VATICAN CITY (AP) - Signaling a dramatic shift in Vatican tone, Pope Francis said the Catholic Church had become obsessed by "small-minded rules" about how to be faithful and that pastors should instead emphasize compassion over condemnation when discussing divisive social issues of abortion, gays and contraception.
'NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Vince Sicari can tell all the lawyer jokes he wants - he just can't play a judge in real life.
HOLDER OF LUCKY POWERBALL TICKET A MYSTERY IN SC: LEXINGTON, S.C. (AP) - When they learned that a Powerball ticket worth $400 million had been sold at a gas station across the road, workers at Econ-O-Bug Termite and Pest Control said they had a few big, wishful dreams. But they didn't have the prized ticket in their hands, so they came to work as usual Thursday in their yellow bug-battling vans.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Here's the truth about a government "shutdown." The government doesn't shut down.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The government's sprawling system of background checks and security clearances is so unreliable it's virtually impossible to adequately investigate the nearly 5 million Americans who have them and make sure they can be trusted with access to military and sensitive civilian buildings, an Associated Press review found.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Former NFL offensive lineman Brian Holloway initially thought the Twitter photos showing young people partying at his family's second home in upstate New York were a hoax. Then he saw pictures of teenagers standing on the dining room table he bought with his Super Bowl bonus.
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Two teenage boys have been arrested in a bizarre sword attack on one teen's mother that reportedly included a discussion of killing the woman and eating her liver, a Spokane County sheriff's spokesman said Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Internal Revenue Service continued to target conservative political groups even after approving their applications for tax-exempt status, a key Republican lawmaker said Wednesday.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Clicking "Like" on Facebook is constitutionally protected free speech and can be considered the 21st century-equivalent of a campaign yard sign, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.
VIDEO CONFESSOR PLEADS GUILTY TO FATAL DUI IN OHIO: COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Confronted at a hospital by police who said he'd just killed a man, drunk driver Matthew Cordle was angry and in denial.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The man who gunned down 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday visited two hospitals in the weeks before the rampage but denied that he was depressed or having thoughts of harming himself or others, the Department of Veterans Affairs said Wednesday.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - If it seems that giant lottery jackpots have people lining up at convenience stores more frequently, just wait: More big payouts could be coming.
TOMS RIVER, N.J. (AP) - The massive fire that destroyed part of a Jersey shore boardwalk and dozens of businesses began accidentally in wiring damaged in Superstorm Sandy, and should prompt coastal property owners to get their own equipment inspected for similar danger, officials said Tuesday.
LYONS, Colo. (AP) - The emergency airlifts of flood victims waned Tuesday, leaving rescue crews to systematically search the nooks and crannies of the northern Colorado foothills and transportation officials to gauge what it will take to rebuild the wasted landscape.
TEXAS FOOTBALL PLAYER, 12, DIES AFTER ANT BITES: CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) - A 12-year-old boy died after apparently having a severe allergic reaction to ant bites he suffered while warming up during halftime of a South Texas middle school football game, officials confirmed Tuesday.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Christmas trees likely will cost a little more this year, and growers like John Tillman say it's about time.
NEW YORK (AP) - For some Americans on opposite sides of a national debate, Michael Brown has become a symbol, epitomizing their polarized views on who bears the blame for the toll of young black men killed by police officers. Brown was a gentle giant, in one version. A defiant troublemaker, in another.
NEWBURGH, N.Y. (AP) - Two boys trapped in a snow pile in the Hudson Valley for several hours after a plow buried them were able to survive thanks to an air pocket in the heavy, wet snow, New York police said Friday.
PHOENIX (AP) - If Christian Avila lived a few hundred miles to the west, he would have a driver's license and qualify for in-state college tuition and a host of other opportunities available to young people granted legal status by President Barack Obama two years ago.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - A man whose pregnant fiancee was struck and killed by a van in a Pittsburgh parking lot says their son was born by emergency cesarean section and doctors are evaluating whether he was harmed by a lack of oxygen.
• Police: Man held after choking neighbor's loud dog: PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire police say a man who broke into his neighbor's apartment to silence a barking dog ended up getting bitten and arrested. They say a brawl erupted Friday morning when Roger Pelletier forced his way into the Portsmouth apartment because he was frustrated by the constant barking of her Shih Tzu, Oreo. Police say Pelletier tried to strangle Oreo, leading to a confrontation with the dog's owner. They say Oreo bit Pelletier several times. The dog's owner wasn't injured. Oreo has been ...