CHICAGO (AP) - In a private ceremony attended by a handful of lawmakers, Gov. Pat Quinn signed landmark legislation Thursday to reform Illinois' massively-underfunded pension system, though labor unions immediately threatened a lawsuit challenging the new law.
From California to Ohio, a big chunk of the U.S. is getting a blast of wintry weather. Frigid temperatures are following a storm that's bringing snow and ice to many areas. The conditions are making travel difficult, raising concerns about citrus crops and prompting the cancellation of fights, holiday festivities and football games. Even one outdoor ice rink in cold-accustomed South Dakota is shutting down.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - With the wind chill falling to almost minus 40, Steve Hendershot's mind was elsewhere Thursday as he and his crew of roustabouts worked an oil rig in North Dakota's booming oil patch.
Fast-food NEW YORK (AP) - Fast-food workers and labor organizers marched, waved signs and chanted in cities across the country on Thursday in a push for higher wages.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. economy is growing faster, corporate profits are rising and companies are laying off the fewest workers in six years.
VISALIA (AP) - Officials say temperatures in the citrus-rich San Joaquin Valley dropped to the low 20s overnight, but it was too early to tell whether there was any crop damage.
NEW YORK (AP) - William Bratton, whose tenure as New York City police commissioner in the 1990s was marked by a steep decline in crime and clashes with then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, has been chosen to lead the nation's largest police force again.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The passage of a landmark bill to address Illinois' worst-in-the-nation pension crisis means the yearslong fight over how to address the massive shortfall now likely shifts to the courts, where its fate - and much-needed relief for the financially troubled state - remains highly uncertain.
ELOY, Ariz. (AP) - Skydivers from around the world returned to the air Wednesday at a popular Arizona skydiving location that was the site of a deadly mishap involving two parachutists a day earlier.
CHICAGO (AP) - New research on face transplants may help guide future operations for accident victims needing this kind of drastic surgery.
YONKERS, N.Y. (AP) - An engineer whose speeding commuter train ran off the rails along a curve, killing four people, experienced a hypnotic-like "daze" and nodded at the controls before he suddenly realized something was wrong and hit the brakes, a lawyer said.
DETROIT (AP) - A judge has given Detroit the green light to cut pensions as a way out of the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, a decision that puts the case in the laps of thousands of retirees who had hoped that the Michigan Constitution would protect them from getting smaller checks in their golden years.
NEW YORK (AP) - Investigators looking into a deadly train derailment said Tuesday that no problems had been found with the train's brake system or track signals along its route and that its engineer was being questioned again.
BIRD STEALS CAMERA IN AUSTRALIA, RECORDS JOURNEY: SYDNEY (AP) - A brazen bird snatched a video camera that was recording crocodiles in northwest Australia and captured fascinating footage of its 110-kilometer (70-mile) journey across the country's remote landscape. Wildlife rangers in Western Australia's Kimberly region released video on Monday that reveals the sea eagle's caper. The bird's flapping wings can be seen as it grabs the device and takes off, and the eagle later poses for a selfie, poking its face into the camera lens. Rangers set up the motion-sensor camera along the Margaret River in May ...
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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.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - A former school teacher charged with murder in the shooting of an unarmed trespasser told police he had considered guarding the often-burglarized duplex in the past but was concerned he might shoot a child, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) - A prosecutor says he'll dismiss a firearms charge against a man who contends he was following the advice of Vice President Joe Biden when he fired a shotgun in the air to chase off intruders.
OAKLAND (AP) - Bud Selig will likely leave his tenure as baseball commissioner early next year with one unsettled situation that has him "frustrated."
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Gov. Rick Perry was defiant Tuesday as he was booked on abuse of power charges, telling dozens of cheering supporters outside a Texas courthouse that he would "fight this injustice with every fiber of my being."
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - A grandmother shot and critically wounded her 7-year-old grandson early Tuesday after mistaking him for an intruder who had broken into her home, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - Ferguson's leaders urged residents Tuesday to stay home after dark to "allow peace to settle in" and pledged several actions to reconnect with the predominantly black community in the St. Louis suburb where the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown has sparked nightly clashes between protesters and police.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A video by Islamic State militants released Tuesday purported to show the beheading of American journalist James Foley as retribution for U.S. airstrikes in Iraq. The White House, his family and employer said they could not determine the video's authenticity and were attempting to confirm if he had been killed.
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - An unarmed 18-year-old whose fatal shooting by police has sparked a week of protests in suburban St. Louis suffered a bullet wound to his right arm that may indicate his hands were up or his back was turned, a pathologist hired by his family said Monday.
SAN BERNARDINO (AP) - For nearly two months, Southern California sheriff's deputies and a legion of volunteers scoured the vast, rough terrain peppered with abandoned mine pits and deep bodies of water where the 19-year-old pregnant wife of a U.S. Marine disappeared.
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) - Navy divers from the U.S. and Indonesia confirmed that a sunken vessel in the Java Sea is the World War II wreck of the USS Houston, a cruiser sunk by the Japanese that serves as the final resting place for about 700 sailors and Marines, officials announced Monday.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A former Marine who wasn't allowed into an amusement park because he was wearing a shirt with a red, white and blue rifle pictured on it has been given an apology.
WASHINGTON (AP) - After a decade of sending military equipment to civilian police departments across the country, federal officials are reconsidering the idea in light of the violence in Ferguson, Missouri.
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - Attorney General Eric Holder on Sunday ordered a federal medical examiner to perform another autopsy on a black Missouri teenager whose fatal shooting by a white police officer has spurred a week of rancorous and sometimes-violent protests in suburban St. Louis.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - The federal government is taking the unusual step of beginning to sterilize an endangered species it is trying to save.