VATICAN CITY (AP) - Signaling a dramatic shift in Vatican tone, Pope Francis said the Catholic Church had become obsessed by "small-minded rules" about how to be faithful and that pastors should instead emphasize compassion over condemnation when discussing divisive social issues of abortion, gays and contraception.
'NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Vince Sicari can tell all the lawyer jokes he wants - he just can't play a judge in real life.
HOLDER OF LUCKY POWERBALL TICKET A MYSTERY IN SC: LEXINGTON, S.C. (AP) - When they learned that a Powerball ticket worth $400 million had been sold at a gas station across the road, workers at Econ-O-Bug Termite and Pest Control said they had a few big, wishful dreams. But they didn't have the prized ticket in their hands, so they came to work as usual Thursday in their yellow bug-battling vans.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Here's the truth about a government "shutdown." The government doesn't shut down.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The government's sprawling system of background checks and security clearances is so unreliable it's virtually impossible to adequately investigate the nearly 5 million Americans who have them and make sure they can be trusted with access to military and sensitive civilian buildings, an Associated Press review found.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Former NFL offensive lineman Brian Holloway initially thought the Twitter photos showing young people partying at his family's second home in upstate New York were a hoax. Then he saw pictures of teenagers standing on the dining room table he bought with his Super Bowl bonus.
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Two teenage boys have been arrested in a bizarre sword attack on one teen's mother that reportedly included a discussion of killing the woman and eating her liver, a Spokane County sheriff's spokesman said Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Internal Revenue Service continued to target conservative political groups even after approving their applications for tax-exempt status, a key Republican lawmaker said Wednesday.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Clicking "Like" on Facebook is constitutionally protected free speech and can be considered the 21st century-equivalent of a campaign yard sign, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.
VIDEO CONFESSOR PLEADS GUILTY TO FATAL DUI IN OHIO: COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Confronted at a hospital by police who said he'd just killed a man, drunk driver Matthew Cordle was angry and in denial.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The man who gunned down 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday visited two hospitals in the weeks before the rampage but denied that he was depressed or having thoughts of harming himself or others, the Department of Veterans Affairs said Wednesday.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - If it seems that giant lottery jackpots have people lining up at convenience stores more frequently, just wait: More big payouts could be coming.
TOMS RIVER, N.J. (AP) - The massive fire that destroyed part of a Jersey shore boardwalk and dozens of businesses began accidentally in wiring damaged in Superstorm Sandy, and should prompt coastal property owners to get their own equipment inspected for similar danger, officials said Tuesday.
LYONS, Colo. (AP) - The emergency airlifts of flood victims waned Tuesday, leaving rescue crews to systematically search the nooks and crannies of the northern Colorado foothills and transportation officials to gauge what it will take to rebuild the wasted landscape.
TEXAS FOOTBALL PLAYER, 12, DIES AFTER ANT BITES: CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) - A 12-year-old boy died after apparently having a severe allergic reaction to ant bites he suffered while warming up during halftime of a South Texas middle school football game, officials confirmed Tuesday.
NEW YORK (AP) - In the couple of hours it took an official from the ALS Association to return a reporter's call for comment, the group's ubiquitous "ice bucket challenge" had brought in a few million more dollars.
PHOENIX (AP) - The accidental shooting death of a firing-range instructor by a 9-year-old girl with an Uzi has set off a powerful debate over youngsters and guns, with many people wondering what sort of parents would let a child handle a submachine gun.
HOUSTON (AP) - The iconic but shuttered Houston Astrodome could come back to life as an indoor park that county officials say would be the world's largest, according to the newest proposal for reusing the stadium and saving it from demolition.
CHICAGO (AP) - "Do-it-yourself" blood pressure measurements and medicine changes work better than usual doctor-office care in some patients, a study of older adults in England found.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The young homeless man who accompanied Miley Cyrus to the MTV Video Music Awards has a warrant out for his arrest in Oregon.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A newlywed couple charged in the stabbing death of a stranger they lured through a Craigslist ad offering companionship pleaded guilty to murder on Tuesday and face mandatory sentences of life without parole.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The secretary of defense has recommended a posthumous Medal of Honor for a black World War I soldier from upstate New York who saved a comrade while fighting off a German attack in France, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said Tuesday.
DOLAN SPRINGS, Ariz. (AP) - A 9-year-old girl accidentally killed an Arizona shooting instructor as he was showing her how to use an automatic Uzi, authorities said Tuesday.
NEW YORK (AP) - A rare, nearly flawless copy of Superman's comic-book debut has sold for a super-powered price: $3.2 million.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A man suspected of walking out of a Juneau, Alaska, jewelry store with a gold nugget worth nearly $5,000 developed a conscience and paid for it - after his image was distributed by police through a "crime stoppers" program.
SELMA, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama couple who wanted a baby repeatedly sexually assaulted an underage girl in hopes she'd get pregnant and give them the infant, authorities said Monday.
NEW YORK (AP) - A Russian tourist climbed to the top of the Brooklyn Bridge to take pictures for fun in the landmark's second security breach in a month, authorities said Monday.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A judge in Wyoming sentenced a 75-year-old Missouri woman to life in prison on Monday for killing her husband with a rifle in the mid-1970s and throwing his body down the shaft of an abandoned gold mine, where it remained for nearly 40 years.
BEND, Ore. (AP) - It cost a Bend teenager about $800 in revenue from chores, yard work and birthday gifts to buy a miniature aircraft and a camera he sent aloft to capture video of a forest fire this summer that was threatening the western edge of the city.
MAINE LOBSTERMAN CATCHES RARE BLUE LOBSTER: SCARBOROUGH, Maine (AP) - A Maine lobsterman says he and his 14-year-old daughter caught a one-in-two-million crustacean: a blue lobster.