Nelson Mandela is hospitalized
South Africa’s former President Nelson Mandela was admitted to a military hospital Saturday for medical tests, though the nation’s president told the public there was “no cause for alarm” over the 94-year-old icon’s health.
The statement issued by President Jacob Zuma’s spokesman said that Mandela was doing well and was receiving medical care “which is consistent for his age.” The statement offered no other details.
Rebel commanders join forces in Syria
Rebel commanders from across Syria have joined forces under a united command they hope will increase coordination between diverse fighting groups and streamline the pathway for arms essential to their struggle against President Bashar Assad.
Though many of the brigades involved in the fighting are decidedly Islamist in outlook and some have boasted about executing captured soldiers, two of the most extreme groups fighting in Syria were not invited to the rebel meeting in Turkey or included in the new council — a move that could encourage Western support. The new body, expected to be announced officially today, hopes to form the basis of a united rebel front.
Egypt panel: Have referendum on time
A national dialogue committee said a referendum on a disputed draft constitution will take place on schedule, but President Mohammed Morsi has agreed to rescind the near-absolute power he had granted himself.
The statement came after a meeting that was boy-cotted by the main opposition leaders who are calling for the Dec. 15 vote to be canceled.
Opposition activists are camping outside the presidential palace and are calling for more protests today.
USDA: More grains, meat in school lunch
The Agriculture Department is responding to criticism over new school lunch rules by allowing more grains and meat in kids’ meals.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told members of Congress in a letter Friday that the department will do away with daily and weekly limits of meats and grains.
Several lawmakers wrote the department after the new rules went into effect in September saying kids aren’t getting enough to eat.
School administrators also complained, saying set maximums on grains and meats are too limiting as they try to plan daily meals.