WASHINGTON (AP) - It happens every week at meetings in towns, counties and cities nationwide. A lawmaker or religious leader leads a prayer before officials begin the business of zoning changes, contract approvals and trash pickup.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Just two weeks from an economy-threatening deadline, fiscal cliff talks hit a lull Tuesday as House Speaker John Boehner announced that Republicans would also march ahead with their own tax plan on a separate track from the one he's been pursuing with President Barack Obama.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The movie "Zero Dark Thirty" suggests the CIA's harsh interrogation techniques led the U.S. to Osama bin Laden. Sen. John McCain watched the movie Monday night and says it left him sick - because it's wrong.
The following is a recap of prayer policies at South County public government meetings:
CHICAGO (AP) - The FBI says window prison bars were found inside a mattress in the cell belonging to two bank robbers who escaped from downtown Chicago's high-rise jail.
LANSING, Kan. (AP) - The bodies of the two men executed for the 1959 murders of a Kansas family that became infamous in Truman Capote's true-crime book "In Cold Blood" were exhumed Tuesday in an effort to solve slayings of a Florida family killed weeks later.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A small-caliber rifle and notes about a possible attack on a northeast Oklahoma high school were found at the home of a teenager accused of plotting to shoot classmates and detonate bombs, police said Monday.
NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) - Opening a long and almost unbearable procession of grief, Newtown began laying its dead to rest Monday, holding funerals for two 6-year-old boys - one a football fan who was buried in a New York Giants jersey and one whose twin sister survived the school shooting rampage.
AUSTRALIAN COURT: WORKER'S COMP COVERS SEX MISHAP: CANBERRA, Australia (AP) - An Australian court has ruled that a bureaucrat who was injured while having sex on a business trip is eligible for worker's compensation benefits.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The governor on Monday sidestepped a decision about whether a condemned inmate is too fat to be humanely executed by sparing him on the grounds that he had poor legal representation.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A federal judge sentenced a hacker to 10 years in prison on Monday after he broke into the personal online accounts of Scarlett Johansson, Christina Aguilera and other women and posted revealing photos and other material on the Internet.
2 HURT WHEN TRUCK VEERS OFF I-280, CATCHES FIRE: MILLBRAE (AP) - Two men are hospitalized with what a California Highway Patrol spokesman describes as "major burns" after the delivery truck they were in ran off the side of a San Francisco Bay area freeway, crashed into a tree and burst into flames.
NEW YORK (AP) - Participant Media plans to launch a cable network aimed at viewers 18 to 34 years old with programming it describes as inspiring and thought-provoking.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Recovering from war wounds that left him with one arm, Danny Inouye wanted a cigarette and needed a light.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has agreed to curtail future cost-of-living increases for recipients of Social Security and softened his demand for higher taxes at upper income levels as part of accelerating talks with House Speaker John Boehner to avoid a "fiscal cliff," people familiar with the talks said Monday.
ODESSA, Texas (AP) - A prison bus skidded off an icy Texas highway, slid down an embankment and collided with a passing freight train Wednesday, killing eight inmates and two corrections officers, including the bus driver, authorities said.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal regulators have approved an appetite-suppressing implant designed to treat obesity by zapping nerves that connect the stomach and the brain.
PARIS (AP) - Parisians lined up Wednesday to empty the newsstands of the first issue of Charlie Hebdo, a week after Islamic extremists attacked the satirical newspaper's office, and French justice officials began cracking down by arresting dozens of people who glorified terrorism or made racist or anti-Semitic remarks.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - In a rare scare, astronauts fled the American side of the International Space Station on Wednesday after an alarm indicated a possible toxic leak. NASA later said there was no leak of ammonia coolant and a computer problem likely set off the false alarm.
BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - Author Salman Rushdie, who lived for years under a death threat after his 1988 book "The Satanic Verses" drew the wrath of Iranian religious leaders, said Wednesday the right to free speech is absolute or else it isn't free.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Twenty percent of California's oil production now comes through hydraulic fracturing, according to a study commissioned by the state and released Wednesday.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - An 8-foot alligator that was found in a box with two cat carcasses in a suburban Los Angeles backyard might have been living at the home for as long as 40 years, animal officials said Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Filing a federal tax return is about to get more complicated for millions of families because of President Barack Obama's health law. But they shouldn't expect much help from the Internal Revenue Service.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Not only do more Americans have health insurance, but the number struggling with medical costs has dropped since President Barack Obama's health care law expanded coverage, according to a study released Thursday.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - Google announced Wednesday that it will unveil a modular smartphone in Puerto Rico this year as part of a pilot program that will allow people to choose their own hardware based on their needs and interests.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A revised settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit alleging Apple and Google conspired with other Silicon Valley companies to block more than 60,000 high-tech employees from getting better job offers.
DETROIT (AP) - The head of self-driving cars for Google expects real people to be using them on public roads in two to five years.
NEW YORK (AP) - A San Francisco man who launched an underground website as an economic experiment before abandoning it was fooled into taking the fall when investigators concluded it was used almost solely for drug dealing, a defense lawyer told jurors Tuesday after the government portrayed his client as the mastermind of a worldwide digital drug market.
NEW YORK (AP) - A new luxury cruise ship debuting in 2016 will have one of the largest and most expensive suites ever offered at sea.
DETROIT (AP) - The head of electric car maker Tesla Motors says the company should turn a profit in five years after it brings a lower-cost car to market.