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.
• MARYLAND GIRL PLEADS 'RESPONSIBLE' FOR BULLYING: LEONARDTOWN, Md. (AP) - A 17-year-old Maryland girl accused of assaulting an autistic boy pleaded "responsible" to two misdemeanor charges after her case was transferred from adult to juvenile court.
DALLAS (AP) - Southwest Airlines is being fined $200,000 for advertising a fare sale too good to be true.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Tanning beds and sun lamps will carry new warnings that they should not be used by anyone under age 18, part of a government action announced Thursday aimed at reducing skin cancer linked to the radiation-emitting devices.
MOUNTAIN VIEW (AP) - Google has had more trouble diversifying its workforce than its computer scientists have had writing programs that respond to search requests in the blink of an eye or designing cars that can navigate traffic without a human behind the wheel.
MOUNTAIN VIEW (AP) - Google plans to build and launch onto city streets a small fleet of subcompact cars that could operate without a person at the wheel.
NEW YORK (AP) - Maya Angelou's story awed millions. A childhood victim of rape, she broke through silence and shame to tell her tale in one of the most widely read memoirs of the 20th century. A black woman born into poverty and segregation, she recited the most popular presidential inaugural poem in history.
PAYSON, Ariz. (AP) - A 3-year-old Payson boy shot and killed his 1½ -year-old brother after the boys found a handgun in a neighbor's apartment and took it to another room, the eastern Arizona town's police chief said Wednesday.
DANBURY, Conn. (AP) - A 17-year-old boy has been named prom queen at his high school and says he's making a point about gender labeling and discrimination.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Two years after a 33-year-old mentally disabled man died at a state institution in Queens, and one year after his sister filed a lawsuit accusing the staff of killing him, New York officials have sent her an $11.67 million bill.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch conceded Wednesday it's only a matter of time before gay marriage is legal across the country, even though he doesn't think that's the right way to go.
• BURN VICTIM DOUSES SELF WITH SLURPEES AT 7-ELEVEN: GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - Things were quiet at a convenience store in Southern Oregon when a tattooed man came in and started dousing himself with Hawaiian Punch Slurpees.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - The state Senate on Wednesday was considering a bill that would place some restrictions on vehicle-tracking technology to protect people's privacy.