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.
HIDALGO, Texas (AP) - The first wave of National Guard troops has taken up observation posts along the Texas-Mexico border.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Paramedics attended to a man who was bleeding from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, then left him to be taken to the morgue, saying his injuries were "not compatible with life," according to police documents.
• MASSACHUSETTS TO USE MORE HUMOR ON HIGHWAY SIGNS: BOSTON (AP) - The Massachusetts Department of Transportation on Thursday announced the winners of a contest to come up with humorous yet important driver safety messages for electronic highway message boards.
ATLANTA (AP) - Coca-Cola is buying a 16.7 percent stake in Monster Beverage for $2.15 billion, with the world's biggest soda maker hoping to benefit from the surging popularity of energy drinks.
BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. cut its annual profit outlook on Thursday amid sluggish sales, higher-than-expected health care costs and the need to invest more in its e-commerce operations.
NEW YORK (AP) - General Electric confirmed that it is considering the sale of its historic appliance division, part of its effort to focus on selling more complex and profitable industrial equipment.
PLANO, Texas (AP) - J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) reported a narrower loss for its second quarter that beat Wall Street expectations.
NEW YORK (AP) - The back-to-school shopping season is off to a promising start, but retailers may be sacrificing profit for sales.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Robin Williams' spirit will live on in the virtual world of Azeroth.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Jan Harding and her husband had just arrived at a Utah restaurant for a relaxing lunch with friends when she filled her cup with sweet tea from a self-serve beverage station.
SEATTLE (AP) - Police in Washington state are asking the public to stop tweeting during shootings and manhunts to avoid accidentally telling the bad guys what officers are doing.
GARWOOD, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey man took down a black flag with Arabic letters he's been flying outside his home for 10 years after complaints arose on Twitter about its association with Islamic militants.
CORSICANA, Texas (AP) - A teenager lived undetected for two days at a 24-hour Wal-Mart in Texas after running away from his aunt's home, police said Wednesday.
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - Protests in the St. Louis suburb rocked by racial unrest since a white police officer shot an unarmed black teenager to death turned violent Wednesday night, with people lobbing Molotov cocktails at police who responded with smoke bombs and tear gas to disperse the crowd.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A 57-year-old woman drove herself to a hospital after she was mauled by a brown bear in Alaska, state troopers said Wednesday.