The 31-point lead that Hillary Clinton held over Bernie Sanders just a month and half ago has vanished to a near tie. A national Quinnipiac University poll out Friday finds that Clinton now leads Sanders by only 2 points, 44 percent to 42 percent — within the poll's 4.5 percentage-point margin of error. In mid-December, Clinton led Sanders 61 percent to 30 percent nationwide. The Quinnipiac poll also found that Sanders fares better in hypothetical matchups with Republican presidential candidates.
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders nearly tied in latest national poll
Syrian official: Foreign ground troops 'will return home in wooden coffins'
Tens of thousands of Syrians headed for the country's border with Turkey as Russian-backed Syrian government forces descended on Aleppo. The Syrian government aims to cut off the city's rebel supply route from Turkey, which backs the opposition. Foreign intervention is not welcome, Foreign Minister Walid-al-Moallem warned Saturday: "I regret to say that they will return home in wooden coffins."
U.S. adds 151,000 jobs in January, unemployment rate falls
Following a December boom, job growth cooled in January, with the nation slightly disappointing expectations with the addition of only 151,000 jobs. The unemployment rate, however, dropped to 4.9 percent, the first time it has started with the numeral "4" since February 2008. Wage growth held steady. The jobs report stands as a positive point during a tumultuous time for the U.S. economy and global markets; U.S. economic growth was just 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter.
Pope and Russian Orthodox Church leader plan historic meeting
The Vatican announced Friday that Pope Francis and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, will meet in Cuba next Friday, marking the first such meeting in history. The Eastern Orthodox and Western factions of Christianity split nearly 1,000 years ago in 1054's Great Schism, over issues such as papal authority. The private, two-hour meeting will take place at José Martí International Airport in Havana. It's seen as the most significant effort ever made to repair relations.
Republicans set to debate in New Hampshire
Republican presidential hopefuls are set to face off in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Saturday evening, just days before the state's second-in-the-nation primaries. The debate will feature Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and John Kasich. Carly Fiorina and Jim Gilmore didn't make the cut. Martha Raddatz and David Muir will moderate the debate, which kicks off at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Taiwan quake kills at least 13
At least 13 people died and hundreds more were injured in a 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck Taiwan on Saturday. Rescuers saved hundreds of people from buildings and were still trying to reach others. Dozens of people are reportedly unaccounted for. The high-rise residential building that collapsed in the 4 a.m. quake included a care center for newborn babies. One 10-day-old baby was reportedly among the dead.
1 dead, 3 injured in Manhattan crane collapse
A construction crane collapse in Manhattan killed one person and injured three others Friday. The circumstances that led to the collapse are uncertain, though wind and snow may have been a factor. "I could see it slowly coming down," witness Sean Campbell told reporters. "It lasted about five or six seconds. I didn't know what was happening, it was happening so fast." One person died at the scene. A second person was trapped inside a car and had to be freed by firefighters.
North Korea may launch satellite as early as Sunday
North Korea may launch its satellite as early as Sunday, the Japanese government said Saturday. The nation reportedly moved up its time range to between Feb. 7 and Feb. 14, after originally describing the timeframe as between Feb. 8 and Feb. 25. World powers have condemned the launch, which is widely seen as a cover for testing a ballistic missile.
Twitter suspends 125,000 terrorist accounts
Twitter has deleted 125,000 accounts threatening or promoting terrorism since mid-2015, the social network said Friday. Twitter's numbers indicate that the Islamic State and other terrorist groups have either upped their presence on social media, or Twitter has become better at targeting terrorist accounts. Spam-fighting technology flags posts by potential terrorists, which are then reviewed by humans. Prior to Friday, Twitter had not revealed the scale to which terrorists were active on the service.
Bernie Sanders will reportedly cameo on SNL with Larry David
Bernie Sanders will reportedly make an appearance on this weekend's Saturday Night Live episode hosted by Larry David, who just so happens to be a skilled imitator of the Vermont senator. "We'll be live in New York," Sanders' senior adviser Tad Devine told CNN on Friday. This would mark Sanders' first actual appearance on the show, though David has appeared many times this season to impersonate him. NBC has yet to make an official announcement.