What we’re watching Friday


Good morning! Here are some stories we’re watching this morning.

Last goodbyes for Nelson Mandela

Huge crowds gathered Friday in Pretoria, South Africa for the third and final day of Nelson Mandela’s body of lying in state. The AFP reports that hundreds of South Africans broke through police barriers to pay their respects to the late activist and peacemaker.

Video by AFP

The Latest from Capitol Hill: Senate votes, John Boehner, Politifact’s “Lie of the Year”

Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Senate’s priorities are the bipartisan budget pact and defense policy bill the House approved Thursday. The Associated Press reports that Reid hopes to meet with GOP counterpart Mitch McConnell to expedite the process, but the bills will have to wait until votes on several presidential nominees take place. The Washington Post said House Speaker John Boehner’s year “ended on a high note” when the Ryan-Murrey budget deal passed Thursday with majority support from Republicans, which was something that remained elusive for Boehner throughout this year.

Fact-checking Web site Politifact’s “Lie of the Year” is President Barack Obama’s pitch for his landmark health care law: “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.”

Jang Song Thaek’s crimes

The Korean Central News Agency released a statement announcing the execution of Jang Song Thaek, uncle of North Korean leader King Jung Un. Among the crimes was “half-heartedly clapping.”

Victor Cha, a former senior White House adviser on Asia, told the AP that the purging of Jang could have a “ripple effect” within the North Korea system.

“When you take out Jang, you’re not taking out just one person — you’re taking out scores, if not hundreds, of other people in the system,” he said.

Philippines typhoon death toll tops 6,000

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council put the official death toll from Super Typhoon Haiyan at 6,009. It is now the Phillippines’ deadliest recorded typhoon, AFP reports.