Master Sgt. Jonathan Dunbar and British soldier Sgt. Matt Tonroe were killed after being struck by an improvised explosive device (IED) that detonated in the early hours of March 30. Five others were wounded and evacuated out for medical treatment."This operation was part of the Coalition's mission to defeat ISIS, and we remain focused on our mission," Rankine-Galloway said.The kill or capture mission was first reported by CNN. In earlier press releases, the Department of Defense characterized the incident that killed Dunbar and Tonroe as occurring while the group was on "patrol."Dunbar, 36, of Austin, Texas, was assigned to the Army's elite Delta Force, according to two sources familiar with his service. He joined the Army in 2005, serving multiple tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and is only the second American combat-related death this year.Tonroe, 33, was a member of a British special forces unit, Special Air Service.In Manbij, the U.S. and its coalition partners have a small contingent of forces advising, training and assisting Syrian Democratic Forces in the fight against ISIS.There are approximately 2,000 U.S. troops across the country and dozens of officials from the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) working on the ground to stabilize cities and towns after ISIS's defeat.But the death of these soldiers comes as the White House has placed doubt on the future role for the U.S. in Syria.President Donald Trump appeared to signal the withdrawal "very soon" of U.S. troops from Syria last Thursday, surprising the Pentagon and State Department."By the way, we're knocking the hell out of ISIS," Trump told a crowd in Ohio during a speech on infrastructure spending. "We're coming out of Syria very soon. Let the other people take care of it now, very soon. Very soon, we're coming out."In contrast, Defense Secretary James Mattis and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have said repeatedly that those troops will remain and the civilian presence will increase as the U.S. works to prevent a new terror group from forming.U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), the military command in charge of the war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, told ABC News on Thursday that their mission will continue."CENTCOM's military strategy in Syria is the defeat of ISIS," a spokesperson said in an email. "To reiterate what [CENTCOM commander Gen. Joseph Votel] said yesterday, our mission in northern Syria and Syria in the coalition is strictly focused on the defeat of ISIS so as we work through the very complicated situation in Syria, it is our intention to continue to focus on the aspects of ISIS that still need to be addressed."Trump's comment also contradicted how the president himself has spoken about American military action – as he has repeatedly insisted the U.S. not set timelines or telegraph actions to the enemy.“America's enemies must never know our plans, or believe they can wait us out," Trump said at Fort Myer, Va., in August while announcing a new strategy for the war in Afghanistan.Mattis has made the same argument, writing in a letter to Congress in January, "We do not have a timeline-based approach to our presence in either Iraq or Syria."Withdrawing "prematurely," he added, would only give ISIS the opportunity "to regenerate capabilities and reestablish local control of territory... We, along with the Coalition and our partners, remain committed to ISIS's permanent defeat."While the U.S.-led coalition has made significant progress against ISIS, the group has not been destroyed completely. Meanwhile, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad continues to wage a civil war on his own people – backed by the Russian government.Copyright ©
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  • Oli Scarff/Getty Images(JOHANNESBURG) -- Nelson Mandela's ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, has died at the age of 81, according to her family and personal assistant.Madikizela-Mandela, known to many in South Africa as “The Mother of the Nation,” had been ill for a number of years and was most recently admitted to the hospital for a kidney infection.Her personal assistant‚ Zodwa Zwane‚ first confirmed Madikizela-Mandela's death on Monday afternoon.“It is with profound sadness that we inform the public that Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela passed away at the Netcare Milpark Hospital‚ Johannesburg‚ South Africa on Monday April 2‚ 2018," Madikizela-Mandela's family said in a statement. "She died after a long illness‚ for which she had been in and out of hospital since the start of the year. She succumbed peacefully in the early hours of Monday afternoon surrounded by her family and loved ones." Family spokesperson Victor Dlamini said details of a memorial and funeral service would be released soon.Madikizela-Mandela was born in 1936 and moved to Johannesburg to study social work after graduation. She met lawyer and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela in 1957 and the two married a year later. They had two children together.During her ex-husband’s 27-year imprisonment for his fight against apartheid, Madikizela-Mandela campaigned for his release and the rights of black South Africans despite being arrested and banished by the apartheid government and constant harassment by security police.The former first lady’s life was not without controversy. In 1991‚ she was convicted of kidnapping and being an accessory to the assault of Stompie Seipei‚ a young activist who was killed by one of her bodyguards.Madikizela-Mandela’s bodyguards had abducted Seipei‚ 14‚ in 1989‚ along with three other youths‚ from the home of Methodist minister Paul Verryn.  