North Korea deports US tourist and Korean War vet SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea on Saturday freed an 85-year-old U.S. veteran of the Korean War after a weekslong detention, ending the saga of Merrill Newman's attempt to visit the North as a tourist six decades after he oversaw a group of South Korean wartime guerrillas still loathed by Pyongyang. North Korea made the decision after Newman, who was detained since late October, apologized for his alleged crimes, which Pyongyang linked in part to his work with the South Korean partisan group. North Korea also cited his age and medical condition.
South Africa prepares to welcome world leaders JOHANNESBURG (AP) - South Africa is readying itself for the arrival of a flood of world leaders for the memorial service and funeral for Nelson Mandela as thousands of mourners continued to flock to sites around the country Saturday to pay homage to the freedom struggle icon. At Mandela's house in the Johannesburg neighborhood of Houghton, more than 100 people, black and white, gathered in the morning where they sang liberation songs and homages to Mandela. Children danced to the singing from the swaying crowd as hawkers nearby sold Mandela regalia.
Hagel outlines new weapons sale plan for Gulf MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel opened the door for the U.S. to sell missile defense and other weapons systems to U.S.-friendly Gulf nations, with an eye toward boosting their abilities to counter Iran's ballistic missiles, even as global powers ink a nuclear deal with Tehran. In a speech Saturday to Gulf leaders, Hagel made it clear that the emerging global agreement that would limit Iran's nuclear program doesn't mean the security threat from Iran is over.
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More of US expected to see snow, sleet, ice MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - After cold rain and winds lashed the Southwest and other parts of the country Friday, millions of residents hunkered down for icy conditions expected to last through the weekend as the cold snap was forecast to continue causing problems and trekking northeast. Face-stinging sleet, thick snow and blustery winds led to slick road conditions, school closures, power outages and event cancellations as the wintry blast dropped temperatures to freezing and below from Texas to Ohio to Tennessee on Friday.
NY railway has until Tuesday to analyze lines NEW YORK (AP) - The Metro-North Railroad has until Tuesday to identify places in its system with major speed changes under an order from federal transportation officials requiring an extra worker in the driver's cab on routes like the one where a speeding commuter train derailed this week, killing four people. The emergency order by the Federal Railroad Administration, which also requires Metro-North to overhaul its signal system, was a reaction to Sunday's wreck in the Bronx, where a train flew off the tracks after hitting a curve at 82 mph, nearly three times the 30 mph speed limit. The lone train operator told investigators he nodded at the controls and didn't apply the brakes until it was too late.
Police: Pa. newlyweds killed man for thrills SUNBURY, Pa. (AP) - Newlyweds just three weeks removed from their wedding day lured a Pennsylvania man to his death with a Craigslist ad because they wanted to kill someone together, police said. Elytte Barbour told officers before his arrest Friday night that he and his wife, Miranda, had planned to kill before but their plans never worked out until last month when Troy LaFerrara responded to an online posting that promised companionship in return for money.
Iranian president defends interim nuclear deal TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran's president defended an interim nuclear deal that eases some of the international community's crippling economic sanctions in return for a freeze on part of the Islamic Republic's uranium enrichment activities, saying Saturday that improving the economy is as important as maintaining a peaceful nuclear program. Since Iran signed the interim agreement last month with world powers, President Hassan Rouhani has been trying to convince skeptics and hard-liners at home that Iran is not compromising on key issues of national sovereignty. It's a task that will become all the more difficult for the moderate leader as Tehran moves toward a final accord six months from now.
Not so justified: Justin Timberlake's Grammy snub Justin Timberlake may have earned seven Grammy nominations, but he still has reason to cry himself a river: The pop star was shut out of the top Grammy categories - album, song and record of the year - though his comeback effort, "The 20/20 Experience," is 2013's best-selling release. It might seem a bit much to call the second most nominated act at the Grammys snubbed, but it's only fitting after Timberlake's ultra-successful homecoming: The singer had back-to-back, multiplatinum hits with "Suit & Tie" and "Mirrors," launched two successful tours and strategically marketed his return, including a full week on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," deals with iTunes and Target, as well as two film releases.
Cano, Beltran, Granderson, Feldman find new homes The Seattle Mariners shook up baseball's free-agent market, reaching a rich deal with Robinson Cano on a day when Carlos Beltran, Curtis Granderson and other familiar names found new homes. Scott Feldman and Nate McLouth also landed in different spots Friday. Boston slugger Mike Napoli and New York Yankees pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, however, decided to stay put.