Most compelling stories of the year
Obama selfies, FLOTUS’ side-eye, a fake sign language interpreter and as seen on Twitter, a "rain-boo-nation." All of these scenarios occurred at one event, the memorial service of global icon, Nelson Mandela, and have made headlines. But even so, the most significant news has been the passing of Madiba. looks at some of the biggest news stories of 2013.

Nelson Mandela passes away
In 1994, Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa but he meant more than that to the nation and to the world. On 5 December 2013, the man who was affectionately known as Tata – which is the Xhosa word for father – passed away. He was 95. This past weekend, he was buried in the land of his childhood, Qunu.

The Royal Baby
There were jokes about Kate Middleton breaking records and remaining pregnant longer than an elephant does. But in July, a baby boy was born to this Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. This royal baby’s birth certificate lists his name as: His Royal Highness Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge. Fancy.  

Edward Snowden 
Edward Snowden wasn’t a particularly significant name until word came that the ex-CIA contractor had revealed PRISM, the surveillance programme that America, Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand uses, to the press. PRISM is essentially a system that collects information through people’s SMSs, phone calls and even internet history. Snowden was charged with espionage and fled the country. He was awarded temporary asylum in Russia.

There’s a new Pope in town
Pope Francis, who was elected Pope of the Catholic Church in March, is the current and 226th Pope. He is also the first Pope who isn’t of European descent in over 1200 years. Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1936, Pope Francis was elected to papacy after Pope Benedict XVI resigned citing concerns about his physical and mental health. As a new pope, Bergoglio soon adopted the name of Saint Francis of Assisi.  

The murders of Anene Booysen and Reeva Steenkamp
In February, 17-year-old Anene Booysen from Bredasdorp was brutally raped and mutilated. Johannes Kana has been sentenced to two life sentences. Reeva Steenkamp was a model and the girlfriend of celebrated sportsman, Oscar Pistorius. On Valentine’s Day, Reeva was fatally shot in Oscar’s home. The athlete was charged with Reeva’s murder and will go to trial in March 2014.

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