• Dragon and lion dancers perform amidst exploding firecrackers in celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year Monday, Feb. 8, 2016 at Manila's Chinatown district in Manila, Philippines. This year is Year of the Monkey in the Lunar calendar. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Chinese visit temples, fairs to ring in Year of the Monkey

    BEIJING (AP) — Chinese and others around Asia flocked to temples and fairs to pray for good health and fortune on Monday, the first day of the Lunar New Year.

  • People watch a TV news reporting a rocket launch in North Korea, at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. For North Korea's propaganda machine, the long-range rocket launch Sunday carved a glorious trail of "fascinating vapor" through the clear blue sky. For South Korea's president, and other world leaders, it was a banned test of dangerous ballistic missile technology and yet another "intolerable provocation." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

    The Latest: S. Korea to begin talks on US missile defense

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The Latest on North Korea’s launch of a long-range rocket (all times local):

  • In this Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 photo, workers help their customers pack fireworks at a store ahead of Chinese Lunar New Year in Beijing. Much of China’s population can expect sub-standard sleep after the country starts ringing in the Year of the Monkey. The rat-a-tat snaps of firecrackers, whistling rockets and mortar-like fireworks with possibly enough gunpowder to down a small aircraft will make sure of that. Authorities in Beijing now seem set on the current policy of allowing 24-hour fireworks on New Years Eve and New Years Day and 18-hour windows every day for the following two weeks. But bursts of firework-related mayhem in recent years have prompted officials and media commentators to call for tighter restrictions. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

    New Year’s fireworks a little quieter in Chinese capital

    BEIJING (AP) — Much of China’s population can expect sub-standard sleep after the country starts ringing in the Year of the Monkey. The rat-a-tat snaps of firecrackers, whistling rockets and mortar-like fireworks with possibly enough gunpowder to down a small aircraft will make sure of that.

  • In this April 29, 2015 photo, actor Zhang Jinlai in a Monkey King costume poses next to a wax figure base on his stage performance during a ceremony at the Madame Tussauds in Beijing. The Year of the Monkey gives a little-needed excuse to reference the much loved Monkey King character from the 16th century adventure novel “Journey to the West.” The supernatural Monkey King, also known as Sun Wukong, accompanied a monk on a journey to retrieve sacred scriptures and the story has inspired countless TV shows and movies over the years. Unashamedly trying to capitalize on the new zodiac year, yet another Monkey King adaptation will be released on the first day of the lunar new year - Feb. 8. (Chinatopix via AP) CHINA OUT

    Monkey Year inspires kung fu, predictions of fire, disease

    BEIJING (AP) — The new Chinese year is the one to go bananas over. On Feb. 8, the zodiac calendar enters the Year of the Monkey — the ninth of 12 animal signs. Plastic monkeys are adorning shopping centers and office buildings, and government departments have been giving out toy monkeys.

  • North Korea’s rocket plans seen as disrespectful of China

    BEIJING (AP) — North Korea’s announcement of plans to launch a long-range rocket made during a visit to Pyongyang by a top Chinese envoy will likely be seen as yet another sign of gross disrespect toward its chief ally.

  • In this Nov. 20, 2015 file photo, Chinese journalist Li Xin talks to an Associated Press reporter over Skype, at the Associated Press office in New Delhi, India. A Chinese journalist who disappeared while seeking asylum abroad turned up Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016 telling his wife by phone he voluntarily returned to China for an investigation, in the latest case of Beijing’s increasingly strong reach beyond its borders for wanted people. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das, File)

    Missing reporter turns up, saying he returned to China

    BEIJING (AP) — The wife of a Chinese journalist who disappeared while seeking asylum abroad said she was able to speak to him by phone Wednesday and he told her he had voluntarily returned to China for investigation, but she believes he was forced back and spoke against his own will.