Ravens hold off 49ers 34-31 to win Super Bowl XLVII


The Baltimore Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 to win Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

Sunday's appeared to be a blowout, with the Ravens leading 21-6 at the half.

Baltimore's Jacoby Jones opened the second half with a Super Bowl record 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

A power outage a short time later interrupted play for 34 minutes and seemed to revive the 49ers, who answered with 17 points in the 3rd quarter and 8 more points in the 4th quarter.




Obama: Get "weapons of war" off the streets


Weapons of war have no place on our streets," U.S. President Barack Obama said at an event with law enforcement officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where gun violence among teens has declined by 40 percent.

"No law or set of laws can keep our children completely safe. But if there's even one thing we can do, if there's just one life we can save, we've got an obligation to try," the president said in a bid to gather support for his proposals to tighten gun regulation.

Speaking at the Minneapolis Police Department Special Operations Center, Obama said there is broad agreement among Americans on "common-sense steps" such as requiring universal background checks for gun buyers and banning assault weapons.




Child safe as FBI agents kill Alabama kidnapper


The kidnapping of a 5-year-old boy in a bunker in Alabama ended with FBI agents shooting and killing the abductor and rescuing the child unharmed, authorities said.

Steve Richardson, the FBI special agent in charge in Mobile, said that agents decided to act when they determined that negotiations with kidnapper Jimmy Lee Dykes had come to an impasse.

"Mr. Dykes was observed holding a gun. At this point the FBI agents, fearing the child was in imminent danger, entered the bunker and rescued the child," Richardson said.

Dykes had built the underground bunker in which he holed up with the boy for seven days.




DNA analysis confirms remains belong to England's Richard III


DNA analysis has allowed scientists to confirm that the human remains found in September beneath a parking lot in central England belong to King Richard III, who died in 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth Field, the University of Leicester announced.

"(B)eyond reasonable doubt the individual exhumed at Grey Friars in September 2012 is indeed Richard III," university lead archaeologist Richard Buckley said at a press conference.

Examination of the skeleton, which had 10 battle wounds, had already provided "highly convincing" evidence that it could be that of the last English monarch to die in battle, but the DNA analysis finally confirmed the discovery.

Scientists collected genetic material from the teeth and the femur of the skeleton and compared the DNA with that of Michael Ibsen - a descendent of Richard's sister, Anne of York.




Ahmadinejad volunteers to be Iran's first astronaut


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is ready to be his country's first astronaut, he said at the unveiling of the prototypes of two satellites that Tehran hopes to be able to launch into orbit this year.

He also rebutted doubts expressed by foreign media outlets regarding last month's announcement of the launching into sub-orbital space of a small monkey in a satellite aboard an Iranian rocket.

Present at the event - where Iranian authorities displayed the prototypes of the Zohreh and Nahid communications satellites, which Iran has said it will place in orbit this year - along with the president was Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi, who said that Iran has had a space program for 10 years and hopes to be able to send a man into orbit before 2020.




Pemex HQ blast death toll rises to 36


The death toll from the explosion last week at the Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, headquarters in Mexico City has risen to 36, President Enrique Peña Nieto said.

Rescue workers pulled three bodies out of the rubble over the weekend and are still searching for one person, the president said in a Twitter posting.

Pemex's headquarters was torn by a blast last Thursday that occurred in the basement of one of the complex's buildings.

Some 2,500 rescue workers - aided by specially trained dogs - sifted through the rubble at Pemex headquarters over the weekend.




Death toll rises to 237 in Brazil nightclub fire


The death toll from the fire last month at the Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria, a city in Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul state, has risen to 237, health officials said.

The figure was revised upward following the death of Bruno Portella Fricks, a 22-year-old businessman, the Rio Grande do Sul Health Secretariat said.

The young man went to a party at the club with his 20-year-old girlfriend, Jessica Duarte, who remains hospitalized in Porto Alegre, the Zero Hora newspaper reported.




Tens of thousands of Cambodians bid farewell to former monarch


The father of Cambodian independence, former monarch Norodom Sihanouk, was cremated in Phnom Penh in the presence of international heads of state and government, while tens of thousands of his countrymen turned out to bid him farewell.

His widow, Queen Monique, and reigning King Norodom Sihamoni presided at the formal events beside his funeral pyre in a temple-like, 15-story high crematorium in a nationally televised ceremony.

Sihanouk died last Oct. 15 at age 89 of a heart attack in a hospital in Beijing, where he had spent long periods receiving medical treatment, and his embalmed body has lain in state for more than three months in the Royal Palace.




Attacks on buses continue in southern Brazil


A bus was set on fire by armed men and another was shot at in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, which has been experiencing a wave of violent attacks in recent days, police said.

Police reinforcements made available by the state government to attempt to quell the attacks did not prevent attackers from setting a bus ablaze in the city of Navegantes or masked gunmen from opening fire on another in Itajai.

Nobody was hurt in either incident.

The Navegantes attack raises to 18 the number of public buses set on fire in the past five days by criminal groups, who have also burned trucks and private automobiles and have shot up police stations.




Argentine supermarkets to freeze prices for 2 months


Argentina's major supermarket chains reached agreement with the government to freeze prices for two months, the head of the association representing the retail giants told Efe.

Signatories to the accord include Coto, Carrefour, Jumbo, Disco, Libertad, Vea, La Anonima and Walmart, ASU director Juan Carlos Vasco Martinez said.

"We are the most visible face of retail selling, but not the only price-makers," he said, suggesting the pact may help reveal which link in the production and distribution chain has the most influence on prices.




Son of Venezuelan opposition leader killed


Venezuela's interior minister said Monday that he ordered the director of the CICPC investigative police to personally take charge of the probe into the murder of the son of prominent opposition figure Claudio Fermin.

"We deeply regret the death of Dr. Claudio Fermin's son. The investigation will get to the bottom of what happened...we have designated the CICPC director himself," Nestor Reverol said on Twitter.

The opposition leader told reporters that his son Alejandro, 34, was slain shortly before dawn in an apparent attempted car theft.

Several leaders of the MUD opposition coalition blamed President Hugo Chavez's government for the country's crime problem while expressing their condolences to Fermin.




Probe uncovers attempts to fix international soccer matches


The European Union's joint police agency said here that investigators have detected an international conspiracy to fix hundreds of soccer matches, including three World Cup qualifiers and UEFA Champions League fixtures.

The Asia-based ring tried to fix at least 680 matches worldwide, Europol director Rob Wainwright said at a press conference in The Hague.

"We have evidence for 150 of these cases, and the operations were run out of Singapore with bribes of up to 100,000 euros ($135, 180) paid per match," investigator Friedhelm Althans said.

Match-fixing rings are operating "on a scale and in a way that threatens the very fabric of the game," Wainwright said.