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F.W. de Klerk was 85

Human Race: Former South African president ended apartheid


De Klerk (right) and president-­elect Mandela (center) enter the inaugural sitting of South Africa’s first all-race parliament in 1994. Philip Littleton/AFP via Getty Images

F.W. de Klerk was 85
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Died

Frederik Willem de Klerk died peacefully at home on Nov. 11 in Cape Town, South Africa, after a battle with mesothelioma cancer, according to a statement from his foundation. The foundation released a posthumous video in which he apologized for his role in apartheid in the 1980s: “Let me today, in the last message repeat: I, without qualification, apologize for the pain and the hurt, and the indignity, and the damage, to black, brown, and Indians in South Africa.” He became South Africa’s youngest president when he took the office in 1989. He announced five months later that he would release Nelson Mandela, his political opponent, from prison, lift the ban on the African National Congress, and begin negotiations to end apartheid. In 1993, de Klerk ratified a new constitution that formally ended apartheid. He and Mandela both received the Nobel Peace Prize that year for pro-democracy cooperation.

Quit

A Nov. 12 Labor Department job report showed an increase in the number of workers quitting their jobs for the second month in a row. More than 3 percent of the nation’s workforce, 4.4 million, left their positions in September, compared to 4.3 million in August. There were roughly 10.4 million job openings that month and only 7.7 million unemployed at the time. Typically, high quit rates indicate worker confidence: Employees typically don’t leave a job unless they have a better option available. Experts estimate most workers left for better-paying positions, which can contribute to higher inflation and consumer costs. Employers in low-paying industries must raise wages to attract staff, then raise the cost of goods to offset the higher labor costs.

Released

Myanmar government officials suddenly pardoned Danny Fenster just days after they sentenced him on Nov. 12 to 11 years of hard labor on charges of circulating false or inflammatory information and violating visa regulations. Fenster is the managing editor of the online magazine Frontier Myanmar. Former diplomat Bill Richardson, who is also a former governor of New Mexico, conducted negotiations with Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, Myanmar’s ruler, during an earlier humanitarian visit. The military junta in Myanmar, also known as Burma, detained Fenster six months ago. He was one of roughly 126 journalists and media officials detained in Myanmar since a military coup in February and the only American to be convicted.

Indicted

A grand jury indicted former White House strategist and longtime ally of former President Donald Trump Steve Bannon after he defied a congressional subpoena. A House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot wanted Bannon to testify and turn over documents about his communications with Trump. His attorney said a lawyer for Trump advised him not to answer questions. If convicted, Bannon could face 30 days to one year in prison plus fines for each count of contempt of Congress.

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