CNN's GUT CHECK | for December 5, 2013 | 5 p.m.
- n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING: NELSON MANDELA DIES … The revered statesman who emerged from prison after 27 years to lead South Africa out of its dark days of apartheid, has died. He was 95.
Mandela battled health issues in recent years, including a recurring lung infection that led to numerous hospitalizations. In a nation healing from the scars of apartheid, Mandela became the moral compass.
His defiance of white-minority rule and his incarceration for fighting against segregation focused the world's attention on South Africa's apartheid system, making him a symbol of the struggle for racial equality. In his lifetime, he was a man of complexities. He went from being considered a terrorist, to an imprisoned freedom fighter, to a unifying figure, to an elder statesman respected worldwide.
SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA: “Our nation has lost his greatest son. Our people have lost a father. Although we knew that this day would come, nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss. His tireless struggle for freedom earned him the respect of the world. His humility, his compassion and his humanity earned him their love. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mandela family. To them we owe a debt of gratitude. They have sacrificed much and endured much so that our people could be free.”
(CNN) - The world has "lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings" with the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela, U.S. President Barack Obama said. "He belongs to the ages."
A source familiar with the planning tells White House Senior Correspondent Jim Acosta that President Obama is expected to travel to South Africa for the memorial service.
See below for the President's full remarks on the death of Nelson Mandela.
(CNN) – U.S. lawmakers and former presidents from both sides of the aisle took time Thursday to mark the death of Nelson Mandela, the prisoner-turned-president who reconciled South Africa after the end of apartheid, is dead.
Mandela was age 95.
(CNN) – Nelson Mandela, the revered statesman who emerged from prison after 27 years to lead South Africa out of decades of apartheid, has died, South African President Jacob Zuma announced late Thursday. He was 95.
The former president battled health issues in recent months, including a recurring lung infection that led to numerous hospitalizations.FULL STORY
(CNN) - The White House clarified Thursday that President Barack Obama did live with his Kenyan uncle in Cambridge for a "brief period of time" before attending Harvard Law School in the 1980s after previously saying there was no record of the two ever meeting.
Onyango Okech Obama, President Obama's uncle, granted permission Tuesday by a federal immigration judge to stay in the United States, where he has lived illegally for the past five decades. In his testimony before the judge, Obama's uncle mentioned that then-student Obama had stayed with him for three weeks after he was accepted into law school.
(CNN) - Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky will travel to Michigan Friday to announce his plan to rescue the Detroit, the largest U.S. city in history to enter bankruptcy.
The potential GOP presidential candidate said Thursday on a conference call with reporters that he'll introduce a bill next week that would enact what he calls "Economic Freedom Zones," or, as he put it on Fox News, "Enterprise Zones on steroids."
Washington (CNN) – Republican Sen. Ted Cruz's advice for a conservative group facing criticism and hardship: "Stand your ground."
The choice of words appeared to be a reference to a string of negative press the American Legislative Exchange Council – a group made up of conservative legislators and corporate members – received for backing laws similar to the controversial "Stand your ground" self-defense law that made national headlines in 2012 and 2013.
Washington (CNN) – While immigration reform is stalled in Congress, some members are calling on President Barack Obama to take the matter into his own hands, urging him to suspend deportations of undocumented immigrants.
Thirty Democratic members of Congress wrote in a letter that he has the authority to pause deportations of undocumented immigrants, urging "the sensible and moral step of stopping deportations."FULL STORY
Updated 4:17 p.m. ET, 12/5/2013
Washington (CNN) – House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday he believes the GOP should support the party's openly gay candidates.
"I do," he said when asked by CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash if he backs such House hopefuls.
(CNN) – Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's criticism of the Affordable Care Act may come back to haunt him in the next year's midterm race, according to Steve Beshear, the Democratic governor of McConnell's home state of Kentucky.
"I have a U.S. Senator who keeps saying Kentuckians don't want this. Well, the facts don't prove that out," the Governor said at Thursday's Democratic House Leaders caucus meeting on Obamacare.