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South Africa's African National Congress has begun voting to choose a new party chief – a person likely to succeed President Jacob Zuma in 2019 elections. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and former cabinet minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma are the only two candidates on the ballot.

As Peter Granitz reports for Morning Edition from Johannesburg, Ramaphosa, who left politics in the 1990s and amassed a fortune in the private sector, is backed by investors and Dlamini-Zuma, his opponent, is expected to win support from the women's and youth leagues.

Updated at 5:40 a.m. ET

Weeks after a deadlocked and disputed presidential election, a special court declared incumbent Juan Orlando Hernandez the winner by a razor-thin margin.

In a nationwide television broadcast, Electoral court president David Matamoros declared Hernandez the winner over his television star rival Salvador Nasralla, saying "We have fulfilled our obligation [and] we wish for there to be peace in our county."

The official winning margin was just 1.53 percentage points — 42.95 for Hernandez, 41.42 for Nasralla.

Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson announced Sunday that he would put his team up for sale at the end of the season after the National Football League said it was opening an investigation into accusations of workplace misconduct against him.

"I believe that it is time to turn the franchise over to new ownership," Richardson, 81, said in a statement on the team's website. "Therefore, I will put the team up for sale at the end of this NFL season."

Merely Torres-Garcia has been living in a hotel room in Hartford, Conn., with her husband and two kids after losing part of her house in Puerto Rico to Hurricane Maria. She said spending the Christmas season in the northeastern cold has been hard for her family. But on Saturday night, in the noisy atrium of Hartford City Hall, it felt a little bit like Christmas on the island.

"My kids are happy. We feel like home in here right now," she said.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RAY SUAREZ, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RAY SUAREZ, HOST:

Let's take a moment to remember the Chicago Jazz pianist Willie Pickens, who died last week at age 86.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RAY SUAREZ, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RAY SUAREZ, HOST:

Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the eighth episode in the widely popular intergalactic series, ascended to first place among American and Canadian movie-goers in its debut weekend.

From Friday through Sunday, it brought in an estimated $220 million domestically, making it the No. 1 debut of the year, according to Disney. Its weekend haul also earns it the title of the second biggest domestic debut of all time, behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens, its predecessor released in 2015.

Updated at 5:24 p.m. ET

Opponents of special counsel Robert Mueller ramped up their attacks over the weekend with a new claim that he improperly collected thousands of emails from President Trump's transition team and is using them as an illegitimate basis for much of his investigation.

Mueller's office said his team has obtained all the evidence it's using in its investigation properly. And Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed him, told Congress last week that he monitors Mueller's operation closely and has seen nothing improper.

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