President Barack Obama spoke to Nelson Mandela's widow, Graca Machel, by phone on Friday to express condolences over the former South African president's death, the White House said. "The president thanked Mrs. Machel for the profound influence that Nelson Mandela has had on him, and underscored the power of President Mandela's example for the people of South Africa and the entire world," the White House said in a statement.
By Ben Blanchard BEIJING (Reuters) - North Korea freed an 85-year-old retired American soldier on Saturday after detaining him for more than a month for crimes it said he committed during the Korean War six decades ago. The veteran, Merrill E. Newman, has arrived in China from North Korea and is likely to fly home soon. North Korea's official KCNA news agency earlier said he was being deported on humanitarian grounds and because he had admitted to his wrongdoing and apologized. "I'm very glad to be on my way home," Newman told Japanese reporters at Beijing airport.