South Africa names speakers for Mandela ceremony JOHANNESBURG (AP) - South Africa says United States President Barack Obama and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be among world leaders speaking at a mass memorial service for Nelson Mandela. South Africa's government released the list of speakers for the Tuesday memorial, expected to last four hours at stadium at Soweto Township near Johannesburg.
Purge sends chilling message to NKorea's elite SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - While the rest of North Korea's top brass leaped to their feet before Kim Jong Un, clapping wildly in a requisite show of respect at high-level meetings, his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, often seemed nonchalant, at times even bored. Once considered the force behind the young leader, he displayed a bold insouciance that seemed calculated to show he was beyond reach. So by purging his own uncle, Kim has delivered a more chilling message: No one is beyond reach, not even family.
Big storm dumps snow on East Coast, travel dicey PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A plodding storm that dumped heavy snow on the unsuspecting Mid-Atlantic region left roads slippery and slushy in the Northeast for Monday's commute while travel disruptions continued rippling across the country days after the same system first began wreaking havoc in the skies. The storm that coated parts of Texas in ice struck with unexpected force Sunday on the East Coast, blanketing some spots in a foot of snow, grinding highways to a halt, causing power outages, and closing schools or delaying start times. The federal government was allowing workers to arrive up to two hours later than normal Monday or take unscheduled leave as freezing rain fell.
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Rising riches: 1 in 5 in US reaches affluence WASHINGTON (AP) - It's not just the wealthiest 1 percent. Fully 20 percent of U.S. adults become rich for parts of their lives, wielding outsize influence on America's economy and politics. This little-known group may pose the biggest barrier to reducing the nation's income inequality.
Congress ready to extend ban on plastic firearms WASHINGTON (AP) - A Senate vote to renew an expiring ban on plastic firearms capable of evading metal detectors and X-ray machines is shaping up as a bittersweet moment for gun control supporters, days before the anniversary of the deadly mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Monday's vote to extend the prohibition on plastic guns for another decade responds to a growing threat from steadily improving 3-D printers that can produce such weapons. But gun control advocates seem sure to lose an effort to impose additional, tougher restrictions on plastic firearms - a harsh reminder of their failure to enact any new federal gun curbs in the year since 20 first-graders and six educators were murdered in Newtown, Conn.
Tech giants call for controls on gov't snooping LONDON (AP) - Major technology companies, stung by revelations that the U.S. government collects people's personal data on their networks, on Monday issued an open letter to President Barack Obama asking for tighter controls on surveillance. As part of a global campaign to reform data collection, Google, Facebook, Apple and others said concerns over national security should be weighed against individual rights.
Thai PM dissolves Parliament, calls elections BANGKOK (AP) - Desperate to defuse Thailand's deepening political crisis, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra dissolved Parliament's lower house on Monday and called early elections. But protesters seeking to topple her vowed to carry on their fight, saying they cannot win the polls because of corruption. A decree from King Bhumibol Adulyadej scheduled the elections on Feb. 2 and named Yingluck as interim prime minister until then. The protesters demanded that she resign as caretaker and rejected the election date, putting the strongly royalist movement at odds with the royal decree.
Amish school shooter's kin: Horror, then healing STRASBURG, Pa. (AP) - Once a week, Terri Roberts spends time with a 13-year-old Amish girl named Rosanna who sits in a wheelchair and eats through a tube. Roberts bathes her, sings to her, reads her stories. She can only guess what's going on inside Rosanna's mind because the girl can't talk. Roberts' son did this to her.
New American Airlines emerges as deal closes FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - American Airlines emerged from bankruptcy protection and US Airways culminated its long pursuit of a merger partner as the two completed their deal Monday to create the world's biggest airline. It's the latest in a series of mergers that will leave four airlines controlling more than 80 percent of the U.S. air-travel market. With less competition, the airlines have successfully limited the number of seats, boosting prices and returning to profitability.
Ukraine's east still backs closer ties with Russia YENAKIYEVO, Ukraine (AP) - In the Ukrainian president's eastern hometown, the buildings are grimy with black soot from the surrounding coal mines. The air is thick with pollutants. The men here die young, sometimes from industrial accidents. And residents have about had it with the protesters who have besieged Kiev, the capital, and its central square - the Maidan - for three weeks.