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) - Removing blighted residential properties and small commercial structures that have plagued Detroit neighborhoods for decades would cost $850 million, with perhaps $1 billion more needed to tackle the bankrupt city's larger commercial and industrial property, a task force said Tuesday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Pay for globe-trotting CEOs has soared to new heights, even as most workers remain grounded by paychecks that are barely budging.
NEW YORK (AP) - LG's new smartphone provides sharper pictures than other leading phones, while sporting a customizable keyboard that promises to make typing easier.
NEW YORK (AP) - Starbucks is dipping its toe into the burger business, with plans to open an outpost of its La Boulange chain that caters to the dinner crowd.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - As a group of children walked home together from school in Providence, they held hands and played the "I Spy" guessing game. When they reached a busy intersection, an adult accompanying them prodded, "What's the rule?"
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - An American soldier blinded in Afghanistan and the widow of another soldier killed there have filed a $44.7 million wrongful death and injury lawsuit against a Canadian man who was held at Guantanamo Bay and pleaded guilty to committing war crimes when he was 15.
ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) - Pope Francis announced Monday he would meet soon with a group of sex abuse victims at the Vatican and declared "zero tolerance" for any member of the clergy who would violate a child.
NEW YORK (AP) - A prolific computer hacker who infiltrated the servers of major corporations later switched sides and helped the government disrupt hundreds of cyberattacks on Congress, NASA and other sensitive targets, according to federal prosecutors.
• TEEN TIED TO SHOPPING CART DROWNS IN GEORGIA LAKE: CARTERSVILLE, Ga. (AP) - Georgia officials say an 18-year-old drowned just hours after graduating high school when he was tied to a shopping cart and pushed into a lake as part of a game with friends.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - When Ann Lawson strolls into her neighborhood grocery store, she really gets a workout.
VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) - Residents along the scenic Columbia River are hoping to persuade regulators to reject plans for what would be the Pacific Northwest's largest crude oil train terminal - the proposed destination for at least four trains a day, each more than a mile long.
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Courtney Force raced to the 100th victory by a female driver in NHRA history Sunday in the NHRA Kansas Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka.
Lakes, rivers and offshore waters are filling up with destructive fish and crustaceans originally from other parts of the world, many of them potential sources of food.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - At a recent meeting, the Tampa Bay Young Republicans recited the Pledge of Allegiance, prayed and then tackled the night's topic: marijuana.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The chairmen of House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees on Sunday decried long waits and backlogs at the nations VA hospitals but stopped short of calling for the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.