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WHITE HOUSE NOTEBOOK: Obama celebrates India's Republic Day

WHITE HOUSE NOTEBOOK: Obama 1st US leader to be chief guest at India's Republic Day festival
Muneeza Naqvi, The Associated Press

NEW DELHI - President Barack Obama's experience at India's Republic Day celebration may have felt a little like his two presidential inaugurations.

He watched the two-hour parade of military hardware, marching bands and elaborately dressed camels from a rain-soaked, open-air reviewing stand.

The experience was somewhat similar to his inaugurations in Washington. But it was different in some respects, too.

Retrieval of more than 30 slain Filipinos commandos underway

Philippine forces retrieving bodies of more than 30 commandos in rebel base after fighting
Jim Gomez, The Associated Press

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine police have recovered at least 21 bodies of the dozens commandos who were mowed down by Muslim rebel gunfire in a far-flung southern village where they moved in over the weekend to hunt down one of southeast Asia's most-wanted terrorists, officials said Monday.

Miss Colombia crowned Miss Universe; Miss USA runner-up

Miss Colombia Paulina Vega crowned Miss Universe; Miss USA named 1st runner-up
Kelli Kennedy, The Associated Press

MIAMI - Miss Colombia Paulina Vega has been crowned Miss Universe, beating out contestants from 87 other countries.

Miss USA Nia Sanchez and Miss Ukraine Diana Harkusha were the runners-up during Sunday's competition. Miss Jamaica Kaci Fennell and Miss Netherlands Yasmin Verheijen were also among the top five.

Canada's representative, Chanel Beckenlehner, wasn't on the list of finalists, but last week scored some major buzz around the world for an outlandish hockey-themed costume.

Quotes from the Screen Actors Guild Awards

Quotes from the 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards
The Associated Press

Quotes from Sunday night's 21st annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles:

"If people are saying I'm the front-runner, that's a beautiful thing. It's more attention for the movie. I'm delighted to be the front-runner, may it all happen." — J.K. Simmons backstage on his status as the favourite to win the supporting-actor Oscar for "Whiplash."


Complete list of winners at 21st annual SAG Awards

A complete list of winners at the 21st annual Screen Actors Guild Awards
The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - A complete list of winners at Sunday's 21st annual Screen Actors Guild Awards:


Actor: Eddie Redmayne, "The Theory of Everything"

Actress: Julianne Moore, "Still Alice"

Supporting actor: J.K. Simmons, "Whiplash"

Supporting actress: Patricia Arquette, "Boyhood"

Cast: "Birdman"

Stunt ensemble: "Unbroken"



Actor in a comedy series: William H. Macy, "Shameless"

Japan working to gain IS hostage's release, analyzing video

Japan working to gain release of remaining Islamic State group hostage; says 1 likely killed
Elaine Kurtenbach, The Associated Press

TOKYO - Japan was working Monday to co-ordinate efforts with Jordan and other countries to save a hostage held by the extremist Islamic State group.

"We all have one unchanged goal and we will absolutely not give up until the end. And with that faith, we will try our utmost to reach that goal. That's how it is," said Yasuhide Nakayama, a Japanese deputy foreign minister sent to Amman, Jordan, to work on the crisis.

Zoo offers scorpion adoptions for Valentine's Day singles

Angry with your ex? Zoo offers scorpion, cockroach adoptions for Valentine's Day
The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO - Feeling the sting of rejection? The San Francisco Zoo is offering the chance to "adopt" a hissing cockroach or giant scorpion in honour of that special ex-someone for Valentine's Day.

The zoo is highlighting two of its less desirable inhabitants through the adopt-an-animal program that usually raises money for the care of more cuddly-looking creatures, such as penguins and pandas.

Ukraine: Phone calls prove rebels attacked city, killed 30

Ukraine says intercepted communications prove Russian-backed rebels attacked city, killed 30
Yuras Karmanau, The Associated Press

KIEV, Ukraine - Ukraine's president said Sunday that intercepted radio and telephone conversations prove that Russia-backed separatists were responsible for firing the rockets that pounded the southeastern city of Mariupol and killed at least 30 people.

The attack on Mariupol, a strategically situated port city that had been relatively quiet for months, alarmed the West and looked likely further to aggravate relations with Russia.

Zoo offers creepy way for lovelorn to get even with exes

San Francisco Zoo takes bite out of Valentine's Day with scorpion, cockroach adoptions
The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO - Feeling the sting of rejection? Itching to get even with an ex? The San Francisco Zoo is offering the burned and spurned masses the chance to "adopt" a hissing cockroach or giant scorpion in honour of their special ex-someone for Valentine's Day.

Dog gets 2nd chance in Utah after escaping death in Indiana

Dog gets new lease on life at Utah animal sanctuary after escaping euthanasia in Indiana
The Associated Press

KANAB, Utah - A dog is getting a new lease on life at a Utah animal sanctuary a month after escaping a worse fate in Indiana: being euthanized and having its cremated ashes mixed with those of its late owner.

Staff members at the Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab say the male German shepherd named Bela still has behavioural issues but is doing very well.

"It's something we do every day: We handle special needs," Christine Vergallito of Best Friends told KSL ( ). "We handle behavioural issues, and we give them an enriched life here."

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