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.
NEW YORK (AP) - Tens of millions of people along the Philadelphia-to-Boston corridor rushed to get home and settle in Monday as a fearsome storm swirled in with the potential for hurricane-force winds and 1 to 3 feet of snow that could paralyze the Northeast for days.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Law enforcement is concerned that the popular Waze mobile traffic app by Google Inc., which provides real-time road conditions, can also be used to hunt and harm police.
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) - A 15-year-old boy unintentionally fatally shot his 13-year-old brother while playing "cops and robbers" after the boys discovered their father's hidden gun at a Minnesota home, police said Monday.
DENVER (AP) - Denver police shot and killed a young woman who struck and injured an officer in a stolen car, authorities said Monday.
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) - A confounding and heartbreaking murder case alleging that a mother purposely poisoned her 5-year-old son with salt and documented his decline on social media began Monday in the New York suburbs.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Solid economic growth will help the federal budget deficit shrink this year to its lowest level since President Barack Obama took office, according to congressional estimates released Monday.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - A former CIA officer was convicted Monday of leaking details of a covert mission to derail Iran's nuclear program in a case that, until the eve of the trial, was as much about the journalist who published the leaks as it was the accused leaker.
• WOMAN ACCUSED OF DROWNING PUPPY SO SHE COULD BOARD PLANE: GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) - A Florida woman is suspected of drowning a 2-week-old puppy in a Nebraska airport bathroom so she could board a plane.
CHICAGO (AP) - With virtually no hard proof that medical marijuana benefits sick children, and evidence that it may harm developing brains, the drug should only be used for severely ill kids who have no other treatment option, the nation's most influential pediatricians group says in a new policy.
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - President Barack Obama is proposing to designate the vast majority of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a wilderness area, including its potentially oil-rich coastal plain, drawing an angry response from top state elected officials who see it as a land grab by the federal government.
MIAMI (AP) - Miss Colombia Paulina Vega has been crowned Miss Universe, beating out first runner-up Miss USA Nia Sanchez and contestants from more than 80 other countries at Sunday's pageant in Miami.
NEW YORK (AP) - A "potentially historic" storm could dump 2 to 3 feet of snow from northern New Jersey to southern Maine starting Monday, crippling a region that has largely been spared so far this winter, the National Weather Service said.
KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) - Millions of genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in the Florida Keys if British researchers win approval to use the bugs against two extremely painful viral diseases.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Anti-abortion activists attending a march in San Francisco on Saturday offered personal stories about how an abortion negatively affected their lives and expressed renewed hope that the procedure will be outlawed or at least further curtailed now that Republicans are back in control of Congress.