WASHINGTON (AP) - Punctuated with the sounds of ringing phones and clinking china, President Barack Obama's new legislative diplomacy has Republicans wondering what took so long.
ATLANTA (AP) - While some states push to tighten gun control laws after the Connecticut school massacre, lawmakers in gun-friendly Georgia want to ease rules preventing some mentally ill people from getting licenses to carry firearms.
MIAMI (AP) - Millions of square feet of wasted space in federal courthouses that have opened since 2000 are costing U.S. taxpayers upwards of $51 million a year, congressional auditors reported Thursday.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - An Illinois appeals court has thrown out the conviction and five-year prison sentence against an aspiring rapper who prosecutors said threatened a murderous rampage in a scribbled note found in the college student's car.
PHOENIX (AP) - A man has pleaded no contest to a murder charge in the beheading of a man in Arizona who police say had stolen drugs from a Mexican drug cartel.
RETRIAL IN PHILLY AFTER MISTRIAL OVER LOST EYEBALL: PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A retrial has begun in Philadelphia after a mistrial was declared when a man's prosthetic eye popped out while he was testifying.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Call it Rand's Stand: A nearly 13-hour stall tactic on the Senate floor that thrust a tea party hero back into the national spotlight - a real-life version of the movie "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington."
Government agencies are already taking steps to comply with automatic spending cuts that took effect March 1. Some examples:
NEW YORK (AP) - Talk about a caffeine buzz: A new study says honeybees get a shot of caffeine from certain flowers, and it perks up their memory.
SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Across the nation, lawmakers are debating where to draw the line on young teen tanning, considering proposals that would make it illegal to expose minors to ultraviolet rays from sunlamps.
CHICAGO (AP) - States with the most gun control laws have the fewest gun-related deaths, according to a study that suggests sheer quantity of measures might make a difference.
LACEY, Wash. (AP) - Kim Ridgway and her wife, Kimberly Bliss, can well envision the shop they plan to open - where they'll put the accessories, the baked goods and the shelves stacked with their valuable product: jars of high-quality marijuana.
NEW YORK (AP) - Valerie Harper, who played Rhoda Morgenstern on television's "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and its spinoff, "Rhoda," has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas lawmakers overrode a veto Wednesday and gave the state the most restrictive abortion law in the country - a near-ban on the procedure from the 12th week of pregnancy onward that is certain to end up in court.
NEW YORK (AP) - The city wants young New Yorkers to hear its latest public-health warning loud and clear: Cranked-up headphones can be hazardous to your hearing.
SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Farmers in Oregon's Willamette Valley hate slugs, slimy mollusks that munch their way through crops.
SCHOOL AIDE BARRICADED SELF IN CLASSROOM; TOOK OFF CLOTHES: LEMON GROVE . (AP) - Authorities say an afterschool program assistant kept 14 children inside a California classroom while appearing to be hallucinating on drugs.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a pugnacious and glamour-averse tactician who united Democrats to help deliver tough victories for President Barack Obama, said Friday he's retiring next year. He immediately endorsed brash New York Sen. Chuck Schumer to succeed him as leader of a party desperate to regain the Senate majority.
BROOKFIELD, Wis. (AP) - A Wisconsin couple is accused of locking their 13-year-old daughter in a cold basement with no toilet or sink, forcing her to wear diapers and refusing to allow her to sit on furniture in the family home, according to criminal charges filed this week.
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Members of a University of Oklahoma fraternity apparently learned a racist chant that recently got their chapter disbanded during a national leadership cruise four years ago that was sponsored by the fraternity's national administration, the university's president said Friday.
BARTOW, Fla. (AP) - A baby who was found dead in her car seat in a Florida restaurant parking lot had lost more than one-third of her body weight in the 22 days since she was born, a medical examiner testified Friday.
VALLEJO (AP) - The strange case of a California woman who disappeared for two days grew stranger still Thursday, with her uncle and a lawyer for her boyfriend insisting she was kidnapped while police said it was a hoax.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - As promised, the Terminator and the man who originated the steely machine - Arnold Schwarzenegger - are back this summer for another go in "Terminator: Genisys," and Paramount Pictures, eager for a blockbuster, has already fired up a machine of its own - the publicity kind.
MUNHALL, Pa. (AP) - A teachers union says a special needs student at a Pittsburgh-area elementary school shouldn't be allowed to use a faculty restroom even though school officials say it's difficult for the girl to climb steps to reach a student restroom on another floor.
HOUSTON (AP) - A celebrity booking agency has told the Texas attorney general's office it is not all right to make public how much the University of Houston is paying actor Matthew McConaughey to speak at the school's May 15 commencement ceremony.
CHICAGO (AP) - An Illinois Army National Guard soldier vowed to bring "the flames of war to the heart" of America if he was unable to get to the Middle East to join the Islamic State group, and his cousin bragged he could kill up to 150 people in a terrorist attack in the U.S., federal prosecutors said Thursday in announcing the men's arrests. Both are also accused of hatching a plot to attack a U.S. military facility.
DETROIT (AP) - A teenager told authorities that her mother killed two siblings and forced her to put one of the bodies in the freezer of their Detroit home where both were found by an eviction crew.
GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) - A jury recommended life without parole Thursday for an Alabama woman convicted of running her granddaughter to death.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A federal appeals court agreed Thursday to reconsider its decision to strike down a California law that requires applicants for a concealed-weapons permit to show "good cause" beyond self-defense.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The father of a former Los Angeles police officer was charged Thursday with lying to FBI agents to help his son escape after the officer was charged with killing a man during an off-duty fight.