YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK - Everybody gathers around Joe, the guy who seems to have all the answers. Only he doesn't.
The legislative twists and turns in Congress' battle over the partial government shutdown and the entwined Republican effort to curtail President Barack Obama's health care law:
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Internet stocks are heating up again, just as Twitter is preparing to turn up the temperature with its highly anticipated IPO.
BOSTON (AP) - Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a judge Wednesday to lift restrictions placed on him in prison, arguing that the conditions are overly harsh, have left him nearly totally isolated and are impairing their ability to defend him.
DANDRIDGE, Tenn. (AP) - A bus taking a church group home to North Carolina blew a tire, veered across a highway median and crashed into a sport utility vehicle and tractor-trailer Wednesday in a fiery wreck that killed eight people, authorities said.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Attend a black-tie gala? No. Meet with business leaders who oppose a government shutdown? Yes. Jet off to Asia for a four-country tour? Maybe, but shorten the trip and keep the option to cancel.
NEW YORK (AP) - Fear of a protracted U.S. government shutdown is making global investors increasingly nervous.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama brought congressional leaders to the White House on Wednesday for the first time since a partial government shutdown began, but there was no sign of progress toward ending an impasse that has idled 800,000 federal workers and curbed services around the country.
DETROIT (AP) - Detroit, not unexpectedly, has defaulted on its most recent general obligation bond debt payment, Moody's Investors Service said Wednesday.
THE REAL CAPT. PHILLIPS GETS HERO'S WELCOME IN VT. : WILLISTON, Vt. (AP) - The captain of the American cargo ship hijacked by Somali pirates four years ago returned home from sea to another hero's welcome - this time for a sneak peek of the Tom Hanks movie about the ordeal.
NEW YORK (AP) - As the government's partial shutdown enters a second day, most companies across the country are doing business as usual. Yet concern is rising that a prolonged shutdown would cause some work at private companies to dry up and consumers to lose faith in the U.S. economy.
NEW YORK (AP) - In 1985, a year after the Cold War thriller "The Hunt for Red October" came out, author Tom Clancy was invited to lunch at the Reagan White House, where he was questioned by Navy Secretary John Lehman.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Business leaders are taking sides with Democratic President Barack Obama after failing to persuade their traditional Republican allies in Congress to avert a government shutdown.
PHOENIX (AP) - A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the appointment of an independent monitor and a community advisory board to ensure that an Arizona sheriff is complying with constitutional requirements after finding his office engages in racial profiling.
ATLANTA (AP) - A man who slapped a crying toddler on an Atlanta-bound plane has pleaded guilty to simple assault.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Michael Brown's official autopsy indicates he was shot in the hand at close range during a struggle, but a medical examiner not involved in the investigation says there's no way to conclude whether the injury meant the unarmed 18-year-old was trying to grab the gun of the officer who killed him.
DENVER (AP) - Three teenage girls being investigated for trying to join Islamic State forces in Syria were victims of an "online predator" who encouraged them, a school official said Wednesday, as U.S. officials tried to determine how they made it to Europe without anyone knowing and whether terrorists' appeal is deepening among vulnerable youth.
CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) - A man who allegedly confessed to killing seven women in Indiana on Wednesday refused to speak or even acknowledge his name to a judge, and a sheriff explained later that the suspect was upset his hearing was in open court before dozens of journalists.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) - The American Postal Workers Union is calling upon Harvard University's president to oppose a deal between Staples Inc. and the U.S. Postal Service, or resign her seat on the office supply company's board.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Fending off demands to ban travel from Ebola-stricken West Africa, the Obama administration instead tightened the nation's defenses against Ebola by requiring that all arrivals from the disease-ravaged zone pass through one of five U.S. airports.
SAINT-JEAN-SUR-RICHELIEU, Quebec (AP) - A young convert to Islam who killed a Canadian soldier in a hit-and-run had been on the radar of federal investigators, who feared he had jihadist ambitions and seized his passport when he tried to travel to Turkey, authorities said Tuesday.
ATLANTA (AP) - First, CVS Health pulled tobacco from its store shelves. Now, it plans to make some customers think twice about filling prescriptions at other stores that sell smokes.
DENVER (AP) - Three teenage girls from suburban Denver may have been trying to join Islamic State militants in Syria after stealing their parents' money and flying to Germany, authorities said Tuesday.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A convicted murderer sentenced to more than a half-century behind bars is suing the state of Connecticut, saying its ban on pornography in prison violates his constitutional rights.
ATLANTA (AP) - Federal health officials on Monday issued new guidelines to promote head-to-toe protection for health workers treating Ebola patients.
NEW YORK (AP) - The quarantine against possible Ebola exposure ends this week for Dr. Nancy Snyderman, but the troubles clearly aren't over for NBC News' chief medical editor.
DETROIT (AP) - The U.S. government issued an urgent plea to more than 4.7 million people to get the air bags in their cars fixed, amid concern that a defect in the devices can possibly kill or injure the driver or passengers.
DETROIT (AP) - United Nations human rights experts described Detroit's mass water shut-offs as "a man-made perfect storm" Monday and called on city officials to restore water to those unable to pay, including those with disabilities or chronic illnesses.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A 6-year-old girl was killed during a drive-by shooting while shopping for bubblegum with her father at a convenience store in Kansas City, according to police, who are vowing to find those responsible for her death.
WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) - A man surfing with his three young sons used his fist and surfboard to fend off a shark attack in waters off Maui that were rough and murky from a hurricane that churned passed Hawaii over the weekend.