JERUSALEM (AP) - Insisting "peace is possible," President Barack Obama on Thursday prodded both Israelis and Palestinians to return to long-stalled negotiations with few, if any, pre-conditions, softening his earlier demands that Israel stop building settlements in disputed territory.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Gun control legislation the Senate debates next month will include an expansion of federal background checks for firearms buyers, Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday in a victory for advocates of gun restrictions.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Moving on two fronts, the Republican-controlled House on Thursday voted to keep the government running for the next six months while pushing through a tea-party flavored budget for next year that would shrink the government by another $4.6 trillion over the next decade.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Viola Mourton buys a Powerball ticket every day. But with a $320 million jackpot that could grow in the next few days, she's upping her chances Thursday and buying several at her local convenience store.
DECATUR, Texas (AP) - A man who may be linked to the slaying of Colorado's state prison chief led authorities in Texas on a harrowing, 100 mph car chase Thursday that ended after he crashed into a semi and then opened fire before being shot down by his pursuers, authorities said.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Prosecutors said Thursday they plan to seek a challenge of an Illinois appellate court's decision overturning an aspiring rapper's conviction on allegations that he threatened a murderous college rampage, muddying the man's newfound freedom from prison.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina said Thursday it is abandoning its plan to issue pink-striped driver's licenses to certain illegal immigrants, beset by mounting criticism of the specially designed IDs.
CHICAGO (AP) - Tens of thousands of Chicago students, parents and teachers learned Thursday their schools were on a long-feared list of 54 the city plans to close in an effort to stabilize an educational system facing a huge budget shortfall.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Just days before 20 children and six educators were killed at a Connecticut school in December, state development officials offered the maker of the rifle used in the massacre a $1 million loan to bring new jobs to the state.
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) - A man pulled a woman off a city bus in northern Indiana on Wednesday, fatally shot her and then took a 3-year-old boy hostage before a sniper killed him during a police standoff.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Two Connecticut high school football players have been charged in sexual assault cases that, like a recent high-profile Ohio rape case, have led to online taunts directed at an accuser.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A northern Utah sheriff's office is floating a unique and unproven idea for keeping seniors with Alzheimer's disease and dementia safe: Give them ankle monitors normally used on criminals on house arrest or parole.
NEW YORK (AP) - A government survey of parents says 1 in 50 U.S. schoolchildren has autism, surpassing another federal estimate for the disorder.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Benedictine monks may keep selling plain, low-cost caskets from their monastery outside New Orleans, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday, finding that a regulation that only state-licensed funeral directors may sell coffins in Louisiana had no reasonable grounds.
PHOENIX (AP) - A prominent Republican lawmaker in Arizona wants to link public bathroom use to birth certificates in what civil rights advocates are calling the nation's toughest anti-transgender measure.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Republican governors and lawmakers who now control a majority of state capitols have been pushing aggressively to cut spending and shrink government - with one glaring exception.
CHICAGO (AP) - Could too much sugar be deadly? The biggest study of its kind suggests the answer is yes, at least when it comes to fatal heart problems.
VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) - A paint company driver fatally shot a company manager and then killed himself Monday at a business park in this southwest Washington city.
GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - A tiny minnow that lives only in Oregon backwaters is the first fish ever taken off U.S. Endangered Species Act protection because it is no longer threatened with extinction.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Joan Mondale, who burnished a reputation as "Joan of Art" for her passionate advocacy for the arts while her husband was vice president and a U.S. ambassador, died Monday. She was 83.
• WOMAN GIVES 3 ILLINOIS WAITRESSES $5,000 EACH: ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) - Three waitresses at an Illinois restaurant say they could only stare in disbelief when a woman over the weekend handed them each a $5,000 check.
NEW YORK (AP) - The U.S. abortion rate declined to its lowest level since 1973, and the number of abortions fell by 13 percent between 2008 and 2011, according to the latest national survey of abortion providers conducted by a prominent research institute.
NEW YORK (AP) - Philip Seymour Hoffman, who won the Oscar for his portrayal of writer Truman Capote and created a gallery of slackers, charlatans and other characters so vivid that he was regarded as one of the world's finest actors, was found dead in his apartment Sunday with what officials said was a needle in his arm. He was 46.
CHICAGO (AP) - Gay and bisexual teen boys use illicit steroids at a rate almost six times higher than do straight kids, a "dramatic disparity" that points up a need to reach out to this group, researchers say.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Charlie Balasavage, a baby-faced boy of 14, landed in juvenile detention after his parents bought him a stolen scooter. Hillary Transue was sent away over a MySpace parody of her vice principal. Justin Bodnar was locked up for mouthing off to a woman at his school bus stop.
ES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Two Iowa couples decided to tie the knot at this weekend's bacon festival at the state fairgrounds in Des Moines.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - Religious leaders of multiple faiths and farmers in Nevada and Utah turned to prayer this weekend for help easing severe drought conditions gripping the West.
MILWAUKEE (AP) - A craft brewer still has hopes of one day using drones to deliver its lager to ice fishing anglers on Minnesota lakes by air, despite being grounded by federal aviation officials after a recent test run.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama's new declaration that he's open to legalizing many immigrants short of citizenship sounds a lot like House Speaker John Boehner and other GOP leaders, an election-year compromise that numerous Republicans as well as Democrats crave.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Justin Bieber's court cases on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border could complicate the pop star's jet-setting ways as his troubles bring more scrutiny by judges and prosecutors,