• 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.

    Updated: 9:20 am

  • 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 image released by Japan's Kyodo News agency, an unidentified object is photographed in the sky from Dandong, China, near the North Korean border, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, at the same time a North Korea rocket was allegedly launched. North Korea on Sunday defied international warnings and launched a long-range rocket that the United Nations and others call a cover for a banned test of technology for a missile that could strike the U.S. mainland. (Minoru Iwasaki/Kyodo News via AP) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT

    N. Korea praises launch, others see as covert missile test

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The U.N. Security Council condemned North Korea’s launch of a long-range rocket that world leaders called a banned test of ballistic missile technology and another “intolerable provocation.” The U.N.’s most powerful body pledged to quickly adopt a new resolution with “significant” new sanctions.

  • Christian group says China charges pastor with embezzling

    BEIJING (AP) — A Christian rights group says a pastor in a Chinese province where authorities have been cracking down on churches has been charged with embezzling funds.

  • 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.

  • A female is rescued from a collapsed building complex after  an early morning earthquake in Tainan, Taiwan, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016. A 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck southern Taiwan early Saturday, toppling at least one high-rise residential building and trapping people inside. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

    The Latest: Death toll rises to 7 in Taiwan quake

    TAINAN, Taiwan (AP) — The Latest on a magnitude-6.4 earthquake in southern Taiwan (all times local):

  • Emergency rescuers continue to search for the missing in a collapsed building from an earthquake in Tainan, Taiwan, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. Rescuers on Sunday found signs of live within the remains of the high-rise residential building that collapsed in a powerful, shallow earthquake in southern Taiwan that killed over a dozen people and injured hundreds. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

    5 dead, hundreds rescued and injured as quake rattles Taiwan

    TAINAN, Taiwan (AP) — Rescuers on Sunday found signs of life within the remains of a high-rise residential building that collapsed in a powerful, shallow earthquake in southern Taiwan that killed at least 19 people, as families anxiously waited on site.

  • In this Sunday, July 28, 1996 file photo, women's 5,000 meters gold medalist Wang Junxia of China, center, is flanked by Pauline Konga of Kenya, right, silver, and Roberta Brunet of Italy, bronze during the medal presentation ceremony at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta. The IAAF is investigating the authenticity of a two-decade-old letter published in Chinese media that suggests state-sanctioned doping in the 1990s, and casts doubt on the longstanding world records set by Wang in the women’s 3,000 and 10,000 meters. Wang’s records could be annulled if the former Olympic and world champion has admitted to doping before setting the marks in 1993, the International Association of Athletics Federations said Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke, File)

    IAAF looking into claims of state-sanctioned doping in China

    BEIJING (AP) — The IAAF is investigating the authenticity of a two-decade-old letter published in Chinese media that suggests state-sanctioned doping in the 1990s, and casts doubt on the longstanding world records set by Wang Junxia in the women’s 3,000 and 10,000 meters.

  • In this Feb. 2, 2016 photo, Chen Xiao, a real estate agent, checks on her smartphone as she prepares to leave her house to go back to her hometown for the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year, in Shanghai, China. The hundreds of millions of Chinese heading home for Lunar New Year have a relatively new travel option this year: mobile apps to find carpool partners to share costs in what is a novel concept for most Chinese. The apps give an alternative to pricey airfares and hard-to-score train tickets. (AP Photo/Paul Traynor)

    Chinese turn to carpooling aps to get ride home for holidays

    SHANGHAI (AP) — The hundreds of millions of Chinese heading home for Lunar New Year have a relatively new travel option this year: mobile apps to find carpool partners to share costs in what is a novel concept for most Chinese.