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.
WASHINGTON (AP) - More than 1,000 U.S. retailers could be infected with malicious software lurking in their cash register computers, allowing hackers to steal customer financial data, the Homeland Security Department said Friday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Seeking to quell a politically charged controversy, the Obama administration announced new measures Friday to allow religious nonprofits and some companies to opt out of paying for birth control for female employees while still ensuring those employees have access to contraception.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Model aircraft hobbyists, research universities and commercial drone interests filed lawsuits Friday challenging a government directive that they say imposes tough new limits on the use of model aircraft and broadens the agency's ban on commercial drone flights.
CHICAGO (AP) - U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan said Thursday he would love to see Mitt Romney run again for president and teased the GOP's former nominee at one point that the "third time's the charm."
BOSTON (AP) - A college friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded guilty Thursday to impeding the investigation by removing incriminating evidence from Tsarnaev's dorm room several days after the deadly attack.
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - Gov. Jay Nixon on Thursday ordered the Missouri National Guard to begin withdrawing from Ferguson, where nightly scenes of unrest have erupted since a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old nearly two weeks ago.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A young woman charged with abducting a 5-year-old Philadelphia girl from school and raping her had frequently viewed Japanese anime depicting sexual torture, prosecutors disclosed Thursday.
DENVER (AP) - A Colorado convict sent back to prison after being mistakenly released 90 years early says it was cruel and unusual punishment to put him back behind bars after he reformed his life.
EDGARTOWN, Mass. (AP) - The ice bucket stops with Obama.
EX-JUDGE MUST SAY SHE'S SORRY, JUST NOT IN CUFFS: HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A former Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice convicted of corruption was spared on Thursday the further embarrassment of having to write her court-ordered apologies to every judge in the state on photos of herself in handcuffs.
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - A white police officer whose shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old ignited racial upheaval in a St. Louis suburb has been characterized as either an aggressor whose deadly gunfire constituted a daylight execution or a law enforcer wrongly maligned for just doing his job.
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - The Old Farmer's Almanac, the familiar, 223-year-old chronicler of climate, folksy advice and fun facts, is predicting a colder winter and warmer summer for much of the nation.
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - A man who lived nearly three decades in the woods now has a job and is adjusting to life back in society.
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Federal officials say the discovery of nine immigrants who were locked inside the cargo area of a rental truck at a Border Patrol checkpoint in southern Arizona highlights the dangers of human smuggling.
HARVEY, Ill. (AP) - About two dozen heavily armed law enforcement officers stormed a home in Chicago's southern suburbs Wednesday to free four remaining hostages and capture two suspects, ending a 20-hour standoff that police say began as a robbery attempt.