AFP World News Agenda

What's happening around the world on Saturday


+ South Africa prepares Mandela memorial

+ French troops ready for C. Africa mission

+ Ukrainian protests show no sign of abating

+ Greek MPs vote on new budget deal

JOHANNESBURG: South Africa mourns its first black president and Nobel peace laureate Nelson Mandela, with preparations set for a national day of prayers on Sunday and other events, leading to his burial on December 15 (SAFRICA-MANDELA)

BANGUI: French troops based in Cameroon are set to cross into the Central African Republic as part of a UN mission to prevent the country from sliding further into anarchy (CENTRAFRICA-UNREST)

KIEV: Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych scrambles to defuse the nation's worst political crisis in a decade as protests show no sign of abating (UKRAINE-UNREST-POLITICS-EU-RUSSIA)

ATHENS: Greece's parliament is to vote on approving the 2014 budget, which provides for deeper spending cuts but foresees an end to the recession gripping the country since 2008, at a session starting at 2200 GMT. Unions to hold a protest from 1600 GMT (GREECE-ECONOMY-BUDGET-PROTEST)


SINGAPORE: Trade ministers from the United States and 11 other countries begin talks in attempt to beat a US deadline to forge a trans-Pacific trade pact before the year end. Talks kick off at 0630 GMT (ASIA-TRADE-BUSINESS-DIPLOMACY-TPP)

PARIS: French President Francois Hollande hosts 40 African leaders for a summit in Paris overshadowed by Nelson Mandela's death. A separate mini-summit will be held on the crisis in the Central African Republic (AFRICA-FRANCE-SUMMIT)

SOUTH KOREA: US Vice President Joe Biden to tour the demilitarised zone, which splits the Korean peninsula, on the final day of his Asia trip (SKOREA-US-DIPLOMACY)

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt: Two courts are to hear appeals from 21 women and teenage girls, pro-Islamist protesters who were sentenced to up to 11 years in prison, in a verdict that triggered a local and international outcry (EGYPT-TRIAL-WOMEN-ISLAMIST)

BEIRUT: Tracking developments after Hezbollah blamed Israel for the killing of one of its top leaders near Beirut amid soaring tensions in Lebanon linked to the war in neighbouring Syria (LEBANON-UNREST-HEZBOLLAH-ISRAEL)

GUBBIO, Italy: The medieval town of Gubbio in central Italy switches on "the world's biggest Christmas tree" -- a giant light installation on the side of a mountain. At 1800 GMT (ITALY-HISTORY-CULTURE-CHRISTMAS)