Nelson Mandela, the revered statesman who emerged from prison after 27 years to lead South Africa out of decades of apartheid, has died, South African President Jacob Zuma announced late Thursday. CNN's Robyn Curnow reports.
Mandela was 95.
"He is now resting. He is now at peace," Zuma said. "Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father."
"What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human," the president said in his late-night address.
"We saw in him what we seek in ourselves."
Mandela will have a state funeral. Zuma ordered all flags in the nation to be flown at half-staff from Friday through that funeral.
Mandela, a former president, battled health issues in recent months, including a recurring lung infection that led to numerous hospitalizations.
With advancing age and bouts of illness, Mandela retreated to a quiet life at his boyhood home in the nation's Eastern Cape Province, where he said he was most at peace.
He was later moved to his home in the Johannesburg suburb of Houghton, where he died.
Despite rare public appearances, he held a special place in the consciousness of the nation and the world.
See reactions from the international community below:
Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson used cocaine during two periods of her life, she admitted Wednesday as she testified in the fraud trial of two former personal assistants in a London court, reports CNN's Erin MgLaughlin.
She told the court she had used the drug about six times with her late husband, John Diamond, when he learned that his cancer was terminal, in order to give him "some escape from his treatment."
She also used cocaine once in July 2010 when she felt subject to "terrorism" by her then-husband Charles Saatchi, she said.
At that point she felt trapped, isolated and unhappy, she said, and a friend offered her the drug.
But, Lawson said, "I've never been a drug addict, I've never been an habitual user. ... I did not have a drug problem, I had a life problem."
Saatchi had claimed in an e-mail that Lawson had used drugs regularly, but in testimony Friday he backed off that claim.
Lawson's admission of cocaine use came after she earlier testified that Saatchi had threatened to "destroy" her if she did not "clear his name."
She had been asked about her reluctance to attend court as a witness in the assistants' trial - a case that has gripped the media as claims emerge about the couple's troubled personal life.
"I have been put on trial here where I am called to answer, and glad to answer the allegations, and the world's press, and it comes after a long summer of bullying and abuse," Lawson said. "I find it's another chapter in that."
Referring to Saatchi's request for her to attend the trial, made in a letter sent by his lawyers, Lawson said: "He had said to me if I didn't get back to him and clear his name he would destroy me."
Lawson said she felt she had to do her civic duty. "It's difficult for me, it's very difficult for my children, but I want to do the right thing," she added.
The former aides, Italian sisters Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo, deny embezzling hundreds of thousands of pounds on company credit cards while employed by Lawson and Saatchi.
The NTSB said it has booted the rail union from its investigation into the weekend's deadly train derailment for violating confidentiality rules.
The agency made the announcement late Tuesday night, hours after a union representative told CNN that the train engineer apparently "was nodding off and caught himself too late" before the accident.
The train derailment Sunday killed four people and injured 67 others in New York.
In its announcement, the NTSB specifically cited those comments as the violation.
Anthony Bottalico, the union representative, told CNN that engineer William Rockefeller Jr. recognizes his responsibility in the incident.
"I think most people are leaning towards human error," Bottalico said.
Rockefeller's lawyer, Jeffrey Chartier, characterized what happened as "highway hypnosis." He said his client had had a full night's sleep before the crash, and had no disciplinary record.
In a brief conversation with investigators, Rockefeller said that moments before the derailment of the Hudson Line train in the Bronx he was "going along and I'm in a daze. I don't know what happened," according to a law enforcement official familiar with that conversation.
Rockefeller spoke to Metropolitan Transportation Authority and New York Police detectives at the crash site before he was taken to the hospital Sunday.
According to NTSB representatives, results from alcohol breath tests for the train engineer were negative, and the brake and signal systems in the deadly Metro-North accident appeared to be working. Other toxicology results have not yet come back.
Fatigue is a factor being investigated, according to a separate New York law enforcement source. But Rockefeller also told investigators on site that the brakes had failed, as CNN reported previously. Officials noted the train had been able to stop nine times at stations ahead of the crash.
The train was equipped with a "dead man's pedal," designed to stop the train if the engineer becomes incapacitated, said National Transportation Safety Board member Earl Weener. But it was unclear whether that emergency system was activated.
The commuter train that jumped its tracks in the Bronx was barreling into a curve at nearly three times the posted speed when it derailed, killing four passengers, federal safety officials said Monday.
Preliminary data from the event recorders aboard the train clocked it at 82 mph as it approached the 30-mph curve, where the Hudson and Harlem rivers converge, National Transportation Safety Board member Earl Weener told reporters. The data show the engineer cut the throttle and slammed on the brakes, but those moves came "very late in the game," Weener said.
"This is raw data off the event recorders, so it tells us what happened. It doesn't tell us why it happened," Weener said.
Investigators questioned the engineer, William Rockefeller, and the rest of the train crew on Monday. Rockefeller told investigators he applied the brakes, but the train didn't slow down, according to a law enforcement official who was at the scene and is familiar with the investigation.
