PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A powerful storm that crept across the country dumped a mix of snow, freezing rain and sleet on the Mid-Atlantic region and headed northeast Sunday, turning NFL playing fields in Pennsylvania into winter wonderlands, threatening as much as a foot of snow in Delaware and New Jersey and raising concerns about a messy morning commute.
Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel heads to Pakistan on Monday for talks as Washington seeks to defuse tensions over controversial US drone strikes and Islamabad's role in Afghanistan. In the first visit by a US defence secretary in nearly four years, Hagel will fly from Kabul to Islamabad to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and other top officials, including the country's new army chief.
North Korea confirmed on Monday the dismissal of Jang Song Thaek, the uncle of leader Kim Jong Un who was previously considered the second most powerful man in the secretive state, for committing "criminal acts". "Jang and his followers committed criminal acts baffling imagination and they did tremendous harm to our party and revolution," the North's KCNA news agency said in a report following a ruling Workers' Party politburo meeting on Sunday. (Reporting by Jack Kim and Ju-min Park. Editing by Dean Yates)
Afghan President Hamid Karzai agreed on a cooperation pact with Iran on Sunday, an Afghan official said, while continuing to resist signing a long-term security agreement with the United States. Karzai struck the deal with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran in a move that will be greeted with suspicion by his U.S. ally, which is trying to convince him to sign the security accord governing any post-2014 U.S. presence in Afghanistan. "Afghanistan agreed on a long-term friendship and cooperation pact with Iran," Karzai's spokesman Aimal Faizi said. "The pact will be for long-term political, security, economic and cultural cooperation, regional peace and security." He said a formal document would be prepared and signed soon.
By Alissa de Carbonnel and Pavel Polityuk KIEV (Reuters) - Crowds toppled a statue of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin in the Ukrainian capital and attacked it with hammers on Sunday in the latest mass protests against President Viktor Yanukovich and his plans for closer ties with Russia. The statue's felling - a symbolic rejection of Moscow's power - came after opposition leaders told hundreds of thousands of demonstrators to keep up pressure on Yanukovich to sack his government. A Reuters reporter at the scene saw the protesters breaking up the statue with hammers after using ropes and metal bars to bring it crashing down. The demonstrators are furious with the Yanukovich government for its decision to ditch a landmark pact with the European Union in favor of a trade deal with Moscow, Ukraine's Soviet-era overlord.
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians rallied in the center of Kiev on Sunday in the biggest protest since 2004's pro-democracy Orange Revolution, denouncing President Viktor Yanukovych's decision to turn away from Europe and raising the stakes in a tense political standoff gripping this ex-Soviet republic.