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Soweto (South Africa) (AFP) - 0728 GMT: A choir of around 50 people have come onstage, some bundled up in warm clothes, with others in dinner jackets but all managing to still look elegant and upbeat in the rain. 0720 GMT: The ceremony, which is due to formally start soon, will echo the wave of loving admiration which resonated worldwide at news of Mandela's death at his home in Johannesburg on Thursday. On the eve of the memorial Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu described Mandela as a "magician" who conjured a united nation out of a country teetering on the brink of civil war. 0715 GMT: The presidents of the United States and Cuba are among those who will share the memorial stage, while four of Mandela's grandchildren will speak, although neither his widow, Graca Machel, nor his ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela are listed on the programme.
Growth in China's factory output and investment eased slightly in November while retail sales grew at their strongest rate this year, official data showed, suggesting the economy is on track to achieve the government's growth target this year. Industrial output grew 10.0 percent in November, a four-month low and slightly below market expectations, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday. Retail sales, a key gauge of domestic consumption, rose 13.7 percent in November from a year earlier. That was the fastest growth since last December, and beat market expectations.