ROME (AP) - The face of the Roman Catholic Church has changed profoundly in Pope Benedict XVI's lifetime. Congregations in the West are smaller and older, while those in Africa, Latin America and pockets of Asia are booming, bringing youth and energy to the Catholic world.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - A space rock even bigger than the meteor that exploded like an atom bomb over Russia could drop out of the sky unannounced at any time and wreak havoc on a city. And Hollywood to the contrary, there isn't much the world's scientists and generals can do about it.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A 19-year-old daycare worker was formally charged Friday in the abduction of a 5-year-old girl from her Philadelphia elementary school last month, an arrest aided by the little girl's memory of a talking bird in the home where she was taken, authorities said.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The weeklong Senate recess gives outside interest groups opposed to Chuck Hagel's nomination to become defense secretary more time to sharpen their attack against President Barack Obama's choice. And they're not wasting any of it, promising to redouble their efforts to scour Hagel's record and to pressure senators to vote against him.
WASHINGTON (AP) - House and Senate lawmakers are investigating a nearly $100 million shortfall at the federal Job Corps program that has prompted the Labor Department to freeze enrollment at all 125 job centers around the country.
WASHINGTON (AP) - In a spectacular fall from political prominence, former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife agreed Friday to plead guilty to federal charges growing out of what prosecutors said was a scheme to use $750,000 in campaign funds for lavish personal expenses, including a $43,000 gold watch and furs.
CINCINNATI (AP) - A woman accused of helping her 15-year-old daughter beat another teenage girl at a high school is countering a police department's version of the fight and says she and her daughter are the ones who were attacked.
WASHINGTON (AP) - In a major step toward opening U.S. skies to thousands of unmanned drones, federal officials Thursday solicited proposals to create six drone test sites around the country.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - One Las Vegas shooting range was selling "take a shot at love" packages that include 50 submachine gun rounds. Another offered wedding packages in which the bride and groom can pose with Uzis and ammunition belts. And a third invited lovebirds to renew their vows and shoot a paper cutout zombie in the face.
MAN BITES OFF SWALLOWS EAR: STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut man accused of biting off his cousin's ear lobe and swallowing it during a fight over loud music has pleaded not guilty to assault and other charges.
DORAL, Fla. (AP) - In many parts of Miami, Spanish is used as frequently - or more often - than English.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A food fight quickly turned into a brawl involving hundreds of students at a Minneapolis high school on Thursday, forcing police to use chemical spray to break up the melee.
NEW YORK (AP) - Many people arrested on low-level marijuana-possession charges in the nation's largest city will no longer be booked and held hours for arraignment, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Thursday.
DECATUR, Ga. (AP) - Raising hopes among parents who want preschool for all, President Barack Obama on Thursday rolled out a plan to vastly expand government-funded early childhood while keeping the price tag a secret.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - There she is, Miss America, headed back to Atlantic City.
DETROIT (AP) - When they pull up to a gas station these days, Detroit drivers are looking beyond the price per gallon at a far more threatening concern: carjackers.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - After a customer suggested that servers at a West Virginia restaurant needed to "show more skin," the owner became offended and decided to do something about it.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut couple alleges in a federal lawsuit that their three daughters were "indoctrinated" into a cult by public high school staff and suffered severe personality changes, including becoming "flat and distant."
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - A wildfire burning in a scenic Arizona canyon is expected to nearly triple in size as crews scramble to get the upper hand in less rugged terrain.
DALLAS (AP) - A Dallas woman who tried to drown her two young daughters after the girls pleaded for snacks was stopped by her 18-year-old son, who grabbed his drenched sisters and carried them from the apartment, police say.
INKSTER, Mich. (AP) - A Detroit-area woman, a member of a select group of the living to have been born in the 19th century, is celebrating a birthday on Friday.
CLEVELAND (AP) - The superintendent of the eastern Ohio district where two high school football players were found guilty of rape in a high-profile case last year wiped computer hard drives, erased emails and lied to investigators about his knowledge of the allegations against the boys, newly released court documents say.
NEW YORK (AP) - Visa and MasterCard are renewing a push to speed the adoption of microchips into U.S. credit and debit cards in the wake of recent high-profile data breaches, including this week's revelation that hackers stole consumer data from eBay's computer systems.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved a new antibiotic from Durata Therapeutics Inc. to treat adults with common skin infections often acquired in U.S. hospitals.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Reynolds American Inc. is expanding its Tobaccoville, North Carolina, manufacturing complex as it plans national distribution of its Vuse brand electronic cigarette this summer, the company said Friday.