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By Steve Holland, Emily Stephenson and James Oliphant MANCHESTER, N.H. (Reuters) - Republican contender Marco Rubio struggled at a presidential debate on Saturday at the worst possible time, potentially confounding his bid to emerge as Donald Trump's chief rival in New Hampshire and giving hope to three rivals desperate for a strong showing. Under assault from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie over his level of experience as a first-term U.S. senator from Florida, Rubio retreated time and again to canned statements from his stump speech and looked uncomfortably rattled for the first time after seamless performances at seven prior debates. "Marco, the thing is this," Christie said during one heated exchange early in the night, "when you're president of the United States, when you're a governor of a state, the memorized 30-second speech where you talk about how great America is at the end of it doesn't solve one problem for one person." While Rubio recovered later in the debate, the timing of his performance was terrible, coming three days before New Hampshire Republicans register their choices on Tuesday in the nation's second nominating contest.
By Ju-min Park and Shinichi Saoshiro SEOUL/TOKYO (Reuters) - North Korea launched a long-range rocket on Sunday carrying what it has called a satellite, but its neighbors and Washington denounced the launch as a missile test, conducted in defiance of U.N. sanctions and just weeks after a nuclear bomb test. The U.S. Strategic Command said it had detected a missile entering space, and South Korea's military said the rocket had put an object into orbit, quashing earlier media reports indicating the it might have failed in flight. North Korea said the launch of its satellite Kwangmyongsong-4, named after late leader Kim Jong Il, was a "complete success" and that it was making a polar orbit of the earth every 94 minutes.
Surging Republican hopeful Marco Rubio wilted under sustained attack in the latest US presidential debate, denting his stature going into Tuesday's New Hampshire primary dominated by frontrunner Donald Trump. The telegenic, 44-year-old Florida senator -- who polls suggest has the best change of winning the White House for the Republicans -- was savaged by his rivals late Saturday for his lack of experience, floundering on a debate stage where he often shines. A strong showing in New Hampshire would confirm Rubio as the establishment candidate-of-choice for the nomination after his strong third-place finish in Iowa, behind Trump and evangelical US senator Ted Cruz.