Former President Donald Trump tried to downplay his insulting “Little Rocket Man” monicker for Kim Jong Un by asking if he was familiar with Elton John when he first met the North Korean dictator, ex-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reveals in a new book.

Seeking to break the ice at their first summit in Singapore, Trump told Kim the nickname wasn’t as much of a put-down as it sounded.

Copyright 2023 Tribune Content Agency.

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Overwhelmed by thousands of Cubans crowding its southern border after making the dangerous trip through Central America and an increase in makeshift boats crossing the Florida Straits, the United States in early January approved a policy change that makes migrants request a permit online before arriving with the sponsorship of a relative or friend in the U.S. Although the parole program also applies to Nicaraguans, Haitians and Venezuelans, Cubans have especially taken advantage of it, launching a search for sponsors and lines to obtain documents. Backers hope it will help would-be migrants avoid the risks of the route through Mexico and bring order to the migrant flow.

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AMSTERDAM (AP) - Results from Dutch football:

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Marco Asensio has missed a penalty kick and depleted Real Madrid lost 1-0 at Mallorca in the Spanish league in its last match before traveling to Morocco to play at the Club World Cup. The draw gives Barcelona the chance to increase its lead at the top when it hosts struggling Sevilla later Sunday. The Catalan club will enter the match at Camp Nou with a five-point lead over second-place Madrid. Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti couldn’t count on several injured starters, including striker Karim Benzema, defender Éder Militão and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

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Kansas City owner Clark Hunt and Philadelphia owner Jeffrey Lurie are seeing sustained success. Hunt hired head coach Andy Reid after Reid had been fired by Lurie in Philly. Reid has helped the Chiefs to seven straight AFC West titles, four conference titles and one Super Bowl win. They have a chance at a second next Sunday against the Eagles. Lurie got his Super Bowl with Reid's former offensive coordinator Doug Pederson, but eventually fired Pederson. Now he has Nick Sirianni, who got the Eagles to the wild-card round last season and the Super Bowl this season.

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Maryland officials are preparing for as many as 80,000 residents who could no longer qualify for Medicaid coverage this spring. That's because the federal government is reinstating a requirement that existed before the COVID-19 pandemic for states to verify the eligibility of recipients. Michele Eberle, the executive director of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, told state lawmakers that Maryland will be able to start ending Medicaid coverage for people who no longer qualify starting in May. However, she says Maryland is in a better position than many states to reach people to either continue Medicaid coverage or move them into other health plans.

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Two abducted children who had been missing from Missouri for almost a year were found in a central Florida grocery store with their non-custodial mother, who was taken into police custody. Kristi Gilley was arrested last Wednesday on an out-of-state fugitive warrant. Court records show Gilley remained in jail on Sunday. Police officers in High Springs, Florida found Gilley and the two children in a Winn Dixie super market after running a routine vehicle tag check that indicated the vehicle’s owner was a fugitive. The children had been missing from Clay County, Missouri, a suburb of Kansas City, since last March.

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Two weeks into the double murder trial of South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh, prosecutors haven’t presented any direct evidence that he killed his wife and son at their home in June 2021. There is no confession, no surveillance camera footage, no recording of the victims’ final moments. But prosecutors have presented seven days of testimony of crime scene photographs, collected guns and cellphone data. Defense attorneys say police wrongly focused on Murdaugh from the start, cherry picking the damning evidence against him and ignoring the possibility that anyone else killed his wife and son.

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Today in Sports History, Feb. 6-2000 — Pavel Bure records the 11th hat trick in All-Star history and goalie Olaf Kolzig plays a shutout third period as the World team routs North America 9-4 in the NHL’s 50th All-Star gam

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Animal rights groups and pet shop owners have marched in separate demonstrations to protest a new animal welfare law sponsored by the Spanish government. The draft legislation has fueled criticism after a last-minute amendment excluded hunting dogs from the law’s protection, meeting hunting lobbies’ demands. The new law will ban the use of animals in fairs and shows and forbids the sale of cats, dogs and ferrets in traditional pet shops. It also raises fines for animal abuse to 200,000 euros ($216,000) and introduces a two-year jail sentence for the most serious cases.

