The world at 6:20 p.m. Times EDT.
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— OBAMA — President speaking in Denver at 5 p.m., speaks in San Francisco at 9:15 p.m.
— GUN CONTROL-CONN — Final vote could come later today.
— DISABLED CRUISE-SHIP — Shipyard worker missing after ill-fated cruise ship breaks away from moorings while docked in Ala.
— ARMS TREATY — Arms trade treaty faces enough Senate opposition to scuttle pact if Obama submits it.
— WVA SHERIFF SHOT — Friends of drug-crusading W.Va. sheriff shot near courthouse wanted to clean up his community.
— FACEBOOK-MOBILE — Ahead of Android event, eMarketer sees Facebook reaping nearly $1 billion from US mobile ads.
— BON JOVI-SAMBORA — Guitarist Richie Sambora to miss part of Bon Jovi's current tour; band cites 'personal issues.'
— OBIT-RUTH PRAWER JHABVALA — Oscar-winning screenwriter, award-winning author Ruth Prawer Jhabvala dies at 85 after illness.
SEOUL, South Korea — The North Korean army warns the U.S. that it has been cleared to wage an attack using "smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear" weapons. The latest threat follows a series of escalating warnings from Pyongyang, which has railed for weeks against U.S.-South Korean military exercises and tightened international sanctions. By Jean H. Lee.
AP photos, video, audio.
WASHINGTON — In the face of escalating threats from North Korea, the Pentagon says it will deploy a missile defense system to Guam to strengthen the Asia-Pacific region's protections against a possible attack. The delivery of the missile shield system comes as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel labels North Korea's recent rhetoric as a real, clear danger and threat to the U.S. and its Asia-Pacific allies. By Lolita C. Baldor.
AP photos, video, interactive, audio.
WASHINGTON — Sharing a bit of budget pain, President Barack Obama will return 5 percent of his salary each month to the Treasury in a show of solidarity with federal workers smarting from government-wide spending cuts. By Josh Lederman.
BEIRUT — Syrian rebels capture a military base in the south and set their sights on seizing control of a strategically important region along the border with Jordan, which would give them a critical gateway to attempt an attack on the capital, Damascus. With foreign aid and training of rebels in Jordan ramping up, the opposition fighters have regained momentum. By Zeina Karam.
AP photos, video, interactive.
The announcement by Connecticut lawmakers this week on broad new gun control laws highlights factors required to pave the route to change in a handful of states despite wide opposition. First in New York, then in Colorado, now in Connecticut and perhaps soon in Maryland, the importance of outspoken governors, Democratic legislative control and proximity to mass shootings have been key to driving the change. By National Writer Adam Geller.
AP photos, interactive.
— OBAMA — Obama travels to Colorado to draw attention to the state's new gun control laws and try to apply public pressure on Congress to pass similar federal measures. AP photos
— GUN CONTROL-CONN — Connecticut lawmakers vote on sweeping restrictions on weapons and large-capacity magazines seen as taking state further than any other in tightening controls on guns after the Newtown shooting. AP photos, video.
Cancer and heart disease are bigger killers, but Alzheimer's is the most expensive malady in the U.S., according to a study that looked at this in unprecedented detail and gives a more accurate picture of how many Americans have it. The biggest cost isn't drugs or other medical treatments, but the care that's needed just to get patients through daily life. By Chief Medical Writer Marilynn Marchione.
PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Rutgers fires basketball coach Mike Rice after a video airs showing him shoving, grabbing and throwing balls at players during practices and using gay slurs. School President Robert Barchi issues a statement saying Rice's "abusive language and actions are deeply offensive and egregiously violate the university's core values." By Tom Canavan.
NEW YORK — NBC announces its long-rumored switch in late night, replacing incumbent Jay Leno at the "Tonight" show with Jimmy Fallon and moving the iconic franchise back to New York. Fallon will take over in about a year, the switch coinciding with NBC's Winter Olympics coverage next year. Veteran "Saturday Night Live" producer Lorne Michaels also will take over as executive producer of "Tonight." By Television Writer David Bauder.
KABUL, Afghanistan — Taliban gunmen wearing Afghan army uniforms launch a suicide attack and storm a courthouse in a bid to free detainees about to go on trial in a restive western province. The daylong gunbattle leaves 53 people dead, including nine attackers, the deadliest in a series of recent assaults targeting the local government as insurgents vie for control of an area bordering Iran. By Kim Gamel.
AP photos, audio.
JOHANNESBURG — Oscar Pistorius wants to train again and recently went back to visit his regular track in South Africa's capital, the double-amputee's agent says. But he says the Olympian may not be mentally ready to compete after being charged with murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend. Pistorius last trained on a track over two months ago, and his last competitive race was at the London Paralympics in September. By Gerald Imray.
EGYPT-THE BATTLE OF THE MOUNTAIN
CAIRO — Known as the "Battle of the Mountain," a ferocious recent fight between members of the Muslim Brotherhood and their opponents in Cairo is looking like a dangerous turning point in Egypt's political turmoil. Some protesters showed a new willingness to turn to violence against Islamists, while Islamists have heightened their calls for action against those they accuse of trying to topple the president. By Maggie Michael and Sarah El Deeb.
