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.
CAPE CHARLES, Va. (AP) - Albert Thorn awoke in his rental cottage Thursday to the sound of heavy rain and wind. Then, there was screaming. Within minutes, the sky turned dark, cellphones pinged with emergency messages and a tornado tore through a popular campground, ripping awnings from trailers and flipping RVs on their sides.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama man who went into surgery for what was supposed to be a routine circumcision filed a lawsuit contending doctors mistakenly amputated his penis, but a hospital said Thursday the claims were without merit.
ALIQUIPPA, Pa. (AP) - The father of two toddlers who died after a dresser fell on them is facing involuntary manslaughter charges because he heard a crash and didn't immediately check on his daughters, a prosecutor said Thursday.
MIAMI (AP) - Federal officials have capped the amount of money scofflaws will be forced to pay if they don't buy insurance this year at $2,448 per person and $12,240 for a family of five.
SEATTLE (AP) - Shares of Amazon.com Inc. fell Thursday after the e-commerce retailer reported a deeper-than-expected second quarter loss as expenses outpaced a surge in revenue.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Union Pacific Corp. said Thursday that its quarterly profit climbed 17 percent as the railroad hauled 8 percent more freight and raised shipping rates.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The risk of losing your job is getting smaller and smaller.
NEW YORK (AP) - Starbucks said Thursday its revamped breakfast sandwiches and other food offerings helped boost sales at its U.S. cafes.
DETROIT (AP) - Recall expenses chopped $1.5 billion from General Motors' bottom line in the second quarter, as it added up the costs of repairs for nearly 30 million cars and set aside funds to compensate victims of small-car crashes.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Staking out a populist stand ahead of the midterm elections, President Barack Obama on Thursday demanded "economic patriotism" from U.S. corporations that use legal means to avoid U.S. taxes through overseas mergers.
WEST SACRAMENTO (AP) - California's attorney general said Thursday she is helping secure lawyers to represent minors from Central America during immigration hearings.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - A state appeals court on Thursday upheld a proposed route for California's high-speed rail line connecting the San Francisco Bay Area to the Central Valley.
LOS BANOS (AP) - A Central California man has been sentenced to 14 years and eight months in prison following his conviction on charges that he drugged and raped two men.
COTATI (AP) - A rare redwood tree in a small Northern California city will be replanted instead of being sawed down to make way for planned railway tracks.
GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - Despite widespread drought in the West and expectations of an above-average wildfire season, wildfires have burned less than half the 10-year average area so far this summer.