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.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Two men who carjacked a woman and sexually assaulted her in her SUV before plowing into a family selling fruit on a street corner, killing three children, were charged with murder on Monday, police said.
NEW YORK (AP) - Cookie Monster may soon need a license.
SARAH PALIN LAUNCHES ONLINE SUBSCRIPTION CHANNEL: NEW YORK (AP) - Sarah Palin has started her own subscription-based online network.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - One man's quest to explain his brother's mysterious jail cell death 19 years ago has rekindled long-dormant questions about whether others were involved in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal judge struck down the District of Columbia's ban on carrying guns outside of a person's home, concluding it violates Second Amendment rights.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A satellite study of blue-whale movements shows the endangered creatures cluster for long periods in busy shipping lanes off the California coast, putting them at risk for collisions with large vessels.
NEW YORK (AP) - A man dressed as Spider-Man was arrested on charges he slugged a police officer who told him to stop harassing tourists in Times Square.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The hunt for two Philadelphia carjackers who rammed a stolen SUV into a family, killing three children, entered its third day Sunday as officials offered a $110,000 reward for information leading to their capture.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A man accused of fatally shooting his caseworker and grazing his psychiatrist at a suburban Philadelphia hospital complex before the doctor returned fire has been charged with murder.
HOUSTON (AP) - Scammers have been preying on the relatives of unaccompanied young migrants being held at two U.S. military bases by conning them into paying nonexistent fees to be reunited with their loved ones, officials said.
NEW YORK (AP) - When it comes to preventing the spread of germs, maybe the president is on to something with his fondness for fist bumps.
CHICAGO (AP) - A costly drug given mostly to premature babies is at the center of a clash between the manufacturer and the nation's leading pediatrician's group, which recommends scaling back use of the medicine.
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A 10-month-old Kansas girl died after being strapped for more than two hours inside a sweltering car, and police arrested a foster parent who said he'd forgotten about her until something on TV jogged his memory, an official said Friday.
MEDIA, Pa. (AP) - A psychiatrist's patient ranted about a gun ban at a suburban medical complex before opening fire there, killing his caseworker and grazing his psychiatrist before the doctor pulled out his own weapon and fired back, authorities said Friday.
METAMORA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - The owner of two dogs that fatally mauled a man as he jogged along a rural Michigan road could be charged after the attack, which was the third since 2012 involving canines from the same property, officials said.