Clinton, Sanders vigorously agree _ except when they don't MILWAUKEE (AP) - Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders vigorously agreed. Except when they didn't. The rivals spent much of Thursday's sixth Democratic presidential debate in a respectful discussion of their marginal differences on issues like immigration, criminal justice reform and entitlements. But both were animated when the contest turned to one of fundamental questions facing Democrats: has President Barack Obama gone far enough in his policies and if not, how far should the next president go? Clinton, who has cast herself as the rightful heir to Obama's legacy, accused Sanders of diminishing the president's record, short-changing his leadership and seeking to wipe away his signature health care law.
AP FACT CHECK: Clinton, Sanders on health care, donors WASHINGTON (AP) - In their latest debate, Hillary Clinton glossed over the big-money donors juicing her White House ambitions while Bernie Sanders offered disputed numbers behind his plan for a government-financed health system. A look at some of the claims in the Democratic presidential debate and how they compare with the facts: CLINTON: "I'm very proud of the fact that we have more than 750,000 donors, and the vast majority of them are giving small contributions. ... We both have a lot of small donors." THE FACTS: Her presidential run is being supported by wealthy donors in ways that Sanders' is not.
Seoul, US to open talks on missile defense aimed at N. Korea SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Looking to take a harder line after North Korea's recent nuclear test and rocket launch, Seoul and Washington will begin talks as early as next week on deploying a sophisticated U.S. missile defense system in South Korea, officials said Friday. The new tough stance follows South Korea's decision to shut down an inter-Korean factory park that had been the rival Koreas' last major symbol of cooperation, but that Seoul said had been used by North Korea to fund its nuclear and missile programs. North Korea responded by deporting South Korean citizens, seizing South Korean assets and vowing to militarize the park.
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Diplomats aim for temporary Syria truce in a week MUNICH (AP) - Diplomats agreed Friday to work toward a temporary "cessation of hostilities" in Syria's civil war within a week, although efforts to secure a lasting cease-fire fell short. The deal appeared to be the result of a compromise between the United States, which had wanted an immediate cease-fire, and Russia, which had proposed one to start on March 1. Although foreign ministers from the International Syria Support Group managed to seal an agreement to "accelerate and expand" deliveries of humanitarian aid to besieged Syrian communities beginning this week, their failure to agree on a cease-fire leaves the most critical step to resuming peace talks unresolved.
How impoverished but nuclear-armed North Korea earns money SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - The closure of a factory park in North Korea jointly run by both Koreas has cost the impoverished North a rare source of legitimate hard currency. Seoul says it shut the Kaesong complex in response to the North's recent long-range rocket launch to keep its impoverished neighbor from using the money factories provided to fund its nuclear and missile programs. With that hit to Pyongyang's already shaky finances gone, at least for now, here's a look at the North's economy and the external sources of income it maintains despite a raft of heavy international sanctions over its nuclear and ballistic missiles program.
In meeting Pope Francis, patriarch asserts Russia's role MOSCOW (AP) - When Patriarch Kirill meets Pope Francis this week, the historic event will allow the head of the Russian Orthodox Church to assert Russia's leading role in the Eastern Christian world. It may also allow Kirill, a skillful political player with close ties to President Vladimir Putin, to open a new avenue of communication for the Kremlin as it tries to escape Western isolation. Francis and Kirill - two clerics who could not be more different in style - took everyone by surprise when both churches announced last Friday that they would meet at the Havana airport in Cuba on Friday in a historic step to heal the 1,000-year schism that split Christianity.
Flint crisis may help governor ease GOP doubt on Detroit aid LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Rick Snyder's standing as one of the GOP's most accomplished governors has taken a beating in the crisis over lead-contaminated water in Flint, Michigan. Democrats, especially those running for president, have pointed to his administration's mishandling of the city's switch to a cheaper water supply as an example of Republican cost-cutting run amok. But in a twist, the national scorn could pay one political dividend for him inside the state. The uproar should lessen resistance within his own party to the largest remaining item in Snyder's plan for revitalizing Michigan's economy: rescuing the worst-in-the-nation public schools in Detroit.
Fear pervasive after Mexican prison riot that killed 49 MONTERREY, Mexico (AP) - A brawl between rival drug gangs at an overcrowded penitentiary in northern Mexico turned into a riot Thursday, leaving 49 inmates dead and 12 injured in the country's deadliest prison melee in years. No escapes were reported in the clash at the Topo Chico prison in Monterrey, said Nuevo Leon state Gov. Jaime Rodriguez. The riot took place on the eve of Pope Francis' arrival in Mexico, a visit that is scheduled to include a trip next week to another prison in the border city of Ciudad Juarez. Rodriguez said in the morning that 52 people had died, but he lowered that by three in the late afternoon.
Congress bans import of forced labor products A bill headed for President Barack Obama this week includes a provision that would ban U.S. imports of fish caught by slaves in Southeast Asia, gold mined by children in Africa and garments sewn by abused women in Bangladesh, closing a loophole in an 85-year-old tariff law that has failed to keep products of forced and child labor out of America. An expose by The Associated Press last year found Thai companies ship seafood to the U.S. that was caught and processed by trapped and enslaved workers. AP tracked fish and shrimp from people locked in cages and factories to supply chains of top retailers and restaurants, from supermarket chains like Wal-Mart and Whole Foods to restaurants including Red Lobster. The companies all said they strongly condemn labor abuse and are taking steps to prevent it.
Japan stocks dive after Europe, US sell-off TOKYO (AP) - Japan's main stock index dived Friday, leading other Asian markets lower, after a sell-off in banking shares roiled investors in the U.S. and Europe. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 was down 4.8 percent to 14,952.61 after earlier sinking as much as 5.3 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1.0 percent to 18,364.14. South Korea's Kospi gave up 1.4 percent to 1,835.01 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.2 percent to 4,765.30. Shares in New Zealand and Southeast Asia also fell. Markets in China and Taiwan are closed until Monday for Lunar New Year holidays. Global stocks have been in a slump since the beginning of the year when China's market, which had been propped up by government buying, plunged dramatically.