CHICAGO (AP) - In a private ceremony attended by a handful of lawmakers, Gov. Pat Quinn signed landmark legislation Thursday to reform Illinois' massively-underfunded pension system, though labor unions immediately threatened a lawsuit challenging the new law.
From California to Ohio, a big chunk of the U.S. is getting a blast of wintry weather. Frigid temperatures are following a storm that's bringing snow and ice to many areas. The conditions are making travel difficult, raising concerns about citrus crops and prompting the cancellation of fights, holiday festivities and football games. Even one outdoor ice rink in cold-accustomed South Dakota is shutting down.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - With the wind chill falling to almost minus 40, Steve Hendershot's mind was elsewhere Thursday as he and his crew of roustabouts worked an oil rig in North Dakota's booming oil patch.
Fast-food NEW YORK (AP) - Fast-food workers and labor organizers marched, waved signs and chanted in cities across the country on Thursday in a push for higher wages.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. economy is growing faster, corporate profits are rising and companies are laying off the fewest workers in six years.
VISALIA (AP) - Officials say temperatures in the citrus-rich San Joaquin Valley dropped to the low 20s overnight, but it was too early to tell whether there was any crop damage.
NEW YORK (AP) - William Bratton, whose tenure as New York City police commissioner in the 1990s was marked by a steep decline in crime and clashes with then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, has been chosen to lead the nation's largest police force again.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The passage of a landmark bill to address Illinois' worst-in-the-nation pension crisis means the yearslong fight over how to address the massive shortfall now likely shifts to the courts, where its fate - and much-needed relief for the financially troubled state - remains highly uncertain.
ELOY, Ariz. (AP) - Skydivers from around the world returned to the air Wednesday at a popular Arizona skydiving location that was the site of a deadly mishap involving two parachutists a day earlier.
CHICAGO (AP) - New research on face transplants may help guide future operations for accident victims needing this kind of drastic surgery.
YONKERS, N.Y. (AP) - An engineer whose speeding commuter train ran off the rails along a curve, killing four people, experienced a hypnotic-like "daze" and nodded at the controls before he suddenly realized something was wrong and hit the brakes, a lawyer said.
DETROIT (AP) - A judge has given Detroit the green light to cut pensions as a way out of the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, a decision that puts the case in the laps of thousands of retirees who had hoped that the Michigan Constitution would protect them from getting smaller checks in their golden years.
NEW YORK (AP) - Investigators looking into a deadly train derailment said Tuesday that no problems had been found with the train's brake system or track signals along its route and that its engineer was being questioned again.
BIRD STEALS CAMERA IN AUSTRALIA, RECORDS JOURNEY: SYDNEY (AP) - A brazen bird snatched a video camera that was recording crocodiles in northwest Australia and captured fascinating footage of its 110-kilometer (70-mile) journey across the country's remote landscape. Wildlife rangers in Western Australia's Kimberly region released video on Monday that reveals the sea eagle's caper. The bird's flapping wings can be seen as it grabs the device and takes off, and the eagle later poses for a selfie, poking its face into the camera lens. Rangers set up the motion-sensor camera along the Margaret River in May ...
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CHICAGO (AP) - A demoted executive shot and critically wounded his company's CEO before fatally shooting himself Thursday inside a high-rise office building in downtown Chicago's bustling financial district, police said.
NEW YORK (AP) - Twitter said government requests for user data grew sharply in the past six months as more countries asked for a greater amount of information about users.
PALO ALTO (AP) - Electric car maker Tesla Motors widened its loss in the second quarter as it prepared for the launch of a new SUV and started work on a massive new battery plant.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The fees that banks charge debit-card users who overdraw their accounts usually cost more than the items being bought.
DENVER (AP) - Alarmed by booming sales of highly potent edible marijuana products, Colorado regulators have drafted an emergency rule making it easier for new users to tell how much pot they're eating.
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The governors of California, Oregon and Washington sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewel on Thursday to stress that they don't want the possibility of drilling off of the West Coast.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Americans are wary of granting refugee status to children crossing the U.S. border to flee strife-torn countries in Central America, and most in an Associated Press-GfK poll say the U.S. does not have a moral obligation to accept asylum seekers generally.
WASHINGTON (AP) - House Republicans, scrambling to win conservative support for a bill addressing the immigration crisis on the border, have scheduled a companion vote on legislation to block President Barack Obama from extending deportation relief to any more immigrants here illegally.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A drone carrying cellphones, marijuana and other contraband into a South Carolina maximum-security prison never made it inside the 12-foot-high razor wire fence, and authorities said Wednesday they are looking for one of two people accused in connection with trying to sneak it in.
NEW YORK (AP) - The weather kills at least 2,000 Americans each year and nearly two-thirds of the deaths are from the cold, according to a new government report.
NEW YORK (AP) - It's a ship tied to two critical points in American history: Sept. 11, 2001, and the eve of the Revolutionary War.
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) - A Florida woman who let her 7-year-old son walk alone to a park has been charged with felony child neglect.
CLEVELAND (AP) - A Florida man is accused of trying to suffocate his terminally ill father by holding his hand over the man's nose and mouth at a suburban Cleveland nursing home, police said. The 86-year-old man died a few hours later.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A former IRS official at the center of the agency's tea party controversy referred to some right-wing Republicans as "crazies" and more in emails released Wednesday. A key GOP lawmaker says the remarks show that Lois Lerner was biased against conservative groups and targeted them for extra scrutiny.
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas man accused of leaving his 10-month-old foster child in a hot car where she died was charged Wednesday with murder.