JOHANNESBURG (AP) — As flags were lowered to half mast, people across South Africa commemorated Nelson Mandela with song, tears and prayers on Friday as the government prepared funeral ceremonies that will draw leaders and other dignitaries from around the globe.
The death of South Africa's liberation leader Nelson Mandela has unleashed a heartfelt chorus of awed respect from across the worlds of politics, religion, sport and culture. Statesmen, resistance leaders, Nobel laureates and prisoners of conscience have died before, but never has one man united such global unity in honoring his passing. Foreshadowing the guest list of what will surely be the most important funeral of recent decades, world leaders queued up to issue solemn tributes to the 95-year-old anti-apartheid hero who became South Africa's first democratic president. he belongs to the ages," Barack Obama, America's first black president, said in a deliberate echo of an early tribute paid to Abraham Lincoln, the president who emancipated the slaves.
Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell has abandoned plans to build a US facility to convert natural gas into diesel and other fuels, citing high costs. "Royal Dutch Shell plc ... announces that the company will not move forward with the proposed 140,000 barrels per day Gulf Coast gas-to-liquids (GTL) project in Louisiana and will suspend any further work on the project," it said in a statement issued late on Thursday. The London-listed group added: "Despite the ample supplies of natural gas in the area, the company has taken the decision that GTL is not a viable option for Shell in North America, at this time, due to the likely development cost of such a project, uncertainties on long-term oil and gas prices and differentials, and Shell’s strict capital discipline."