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AP Top News at 10:06 a.m. EST

Rubio comes under withering criticism in Republican debate
MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - Marco Rubio faced withering criticism of his readiness to be president and his policy depth in the last Republican debate before Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and other candidates launched an aggressive campaign to slow the Florida senator's rise. Rubio's responded with an uneven performance on Saturday night that could hurt his bid to emerge as an alternative to Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. If anything, his showing gave new hope to Christie, Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, all of whom need strong finishes in New Hampshire to keep their White House bids afloat.


AP FACT CHECK: Skewed GOP claims on taxes, health insurance
WASHINGTON (AP) - Viewers of the latest Republican presidential debate didn't get a straight story from the candidates on U.S. taxes vs. the world, the state of the health insurance marketplace under "Obamacare" or what might happen if that law is taken away. Among other fumbles: -Marco Rubio seemed unaware that Kurds are Sunnis. -In his zeal to condemn the Obama administration's immigration record, Ted Cruz once again vastly overstated deportations under the previous two presidents. And he continued, as in a previous debate, to struggle with the meaning of carpet-bombing. -Chris Christie misstated the U.S. policy on paying ransom to hostage-takers.


Storms may brew, but in N. Korea pride over new satellite
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) - Hours after the rest of the world already knew, North Korea's state media triumphantly announced in a special news bulletin to the nation Sunday it had successfully launched a satellite into orbit, calling it a major milestone in the nation's history and the "greatest gift of loyalty" to the country's young leader, Kim Jong Un. In a possible hint of what might lie ahead, however, North Korea's state media implored the nation on the eve of the launch to be prepared for whatever "violent storm" may be coming. They may need to: the U.S., South Korea and Japan have strongly condemned the launch, and potential new sanctions over both the launch and the North's purported hydrogen bomb test just one month ago are now being discussed in the U.N.


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What N. Korea rocket launch may mean for region and world
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea launched a long-range rocket Sunday, the first day of its announced eight-day launch window and about a month after the country's fourth nuclear test led to international condemnation. Already, world leaders are lining up to condemn the launch, which is being described as a potential threat to regional and world security. For help on what it all means, some things to consider about the North's latest move: --- SATELLITE LAUNCH OR MISSILE TEST? Washington, Seoul and others consider the launch a banned test of missile technology. That suspicion is based on the fact that Pyongyang has been openly pushing to manufacture nuclear-tipped missiles capable of striking the U.S.


Super Bowl's Broncos, Panthers excel at defense differently
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Sometime late last season or early this season - depends on whom you ask - Josh Norman and the Carolina Panthers' other defensive backs were heading toward a drill as part of their weekly "Turnover Circuit," when assistant coach Eric Washington yelled out a spur-of-the-moment greeting. "Hey, here come the thieves!" It was meant to be funny, using that word to refer to a group of guys whose job description includes trying to steal the ball. It stuck, and the members of the secondary now own gray T-shirts, courtesy of safety Roman Harper, that refer to "Thieves Avenue," the name they adopted for their section of the locker room.


Rescuers in Taiwan pull out survivors from quake rubble
TAINAN, Taiwan (AP) - With anxious families waiting nearby, rescuers on Sunday painstakingly pulled more survivors from the remains of a high-rise apartment building that collapsed a day earlier in a powerful earthquake that shook southern Taiwan and killed at least 26 people. More than 100 remained buried in the building's rubble. The government in Tainan, the worst-hit city, said that more than 170 people had been rescued from the 17-story building, which folded like an accordion after the quake struck. Mao Yi-chen, 20, was rescued soon after the magnitude-6.4 quake hit before dawn Saturday, and her older sister Mao Yi-hsuan was pulled out Sunday in serious condition.


UAE says it's prepared to send ground forces to Syria
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - A top official in the United Arab Emirates said Sunday that his country is prepared to send ground troops to Syria to fight Islamic State militants as part of an international coalition. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash made the comments in the federal capital of Abu Dhabi, days after Saudi Arabia said it is ready to deploy ground forces if leaders of the U.S.-led international coalition fighting the group call for it. Gargash said it has been the Emirates' long-held position that a campaign to defeat the group "has to include ground elements," though his latest comments took on added weight in light of Riyadh's pledge last week.


How Donald Trump, with pizazz and bluster, took on the NFL
WASHINGTON (AP) - Donald Trump was known in New York by 1984 as a flashy newcomer to Manhattan real estate. But football, not business, was what drew 60 young women to the Trump Tower in early January of that year. The women had come to audition for the Brig-A-Dears, the cheerleading squad of the New Jersey Generals, part of the upstart United States Football League. Trump had recently bought the team. Judged by a panel that included Andy Warhol, gossip columnist Cindy Adams and other celebrities, the event was a splashy media affair. But organizer Emily Magrish grew worried when some women who had been cut from consideration in earlier rounds showed up to picket outside.


Divisive Polish party leader Kaczynski pulls the strings
WARSAW, Poland (AP) - When Hungary's prime minister had a secret five-hour meeting in a secluded mountain resort with the most powerful person in Poland, he didn't convene with his counterpart or the Polish president. Instead he spoke with Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of Poland's ruling party, a man who has no official government position. The mysterious meeting recently in a guest house on Poland's southern border enhanced the perception that Kaczynski, rather than Prime Minister Beata Szydlo or President Andrzej Duda, is the main decision-maker in Poland today, and that, like Hungarian leader Viktor Orban, he might steer his nation down an anti-democratic path.


Bosnian first-graders reach out to deaf schoolmate
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) - When Mirzana Coralic asked the primary school in her Sarajevo neighborhood whether they would enroll her deaf son, teacher Sanela Ljumanovic volunteered without thinking much about it. Then September came and 6-year-old Zejd was there, silently sitting on one of the school's benches, his eyes wide open. At the time, no one at the school, not even Zejd, knew sign language. "We have to come up with something here," Ljumanovic remembers thinking. She tried to develop her own tricks and signs to communicate with Zejd but a parent had another idea, proposing that the whole class learn sign language with him.

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