But while the cause of the derailment has not yet been determined, investigators have seen no indication of brake problems, Weener said.
All seven coaches and the locomotive came off the tracks in the Sunday morning crash on New York's Metro-North Hudson line. In addition to the four dead, at least 67 more were hurt. Three remained in critical condition Monday night, and 16 others were still hospitalized, hospitals told CNN.
The train's recorded speed is not only far faster than the rated speed for the curve where the derailment occurred, it's faster than the 70 mph posted for the section of track that led into the curve, Weener said. The force of the crash ripped apart the rails and a section of the track bed, leaving chunks of concrete strewn about the scene.
David Schanoes, a former deputy chief of field operations for the Metro-North line, said the data is "uncannily similar" to a July rail crash in Spain that left 79 dead.
A commuter train derailed in a curve in the New York borough of the Bronx on Sunday, killing four people and leaving dozens hurt, investigators said.
All seven passenger cars and the locomotive jumped the tracks near the Spuyten Duyvil station, about 10 miles north of Manhattan's Grand Central Terminal, the National Transportation Safety Board reported. Three of the dead were thrown out of the train as it "came off the track and was twisting and turning," New York Fire Department Chief Edward Kilduff told reporters.
Surviving passenger Amanda Swanson told CNN the windows of the coaches broke out, and "the gravel came flying up in our faces."
"I really didn't know if I would survive," said Swanson, who put her bag in front of her face to block the rubble. "The train felt like it was on its side and dragging for a long time. ... The whole thing felt like slow motion."
The train was en route to Grand Central from Poughkeepsie, 74 miles up the Hudson River, when it derailed about 7:20 a.m., NTSB member Earl Weener said Sunday. At least 67 people were injured, said Joe Bruno, New York's commissioner of emergency management, and 11 remained in critical condition Sunday evening, Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters.
It is Black Friday, and the mad dash to find the best holiday deals has begun. Scenes of shoppers fighting their way into stores is playing out all across the country.
Crowds are lining up – not always politely – for clothes, electronics and more, with everyone looking to get a bang for their buck. That is of course if stores haven't already sold out of the hottest items already. CNN's Zain Asher reports.
With the worst of the severe weather behind us now... one big questions remains unanswered! Will Snoopy and Woodstock fly?
Three-and-a-half million expected guests - many of them tourists - are crossing their fingers and praying to the weather gods right now because the 87th Macy's thanksgiving day parade is set to begin with high winds whipping through Manhattan - sponge bob, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the "big balloon" gang – could be grounded.
It's ugly out there. And it's only getting uglier.
Tuesday has been a mess for much of the East Coast. A massive storm that started in California soaked a huge swath from Florida to New England, with snow and sleet falling in pockets of Pennsylvania and New York, CNN Meteorologist Indra Petersons reports the latest.
This system isn't going away anytime soon. In fact, it could cause even more problems and headaches on Wednesday, especially if you are among the thousands at airports waiting and waiting and waiting to fly home for Thanksgiving.
That's because winds are forecast to pick up and sock densely populated places in the Northeast in the next day or so.
For drivers, big gusts mixed with drenching rains can slow things down any day. For air travelers, there is always a big trickle-down effect when places like New York's LaGuardia and Kennedy airports or those in Philadelphia and Boston experience wind delays.
According to flight tracker websites this morning, Roughly 200 flights have been canceled nationwide, with about 120 delays at this hour, reports CNN's Rene Marsh. (SEE VIDEO BELOW)\
A wintery storm system–that's quickly moving East–has killed at least 12 people. Millions of Americans are now in the crosshairs. And it’s threatening to make getting to your Thanksgiving destination very difficult.
Hundreds of flights were canceled over the weekend. Even more could be impacted in the next 48 hours.
Tracking the storm, CNN Meteorologist Indra Petersons says strong winds in the East will cause air traffic delays Wednesday and even Thursday.
The wicked wintry weather that pummeled the West Coast is now barreling across the country, threatening to ruin millions of holiday travel plans just before Thanksgiving. CNN Meteorologist Indra Petersons has the forecast.
More than 300 flights have already been canceled in the Dallas-Fort Worth area - not exactly a bastion for snow storms. Sleet and freezing rain will keep blanketing parts of the Southern Plains and Southern Rockies on Monday.
"It's going to be so close to freezing, that's when we're anticipating it to be bad," Sgt. Lonny Haschel of the Texas Department of Public Safety said.
And after the storm deluges parts of the South with rain Monday evening, it'll start zeroing in on the Northeast, the National Weather Service said. And that could spell more travel nightmares.
It's not just the bad timing that has travelers riled up. In many of the places, this kind of weather isn't supposed to happen.
"This is not Texas weather, man," driver Ron Taylor told CNN affiliate KTVT. "This is Alaska, or Idaho."
Even parts of Lubbock, known for its warmth and flatness, turned into a snowboarding park as several inches of snow blanketed the western Texas city.