Following Nelson Mandela's passing, tributes have been pouring in for the former South African president and human rights activist. While celebrities have taken to Twitter to pay their respects, people around the world have been visiting statues, memorials, and museums to commemorate Mandela's incredible life. On Sunday, South Africa held a national day of prayer to honor its former president, with people of all ages gathering to sing, dance, and pray, and today the country welcomed over 90 world leaders and thousands of citizens to the official memorial in Johannesburg. Meanwhile, a candlelight vigil drew people together in Pakistan, Londoners gathered to write messages in a condolence book, and flags everywhere flew at half mast to honor Mandela. As the world celebrates Mandela's contributions after his passing, take a look at all the touching photos of people's tributes across the globe.
Following Nelson Mandela's passing at age 95, celebrities have taken to Twitter to share thoughtful words and tributes about the great world leader. President Barack Obama called Mandela "a man who took history in his hands," while stars like Kerry Washington, Jennifer Lopez, and Jamie Foxx thanked him for his impact on the world.
Prince William, who had just viewed a screening of the new film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom with Kate, said after receiving the news, "It's obviously extremely sad and tragic news. We were just reminded of what an extraordinary and inspiring man Nelson Mandela was, and my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family." Read more heartfelt celebrity messages below.
President Obama remembers Nelson Mandela: "A man who took history in his hands and bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice."
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) December 5, 2013
RIP Nelson Mandela. God Bless You. http://t.co/yRZh3RrP7K
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) December 5, 2013
For more tweets, just keep reading.
Nelson Mandela has died at the age of 95 after a long life dedicated to peace and democracy. His work has had a significant effect on his country and the world — he was jailed for 27 years as an antiapartheid leader before moving South Africa toward democracy and becoming the country's first black president. Over the years, he's inspired many as an international symbol for peace. To celebrate his life, let's take a look at Mandela's wise and thoughtful quotes on family, education, and self-growth.
Former South African president and human rights activist Nelson Mandela passed away today at age 95. The former world leader was first admitted for care on June 8, and supporters gathered outside the hospital while he was said to be in critical condition. Mandela was discharged in September after being treated for a recurring lung infection, and he'd spent the past few months receiving at-home care.
As an antiapartheid leader, Mandela was jailed for 27 years before stepping into the political spotlight as the South African president, serving from 1994 to 1999. Over the years, Mandela's efforts toward equality were an inspiration to people across the globe, and in 2009, the United Nations declared July 18 to be Nelson Mandela International Day in honor of his contributions to democracy and peace. During a 2001 interview, Nelson Mandela told Oprah that he didn't fear death, saying, "Shakespeare put it very well: 'Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once. Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, it seems to me most strange that men should fear; seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come.' When you believe that, you disappear under a cloud of glory. Your name lives beyond the grave — and that is my approach."
In a televised announcement, South Africa's current president, Jacob Zuma, said Thursday, "Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father. What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves." President Obama also gave an emotional address following the news, saying "I cannot imagine my life without the example of Mandela." Watch it below.
Despite the fact that this week was filled with memorials, anniversaries, and mourning, we couldn't help but look for a little bit of optimism, too. It's been 50 years since President John F. Kennedy's fateful day in Dallas, inspiring commemorations across the US. Meanwhile left-wing extremists marched through Prague, Czech Republic, in remembrance of the Velvet Revolution, and civilians in India mourned Robert Thorpe on the 145th anniversary of his death. On the lighter side, President Barack Obama shared a few laughs with Oprah Winfrey in the White House, the New York Stock Exchange was on a serious upswing, and the Magical Ice Kingdom celebrated its opening in London, England. Keep reading to see all the best pictures from the week.
Brace yourselves, Fifty Shades of Grey fans: the movie's official release date has been pushed back. The much-anticipated film is now set to hit theaters on Feb. 13, 2015, instead of the initial scheduled date of Aug. 1, 2014. This announcement comes after the film's casting setbacks and the producers' decision to delay production until Dec. 2.
On the bright side, at least we have the first picture of Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson as the sexy pair!
Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, and Daniel Radcliffe are a handful the latest stars to sign on for surprising new roles. Emile Hirsch has been cast as the late comedian John Belushi, while Sigourney Weaver and Noomi Rapace have scored parts in upcoming sci-fi films. Welcome to another wonderful week full of promising casting news! Click through to see all the latest tidbits from Hollywood.
Amid all the buzz over Prince George's christening, there was plenty of excitement over his godparents, whose names were shared just hours before the ceremony. Veering from the monarchy's tradition, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge picked close friends and family as their son's godparents rather than a group of royals and foreign dignitaries. Prince William's godparents, for instance, include King Constantine of Greece; King George V's daughter, Princess Alexandra; and the Duchess of Westminster. So who exactly are these special people whom Prince William and Kate Middleton have chosen? Meet Prince George's seven godparents, including a family member and several friends.
