HARRISBURG, Ill. (AP) - A pre-dawn twister flattened entire blocks of homes in a small Illinois town Wednesday as violent storms ravaged the Midwest and South, killing at least 12 people in three states.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A judge on Wednesday blocked a federal requirement that would have begun forcing U.S. tobacco companies to put large graphic images on their cigarette packages later this year to show the dangers of smoking and encouraging smokers to quit lighting up.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Davy Jones, the diminutive heartthrob who rocketed to the top of the 1960s music charts by beckoning millions of adoring fans with the catchy refrains of The Monkees, died Wednesday. He was 66.
POLL: 6 IN 10 CALIF. VOTERS BACKS GAY MARRIAGE: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A new poll finds that six out of every 10 voters in California now support allowing same-sex couples to get married, a significant increase since the state voted to ban same-sex marriage a little more than two years ago.
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Lake Tahoe's famed clarity improved more than 4 feet last year from 2010, when the average annual clarity level was the second-worst on record, scientists reported Wednesday.
PHOENIX (AP) - A federal judge blocked police in Arizona from enforcing a section of the state's 2010 immigration enforcement law that prohibited people from blocking traffic when they seek or offer day labor services on streets.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Mitt Romney scored a hard-won, home state triumph in Michigan and powered to victory in Arizona Tuesday night, gaining a two-state primary sweep over Rick Santorum and precious momentum in the most turbulent Republican presidential race in a generation.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - They still fight like cats and dogs in divorce court. But more and more they are fighting about cats and dogs.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Partial remains of several 9/11 victims were incinerated by a military contractor and sent to a landfill, a government report said Tuesday in the latest of a series of revelations about the Pentagon's main mortuary for the war dead.
• WYOMING LAWMAKERS SHOOT DOWN "DOOMSDAY" BILL: CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming lawmakers have shot down the so-called doomsday bill, a proposal that would have resulted in a plan of action in case the federal government collapses.
MORE AMERICANS SEEKING DENTAL TREATMENT AT THE ER: CHICAGO (AP) - More Americans are turning to the emergency room for routine dental problems - a choice that often costs 10 times more than preventive care and offers far fewer treatment options than a dentist's office, according to an analysis of government data and dental research.
CHARDON, Ohio (AP) - A teenager opened fire in the cafeteria at a suburban Cleveland high school Monday, killing one student and wounding four others before he was chased from the building by a teacher and captured a short distance away, authorities said.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Israeli officials say they won't warn the U.S. if they decide to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, according to one U.S. intelligence official familiar with the discussions. The pronouncement, delivered in a series of private, top-level conversations, sets a tense tone ahead of meetings in the coming days at the White House and Capitol Hill.
ATLANTA (AP) - For the first time, scientists have found evidence of flu in bats, reporting a never-before-seen virus whose risk to humans is unclear.
NEW BRUNSWICK, New Jersey (AP) - A key prosecution witness in the trial of a former university student accused of watching his roommate's intimate encounter via webcam testified Monday that she agreed to keep it a secret because it was so shocking to see the images - but that it wasn't under wraps for long.
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.