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Matthew Tkachuk is under contract to the Florida Panthers for much of the next decade. So is fellow All-Star Aleksander Barkov. And right there are two compelling reasons why players might want to join the Panthers in the coming years. The last few days might have helped the recruiting pitch. It’s no secret that Florida is a fine place to spend some time during the winter. But showing All-Stars what hockey can be like in the Panthers’ market might be the long-term benefit of the team playing host to the league’s midseason showcase game.

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Tyre Nichols’ mother and Memphis police chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis are two women caught on different sides of a tragedy. For RowVaughn Wells, she must deal with the pain of her son’s death, and the gut-wrenching knowledge that he was being beaten by five police officers steps away from their house as he screamed “Mom! Mom!" For Davis, the first woman chosen to lead the Memphis Police Department, Tyre's killing forced her to manage the aftermath amid loud calls to change the culture of the department. Tyre Nichols died Jan, 10, three days after a violent arrest that was captured on police video.

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Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts of Philadelphia are set for the first Super Bowl matchup of two Texas high school quarterbacks. The football-crazy Lone Star State was once much better known for running backs such as future Pro Football Hall of Famers Earl Campbell and Eric Dickerson. Retired Texas high school coach Todd Dodge was at the center of the start of the transformation of the passing game as a quarterback near Houston around 1980. Now Texas is guaranteed to be the prep home of four of the past six Super Bowl-winning QBs.

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The Grammys have evolved from their humble beginnings handing out 29 awards into a daylong feast of music. This Sunday’s 65th edition could see Beyoncé become the most decorated artist in Grammys history and will feature musical performances from Bad Bunny, Mary J. Blige, Sam Smith, Lizzo as well tributes to the late musicians Takeoff, Loretta Lynn and Christine McVie. They’ll appear on the main show airing on CBS and Paramount+ beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern. But most of the awards are handed out before that during the Premiere Ceremony, which the Recording Academy will stream live at www.live.grammy.com beginning at 3:30 p.m. Eastern.

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The Peruvian city of Cusco is normally a bustling mecca for international tourists. But its picturesque streets are silent these days as deadly demonstrations that followed President Pedro Castillo’s December impeachment and arrest for trying to close Congress keeps many foreigners away. The violence that has resulted in 57 civilian deaths has revived class and racial divisions and has many Peruvians wondering whether a long period of uneasy economic stability has run its course.

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Authorities say a woman has died after a boat carrying at least 41 migrants crashed on a rocky coast on the Greek island of Leros. A coast guard operation found 41 people, most at sea and some on the coast, early Sunday afternoon. They were alerted by a person who saw a body floating at sea. Eight people, six of them minors, have been hospitalized and the rest taken to a reception camp. A boy found unconscious was revived at the hospital but is in serious condition. A Greek government official accused Turkish authorities of tolerating “criminal networks of traffickers.”

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Zhu Lin of China won her maiden career title after beating Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the Thailand Open. In a match lasting one hour and 45 minutes, both players exchanged nail-biting baseline rallies before Zhu finally found a way past her determined opponent. The No. 54-ranked Zhu will now crack the top 50 when the new WTA rankings are updated on Monday, while the No. 136-ranked Tsurenko, 33, will return to the top 100 despite the loss.

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Dozens of Iraqi residents and activists are protesting in the city of Diwaniyah days after a 22-year-old YouTube star was killed allegedly by her father. Interior Ministry spokesman Saad Maan announced that Tiba Ali was killed by her father on Jan. 31, who then turned himself into the police. Reports say the father strangled al-Ali at night while she was asleep. The so-called “honor killing” was met with condemnation from women’s rights organizations and residents, who on Sunday sounded the alarm on violence against women in Iraq and the need to reform legislation to impose harsher punishments on perpetrators. Diwaniyah’s city police department and hospital administration declined to comment to the AP about the murder.

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Daniel Gavins won the Ras Al Khaimah Championship after a wild finish that saw the Englishman twice find the water on the last hole before rolling in a title-clinching putt from 26 feet for double-bogey. Gavins shot 3-under 69 to finish on 17 under overall then had to wait to see if Zander Lombard, the third-round leader playing in the final group, could eagle the par-5 No. 18 to force a playoff. Lombard’s putt missed right and Gavins celebrated with his girlfriend in the scoring hut. It was his second European tour title after the ISPS Handa World Invitational in 2021.

