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For most of the world, his name is synonymous with courage and perseverance. Leaders and citizens, athletes and artists remembered Nelson Mandela on Friday — though many struggled to find words big enough to describe the man who changed the face of South Africa and inspired a continent and a world: a colossus, a father figure, a giant baobab tree providing shade for an entire nation.
The US jobless rate fell sharply to 7 percent in November, the lowest level in five years on the creation of a solid 203,000 jobs, the Labor Department announced Friday. The drop in the rate, from 7.3 percent in October, was unexpected and raised the odds that the Federal Reserve could soon begin moving away from its huge stimulus plan. But these gains were mostly due to the return to the rolls of full-time work by hundreds of thousands of government workers laid off temporarily in the first half of October due to washington budget politics, which saw many of them recorded as out of work, according to the Labor Department. That correction to October's distortions also pushed the labor force participation rate back up to 63.0 percent, though that is still very low compared to levels before the 2008 economic crisis.
President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych met on Friday in the Russian city of Sochi for unannounced talks to discuss signing a strategic partnership treaty, Ukraine's presidency said. "Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Sochi," said the office of Yanukovych, who is returning from his three-day visit to China.