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.
VERO BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A graphic designer on a biking trip from Maryland to Miami was stabbed to death by a homeless man outside a Florida McDonald's while he spoke on the phone with his girlfriend, authorities said.
STARBUCKS SORRY FOR NOT SERVING WOMAN WITH DOG: ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) - Starbucks has apologized to a 24-year-old woman who said she wasn't allowed in a Rochester-area store because she had a service dog.
PHOENIX (AP) - An attorney for the parents of a 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed an Arizona shooting range instructor with an Uzi said Tuesday the family is devastated by the tragedy that occurred on a brief excursion during a vacation.
CHICAGO (AP) - Removing both breasts to treat cancer affecting only one side doesn't boost survival chances for most women, compared with surgery that removes just the tumor, a large study suggests. The results raise concerns about riskier, potentially unnecessary operations that increasing numbers of women are choosing.
PRINCETON, N.J. (AP) - A Princeton University employee and marijuana legalization activist who said he was told to choose between his job and using medical marijuana is on paid leave as the university works to figure out accommodations for his disability.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Thirty teens "overwhelmed" their minders at a juvenile detention center by simultaneously breaking out of four dormitories and then crawling under a weak spot in a chain-link fence. By Tuesday evening, seven were still on the run.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - A groom became "handsy" with a pregnant waitress at his wedding reception and tried to pour alcohol down her throat, then resisted arrest after getting into a fight with her boyfriend, police said.
CINCINNATI (AP) - The parents of four black students who allege their children were expelled over rap music videos and targeted because of race sued a suburban school district in federal court on Tuesday, charging violations of constitutional rights including free speech.
CENTERPLATE: CEO RESIGNS OVER DOG'S MISTREATMENT: STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) - Sports catering business Centerplate has announced the resignation of its chief executive after video from an elevator security camera posted online shows a man kicking a puppy and yanking its leash.
WALDO, Fla. (AP) - The north Florida town of Waldo has long had a reputation as a speed trap, and it's no wonder. A small segment of highway that runs through Waldo requires drivers to speed up and slow down six times: 65 mph becomes 55 mph; 55 becomes 45; then goes back to 55; then back down to 45; to 55 again and eventually, 35 mph.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A man who authorities believe strangled dozens of women as he moved from place to place around the country was convicted Tuesday of three 1980s murders in Los Angeles.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - California regulatory judges have recommended a $1.4 billion penalty against the state's largest utility for a 2010 gas pipeline explosion that engulfed a suburban San Francisco neighborhood in fire, killing eight people and prompting national alerts about aging pipelines.
FURNACE CREEK (AP) - For 10,000 years, a tiny iridescent blue fish has lived in the depths of a cavern in Nevada's desert. But a new study says climate change and warming waters - and its lack of mobility - are threatening its existence and decreasing its numbers.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A surly electorate that holds Congress in even lower regard than unpopular President Barack Obama is willing to "keep the bums in," with at least 365 incumbents in the 435-member House and 18 of 28 senators on a glide path to another term when ballots are counted Nov. 4.
MILWAUKEE (AP) - President Barack Obama renewed his push for Congress to raise the minimum wage Monday in a buoyant accounting of the economy's "revving" performance, delivered on behalf of Democrats opening their fall campaigns for the midterm congressional elections.