Obama to pay tribute to Mandela in South Africa WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama will pay tribute this week to Nelson Mandela, making the long trip from Washington to South Africa Monday to attend a national memorial service for the anti-apartheid icon. Tuesday's memorial service will also serve as a rare reunion of nearly all the living American presidents. George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, will accompany Obama and first lady Michelle Obama on Air Force One, while former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter will travel separately to South Africa.
Big storm dumps snow on East Coast, travel dicey PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A plodding storm that dumped heavy snow on the unsuspecting Mid-Atlantic region threatened to make roads dicey in the northeast corridor for Monday's commute while travel disruptions continued to ripple across the country days after the same system first began wreaking havoc in the skies. The seemingly never-ending storm that coated parts of Texas in ice struck with unexpected force on the East Coast, blanketing some spots in a foot of snow and grinding highways to a halt.
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.
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Thai government proposes Feb. 2 elections BANGKOK (AP) - Thailand's government said Monday it has proposed new elections be held Feb. 2, hours after the prime minister dissolved the lower house of parliament in a bid to calm the country's deepening political crisis. Spokesman Teerat Ratanasevi told The Associated Press that the date was proposed during a Cabinet meeting in Bangkok.
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.
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.
Hagel to meet with Pakistan's prime minister ISLAMABAD (AP) - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived in Pakistan Monday for meetings with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the nation's new army chief, hoping to further repair a strained and sputtering relationship between Washington and Islamabad. His visit comes on the heels of the latest interruption of U.S. military shipments out of Afghanistan through the main border crossings into Pakistan. Anti-American protests along the route in Pakistan prompted the U.S. to stop the shipments from Torkham Gate through Karachi last week, due to worries about the safety of the truckers.
Ex-San Diego mayor to be sentenced for harassment SAN DIEGO (AP) - Bob Filner has almost vanished from public view since a defiant resignation speech as San Diego mayor amid widespread allegations that he sexually harassed women. He returns to the spotlight at least once more. The former 10-term congressman will be sentenced Monday for one felony and two misdemeanors for placing a woman in a headlock, kissing another woman and grabbing the buttocks of a third. He pleaded guilty in October in an agreement with prosecutors, who will recommend that he get three months of home confinement and three years of probation.
Invasive cockroach found in NYC can take the cold NEW YORK (AP) - The High Line, a park that turned a dilapidated stretch of elevated railway on Manhattan's West Side into one of New York's newest tourist attractions, may have brought a different kind of visitor: a cockroach that can withstand harsh winter cold and never seen before in the U.S. Rutgers University insect biologists Jessica Ware and Dominic Evangelista said the species Periplaneta japonica is well documented in Asia but was never confirmed in the United States until now. The scientists, whose findings were published in the Journal of Economic Entomology, say that it is too soon to predict the impact but that there is probably little cause for concern.
5 things to know after Saints paste Panthers 31-13 NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Drew Brees often makes the extraordinary look routine, particularly during night games in the Superdome. Sometimes even the best defenses don't stand a chance. Carolina's didn't on Sunday night, when the Saints rolled to a 31-13 triumph in which New Orleans took back sole possession of first place in the NFC South.