Iran may try to loosen Revolutionary Guard’s grip on economy

FILE - In this Sept. 21, 2012 photo, Iran's Revolutionary Guard troops march during a military parade commemorating the anniversary of start of the 1980-88 Iraq-Iran war, in front of the shrine of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, just outside Tehran, Iran. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has ordered the Revolutionary Guard to loosen its hold on the economy, the country's defense minister says, raising the possibility that the paramilitary organization might privatize some of its vast holdings. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran’s supreme leader has ordered the Revolutionary Guard to loosen its hold on the economy, the country’s defense minister says, raising the possibility that the paramilitary organization might privatize some of its vast holdings.

Rallies held against Trump, sexual misconduct

People line up on Central Park West as they wait for the start of a march highlighting equal rights and equality for women Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, in New York. The New York protest was among more than 200 such actions planned for the weekend around the world. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

NEW YORK (AP) — Across the globe, people are hitting the streets on the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, marching against his policies and in support of the #MeToo movement against sexual assault and harassment.

U.S. government shuts down; Dems, GOP blame each other

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, is surrounded by reporters following a TV interviewed about a possible government shutdown at the White House, in Washington, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday, halting all but the most essential operations and marring the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration in a striking display of Washington dysfunction.

Pope to visit Peruvian region hard hit by El Nino floods

Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and Pope Francis arrive to exchange gifts at the Presidential palace in Lima, Peru, Jan. 19, 2018. (Alessandro Bianchi/Pool via AP)

LIMA, Peru (AP) — When Pope Francis travels Saturday to northern Peru he will find a region still reeling from devastating floods nearly a year ago that toppled hundreds of thousands of homes, left streets covered in thick layers of mud and even ripped apart tombs from an above-ground cemetery.

Manson follower Leslie Van Houten denied parole by governor

FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2017, file photo, Leslie Van Houten attends her parole hearing at the California Institution for Women in Corona, Calif. California Gov. Jerry Brown has again denied parole for Van Houten, the youngest follower of murderous cult leader Charles Manson. Brown said in his decision announced Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, that despite Van Houten saying at her parole hearing that she accepts full responsibility for her crimes, she still lays too much of the blame on Manson, who died two months ago. (Stan Lim/Los Angeles Daily News via AP, Pool, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The governor of California once again denied parole Friday for Leslie Van Houten, the youngest follower of murderous cult leader Charles Manson who blamed herself at her parole hearing for letting him control her life.

Russian networks pushing conservative meme, researchers say

File-This Dec. 15, 2016, file photo shows Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. speaking with reporters after meeting with then President-elect Donald Trump, in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. Twitter accounts linked to Russian influence operations are pushing a conservative meme related to the investigation of Russian election interference, researchers say. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Twitter accounts linked to Russian influence operations are pushing a conservative meme related to the investigation of Russian election interference, researchers say.

Flu season gets worse, has ‘lot more steam’ than expected

FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018 file photo, Ana Martinez, a medical assistant at the Sea Mar Community Health Center, gives a patient a flu shot in Seattle. This year’s U.S. flu season got off to an early start, and it’s been driven by a nasty type of flu that tends to put more people in the hospital and cause more deaths than other common flu bugs. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

NEW YORK (AP) — The flu season in the U.S. is getting worse.

Border wall tests find heights should keep out crossers

In this Oct. 19, 2017 file photo, people pass border wall prototypes as they stand near the border with Tijuana, Mexico, in San Diego. A U.S. official says recent testing of prototypes of President Donald Trump's proposed wall with Mexico found their heights should stop border crossers. U.S. tactical teams spent three weeks trying to breach and scale the models in San Diego. An official with direct knowledge of the results said they point to see-through steel barriers topped by concrete as the best design. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the information is not authorized for release. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Recent assaults by tactical teams on prototypes of President Donald Trump’s proposed wall with Mexico found their imposing heights should stop border crossers, The Associated Press has learned, a finding that’s likely to please security hawks but raise concerns about costs and environmental damage.

Winter is here: “Game of Thrones” ice hotel opens in Finland

A large decoration is seen inside a Game of Thrones-themed ice hotel in Kittila Finnish Lapland on Sunday Jan. 14, 2018. A “Game of Thrones”-themed ice hotel complete with a bar and a chapel for weddings has opened in northern Finland in a joint effort by a local hotel chain and the U.S. producers of the hit TV series. Lapland Hotels said Friday they chose “Game of Thrones” to be the theme for this season's Snow Village, an annual ice-and-snow construction project covering 20,000 square meters (24,000 sq. yards) in Kittila, 150 kilometers (93 miles) above the Arctic Circle.(Aku H'yrynen/Lehtikuva via AP)

HELSINKI (AP) — A “Game of Thrones”-themed ice hotel complete with a bar and a chapel for weddings has opened in northern Finland in a joint effort by a local hotel chain and the U.S. producers of the hit TV series.

Thai police arrest suspected kingpin of wildlife trafficking

Police process suspected wildlife trafficker Boonchai Bach, a 40-year-old Thai of Vietnamese descent, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, in Bangkok, Thailand. During a press conference Saturday, police announced the arrest of Boonchai who allegedly fueled much of Asia's illegal wildlife trade for over the last decade. (AP Photo/Tassanee Vejpongsa)

BANGKOK (AP) — Thai police have arrested a suspected kingpin of wildlife trafficking who allegedly fueled much of Asia’s illegal trade for over a decade, officials said Saturday.

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