Johannesburg – Nelson Mandela, the former South African president and anti-apartheid leader, was admitted to a hospital Saturday for a scheduled medical check-up and doctors say there is no cause for “alarm,” the president’s office said.
Officials have used similarly soothing language to explain previous hospital stays for 94-year-old Mandela, but in those cases he later turned out to have more serious conditions.
The intense privacy surrounding the health of Mandela reflects in part the official reverence for a man who is seen as one of the great, unifying figures of the 20th century.
Kenyan prime minister refuses to concede
Nairobi, Kenya – In a setback for Kenya’s efforts to cement its democracy, Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Saturday refused to concede defeat in a close presidential election he said was fraught with fraud and irregularities.
But he called for calm and vowed to mount a court challenge to the results. Kenyans are determined to avoid the violent aftermath of the disputed 2007 election, which saw tribal killings take place across the country.
Kenya’s independent election commission pronounced Uhuru Kenyatta the winner of the presidential election Saturday.
Mexican state tourism minister shot dead
Guadalajara, Mexico – The recently appointed tourism minister in western Jalisco state was shot to death Saturday while driving in a suburb of Guadalajara in an attack that may have been related to his business dealings, authorities said.
Jose de Jesus Gallegos Alvarez was shot with a 9-mm pistol during a chase as he drove his Toyota SUV in Zapopan, State Government General Secretary Arturo Zamora said.
He said preliminary investigations indicated the attack was not related to Gallegos’ work promoting tourism. Jalisco is home to Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-largest city, as well as such popular Mexican traditions as mariachi music and tequila.