YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK - Everybody gathers around Joe, the guy who seems to have all the answers. Only he doesn't.
The legislative twists and turns in Congress' battle over the partial government shutdown and the entwined Republican effort to curtail President Barack Obama's health care law:
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Internet stocks are heating up again, just as Twitter is preparing to turn up the temperature with its highly anticipated IPO.
BOSTON (AP) - Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a judge Wednesday to lift restrictions placed on him in prison, arguing that the conditions are overly harsh, have left him nearly totally isolated and are impairing their ability to defend him.
DANDRIDGE, Tenn. (AP) - A bus taking a church group home to North Carolina blew a tire, veered across a highway median and crashed into a sport utility vehicle and tractor-trailer Wednesday in a fiery wreck that killed eight people, authorities said.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Attend a black-tie gala? No. Meet with business leaders who oppose a government shutdown? Yes. Jet off to Asia for a four-country tour? Maybe, but shorten the trip and keep the option to cancel.
NEW YORK (AP) - Fear of a protracted U.S. government shutdown is making global investors increasingly nervous.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama brought congressional leaders to the White House on Wednesday for the first time since a partial government shutdown began, but there was no sign of progress toward ending an impasse that has idled 800,000 federal workers and curbed services around the country.
DETROIT (AP) - Detroit, not unexpectedly, has defaulted on its most recent general obligation bond debt payment, Moody's Investors Service said Wednesday.
THE REAL CAPT. PHILLIPS GETS HERO'S WELCOME IN VT. : WILLISTON, Vt. (AP) - The captain of the American cargo ship hijacked by Somali pirates four years ago returned home from sea to another hero's welcome - this time for a sneak peek of the Tom Hanks movie about the ordeal.
NEW YORK (AP) - As the government's partial shutdown enters a second day, most companies across the country are doing business as usual. Yet concern is rising that a prolonged shutdown would cause some work at private companies to dry up and consumers to lose faith in the U.S. economy.
NEW YORK (AP) - In 1985, a year after the Cold War thriller "The Hunt for Red October" came out, author Tom Clancy was invited to lunch at the Reagan White House, where he was questioned by Navy Secretary John Lehman.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Business leaders are taking sides with Democratic President Barack Obama after failing to persuade their traditional Republican allies in Congress to avert a government shutdown.
PHOENIX (AP) - A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the appointment of an independent monitor and a community advisory board to ensure that an Arizona sheriff is complying with constitutional requirements after finding his office engages in racial profiling.
ATLANTA (AP) - A man who slapped a crying toddler on an Atlanta-bound plane has pleaded guilty to simple assault.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - One man ran naked through a Florida neighborhood, tried to have sex with a tree and told police he was the mythical god Thor. Another ran nude down a busy city street in broad daylight, convinced a pack of German shepherds was pursuing him.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Registered nurses at six California hospitals went on strike Thursday over staffing levels and other issues during contract negotiations, a move the medical centers called "inappropriate" but said would not interrupt services.
FOSTER CITY (AP) - Tesla CEO Elon Musk is trying to steer his electric car company's battery technology into homes and businesses as part of an elaborate plan to reshape the power grid with millions of small power plants made of solar panels on roofs and batteries in garages.
BALTIMORE (AP) - When police spotted Freddie Gray and he took off running through his Baltimore neighborhood, officers made a split-second decision to give chase, setting in motion his death in custody and rioting in the streets.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Three men have been accused of stabbing a young moose to death at a park in Alaska's largest city, and police said witnesses reported seeing the men punching the animal and walking away.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The death of a troubled transgender teenager who begged people to fix society before she stepped in front of a tractor-trailer on a highway has been deemed a suicide, and the investigation into it has been closed, the State Highway Patrol said.
BALTIMORE (AP) - Thousands of people hit the streets in Baltimore and several other cities from Boston and New York to Indianapolis and Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to protest the death of a black man who died of spinal injuries after his arrest by Baltimore police and to demand reforms to police procedures.
HOUSTON (AP) - Prosecutors are trying to recreate a path of destruction left this week by a driver who police say killed a 6-year-old boy and a homeless man in separate drunken-driving collisions only hours apart in Houston.
HONOLULU (AP) - A shark killed a 65-year-old woman in an attack off the shore of Maui on Wednesday, officials said.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Pivotal Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose vote could decide the same-sex marriage issue for the nation, did not tip his hand Tuesday in historic arguments at the Supreme Court. But Kennedy's record on the issue could give encouragement to gay and lesbian couples.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - The youngest daughter on hit 1970s television show "The Partridge Family" has died.
HONOLULU (AP) - A park ranger used a Taser on a man flying a drone over a lake of lava at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, then arrested the man in front of several hundred people after telling him that flying an unmanned aircraft at a national park is prohibited.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Walt Disney World must rehire three performers who were fired when they refused to wear soiled spandex unitards as part of their costumes for the "Festival of the Lion King" show, an arbitrator ruled Monday.
DUBLIN, Ga. (AP) - A central Georgia middle school teacher who criticized President Barack Obama and his supporters in front of students has been removed from the classroom, pending her upcoming retirement.
BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore was a city on edge Tuesday as hundreds of National Guardsmen patrolled the streets against unrest for the first time since 1968, hoping to prevent another outbreak of rioting.