The Note's Must-Reads for Friday, December 6, 2013

The Note's Must-Reads are a round-up of today's political headlines and stories from ABC News and the top U.S. newspapers. Posted Monday through Friday right here at

Compiled by ABC News' Jayce Henderson, Amanda VanAllen, Will Cantine and Jordan Mazza

SYRIA ABC News' Luis Martinez: "US Prepares to Destroy Syrian Chemical Weapons at Sea" A U.S. cargo vessel equipped with special gear could be neutralizing some of Syria's most dangerous chemical weapons at sea come January. Once started, the process of neutralizing 500 tons of the chemical components used to make mustard gas and sarin gas could be completed within 45 to 90 days, Pentagon officials said today. LINK

HONORING NELSON MANDELA USA Today's David Jackson: "Obama: Mandela 'belongs to the ages'" President Obama said Thursday that Nelson Mandela inspired millions of people across the world - including Obama himself - to work for freedom, justice, and democracy. "He no longer belongs to us," an emotional Obama said at the White House. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Peter Wonacott: "Nelson Mandela Dies at 95? Nelson Mandela, who rose from militant antiapartheid activist to become the unifying president of a democratic South Africa and a global symbol of racial reconciliation, died at his Johannesburg home following a lengthy stay at a Pretoria hospital, the government said Thursday. He was 95. LINK

The Boston Globe's Mark Feeney: "Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid leader, dies at 95? Nelson Mandela, one of the heroic figures of the 20th century, whose struggle against apartheid led to his imprisonment for 27 years, selection as co-recipient of the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize with South African President F. W. de Klerk, and subsequent election as de Klerk's successor, died on Thursday, the government announced. He was 95. LINK

The Hills' Amie Parnes: " Obama: Mandela 'belongs to the ages'" President Obama on Thursday called the late Nelson Mandela "one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will ever share time with on this earth." Speaking at the White House about an hour after the legendary South African leader's death was announced, a somber Obama said Mandela's "fierce dignity and unbending will to sacrifice his own freedom for the freedom of others" will stand the test of time. LINK

Bloomberg's Margaret Talev & Julianna Goldman: " Obama Calls Mandela an Example That Should Inspire World" U.S. President Barack Obama called Nelson Mandela's life and legacy a touchstone for him and an example "that all humanity should aspire to." "We will not likely see the likes of Nelson Mandela again," Obama said yesterday at the White House after the announcement of South African leader's death at age 95. "So it falls to us as best we can to forward the example that he set." Obama probably will travel to South Africa for services for Mandela, according to a person familiar with White House planning who asked for anonymity because the trip hasn't been announced. The president ordered U.S. flags to be lowered to half-staff until sunset on Dec. 9 in Mandela's honor, according to a White House proclamation. LINK

The New York Times' Michael D. Shear: " Obama's Path Was Shaped By Mandela's Story" Without Nelson Mandela, there might never have been a President Obama. That is the strong impression conveyed from Mr. Obama, whose political and personal bonds to Mr. Mandela, the former South African president, transcended their single face-to-face meeting, which took place at a hotel here in 2005. LINK

The Washington Post's Scott Wilson: " Mandela's Cause Shaped Obama's Political Awakening" Entering his sophomore year at Occidental College, Barack Obama sought a political movement to match his personal awakening, which he signaled to friends and family at the time by reclaiming his African first name. Barry became Barack that year. He had read Du Bois, Fanon, Malcolm X - an array of authors writing about the black struggle for liberation in his country and in others shaking off the legacy of colonial rule around the world. LINK

Politico's Jennifer Epstein: "Barack Obama And Nelson Mandela: Inspiration From Afar" They met just once. But Barack Obama looked to Nelson Mandela for inspiration for more than three decades, from a California campus to inner-city Chicago to the White House. Mandela's influence stirred Obama to get involved in the fight against apartheid at Occidental College and guided the future president from community organizing to politics, as he sought to affect tangible, lasting change. LINK

RENEWABLE ENERGY The Los Angeles Times' Kathleen Hennessey: " Obama orders agencies to increase renewable energy use" President Obama has ordered federal agencies to more than double their renewable energy use over the next seven years, part of his ongoing attempt to find ways to cut carbon emissions without cooperation from Congress. In a presidential memorandum released Thursday, Obama challenged agencies to get 20% of their energy from renewable sources by fiscal year 2020. LINK

ACTIVISTS The Washington Times' Stephen Dinan: " Activists encourage Obama to circumvent Congress, use more executive authority" President Obama's repeated use of presidential powers is causing a tough problem - his own supporters now expect him to use it to achieve everything they want. From immigration to the minimum wage, congressional Democrats and liberal activists this week urged Mr. Obama to declare an end run around Capitol Hill, assert executive authority and make as much progress as he can on the expansive agenda he laid out for his second term. LINK

OTHER The Boston Globe's Maria Sacchetti: " In reversal, Obama says he lived with uncle" President Obama acknowledged Thursday that he lived with his Kenyan uncle for a brief period in the 1980s while preparing to attend Harvard Law School, contradicting a statement more than two years ago that the White House had no record of the two ever meeting. Their relationship came into question Tuesday at the deportation hearing of the president's uncle, Onyango Obama, in Boston immigration court. His uncle had lived in the United States illegally since the 1970s and revealed for the first time in testimony that his famous nephew had stayed at his Cambridge apartment for about three weeks. At the time, Onyango Obama was here illegally and fighting deportation. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO "Nelson Mandela's Everlasting Impact on American Culture of Equality" LINK

BOOKMARKS The Note: LINK ABC News Politics: LINK George Stephanopoulos' Blog: LINK ABC News on Twitter: @ThisWeekABC | @ABCPolitics ABC News Mobile: LINK ABC News Apps: LINK ABC News YouTube: LINK

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