ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) - The rubber duck squeaked out a win for a place in the National Toy Hall of Fame, joining the ancient game of chess in the 2013 class inducted Thursday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Department of Veterans Affairs will temporarily suspend a program that requires more than 10,000 disability claims processors to work at least 20 hours of overtime per month with VA Secretary Eric Shinseki saying Thursday he had to be careful not to burn out his workforce.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Internal Revenue Service issued $4 billion in fraudulent tax refunds last year to people using stolen identities, with some of the money going to addresses in Bulgaria, Lithuania and Ireland, according to an inspector general's report released Thursday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Sometimes the best isn't good enough: Most American fourth- and eighth-graders still lack basic skills in math and reading despite record high scores on a national exam.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Reflecting Americans' increasing acceptance of gays, the Senate on Thursday approved legislation that would bar workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
CINCINNATI (AP) - Military and history buffs will be able to watch online as surviving Doolittle Raiders make a final toast Saturday to comrades who died in or since their World War II bombing attack on Japan.
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - A New Hampshire man told the state's highest court Thursday that denying him a vanity license plate that reads "COPSLIE" violates his political free speech rights.
WOMAN IN STALKING CASE BANNED FROM TWITTER: NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A suburban Philadelphia woman has been banned from using Twitter as part of her sentence for a stalking conviction.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The family of a 3-year-old killed in a northern Missouri house fire is outraged after police used a stun gun on the boy's stepfather as he tried to run back in and save the child.
DETROIT (AP) - A Tesla Model S electric car caught fire this week after hitting road debris on a Tennessee freeway, the third fire in a Model S in the past five weeks.
MIAMI (AP) - A fourth-grade teacher in Florida has returned to the classroom after a suspension for requiring one of her students, a Jehovah's Witness, to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance on 9/11, school district officials said Thursday.
DENVER (AP) - Records from two dating websites where Colorado theater shooting defendant James Holmes asked "Will you visit me in prison?" can be used as evidence in his trial, the judge ruled Thursday.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Back-to-back rulings Thursday pushed a condemned child killer closer to being executed next week by a lethal two-drug combination never used in the U.S.
NORWICH, Conn. (AP) - A cat that Connecticut officials believe was used for target practice has survived being shot by an arrow.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Seeking to calm a growing furor, President Barack Obama said Thursday he's sorry Americans are losing health insurance plans he repeatedly said they could keep under his signature health care law. But the president stopped short of apologizing for making those promises in the first place.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A Florida law restricting what doctors can tell patients about gun ownership was deemed to be constitutional Friday by a federal appeals court, which said it legitimately regulates professional conduct and doesn't violate the doctors' First Amendment free speech rights.
TWISP, Wash. (AP) - About 300 homes - twice as many as previously estimated - have burned in the largest recorded wildfire in Washington state history, a county sheriff said Friday.
DENVER (AP) - Pot may be legal in some states - but the neighbors don't have to like it.
McCOMB, Miss. (AP) - Police say they have arrested a Mississippi couple found living with their two children and the children's grandmother in an overdue rental truck that had been reported stolen.
CHICAGO (AP) - Fast food workers say they're prepared to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation, starting with a national convention in suburban Chicago where more than 1,000 workers will discuss the future of the effort that has spread to dozens of cities in less than two years.
Well, I've written another column that sure touched a nerve. I'm talking about the column that appeared a couple weeks ago in which I shared an email I got from a woman who was upset because her good friend died at age 69 without ever collecting a nickel of her Social Security benefits. She was angry at a financial planner who advised her friend to delay benefits until age 70. Sadly, in this woman's case, that turned out to be bad advice.
WASHINGTON (AP) - More families with higher incomes could claim the popular child tax credit under a bill that won approval Friday in the House. But in a dispute that divides Republicans and Democrats, millions of the poorest low-income families would still lose the credit in 2018, when enhancements championed by President Barack Obama are set to expire.
MOSCOW (AP) - Nearly a quarter-century after McDonald's startled and delighted Soviets with their first taste of American fast-food culture, the company's now facing a suit that could ban it from selling some of its signature products.
FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) - The nearly two-hour execution of a convicted murderer prompted a series of phone calls involving the governor's office, the prison director, lawyers and judges as the inmate gasped for more than 90 minutes.
DARBY, Pa. (AP) - A psychiatrist who was grazed by gunfire from a patient at a hospital on Thursday helped stop the patient by apparently using his own weapon to shoot and wound him, but not before a caseworker was killed, authorities said.
GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) - A man wielding a rifle and a handgun hijacked a car, burst through a garage door in a stolen SUV and tried to commandeer two state-owned dump trucks before a deputy wrestled him to the pavement on a highway west of Denver, authorities said.
CAPE CHARLES, Va. (AP) - Albert Thorn awoke in his rental cottage Thursday to the sound of heavy rain and wind. Then, there was screaming. Within minutes, the sky turned dark, cellphones pinged with emergency messages and a tornado tore through a popular campground, ripping awnings from trailers and flipping RVs on their sides.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama man who went into surgery for what was supposed to be a routine circumcision filed a lawsuit contending doctors mistakenly amputated his penis, but a hospital said Thursday the claims were without merit.
ALIQUIPPA, Pa. (AP) - The father of two toddlers who died after a dresser fell on them is facing involuntary manslaughter charges because he heard a crash and didn't immediately check on his daughters, a prosecutor said Thursday.
MIAMI (AP) - Federal officials have capped the amount of money scofflaws will be forced to pay if they don't buy insurance this year at $2,448 per person and $12,240 for a family of five.