The Associated Press
The National Weather Service was predicting a "potentially historic" storm on par with some of the biggest to ever hit the densely populated northeastern U.S. In 2004, the weather service developed a scale for rating Northeast snowstorms similar to the Fujita and Saffir-Simpson scales used for tornadoes and hurricanes.   Full Story
 
Wilfredo Lee — The Associated Press
MIAMI >> Despite being a relative pageant newcomer, Miss Colombia Paulina Vega has been crowned Miss Universe, beating out first runner-up Miss USA Nia Sanchez and contestants from more than 80 other countries. At Sunday's pageant in Miami, Vega, a 22-year-old student of business administration from Barranquilla, Colombia, said she would wear the crown with "pride and excitement" as she   Full Story
 
MONTGOMERY, ALA. >> A federal judge has put a temporary hold on her decision that overturned Alabama's gay marriage ban, but indicated she will soon answer a key question: Must state probate judges issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples when the stay is lifted? U.S. District Judge Callie V.   Full Story
 
HONG KONG >> Hackers defaced the website of Malaysia Airlines on Monday and threatened to dump stolen information online after posting a glimpse of customer data obtained in the attack. The airline's site was down for at least seven hours, replaced by a message from the Lizard Squad hacker group, before the company brought it back online by mid-afternoon in Malaysia.   Full Story
 
The Associated Press
MOSCOW >> Russia's foreign minister struck a defiant note Monday after Western leaders threatened to further punish Moscow for escalated fighting in eastern Ukraine over the weekend. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told journalists that rocket shelling Saturday in the city of Mariupol, which left at least 30 people dead, was a tragedy that was being manipulated to "whip up   Full Story
 
NEW YORK >> Oil prices rose on news of the death of Saudi Arabia's powerful King Abdullah, but the increase is likely to be short-lived without a cut in the kingdom's immense crude production. The benchmark U.S. crude futures contract was up 71 cents to $47.02 a barrel at 0725 GMT on Friday. Brent crude, an international benchmark, was up 92 cents to $49.   Full Story
 
HONOLULU >> Officials say 11 people are safe after being rescued from their sinking tow boat off the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The Coast Guard says it received an emergency call Thursday afternoon from the 95-foot Nalani after it began taking on water about 2 1/2 miles offshore. Emergency vessels rushed toward the scene, while an alert went out for boats in the area to help with a rescue.   Full Story
 
WASHINGTON >> American mayors are convening at the White House to meet with members of President Barack Obama's Cabinet and with senior White House officials to discuss relations between the federal government and the nation's cities. The mayors will visit the White House on Friday as part of the 82nd winter meeting of the U.   Full Story
 
The Associated Press
NEW DELHI >> When President Barack Obama arrives in New Delhi on Sunday he will join the Indian capital's masses in breathing some of the world's filthiest air. Hazy skies will serve as the backdrop to meetings with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other officials who are expected to discuss India's biggest environmental woes: Heavy reliance on fossil fuels that has transformed New   Full Story
 
The Associated Press
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA >> Saudi Arabia's new king promised Friday to continue the policies of his predecessors in a nationally televised speech, taking control of the kingdom after the death of its 90-year-old ruler. King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud's comments come as the oil-rich, Sunni-ruled kingdom began mourning King Abdullah, who died early Friday after nearly two decades in power.   Full Story
 
DENVER >> A dispute over a cake in Colorado raises a new question about gay rights and religious freedom: If bakers can be fined for refusing to serve married gay couples, can they also be punished for declining to make a cake with anti-gay statements? A baker in suburban Denver who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding is fighting a legal order requiring him to serve gay couples   Full Story
 
HARTFORD, CONN. >> Gun maker Remington has moved a lawsuit filed against it by families of those shot in the Sandy Hook school massacre from state to federal court, where at least one expert says it has less chance of succeeding. Nine families sued Remington and others in Bridgeport Superior Court in December arguing the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle used in the shooting should not have been sold   Full Story
 
PANGKALAN BUN, INDONESIA >> Indonesian divers retrieved Thursday six more bodies from waters around the sunken fuselage of the AirAsia jetliner that crashed last month. Divers were struggling against strong current and poor visibility to lift the fuselage and what appears to be the plane's cockpit from the seabed at a depth of 30 meters (100 feet).   Full Story
 
WASHINGTON >> The House will vote next week on a border security bill as Republicans try to show they can chart their own course on immigration — not just oppose President Barack Obama. The bill passed the House Homeland Security Committee late Wednesday on a party-line vote of 18-12. It's drawing opposition from some conservatives who say it doesn't do enough to stem illegal   Full Story
 
Pablo Martinez Monsivais — The Associated Press
WASHINGTON >> With thousands of anti-abortion protesters in town, Republicans are ready to push legislation through the House designed to please them. But it's not the bill an embarrassed GOP was hoping for. Republican leaders had planned House passage Thursday of legislation criminalizing most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, an act that would have defied a White House veto threat.   Full Story