MUMBAI, India — From tour companies to carpet sellers, businesses in India are suffering from a steep drop in foreign visitors after a series of highly publicized rapes that have damaged the country's reputation and could cost billions of dollars in lost revenue. Merchants insist their country is safe, but travelers — especially young women — relate tales of being followed, harassed, touched on trains and groped on the street. By Kay Johnson.
LONDON — Mick Philpott presented himself as an amiable rascal with an unorthodox lifestyle and a rambunctious brood of children — 17 in all, with five women. The Englishman's ramshackle existence took a horrifying turn when he and his wife set a fire that killed six of the children, in an attention-grabbing plan that prosecutors said "went disastrously and tragically wrong." The May 2012 deaths and the twisting saga that ensued have horrified and fascinated Britain. By Jill Lawless.
WASHINGTON — Evoking the shuttle diplomacy of decades past, Secretary of State John Kerry is returning to the Middle East in a bid to restart long-stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Expectations are low for a breakthrough on Kerry's third trip in two weeks, though his meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders signal renewed U.S. determination. By Bradley Klapper and Josef Federman.
AP photo, interactive.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY DEAD-TEXAS
HOUSTON — After two Texas prosecutors were slain in three months, law enforcement agencies across the state are considering steps to better protect the attorneys who go after violent criminals, including providing round-the-clock security details. In the wake of the slayings, one prosecutor even encouraged his staff to request that public property records not list their home addresses. But none of those practices are likely to eliminate the inherent risk of confronting society's most dangerous offenders in the courtroom. By Juan A. Lozano and Christopher Sherman.
PHOENIX — On the Southwest's political map, Arizona stands out. Most of its neighbors are independent-minded states that once leaned Republican but are trending Democratic, partly because of increasing numbers of Hispanic voters alienated from the GOP by its tough stance on illegal immigration. Nowhere is a harder line taken than in Arizona, and it's paid off politically: Republicans have a lock on statewide offices and dominate the state legislature. By Nicholas Riccardi.
RESTAURANT RESERVATION RETALIATION
LOS ANGELES — When 20 percent of your dinner reservations don't show, what's a restaurant owner to do? Usually nothing; it's simply an unsavory fact of restaurant life. But one Beverly Hills restaurant owner decided enough was enough, taking to Twitter to publicly call out those who skipped out on their reservations on a recent busy Saturday. The move prompted a torrent of mixed reactions, with some saying the customers' rude behavior warranted the public embarrassment while others said the owner stepped over the line and his business will suffer. By John Rogers.
HEALTH & SCIENCE
BEIJING — In a worrisome sign, a new bird flu in China appears to have mutated so that it can spread to other animals, raising the potential for infecting people, scientists say. So far there is no evidence it's spreading that way. But the virus has the power to move invisibly among poultry, experts said, making it impossible to know which flocks of birds are infected and raising the potential for an epidemic. By Gillian Wong and Malcolm Ritter.
GENEVA — A $2 billion instrument aboard the International Space Station has found what may be the first significant hint of dark matter, the mysterious and long-theorized substance that is believed to hold the universe together but has never been directly observed, scientists say. By John Heilprin and Seth Borenstein.
LOS ANGELES — There's a scene in the upcoming film "42" in which Jackie Robinson, the first black player in Major League Baseball, endures intolerably cruel racial slurs from the Philadelphia Phillies' manager. It's a visible struggle, but No. 42 maintains his composure before a crowd of thousands. Such hatred may seem archaic, an ugly episode in our nation's history that we'd rather forget. But remembering Robinson's accomplishments is more important than ever, say people involved with "42" and baseball historians alike. And because he was such an inspiring cultural figure, it's more important than ever to get his story right. By Entertainment Writer Christy Lemire.
AP photos, video.
ALSO GETTING ATTENTION
— HAGEL — Hagel warns of deep, new spending cuts to personnel, health care, weapons systems.
— ARGENTINA-DEADLY RAINS — Torrential rains flood Argentina, overall death toll rises to 52.
— MUSIC-THE ROLLING STONES-TOUR — Rolling Stones announce 9-city tour; stops include Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia. AP photos.
— US-EGYPT-STEWART — US Embassy in Cairo temporarily suspends its Twitter feed after tweeting a link to a Jon Stewart monologue mocking Morsi for arresting a satirist.
— SOLDIERS CHARGED-PLOT — Ga. soldier accused of leading anti-gov't militia charged in 2011 killing of pregnant wife.
— OLD SLAYING-CONFESSION — A New Jersey man turns himself in and admits he killed a teenager 23 years ago, saying the victim's mother haunted him in nightmares. AP photos.
— KING ASSASSINATION-SANITATION WORKERS — 45 years after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed supporting them, Memphis sanitation workers are fighting for jobs. AP photos.
— SPAIN-ROYAL FAMILY-CORRUPTION — Spain royal family's woes worsen as court names king's daughter as suspect in corruption case. AP photos.
— WEST POINT CEMETERY — The U.S. Military Academy and its graduates are taking steps to make more room at the school's cemetery, home to headstones etched with names like Custer and Westmoreland, which is close to full.
— OBIT-WILLIAM GINSBERG — William H. Ginsburg, who was Monica Lewinsky's first lawyer during the sex scandal involving former President Bill Clinton, dies. He was 70.