#TCFBest has been sporadic since the beginning of the holiday season (sorry!), but it’s back today with a tribute to revolutionary Nelson Mandela, who passed away yesterday. Stateside, fast food workers are fighting for a fair wage and, in related news, recipients of unemployment benefits may see empty stockings this Christmas if Congress doesn’t act quickly to extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation.

R.I.P. Nelson Mandela

As the world now knows, beloved anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela passed away yesterday in Johannesburg at the age of 95. New Republic published a lovely overview of Mandela’s life by Johannesburg writer Eve Fairbanks, who is currently writing a book on post-apartheid South Africa. “The achievements of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, South Africa’s first democratically elected president, put him up there with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in the pantheon of rare men who guided transitioning nations with an otherworldly vision,” writes Fairbanks. Get to know the Mandela legacy at New Republic.

“Can’t Survive on $7.25”

United States fast food workers have taken to the streets to demand a fair wage, asking that the federal minimum wage be raised to $15, reports RT. The current wage of $7.25 per hour has not been increased since 2009, lagging behind national inflation. One might expect to see masses of teenagers protesting for labor rights if looking at national coverage, but in reality, today’s typical fast food worker is over 20, raising a child and acting as the prime provider for their family. Further, some 52 percent of fast food workers are relying on at least one form of public assistance. See how the story unfolds at RT.com as well as at the Guardian.

Keeping Unemployment in Check

If you’ve been wondering where the Grinch has been lately, he’s in Congress: 1.3 million people may lose unemployment benefits just after Christmas. The Washington Post’s GovBeat shows exactly where the end of unemployment benefits will hurt the most with a state-by-state breakdown. As it turns out, Congress has some last minute cramming to do before breaking for the holiday: benefits will be cut if Congress doesn’t vote to extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program by the time they leave. Hopefully someone’s heart will grow three sizes relatively soon. Read more at the Post.