CHICAGO (AP) - In a private ceremony attended by a handful of lawmakers, Gov. Pat Quinn signed landmark legislation Thursday to reform Illinois' massively-underfunded pension system, though labor unions immediately threatened a lawsuit challenging the new law.
From California to Ohio, a big chunk of the U.S. is getting a blast of wintry weather. Frigid temperatures are following a storm that's bringing snow and ice to many areas. The conditions are making travel difficult, raising concerns about citrus crops and prompting the cancellation of fights, holiday festivities and football games. Even one outdoor ice rink in cold-accustomed South Dakota is shutting down.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - With the wind chill falling to almost minus 40, Steve Hendershot's mind was elsewhere Thursday as he and his crew of roustabouts worked an oil rig in North Dakota's booming oil patch.
Fast-food NEW YORK (AP) - Fast-food workers and labor organizers marched, waved signs and chanted in cities across the country on Thursday in a push for higher wages.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. economy is growing faster, corporate profits are rising and companies are laying off the fewest workers in six years.
VISALIA (AP) - Officials say temperatures in the citrus-rich San Joaquin Valley dropped to the low 20s overnight, but it was too early to tell whether there was any crop damage.
NEW YORK (AP) - William Bratton, whose tenure as New York City police commissioner in the 1990s was marked by a steep decline in crime and clashes with then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, has been chosen to lead the nation's largest police force again.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The passage of a landmark bill to address Illinois' worst-in-the-nation pension crisis means the yearslong fight over how to address the massive shortfall now likely shifts to the courts, where its fate - and much-needed relief for the financially troubled state - remains highly uncertain.
ELOY, Ariz. (AP) - Skydivers from around the world returned to the air Wednesday at a popular Arizona skydiving location that was the site of a deadly mishap involving two parachutists a day earlier.
CHICAGO (AP) - New research on face transplants may help guide future operations for accident victims needing this kind of drastic surgery.
YONKERS, N.Y. (AP) - An engineer whose speeding commuter train ran off the rails along a curve, killing four people, experienced a hypnotic-like "daze" and nodded at the controls before he suddenly realized something was wrong and hit the brakes, a lawyer said.
DETROIT (AP) - A judge has given Detroit the green light to cut pensions as a way out of the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, a decision that puts the case in the laps of thousands of retirees who had hoped that the Michigan Constitution would protect them from getting smaller checks in their golden years.
NEW YORK (AP) - Investigators looking into a deadly train derailment said Tuesday that no problems had been found with the train's brake system or track signals along its route and that its engineer was being questioned again.
BIRD STEALS CAMERA IN AUSTRALIA, RECORDS JOURNEY: SYDNEY (AP) - A brazen bird snatched a video camera that was recording crocodiles in northwest Australia and captured fascinating footage of its 110-kilometer (70-mile) journey across the country's remote landscape. Wildlife rangers in Western Australia's Kimberly region released video on Monday that reveals the sea eagle's caper. The bird's flapping wings can be seen as it grabs the device and takes off, and the eagle later poses for a selfie, poking its face into the camera lens. Rangers set up the motion-sensor camera along the Margaret River in May ...
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CUPERTINO (AP) - Apple plans to tighten its online security measures to reduce the chances of its users being victimized by intrusions like the ones that stole nude photos from actress Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities.
NEW YORK (AP) - Americans' obsession with jeans is beginning to wear thin.
BAY VILLAGE, Ohio (AP) - Outraged police in a northeast Ohio suburb are pledging to bring charges against those responsible for dumping a bucket allegedly containing feces and body fluids on a special needs student who was told it was part of the "Ice Bucket Challenge" fundraiser.
BUCYRUS, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio man was charged with aggravated murder Thursday in the slayings of four men who were found in separate homes in one small city earlier this week.
MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) - A Georgia man who prosecutors say sat in his office exchanging nude photos with women while his son languished for hours in a hot car was charged with murder on Thursday, more than two months after the child's death.
NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Police department announced Thursday it's launching a pilot program to test 60 cameras worn by officers, becoming the latest and largest police department in the country to accept the technology as a tool of modern law enforcement.
NEW YORK (AP) - Google has agreed to pay full refunds totaling at least $19 million to consumers who were charged for purchases that children made via apps without parental consent from the Google Play app store.
HONOLULU (AP) - Residents in a rural, isolated region of Hawaii's Big Island still reeling from a recent tropical storm turned their attention to a potential new disaster Thursday as scientists warned that a lava flow from a nearby volcano had moved to within a mile of some homes.
DALLAS (AP) - Authorities confirmed Thursday that the bodies of a man and woman found at a suburban Dallas home are those of the parents of a 10-year-old boy found dead in a bathtub at the house in January - a death for which the mother was charged with murder.
INDIANAPOLIS MAN CHARGED WITH BAKING DOG TO DEATH: INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - An Indianapolis man faces felony charges alleging that he killed a friend's dog by putting the canine in a sweltering oven.
NEW YORK (AP) - Legal or not, the business of selling weed in the U.S. is as wacky as ever.
BERLIN (AP) - Visit any tourist destination, and you're bound to see individuals and groups taking photos of themselves for sharing on social media. It's a declaration to the world that they were there.
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Gov. Brian Sandoval announced Thursday that Nevada won a high-stakes battle with four other states for Tesla Motors' coveted battery factory, but the win comes with a hefty price tag - up to $1.3 billion in tax breaks and other incentives over 20 years that state lawmakers still must approve.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The richest 10 percent of Americans were the only group whose median incomes rose in the past three years, the Federal Reserve said Thursday in a report on consumer finances.
YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) - Your car soon will do more to help avoid a crash. As for one day leaving all the driving to the vehicle while you relax in back, don't get your hopes up.