Perhaps she was upset she wasn't included in the shot, or maybe she thought taking a self-portrait during a tribute to an iconic world leader in his home country was tasteless. Whatever the case, Michelle Obama's notably tight jaw and icy glare will likely go down as one of the most memorable images from an event meant to pay tribute to South Africa's anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela.
"If it's a funeral she looks like she's the only one being mature. Why couldn't they take pictures after the funeral," suggested Stephanie Novak, writing on CP's Facebook page. "I bet that's what she's thinking if anything. She's probably thinking they should show more respect than that."
Novak was among numerous online readers who have been speculating exactly what might have been the cause for Mrs. Obama's hard look Tuesday during a tribute to Mandela that was attended by leaders from around the world. Tens of thousands of South Africans were also gathered at the First National Bank (FNB) Stadium in Johannesburg to remember their first democratically-elected black president who helped bring an end to decades of oppression and segregation. more >>
A curious photo montage of Michelle Obama, President Barack Obama and Denmark Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt at late South African leader Nelson Mandela's tribute has been making the rounds online Tuesday, with speculation that Mrs. Obama was none too pleased with her husband taking a selfie with the Danish leader.
According to a photo shared online by Agence France-Presse, the testy affair may have been sparked after President Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Prime Minister Thorning-Schmidt got up close and personal for a self-portrait, with the Denmark leader sandwiched in the middle.
Clearly, Mrs. Obama had no interest in getting involved. more >>
It is hard to imagine putting Pope Francis and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the same race for the same honor. However, the two very different public figures are both finalists in TIME Magazine's 2013 "Person of the Year" award.
Begun in 1927 and originally labeled "Man of the Year," the annual honor goes to an individual – good or bad – whom TIME's editorial board believes most impacted the news for the previous year.
Pope Francis, consecrated the new head of the Roman Catholic Church back in March after his predecessor resigned, has garnered much attention for his approach to the position. Known for his humility and frequent shunning of high status before and during his reign as the Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis has become the talk of many circles for his seemingly unorthodox rhetoric and style. His comments on atheism, gay priests, social issues, and other matters coupled with viral images of him washing the feet of female Muslim prisoners and embracing severely deformed individuals have led many to feel Francis is taking the Roman Catholic Church in a new direction. more >>
U.S. President Barack Obama delivered a speech on the life of Nelson Mandela on Tuesday in Johannesburg, South Africa, describing the late South African president as "the last great liberator of the 20th century," and compared him to the likes of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Lincoln.
"Given the sweep of his life, the scope of his accomplishments, the adoration that he so rightly earned, it's tempting I think to remember Nelson Mandela as an icon, smiling and serene, detached from the tawdry affairs of lesser men. But Madiba himself strongly resisted such a lifeless portrait," Obama said at the service attended by over 90 world dignitaries in front of tens of thousands of people.
"Instead, Madiba insisted on sharing with us his doubts and his fears; his miscalculations along with his victories. 'I am not a saint,' he said, 'unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.'" more >>
Three of the richest healthcare insurance companies in America are reluctant to join the state exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare." One expert believes their minimal participation will contribute to making the Obamacare plan in the exchanges essentially the same low quality as Medicaid.
"Most people will be outside the market, mostly in employer provided coverage," Edmund Haislmaier, senior research fellow in Health Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation, told The Christian Post on Monday. This employer coverage, Haislmaier explained, is the service in which United HealthCare, Aetna, and Cigna — the three with a minimal presence in the exchanges — specialize.
All three rank in the top five healthcare companies in CNN Money's Fortune 500 list, along with WellPoint and Humana. Each company provides most of its business in administrative services, Haislmaier said — 61 percent for Aetna, 54 percent for United HealthCare, and 84 percent for Cigna. In these plans, the employer bears the risk and the insurer merely administers it. more >>
A new congressional hearing has been set next week for American pastor Saeed Abedini's case, with his wife, Naghmeh, and the American Center for Law and Justice hoping that President Barack Obama and Congress will make saving his life a top priority.
"The life of a U.S. citizen – whose only 'crime' is his Christian faith – is at stake," said ACLJ Executive Director Jordan Sekulow.
The law group, which represents Naghmeh and the couple's two children in the U.S., has been pushing hard for the pastor's release, calling on the Obama administration to do everything possible to get him back home to his family. Abedini, who is currently serving eight years in prison, was transferred last month from the political prisoner ward of Evin prison to the violent criminal ward of Rajai Shahr prison, which the ACLJ described as "the deadliest prison in Iran." more >>