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.
• MARYLAND GIRL PLEADS 'RESPONSIBLE' FOR BULLYING: LEONARDTOWN, Md. (AP) - A 17-year-old Maryland girl accused of assaulting an autistic boy pleaded "responsible" to two misdemeanor charges after her case was transferred from adult to juvenile court.
DALLAS (AP) - Southwest Airlines is being fined $200,000 for advertising a fare sale too good to be true.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Tanning beds and sun lamps will carry new warnings that they should not be used by anyone under age 18, part of a government action announced Thursday aimed at reducing skin cancer linked to the radiation-emitting devices.
MOUNTAIN VIEW (AP) - Google has had more trouble diversifying its workforce than its computer scientists have had writing programs that respond to search requests in the blink of an eye or designing cars that can navigate traffic without a human behind the wheel.
MOUNTAIN VIEW (AP) - Google plans to build and launch onto city streets a small fleet of subcompact cars that could operate without a person at the wheel.
NEW YORK (AP) - Maya Angelou's story awed millions. A childhood victim of rape, she broke through silence and shame to tell her tale in one of the most widely read memoirs of the 20th century. A black woman born into poverty and segregation, she recited the most popular presidential inaugural poem in history.
PAYSON, Ariz. (AP) - A 3-year-old Payson boy shot and killed his 1½ -year-old brother after the boys found a handgun in a neighbor's apartment and took it to another room, the eastern Arizona town's police chief said Wednesday.
DANBURY, Conn. (AP) - A 17-year-old boy has been named prom queen at his high school and says he's making a point about gender labeling and discrimination.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Two years after a 33-year-old mentally disabled man died at a state institution in Queens, and one year after his sister filed a lawsuit accusing the staff of killing him, New York officials have sent her an $11.67 million bill.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch conceded Wednesday it's only a matter of time before gay marriage is legal across the country, even though he doesn't think that's the right way to go.
• BURN VICTIM DOUSES SELF WITH SLURPEES AT 7-ELEVEN: GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - Things were quiet at a convenience store in Southern Oregon when a tattooed man came in and started dousing himself with Hawaiian Punch Slurpees.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - The state Senate on Wednesday was considering a bill that would place some restrictions on vehicle-tracking technology to protect people's privacy.