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Victor Osimhen appears to be firing Napoli to the Serie A title. Osimhen scored another two goals on Sunday to help Napoli win 3-0 at Spezia and move 16 points clear of second-placed Inter Milan. The Nerazzurri hosts AC Milan in the derby later. It is the fifth straight league match that Osimhen has scored in. The Nigeria forward has netted seven in that period to take his tally to 16 in the league. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia opened the scoring with a penalty at the start of the second half.

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Officials say five people have been injured in Russian rocket attacks in the central area of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. Kharkiv regional governor Oleh Syniehubov said Sunday four people were injured when a Russian S-300 missile fell near an apartment block and another was hurt when a missile hit a higher-education building. Meanwhile, heavy fighting continued in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, one of four regions that Russia illegally annexed even though its forces do not fully control the region. Donetsk governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said five civilians were wounded in rocket attacks during the night in the city of Druzhkivka and that the town of Avdiivka and its outskirts were also fired on.

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The European Union is launching its ban on imports of Russian diesel fuel. Starting Sunday, the 27-country EU is taking the step to further slash its energy dependency on Moscow. The measure also aims to crimp the Kremlin’s fossil fuel earnings as punishment for invading Ukraine. The ban comes along with a price cap agreed by the Group of Seven allied democracies. The goal is allowing Russian diesel to keep flowing to countries like China and India and avoiding a sudden price rise that would hurt consumers worldwide, while reducing the profits funding the war. Europe will have to find new supplies of the diesel fuel from the U.S., Middle East and India.

AP

Republicans in some heavily conservative states won their campaigns for secretary of state last year after claiming they'd make major changes aimed at keeping fraud out of elections. So far, their efforts to make good on their promises are mixed, in some cases because their rhetoric has bumped up against skepticism from members of their own party. Newly elected secretaries of state in Alabama, Indiana and Wyoming who had questioned the legitimacy of the 2020 election are now facing the task of backing up their campaign pledges in states where Republicans have already set strict election laws.

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Cardi B paid homage to Atlantic Records executives Julie Greenwald and Craig Kallman in a pre-Grammy event. The rapper gave high praise to both Greenwald and Kallman who were honored with the  2023 Industry Icons Award at the star-studded Clive Davis pre-Grammys gala in Beverly Hills, California. The uber-popular event – which was held the night before the Grammy Awards – returned for the first time since 2020 after being put on hold because of the pandemic. In a heartfelt speech, the Grammy winner thanked Greenwald and Kallman for supporting her career aspirations. Kevin Costner kicked off the multi-hour event with speech about his relationship with Davis and the late Whitney Houston.

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Former British Prime Minister Liz Truss says her failure wasn’t her fault. Truss alleges that a “powerful economic establishment” and opponents inside the governing Conservative Party thwarted her plans for a tax-cutting overhaul of the U.K. economy. She resigned in October, six weeks into the job, after her inaugural budget plan sparked market mayhem. Writing in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper, Truss said she underestimated the resistance her free-market policies would face from “the system.” Critics accused the former prime minister of rewriting history. Conservative House of Lords member Gavin Barwell said Truss fell because she “lost the confidence of the financial markets, the electorate and your own MPs.”

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A passenger bus has crashed off a road and overturned in western Turkey, killing at least eight people and injuring dozens. The governor’s office of Afyonkarahisar province said the bus was traveling from the southeastern Diyarbakir province to the Aegean city of Bodrum. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted Sunday that 42 people were injured, with three in critical condition. Videos from the scene showed ambulances lined up and a crane holding the bus up. An injured passenger said people had been trapped beneath the bus.

AP

A long-detained opposition leader in Iran is calling for a nationwide referendum about whether to write a new constitution for the Islamic Republic amid nationwide protests shaking the country. Mir Hossein Mousavi’s call, posted late Saturday by the opposition Kaleme website, included him saying he didn’t believe Iran’s current system giving final say to a supreme leader worked any longer. Those under Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have been cracking down on demonstrators since the protests began in September after the death of Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish-Iranian woman earlier detained by the country’s morality police.