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AP Top News at 2:36 p.m. EST

Seahawks repeat would be a scary prospect for NFL
PHOENIX (AP) - Here are some scary thoughts for the rest of the NFL: A win Sunday will stamp the Seahawks as one of the best teams of the Super Bowl era. And, given Seattle's makeup and philosophy, the future for the franchise might be brighter than for any other club.


APNewsBreak: Obama ties foreign profits tax to public works
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama's budget will propose an ambitious six-year, $478 billion public works program of highway, bridge and transit upgrades, half of it financed with a one-time mandatory tax on profits that U.S. companies have amassed overseas, White House officials said. The proposal, one of the main components of the $4 trillion spending plan for the 2016 budget year that Obama will send to Congress on Monday, attempts to tap into bipartisan support for spending on badly needed infrastructure repairs and construction.


Horror in Japan as video purports to show hostage beheaded
TOKYO (AP) - Appalled and saddened by news of journalist Kenji Goto's purported beheading by Islamic State extremists, Japan ordered heightened security precautions Sunday and said it would persist with its non-military support for fighting terrorism. The failure to save Goto raised fears for the life of a Jordanian fighter pilot also held by the militant group that controls about a third of both Syria and Iraq. Unlike some earlier messages delivered in the crisis, the video that circulated online late Saturday purporting to show a militant beheading Goto did not mention the pilot.


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Egypt releases imprisoned Al-Jazeera reporter
CAIRO (AP) - A reporter for Al-Jazeera English was released from an Egyptian prison and deported Sunday after more than a year behind bars, but his two Egyptian colleagues remained jailed in a case widely condemned as a sham by human-rights groups. Australian Peter Greste was whisked away on a flight to Cyprus. His release came as a welcome surprise to fellow reporters and activists who spent months pressing for his freedom.


Huckabee compares being gay to using alcohol, profanity
WASHINGTON (AP) - Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on Sunday said being gay is akin to choosing to drink alcohol or use profanity - lifestyle choices he says are appealing to others but not to him. The former Baptist pastor, who is weighing a second run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, also claimed that forcing people of faith to accept gay marriage as policy is on par with telling Jews that they must serve "bacon-wrapped shrimp in their deli." That dish would run afoul of kosher rules in the same way Huckabee sees asking Christians to accept same-sex marriages.


Storm blankets Midwest in snow, creeps toward Northeast
MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (AP) - A slow-moving winter storm blanketed a large swath of the Plains and Midwest in snow Sunday, forcing the cancellation of more than 1,500 flights, making roads treacherous and forcing some people to rethink their plans to attend Super Bowl parties. Blizzard conditions developed in Chicago - where more than a foot was expected by evening - and other Midwest locales as the system slowly crept eastward into Pennsylvania and western New York state. Parts of New England still digging out from a storm early last week were bracing for yet another round of snow to arrive Sunday and last through Monday.


Immigrants could wait until 2019 to have cases resolved
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Thousands of immigrants seeking legalization through the U.S. court system have had their hearings canceled and are being told by the government that it may be 2019 or later before their futures are resolved. Some immigration lawyers fear the delay will leave their clients at risk of deportation as evidence becomes dated, witnesses disappear, sponsoring relatives die and dependent children become adults.


Marathon bombing defense likely to focus on dead brother
BOSTON (AP) - The best chance to save the life of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev might be to put his dead brother on trial. When Tsarnaev's case begins, his lawyers are likely to pin their hopes - and the bombings themselves - on his older brother, Tamerlan: a Golden Gloves boxer, college student, husband and father who also followed radical Islam was named by a friend as a participant in a grisly 2011 triple slaying.


Egypt antiquities showman tells the world it's safe to visit
KRUGERSDORP, South Africa (AP) - Egypt's best-known archaeologist is a passionate showman with an explorer's fedora who joined the last, doomed Cabinet of President Hosni Mubarak, then resigned in a swirl of corruption allegations after the 2011 revolution ousted his patron. Admired or reviled, he is once again a frontman for Egypt, exhorting international audiences to see the heritage of a country where unrest has hit tourism hard. "Egypt is safe," Zahi Hawass declared last week at a South African casino complex where schoolchildren roamed an exhibition of replicas of King Tutankhamun's treasures. Egyptian hotels and antiquities sites are secure, said Hawass, who planned to welcome a tour group of 120 Americans to Egypt at the end of January.


'Sniper' shoots down Super Bowl weekend record with $31.9M
NEW YORK (AP) - "American Sniper" shot down another box-office record: Its $31.9 million is the biggest Super Bowl weekend gross ever. According to studio estimates Sunday, the Clint Eastwood film narrowly surpassed the previous top Super Bowl weekend draw. The concert film "Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: The Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour" earned $31.1 million in 2008.