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Obama hails Mandela as "last great liberator"

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JOHANNESBURG - Nearly a hundred world leaders paid tribute to civil rights icon Nelson Mandela. The former South African President passed away at his home in Johannesburg last week of lung failure. President Obama and former Presidents George Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter all attended the national memorial service today. Mandela touched many and even after his death has brought leaders together. Today we saw President Obama shaking hands with the Cuban President Raul Castro. The memorial reminded those of the man who spent 27 years behind bars for fighting against apartheid and seeking peace and justice. Mandela's body will now lay in state in the capital city of Pretoria until Friday. He'll be buried in the village where he was born on Sunday. Dignitaries from around the world took part in today's memorial with a few major exceptions.

The Queen of England, Elizabeth II and former Cuban President Fidel Castro could not make the memorial because of health reasons. The Dalai Lama could not get a visa to visit South Africa, most likely due to pressure from China. Security reasons kept Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from making the trip. The Pope also not in attendance because it's against protocol for him to go to funerals of world leaders.

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