• 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.

  • A female reveller celebrates in front of the cathedral during the start of the street carnival in Cologne, Germany, on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. After a string of robberies and sexual assaults on New Year's Eve in the city that police say were committed largely by foreigners, German authorities are keen to avoid a repeat of those events during the five-day street party. ( AP Photo/Martin Meissner

    New Year’s attacks overshadow start of Cologne Carnival

    COLOGNE, Germany (AP) — Cannon fire followed by a rain of confetti heralded the start Thursday of Cologne’s annual Carnival, when hundreds of thousands of revelers take to the streets and pubs of the ancient German city for five days of boisterous partying.

  • Bruce "Sunpie" Barnes, head of the Mardi Gras North Side Skull & Bone Gang, poses with his accoutrements for upcoming Mardi Gras day, in New Orleans, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016. Their costumes are intended to represent the dead, and Barnes said they bring a serious message, reminding people of their mortality and the need to live a productive and good life. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

    Glitter, feathers, paint: New Orleans preps for Mardi Gras

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — It’s glitter season in New Orleans. A time for feathers, paper mache, sequins, paint, bailing wire, bones, and just about any other item that can be used for decoration. Across garages, kitchen tables and warehouses, residents are feverishly sewing elaborate costumes, painting floats and decorating custom throws.

  • Handler John Griffiths holds up Punxsutawney Phil during the annual celebration of Groundhog Day on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016.  The handlers say the furry rodent failed to see his shadow at dawn Tuesday, meaning he "predicted" an early spring. (Mark Pynes /PennLive.com via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

    No shadow: Pennsylvania groundhog ‘predicts’ early spring

    PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (AP) — The handlers of Pennsylvania’s most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, said the furry rodent failed to see his shadow at dawn Tuesday, meaning he “predicted” an early spring.

  • Today in History

    Today is Tuesday, Feb. 2, the 33rd day of 2016. There are 333 days left in the year. This is Groundhog Day.

  • In this Friday, Jan. 29, 2016, file photo, Kashmiri Muslim devotees pray outside the shrine of Sufi Saint Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir. Thousands of devotees thronged to the shrine, where the Kashmiri Muslim head priest displayed the relics of the Sufi Saint. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin, File)

    AP PHOTOS: Editor selections from Asia

    Snow and unusually brisk winter weather gripped a wide swath of Asia last week, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited China as the country geared up for its annual mass migration surrounding the Lunar New Year.