WEST, Texas (AP) - A massive explosion at a fertilizer plant near Waco on Wednesday night injured more than 140 people and killed an unknown number of others. The blast sent flames shooting into the night sky, leaving the factory a smoldering ruin and leveling buildings for blocks in every direction.
ROBBER ATTACKS RIVERSIDE SHOP OWNER WITH HAMMER: RIVERSIDE (AP) - Detectives say security cameras captured a robber beating the owner of a Riverside tobacco store with a hammer and taking cash and other items.
BOSTON (AP) - In what could be major break in the Boston Marathon case, investigators are on the hunt for a man seen in a department store surveillance video dropping off a bag at the site of the bombings, a local politician said Wednesday.
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - A Mississippi man was arrested Wednesday, accused of sending letters to President Barack Obama and a senator that tested positive for the poisonous ricin and set the nation's capital on edge a day after the Boston Marathon bombings.
KAUFMAN, Texas (AP) - In a surprising twist, the wife of a jailed former justice of the peace was charged Wednesday with capital murder after authorities say she confessed to helping her husband kill two North Texas prosecutors who aggressively secured a theft conviction against him.
PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona cities and counties would have to sell guns turned in at community buyback events instead of destroying them under a law passed by the Legislature.
SANTA ANA (AP) - A Southern California woman yelled "You deserve it" before severing her estranged husband's penis with a 10-inch kitchen knife and throwing it in a garbage disposal, a prosecutor said Wednesday in opening statements at her trial.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A Minnesota hospital apologized Wednesday for mishandling a stillborn baby whose body was found in linens that had been sent to an off-site laundry service.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A visibly infuriated President Barack Obama surrounded himself with tear-stained parents of Connecticut school shooting victims Wednesday and declared it a "pretty shameful day for Washington" after the Senate rejected a measure designed to make it tougher for criminals to get their hands on guns.
BOSTON (AP) - They were married in Boston in August, an unlikely match who fell in love and shared a passion for running.
BOSTON (AP) - Police and reporters converged on the federal courthouse in Boston on Wednesday amid conflicting reports of whether a suspect was in custody in the marathon bombings that killed three people and wounded more than 170.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The 20-year-old son of basketball great Magic Johnson is surprised by the public interest in his being gay, something that he revealed to his supportive family several years ago.
WASHINGTON (AP) - To some conservatives, it's amnesty.
NEW YORK (AP) - A former employee of a New York city law firm has been convicted of stealing more than $376,000 worth of copy machine toner from the firm.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Frank Bank, who played oafish troublemaker Lumpy on the sitcom "Leave It to Beaver," has died. He was 71.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that it would be a good start for the federal health care law if 5 million to 6 million people sign up by the end of March, an acknowledgement that enrollments might fall significantly short of the Obama administration's unofficial goal of 7 million.
DENVER (AP) - Colorado's legal marijuana market is far exceeding tax expectations, according to a budget proposal released Wednesday by Gov. John Hickenlooper that gives the first official estimate of how much the state expects to make from pot taxes.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A middle-school football coach was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder in the death of a 10-year-old girl who was snatched off a street just blocks from her southwest Missouri home as several residents watched in horror.
TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - In what may be the first college donation of the new electronic currency, a Bitcoin entrepreneur has donated $10,000 worth of the digital money to a Washington state liberal arts college.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A West Virginia pizza restaurant has been shut down after a district manager was caught on surveillance video urinating into a sink.
MENLO PARK (AP) - Facebook is buying mobile messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock, by far the company's largest acquisition and bigger than any that Google, Microsoft or Apple have ever done.
NEW YORK (AP) - Visa and MasterCard are introducing Internet-based technologies to make it easier for shoppers to buy things at retail stores without pulling out a credit card.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc. said Wednesday that it plans to expand its MarkTen electronic cigarette brand nationally in the second quarter.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Should shoppers turn off their smartphones when they hit the mall? Or does having them on lead to better sales or shorter lines at the cash register?
BERLIN (AP) - Germans, once a nation of ardent automobile enthusiasts, are not buying cars as much as they used to. Instead, they're sharing them.
PALO ALTO (AP) - Tesla Motors Inc. shares soared in extended trading after the electric car maker delivered a strong fourth-quarter performance and said that it expects sales of its vehicles to increase sharply this year.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Jackpots like Wednesday's anticipated $400 million-plus Powerball can grant a lot of wishes. But what if you were the only winner, and you had but one chance to blow all that money on a single purchase?
uKANSAS BILL WOULD ALLOW SPANKING THAT LEAVES MARKS: TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas lawmaker is proposing a bill that would allow teachers, caregivers and parents to spank children hard enough to leave marks.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - An 84-year-old nun was sentenced Tuesday to nearly three years in prison for breaking into a nuclear weapons complex and defacing a bunker holding bomb-grade uranium, a demonstration that exposed serious security flaws at the Tennessee plant.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The nation's shortage of execution drugs is becoming increasingly acute as more pharmacies conclude that supplying the lethal chemicals is not worth the bad publicity and the legal and ethical risks.