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.
MIAMI (AP) - Anyone who thinks Cuban-Americans think alike on Cuba hasn't taken a close look at the community lately, poet Richard Blanco says.
PHOENIX (AP) - An Arizona sheriff known for crackdowns on people living in the country illegally is giving up his last major foothold in immigration enforcement efforts that won him popularity among voters but gradually were reined in by Washington and the courts.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Had Mark DeFriest just waited a couple of months to collect his inheritance, he never would have gone to prison. Had he just behaved while he was there, he would have been released more than 30 years ago.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Budget cuts at the IRS could delay tax refunds, reduce taxpayer services and hurt enforcement efforts, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said Thursday.
ATLANTA (AP) - Companies across the globe are on high alert to tighten up network security to avoid being the next company brought to its knees by hackers like those that executed the dramatic cyberattack against Sony Pictures Entertainment.
NEW YORK (AP) - Online shopping has become as volatile as stock market trading. Wild, minute-by-minute price swings on everything from clothes to TVs have made it difficult for holiday shoppers to "buy low."
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Hellmann's mayonnaise maker Unilever has withdrawn its lawsuit against the maker of "Just Mayo."
BOSTON (AP) - Mold and bacteria were in the air and on workers' gloved fingertips. Pharmacists used expired ingredients, didn't properly sterilize them and failed to test drugs for purity before sending them to hospitals and pain clinics. Employees falsified logs to make it look as if the so-called clean rooms had been disinfected.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - More than 70 years after South Carolina sent a 14-year-old black boy to the electric chair in the killings of two white girls in a segregated mill town, a judge threw out the conviction, saying the state committed a great injustice.
WASHINGTON (AP) - After a half-century of Cold War acrimony, the United States and Cuba moved on Wednesday to restore diplomatic relations - a historic shift that could revitalize the flow of money and people across the narrow waters that separate the two nations.
DENVER (AP) - The discovery that a Cleveland officer who shot and killed a 12-year-old boy last month had washed out at another police force highlights what some experts call an unnerving truth about policing: Departments don't always dig deeply enough into recruits' pasts.
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - A Montana man who shot and killed a German exchange student caught trespassing in his garage was convicted of deliberate homicide Wednesday despite arguing that a state "castle doctrine" law allowed him to use deadly force to protect his home and family.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Uber promises to focus on rider safety amid increasing concerns that its drivers are not adequately screened for past criminal convictions.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Reserve is edging closer to raising interest rates from record lows given a strengthening U.S. economy. But it will be "patient" in deciding when to do so.
NEW YORK (AP) - Under the threat of terrorist attacks from hackers and with the nation's largest multiplex chains pulling the film from their screens, Sony Pictures Entertainment took the unprecedented step of canceling the Dec. 25 release of the Seth Rogen comedy "The Interview."