Neighbors begin vigilance as North Korea launch window opens SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea's neighbors began an uneasy waiting game Sunday, the start of an eight-day window for a planned North Korean long-range rocket launch. Any such launch, which the North says is an effort to send a satellite into orbit, would be in defiance of repeated warnings by outside governments that suspect it is a banned test of ballistic missile technology. North Korea originally told the International Maritime Organization and other agencies that it would attempt a satellite launch between Feb. 8 and 25. But on Saturday it changed the launch window to Feb. 7-14. It did not inform international organizations of any other changes in its plan, and the rocket's expected flight path remains the same, said South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Moon Sang Gyun.
Rubio braces for attacks in debate, Trump returning to stage MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - Marco Rubio headed into the latest Republican debate ready for an onslaught of attacks about his experience and readiness for the White House, while a trio of his rivals sought a breakout performance before Tuesday's New Hampshire primary - an election critical to their presidential hopes. Donald Trump also was rejoining his competitors in the debate arena Saturday night after having skipped the previous faceoff in Iowa. He finished second in the Iowa caucuses and has spent the past week complaining bitterly about the result. While Iowa shook Trump's grip on the Republican field, he has led New Hampshire preference polls for months and the state is still seen as his to lose in Tuesday's voting.
Turkey under pressure as Syrians mass at border BEIRUT (AP) - Turkey came under mounting pressure to open its border Saturday as tens of thousands of Syrians fleeing a government onslaught sought entry and the European Union called on Ankara to grant them refuge. As many as 35,000 Syrians have massed along the closed border, according to Suleyman Tapsiz, governor of the Turkish border province of Kilis. He said Turkey would provide aid to the displaced within Syria, but would only open the gates in the event of an "extraordinary crisis." The Norwegian Refugee Council said thousands of Syrians have arrived at seven of the main informal camps close to the Turkish border.
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States taking action to keep guns out of abusers' hands IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - More than a dozen states have strengthened laws over the past two years to keep firearms out of the hands of domestic abusers, a rare area of consensus in the nation's highly polarized debate over guns. Lawmakers and governors of both parties have supported bills stripping gun rights from those who have been convicted of domestic violence-related crimes or are subject to protective orders. The measures have been backed by victims' advocates, law enforcement groups and gun control supporters who see easy access to firearms as a major contributor to domestic violence killings. Similar proposals are expected to be debated in several states this year.
Over 100 missing, 14 dead as strong quake rattles Taiwan TAINAN, Taiwan (AP) - Rescuers were searching late Saturday for more than 100 people still missing after a powerful, shallow earthquake struck southern Taiwan before dawn, causing a high-rise residential building to collapse and killing at least 14 people and injuring hundreds. More than 340 people were rescued from the rubble in Tainan, the city hit worst by the quake. About 2,000 firefighters and soldiers scrambled with ladders, cranes and other equipment to the ruins of the 17-floor residential building, which folded like an accordion onto its side after the quake struck. The spectacular fall of the building immediately raised questions about its construction, and Taiwan's interior minister said there would be an investigation.
Despite troubles aplenty, NFL and Super Bowl popular as ever SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The headlines hit in a persistent stream this season, and the onslaught only grew steadier as the Super Bowl approached. Concussions scrambling the brains of current and former players. Fantasy football under siege. Poor officiating. Ugly football. A commissioner still not fully trusted by the players and public to handle it all. And yet, with the 50th edition of the NFL's title-game extravaganza on tap Sunday, the league has never looked in better shape. The values of TV contracts are still rising. The league is bringing at least one, and probably two, teams to Los Angeles and getting new stadiums in Minnesota and Atlanta.
Names released of 6 relatives found dead in Chicago home CHICAGO (AP) - Authorities have released the names of six family members found dead this week in their home on Chicago's southwest side. The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office released the names of the two boys, two women and two men Saturday. Their deaths remain under investigation. The boys were identified as 13-year-old Leonardo Cruz and 10-year-old Alexis Cruz and the women as 58-year-old Rosaura Martinez and 32-year-old Maria Herminia Martinez. The men were identified as 62-year-old Noe Martinez Sr. and 32-year-old Noe Martinez Jr. The medical examiner's office ruled their deaths homicides Friday, saying five were stabbed and the sixth died of multiple gunshot wounds.
Chicago officer sues estate of teen he shot, claiming trauma CHICAGO (AP) - A white Chicago police officer who fatally shot a black 19-year-old college student and accidentally killed a neighbor has filed a lawsuit against the teenager's estate, arguing the shooting left him traumatized. The highly unusual suit was filed Friday in the middle of the city's effort to grapple with serious questions about the future of its police force. Those questions include the adequacy of its system for investigating police shootings and how to win back public trust after several cases of alleged misconduct. The U.S. Justice Department is conducting a wide-ranging civil rights investigation, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel has promised a major overhaul of the Police Department and steps to heal its fraught relationship with black residents.
Somali officials: Suicide bomber may have blown hole in jet MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) - A suicide bomber is suspected to have set off the explosive that blew a hole in a jetliner, sucked the man out of the plane and forced the aircraft to make an emergency landing on Tuesday in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, Somali officials said Saturday. "Experts who were investigating the cause of the blast in the plane concluded that a bomb was the cause," said Ali Jama Jangali, Somalia's transport minister at a press conference in Mogadishu. "The bomb aimed to kill all onboard the plane. Al-Shabab (Somalia's Islamic extremist rebel group) was behind it," he said of the explosion on a Daallo Airlines Airbus 321.
After Iowa, Trump showing off effort to win in New Hampshire LONDONDERRY, N.H. (AP) - With wet snow already ankle deep and falling fast, Dave Chiokadze and James Radcliffe trekked down one long driveway after another in search of potential votes for Donald Trump. "It's like the Revolutionary War," joked Chiokadze as they made their way house to house along a Londonderry street, knocking on doors that were flagged by a smart-phone app and leaving long lines of footsteps in their wake. The 22 year olds, out-of-state volunteers involved in politics for the first time, are on the front lines of Trump's effort in New Hampshire, where the Republican presidential candidate is hoping for his first victory of the 2016 campaign in the state's primary on Tuesday.