'Rainbow Nation' mourners swarm Mandela's mansion JOHANNESBURG (AP) - Along a street lined with walled mansions shaded by graceful jacaranda trees, mourners, black and white, by the thousands rubbed shoulders Monday outside the villa where Nelson Mandela died, placing flower bouquets and condolence notes on top of piles already knee-high. Others danced while singing praise for the anti-apartheid leader - a vivid example of the "Rainbow Nation" unity of race-blind multiculturalism championed by Mandela for South Africa. As players for the nation's top Kaizer Chiefs soccer team were escorted inside the villa in one of the city's most exclusive neighborhoods to grieve with Mandela's relatives, hospital receptionist Nelson Jabulani Dube said the crowd of black, white and mixed race mourners transforming a street corner into a makeshift shrine was evidence that Mandela succeeded in breaking down barriers in a country defined for generations by race-based hate.
Big tech companies lash out at government snooping WASHINGTON (AP) - Silicon Valley is escalating pressure on President Barack Obama to curb the U.S. government surveillance programs that vacuum personal information off the Internet and threaten the technology industry's financial livelihood. A coalition that includes Google, Apple, Yahoo, Facebook and Microsoft lashed out in an open letter printed Monday in major newspapers and a new website, http://reformgovernmentsurveillance.comhttp://reformgovernmentsurveillance.com .
Riot police storm opposition offices in Ukraine KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - Heavily armed riot troops broke into the offices of a top Ukrainian opposition party office in Kiev and seized its servers Monday, the party said, as anti-government protests crippled the capital for yet another day. Elsewhere police dismantled or blocked off several small protest tent camps that near key national government buildings in the city.
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Rising riches: 1 in 5 in US reaches affluence WASHINGTON (AP) - Fully 20 percent of U.S. adults become rich for parts of their lives, wielding extensive influence over America's economy and politics, according to new survey data. These "new rich," made up largely of older professionals, working married couples and more educated singles, are becoming politically influential, and economists say their capacity to spend is key to the U.S. economic recovery. But their rise is also a sign of the nation's continuing economic polarization.
Thai PM dissolves Parliament, calls elections BANGKOK (AP) - Desperate to defuse Thailand's deepening political crisis, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra dissolved Parliament's lower house on Monday and called early elections. But protesters seeking to topple her vowed to carry on their fight, saying they cannot win the polls because of corruption. A decree from King Bhumibol Adulyadej scheduled the elections on Feb. 2 and named Yingluck as interim prime minister until then. The protesters demanded that she resign as caretaker and rejected the election date, putting the strongly royalist movement at odds with the royal decree.
World leaders to speak at massive Mandela memorial JOHANNESBURG (AP) - South Africa prepared Monday for a massive memorial in a soccer stadium honoring Nelson Mandela, where an eclectic mix of world leaders will eulogize the anti-apartheid icon before a crowd of nearly 100,000 mourners. As a prelude to the stadium event, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu spoke at an event at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory Monday night.
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.
Storm snarls travel; power outages persist MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Snow and bitter cold snarled traffic and prompted another 1,600 U.S. flight cancellations on Monday, and tens of thousands of people were still without power after January-like weather barged in a month early. The storm covered parts of North Texas in ice over the weekend and then moved East. Below-zero temperatures crowned the top of the U.S. from Idaho to Minnesota, where many roads still had an inch-thick plate of ice, polished smooth by traffic and impervious to ice-melting chemicals, making intersections an adventure.
Purge sends chilling message to NKorea's elite SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - While the rest of North Korea's top brass leaped to their feet before Kim Jong Un, clapping wildly in a requisite show of respect at high-level meetings, his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, often seemed nonchalant, at times even bored. Once considered the force behind the young leader, he displayed a bold insouciance that seemed calculated to show he was beyond reach. So by purging his own uncle, Kim has delivered a more chilling message: No one is beyond reach, not even family.
NASA: Ancient Mars lake may have supported life LOS ANGELES (AP) - NASA's Curiosity rover has uncovered signs of an ancient freshwater lake on Mars, which scientists say could have been a perfect spot for tiny primitive organisms to flourish if they ever existed on the red planet. The watering hole near the Martian equator existed about 3.5 billion years ago around the time when life evolved on Earth. Scientists say the Martian lake was neither salty nor acidic, and contained life-friendly nutrients.