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In an African slum, talking to Mandela

In an African slum, talking to Mandela

I have never met Nelson Mandela, but we have had many conversations.

In my family's tiny shack in Nairobi's Kibera slum, my one-way exchanges with the great man kept me going. Mandela survived 27 years of prison; maybe I would make it out, too.

Mandela became South Africa's first black president in 1994, when I was 10 years old. In Kibera, people celebrated and talk circulated the streets about this man, but I didn't see how his story connected to mine until much later. I was struggling too hard simply to survive.

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  • Written by Kennedy Odede/CNN
  • Category: News

Urban oasis offers hope to Haiti's poorest

Urban oasis offers hope to Haiti's poorest

Living amid the garbage-strewn sewage canals, residents of Haiti's Cite Soleil endure a grim battle for survival every single day.

The shantytown in the northern reaches of capital Port-au-Prince is one of the countries poorest areas, blighted by poor sanitation and violence.

Shacks, on average, house nine people and around half the population earn less than $0.50 a day. It's little wonder then that life expectancy isn't much more than 50 years, according to the healthcare NGO, Haiti Clinic.

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Key Obamacare provision delayed

The requirement that businesses provide their workers with health insurance or face fines – a key provision contained in President Barack Obama's sweeping health care law – will be delayed by one year, the Treasury Department said Tuesday.

The postponement came after business owners expressed concerns about the complexity of the law's reporting requirements, the agency said in its announcement. Under the Affordable Care Act, businesses employing 50 or more full-time workers that don't provide them health insurance will be penalized.

"We recognize that the vast majority of businesses that will need to do this reporting already provide health insurance to their workers, and we want to make sure it is easy for others to do so. We have listened to your feedback. And we are taking action," Mark J. Mazur, assistant secretary for tax policy, wrote in a post on the website of the Treasury Department, which is tasked with implementing the employer mandate.

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  • Written by Kevin Liptak/CNN
  • Category: News

Paula Deen invokes same-sex marriage ruling in lawsuit defense

Paula Deen invokes same-sex marriage ruling in lawsuit defense

Celebrity chef Paula Deen hopes the Supreme Court's ruling allowing same-sex marriage to be legal in California will help in her defense against a racial discrimination lawsuit.

The woman alleging that she was subjected to a hostile work environment while working as an assistant manager at Deen's restaurants is white and therefore doesn't have the "standing," or legal right, to claim racial discrimination, according to a motion filed Monday by Deen's lawyer.

The high court rejected an appeal of California's Proposition 8 law last week on the grounds that the private parties behind the appeal did not have standing to defend the ballot measure barring gay and lesbian couples from state-sanctioned wedlock.

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  • Written by Alan Duke/CNN
  • Category: News

Zimmerman: Trayvon Martin attacked me

Zimmerman: Trayvon Martin attacked me

(CNN) – Jurors got to hear George Zimmerman's story in his own words for the first time Monday as his interviews with police were played in court.

The former neighborhood watch captain is charged with second-degree murder for killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, on February 26, 2012. Zimmerman told police he was pursuing the teenager because there had been a rash of crime in the area. A confrontation ensued, and Zimmerman said he was forced to kill Martin.

"I tried to defend myself," Zimmerman said during his first police interview the night of the shooting. "He just started punching me in the face, and I started screaming for help. I couldn't see. I couldn't breathe."

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  • Written by Graham Winch and Amanda Sloane/HLNTV.com
  • Category: News

Was President Obama a ‘bigot’ 14 months ago?

Was President Obama a ‘bigot’ 14 months ago?

Faith and Freedom Coalition chairman Ralph Reed sparred with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow on Sunday, saying opponents of same-sex marriage should not be viewed as intolerant.

His comments came after Maddow said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that those who oppose the right for gay and lesbian couples to legally wed think public policy should "demean gay people as a way of expressing disapproval of the fact that we exist."

"But you don't make any less of us exist," she added. "You're just arguing in favor of discrimination."

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  • Written by CNN
  • Category: News

Zimmerman trial: Day four marked by contentious testimony

Zimmerman trial: Day four marked by contentious testimony

(CNN) – In a sometimes contentious cross-examination filled with testy exchanges, defense attorney Don West peppered the prosecution's star witness, Rachel Jeantel, with questions Thursday about the consistency of her statements related to the night that Trayvon Martin died.

Phone records show that Jeantel was talking to Martin moments before he was shot to death.

George Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch captain, is charged with second-degree murder for killing 17-year-old Martin in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26, 2012. Zimmerman told police he was pursuing the teenager because there had been a rash of crime in the area. A confrontation ensued, and Zimmerman said he was forced to kill Martin in self-defense.

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  • Written by Graham Winch/HLNTV.com
  • Category: News

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