South Africans of all faiths pray for Mandela CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) - In death, Nelson Mandela unified South Africans of all races and backgrounds Sunday on a day of prayer for the global statesman - from a vaulted cathedral with hymns and incense to a rural, hilltop church with goat-skin drums and barefoot dancing. Mandela was remembered in old bedrocks of resistance to white domination as well as former bastions of loyalty to apartheid.
Ukraine sees largest anti-govt protest since 2004 KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - Hundreds of thousands of protesters poured into the streets of Ukraine's capital on Sunday, toppling a statue of former Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin and blockading key government buildings in an escalating standoff with the president over the future of the country. The biggest demonstration in the former Soviet republic since Ukraine's pro-democracy Orange Revolution in 2004 led the government to fire back. It announced an investigation of opposition leaders for an alleged attempt to seize power and warned the demonstrators they could face criminal charges.
Storm along East Coast dumps snow, snarls traffic PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A powerful storm that crept across the country dumped a mix of snow, freezing rain and sleet on the Mid-Atlantic region and headed northeast Sunday, turning NFL playing fields in Pennsylvania into winter wonderlands, threatening as much as a foot of snow in Delaware and New Jersey and raising concerns about a messy morning commute. The storm forced the cancellation of thousands of flights across the U.S. and slowed traffic on roads, leading to a number of accidents, including a fatal crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Morgantown that led to a series of fender-benders involving 50 cars.
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Old Man Winter frosts NFL gridirons with snow, ice Winter weather hit NFL gridirons in the East on Sunday, blanketing some playing fields with snow and causing sloppy conditions for players. In Philadelphia, snow began falling two hours before the Lions-Eagles kickoff, and intensified after the game started. Workers used shovels and hand-held blowers to clear off yard lines. The Eagles won, 34-20.
Senators: Put cameras on train tracks, engineers NEW YORK (AP) - A week after four people died in a New York commuter train derailment, two federal lawmakers proposed Sunday that trains nationwide be outfitted with cameras pointed at engineers and at the tracks. "I know you're going to hear from Metro-North that there are costs, but the costs of these audio and visual recorders is minuscule, in fact negligible, compared to the hundreds of millions of dollars that this tragic incident will cost Metro-North in the end," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut who joined New York Sen. Charles Schumer for a news conference at Manhattan's Grand Central Terminal.
Chicago schools transition _ smooth or rocky? CHICAGO (AP) - Devion Allen peers wistfully through a door window at the school he used to attend. Those who live outside his gritty, violence-plagued neighborhood might dismiss this towering brick building as just another failing urban school. But to the eighth grader, the school across the street from his mom's subsidized apartment was a haven - "like a family," he says. To the administrators of Chicago Public Schools, though, the neighborhood school was underutilized and underperforming - one of 47 public schools that closed in the city in June, most of them in high-poverty neighborhoods with mostly minority populations. Two more will be phased out by the end of the school year.
North Korea purges Kim Jong Un's powerful uncle SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea on Monday acknowledged the purge of leader Kim Jong Un's influential uncle for alleged corruption, drug use, gambling and a long list of other "anti-state" acts, apparently ending the career of the country's second most powerful official. The young North Korean leader will now rule without the relative long considered his mentor as he consolidated power after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, two years ago. Jang Song Thaek's fall from the leadership, detailed in a lengthy dispatch by state media, is the latest and most significant in a series of personnel reshuffles that Kim has conducted in an apparent effort to bolster his power.
Seizure of nuns stokes Syrian Christian fears DAMASCUS (AP) - Syrian Christians offered prayers Sunday for a group of more than a dozen nuns and orphanage workers held by rebels for nearly a week, fueling fears in the minority community that they are being targeted by extremists among the fighters seeking to oust President Bashar Assad. The seizure of the 12 Greek Orthodox nuns and at least three other women is the latest attack to spark panic among Syria's Christians over the strength of al-Qaida-linked militants and other Islamic radicals in the nearly 3-year-old revolt against Assad's government. A priest and two bishops previously kidnapped by rebels remain missing, and extremists are accused of vandalizing churches in areas they have captured.
AP reporter's quest to find bodies ends in desert TIMBUKTU, Mali (AP) - Across the desert, the wind combs the sand into smooth ripples that roll out evenly for miles. So when a hole is dug, you see it immediately. The sand looks agitated. Its pattern is disturbed. That's how you know where the bodies are buried.
Thai capital braces for protests BANGKOK (AP) - Thailand's capital braced for another wave of unrest Monday as protesters trying to overthrow the country's democratically elected government vowed to swarm Bangkok's streets for a "final showdown." The demonstrations come one day after the main opposition party resigned from Parliament en masse, exacerbating the nation's deep political divide. Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban called on supporters to stay peaceful, but many fear the day could end violently when demonstrators converge from nine locations on Yingluck's office at Government House. More than 60 Thai and international schools in Bangkok have closed as a precaution.