During the Cold War, successive U.S. leaders supported the white South African government because it staunchly opposed communism. Mandela's African National Congress, meanwhile, had many ties to the Soviet Union and viewed it as more sympathetic to their cause than the U.S. and other Western countries.
Politics & Policy
U.S. policy can change the course of another country and, increasingly, the reverse is true. From social issues to geopolitical strategy, we connect the dots — and seek out possible lessons for the future.
Vitali Klitschko has emerged as one of Ukraine's most popular opposition figures, in part because he earned his wealth in the ring and appears to be untouched by the country's corruption scandals. The boxer known as "Dr. Ironfist" has his eye on the presidency, but there are concerns about his lack of experience.
The world wants Syria's chemical arsenal destroyed. But so far, no country has offered to do the dirty work on its soil. Over the past week, an alternative has gained ground: Carry out the destruction at sea. The plan taking shape is complicated and untested, but it just might work.
The recent deal between Iran and six world powers grabbed the headlines. But Iran is also working with the International Atomic Energy Agency, which will be carrying out a long-delayed inspection on an Iranian nuclear reactor in the coming days.
Prominent athletes, high school students and young girls have all been punished, and in some cases arrested, for expressing solidarity with protesters who were killed by Egypt's security forces.
Transparency International's annual index found that the economic crisis in Europe and turmoil in Arab Spring countries contributed to increased corruption. But when it came to naming the single most corrupt country, it was a three-way tie.
China is seen as asserting its growing power with the latest move. However, the U.S. and Japan say they won't respect it and U.S. B-52s have already flown through the space without informing China.
Beijing announced it was creating an "air defense identification zone" in a disputed area, but the U.S. flights challenge China's claim. In other news, Russia detains alleged Islamist militants. And a school exam question on rape prompts complaints in South Africa.
The country began pumping natural gas from its first major offshore field earlier this year. There are also hopes that Israel may have significant oil reserves, though there are hurdles, both technical and political.
First Minister Alex Salmond called next year's planned referendum a "once-in-a-generation opportunity to follow a different path." In other news, migrants will drive Australia's population growth over the next 50 years; and Japan's Lower House approves a controversial state secrets bill.