The Super Bowl kicks off Sunday as American football seeks to put a scandal-plagued season behind it, with this year's spectacle featuring a Katy Perry concert, ultra-expensive commercials and a compelling clash between Seattle and New England. The extravaganza is expected to draw a whopping 115 million viewers -- or about one in three Americans -- and amounts to an unofficial holiday in the United States, where even those with no interest in the sport gather at countless Super Bowl parties. This year's championship comes with the National Football League battling back from a season of turmoil, accused of complacency and even conspiracy in its handling of issues ranging from domestic violence to concussion dangers. The latest controversy -- accusations that the New England Patriots intentionally deflated footballs -- has dominated news coverage in the days leading up to the game.
By Natalia Zinets and Aleksandar Vasovic KIEV/DONETSK, Ukraine (Reuters) - Fighting raged in eastern Ukraine on Sunday as pro-Russian separatists used artillery fire to try to dislodge government forces from a strategic rail hub after peace talks collapsed. "Fighting continues across all sections of the frontline," Kiev military spokesman Volodymyr Polyovy said in a briefing, noting that some 13 soldiers had been killed in the past 24 hours. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which took part in the talks in Minsk, Belarus, along with envoys from Ukraine and Russia, said rebel delegates had not been ready to discuss crucial points of a peace plan. "In fact, they were not even prepared to discuss implementation of a ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weapons," the OSCE said in a statement.