Zara TindallZara Tindall (Phillips) is Prince George's only royal godparent. As the daughter of Anne, Princess Royal — Prince Charles's sister — Zara is Prince William's cousin, older by just a year. She's an Olympic equestrian, once named BBC sports personality of the year. Zara and William have been close since they were young, and she's expecting a baby of her own with her husband, rugby player Mike Tindall.
Jamie Lowther-PinkertonNow the part-time private secretary for Prince William and Kate, Jamie served full-time as the private secretary to both the couple and Prince Harry from 2005 to 2012, having helped plan everything from overseas tours to the royal wedding. The former SAS major is very close to the couple, and his son, William, was named a page for the royal wedding.
Julia SamuelJulia Samuel was a good friend of Princess Diana's, having named the late princess a godmother to her own son. She's a founder patron and trustee for a charity called Child Bereavement UK, and Prince William is also a patron. Her ties to Prince George also link back to St. Mary's Hospital, where the little prince was born, and she works as a maternity and pediatric counselor.
Keep reading to meet the rest of Prince George's godparents.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's little boy, Prince George, was christened today, making him the latest in a long line of British royals to be celebrated in this special religious rite of passage. The occasion took place at the St. James's Palace chapel, where George was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Keeping with tradition, he wore a replica of the lace and satin gown made for Queen Victoria's daughter Victoria that most of the British royals have worn for christenings since 1841 — including Prince William. In honor of the little royal's special day, let's look back at some of the most memorable royal christenings of the past!
Benedict Cumberbatch did more than just bleach his eyebrows and perfect an Australian lilt to play WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate. The actor also dug deep into Assange's personal history and even emailed with the mercurial and controversial publisher in the hopes of forging a relationship — hopes that were quickly dashed by Assange himself.
The Fifth Estate is based on two books about WikiLeaks: Inside WikiLeaks: My Time With Julian Assange and the World's Most Dangerous Website by former WikiLeaks collaborator Daniel Domscheit-Berg and WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy by journalists David Leigh and Luke Harding. The movie cleaves closely to the real-life story brought to light by both books, giving a revealing look at the man behind the information-leaking Goliath. Here are six things — both serious and superficial — we learned from Cumberbatch's take on one of the world's most famous yet enigmatic men:
Assange got his start as a notorious teen hacker.
Long before founding WikiLeaks, a 16-year-old Assange began hacking under the name Mendax, a nom de plume meaning "nobly untruthful," which he borrowed from the writings of ancient Roman poet Horace. Along with a small group of other young hackers, he broke into sites including the US Department of Defense's, gaining a reputation for being able to crack even the most secure of networks. After some of his trespasses were discovered, his home was raided by police, though he wasn't charged with any crime for those early hacks. His online activity later got him into legal trouble, of course, beginning in 1991. That year, he was charged by Australian authorities with more than 30 counts of hacking-related crimes. Assange faced up to 10 years in jail, but a judge later sentenced him to simply pay a fine, explaining, "There is just no evidence that there was anything other than sort of intelligent inquisitiveness and the pleasure of being able to — what's the expression — 'surf' through these various computers."
He helped bolster WikiLeaks' early reputation by falsely claiming he had hundreds of volunteers.
After defecting from WikiLeaks, Daniel Domscheit-Berg revealed that although Assange claimed to have hundreds of volunteers at his disposal, the operation was run almost entirely by Assange in its early years. Domscheit-Berg and Assange often posed as other "employees" of the organization, he alleged in his tell-all book, setting up fake names and email accounts to correspond with reporters and information sources.
He has a connection to the infamous cult The Family.
By all accounts, Assange had an untraditional upbringing. In the late '70s, when he was a child, his mother began dating a musician with ties to The Family. The cult was run by yoga teacher Anne Hamilton-Byrne, and children in the group were homeschooled, wore identical clothes, and had their hair dyed light blonde. The use of hallucinogenic drugs like LSD was common among its adult members. Assange and his mother spent several years on the run after her breakup with a domineering boyfriend; in a 2010 interview with The New Yorker, Assange said he believed the cult had moles in the Australian government that helped the ex keep tabs on his mother for years after the split.
He (might) dye his hair.
In The Fifth Estate, Assange tells several conflicting, provocative stories to people he meets that suggest his hair's startling shade of white is somehow the result of trauma. Later in the film, however, his collaborator Domscheit-Berg reveals that he once caught Assange bleaching his hair in a bathroom. The movie also shows a scene of a young Assange with The Family, loosely suggesting that the habit is a holdover from his childhood in the cult. In a memo WikiLeaks released — along with a leaked version of The Fifth Estate's script — last month, Assange himself denied that he was ever a member of The Family or that his hair color is unnatural: "Julian Assange does not dye or bleach his hair white as claimed in the film."
See what else we know about Assange after the jump.