NEW YORK (AP) - Waiting in line for the bus, a Pennsylvania kindergartener tells her pals she's going to shoot them with a Hello Kitty toy that makes soap bubbles. In Maryland, a 6-year-old boy pretends his fingers are a gun during a playground game of cops and robbers. In Massachusetts, a 5-year-old boy attending an after-school program makes a gun out of Legos and points it at other students while "simulating the sound of gunfire," as one school official put it.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford does not shy away from the scandal that consumed the end of his second term in his first television ad for the 1st District congressional race.
DENVER (AP) - Limits on the size of ammunition magazines and universal background checks passed the Colorado House on Monday, during a second day of emotional debates that has drawn attention from the White House as lawmakers try to address recent mass shootings.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia are among the most vulnerable to looming federal budget cuts in defense as well as nondefense spending, according to a report released Monday by Wells Fargo Securities.
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Police chiefs in New Hampshire wanted more money for their youth training program. A youth hockey team in North Dakota needed more ice time.
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) - Republican opponents of former Sen. Chuck Hagel's stalled bid to become defense secretary said Sunday that they'll probably allow his Senate confirmation vote to proceed unless material more damaging to the nominee - and, by extension, the Obama administration - surfaces in the coming week.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is concerned about the effect that looming, drastic across-the-board budget cuts will have on the middle class, his new chief of staff said Sunday. Congressional Republicans predicted the cuts would start as scheduled next month and blamed Obama not only for doing little to stop them but for the idea itself.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Republicans and Democrats alike on Sunday predicted President Barack Obama would fail if he pushed forward with his own effort to overhaul the nation's immigration system and urged the administration to hold off while lawmakers work on a bipartisan measure.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A man charged with slapping a toddler on a Minneapolis-to-Atlanta flight appears to be out of a job.
• BRITISH TEEN SURVIVES 3 DAYS LOST IN OUTBACK: CANBERRA, Australia (AP) - A British teenage backpacker drank contact lens fluid and his own urine to survive three days lost in Australian Outback scrubland in oppressive summer heat, his mother said Saturday.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Police say a mother who got on stage and started to strip during an upstate New York school assembly is facing child endangerment and lewdness charges.
THAI COUPLE SETS NEW RECORD FOR LONGEST KISS: PATTAYA, Thailand (AP) - For the second time in three years, a Thai couple has set a new record for the longest kiss, locking their lips for 58 hours, 35 minutes and 58 seconds in a Valentine's Day "kissathon."
ROME (AP) - The face of the Roman Catholic Church has changed profoundly in Pope Benedict XVI's lifetime. Congregations in the West are smaller and older, while those in Africa, Latin America and pockets of Asia are booming, bringing youth and energy to the Catholic world.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - A space rock even bigger than the meteor that exploded like an atom bomb over Russia could drop out of the sky unannounced at any time and wreak havoc on a city. And Hollywood to the contrary, there isn't much the world's scientists and generals can do about it.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A 19-year-old daycare worker was formally charged Friday in the abduction of a 5-year-old girl from her Philadelphia elementary school last month, an arrest aided by the little girl's memory of a talking bird in the home where she was taken, authorities said.
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.