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.
NEW YORK (AP) - Is it time to cash out of stocks?
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Environmental Protection Agency's staff has concluded that the government needs to tighten smog rules by somewhere between 7 and 20 percent.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Pikachu and Link will be among the first characters coming to "amiibo."
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A University of Iowa professor who donned a robot costume to heckle Bill Clinton and Michele Bachmann has now set his sights on one of his school's famous quirks: the visiting team's pink locker room at Kinnick Stadium.
LEBANON, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio school bus driver has resigned after being accused of making elementary-age students sit with the windows up in hot weather as a punishment.
DEERFIELD, Va. (AP) - The pilot of an F-15 jet that crashed this week in remote Virginia mountains was killed, military officials said Thursday, bringing to a sad end an exhaustive two-day search involving more than 100 local, state and federal officials as well as volunteers.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - An air ambulance carrying a cancer patient to Phoenix crashed shortly after taking off from a southern New Mexico airport, killing all four people aboard, authorities said Thursday.
NEW YORK (AP) - A New York City child care worker was indicted Thursday on a murder charge in the death of a 20-month-old boy in her care. Prosecutors said she admitted throwing him down and stepping on him.
BOSTON (AP) - An outburst over a reclined seat led an American Airlines flight to divert to Boston, at least the second such incident in the U.S. this week, authorities said.
FIFE, Wash. (AP) - To Tedd Wetherbee, the vacant storefront seems a suitable spot for selling pot. It's in a strip mall across from BJ's Bingo parlor, in a long commercial stretch occupied by fast-food joints, dry cleaners and massage parlors.
LAS VEGAS - The death of an Arizona firearms instructor by a 9-year-old girl who was firing a fully automatic Uzi displayed a tragic side of what has become a hot industry in the U.S.: gun tourism.
A 39-year-old firing-range instructor was killed Monday while showing a 9-year-old girl how to use an Uzi submachine gun. Charles Vacca's death at the Last Stop outdoor shooting range in White Hills, Arizona, has raised questions about allowing young children access to such weapons at firing ranges.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Police officers who opened fire while disrupting a robbery at a fast-food restaurant in Omaha killed a crew member with the TV show "Cops" as well as the suspect, who was armed with a pellet gun that they thought was a real handgun, authorities said Wednesday.
NEW YORK (AP) - Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's sister was arrested Wednesday on suspicion she threatened to bomb a woman who previously had a romantic relationship with her boyfriend.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A federal judge in Utah has issued a final ruling that strikes down parts of the state's anti-polygamy law in a lawsuit filed by the family that appears on the TV show "Sister Wives."