Her six-year jail sentence was reduced to a fine and a two-year suspended sentence on appeal.Her marriage to Mandela began to flounder a few years after his release and the couple divorced in 1996‚ 37 years after their marriage.After the first democratic election in 1994‚ Madikizela-Mandela became an MP and was appointed deputy minister of arts and culture. She was fired by Mandela after an unauthorized trip to Ghana.She had been a member of Parliament ever since‚ despite limited appearances in Parliament in the past few years.In 2016‚ she was conferred an Order of Luthuli in Silver during the National Orders Awards ceremony for her excellent contribution to the fight for the liberation of the people of South Africa.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- London’s monthly murder rate has overtaken New York City’s for the first time in modern history, according to new figures from the Metropolitan Police and the New York Police Department. In February, 15 people were murdered in London, against 14 in New York. But in March, London had 22 murders, slightly more than the 21 in New York, according to London Metropolitan Police figures that have not yet been officially released but which were confirmed to ABC News. For the year 2018 so far, London still has fewer killings than New York, 46 compared to 50. London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s office said it was “deeply concerned” by the latest figures of knife crime in the capital, but insisted that London “remains one of the safest [cities] in the world.”New York and London have similar-size populations of around 8.5 million each. But the U.S. city’s murder rate has dropped dramatically, by about 87 percent, since its peak in the 1990s.London’s murder rate has in contrast risen by 38 percent since 2014 when the city had 94 killings. There were 119 murders in 2015, 109 in 2016 and 134 in 2017. The head of the Metropolitan Police Force, Cressida Dick, partly blamed social media for the rise in knife crime in London, which accounts for the majority of killings in the city.Of the 46 murders in London this year, only four are confirmed so far to have been by gunshot although in several cases, confirmation of the cause of death is not yet final, according to the Metropolitan Policy.The city's police head, Dick, told BBC radio that apps and social websites played a large role in escalating disputes into violence. In December, she appealed for increased funding for police forces despite overall cuts to public services in order to fight the rise in knife crimes.She told a panel of members of Parliament in November 2017 that a proposal to find $560 million in savings from the Metropolitan Police would lead to a cut of at least 27,000 police officers.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(GUANGZHOU, China) -- Crossing the street in China can often have nothing to do with whether a light is red or green. Instead, people crowd onto the curb until it reaches critical mass, and off they go -- traffic or no traffic.In order to solve the jaywalking problem, police in one region of the country of 1.4 billion people have come up with a solution: social media shaming.Police in the southern city of Guangzhou, China, recently set up a testing site at a traffic intersection near a subway station, the local Guangzhou Daily newspaper reported. Pedestrians who crossed the street without a green light would be stopped and asked to post their misdemeanor on popular Chinese social media platform, WeChat, according to the paper. Offenders have to write up the details of how they broke the traffic rule, along with a picture, and the hashtag “Start from me to follow the traffic rule," according to Guangzhou Daily.Police will let the offenders go once they share the post to 10 chat groups, or gather at least 20 likes, Chinese media reported.Offenders can instead choose to watch a three-minute long educational video in front of an LED TV screen police set up by the side of the street, according to the reports.  “The purpose of this punishment is to educate the public,” policeman Zhangwei told China News Service. “Publishing the posts on social media is done to hope the offenders can pass what they have learned to their friends, and promote more people to follow the traffic rules.”According to Chinanews, the number of offenders at the traffic intersection have dropped by half in 20 days.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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