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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ISTANBUL (AP) - Pope Francis and the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians demanded an end to the persecution of religious minorities in Syria and Iraq on Sunday and called for a "constructive dialogue" with Muslims, capping the pontiff's three-day visit to Turkey with a strong show of Christian unity in the face of suffering and violence.
MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) - Pro-government candidates took the majority of contested seats in Bahrain's parliamentary election on Sunday, although 13 independent Shiite candidates won mandates despite a boycott by the main opposition group, official results showed.
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) - China urged Taiwan to protect the gains of landmark cooperation between the mainland and the self-ruled island after Taiwan's pro-Beijing ruling party was routed in local elections.
LISBON, Portugal (AP) - In Spain, citizens are fuming over tales of a secret political slush fund. In Portugal, people are aghast that a former prime minister has been jailed awaiting a possible trial for corruption. In both austerity-hit countries, mounting revelations of graft among the political class are fueling the emergence of new parties that have captured the mood of disaffected voters by offering a message of change.
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) - Ruling party candidate Tabare Vazquez easily won Uruguay's presidential election on Sunday, returning to power a left-leaning coalition that has helped legalize gay marriage and moved to create the world's first state-run marijuana marketplace.
NEW YORK (AP) - Black Friday fatigue is setting in.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Taliban suicide attackers killed the South African leader of a foreign aid group, his son and daughter and an Afghan worker in an assault on the agency's Kabul offices, authorities said Sunday, as the city's police chief resigned in the wake of the latest insurgent attack there.
NEW YORK (AP) - For Kathy Murphy, the difference between being gay or straight is $583 a month.
NEW YORK (AP) - After a busy holiday weekend in shopping malls, millions of Americans are expected to log on and keep shopping on the day dubbed Cyber Monday.
NEW YORK (AP) - Authorities at John F. Kennedy International Airport said they found nothing dangerous Sunday on an American Airlines plane after a bomb threat was phoned in and the aircraft arrived from Spain.