VATICAN CITY (AP) - Signaling a dramatic shift in Vatican tone, Pope Francis said the Catholic Church had become obsessed by "small-minded rules" about how to be faithful and that pastors should instead emphasize compassion over condemnation when discussing divisive social issues of abortion, gays and contraception.
'NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Vince Sicari can tell all the lawyer jokes he wants - he just can't play a judge in real life.
HOLDER OF LUCKY POWERBALL TICKET A MYSTERY IN SC: LEXINGTON, S.C. (AP) - When they learned that a Powerball ticket worth $400 million had been sold at a gas station across the road, workers at Econ-O-Bug Termite and Pest Control said they had a few big, wishful dreams. But they didn't have the prized ticket in their hands, so they came to work as usual Thursday in their yellow bug-battling vans.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Here's the truth about a government "shutdown." The government doesn't shut down.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The government's sprawling system of background checks and security clearances is so unreliable it's virtually impossible to adequately investigate the nearly 5 million Americans who have them and make sure they can be trusted with access to military and sensitive civilian buildings, an Associated Press review found.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Former NFL offensive lineman Brian Holloway initially thought the Twitter photos showing young people partying at his family's second home in upstate New York were a hoax. Then he saw pictures of teenagers standing on the dining room table he bought with his Super Bowl bonus.
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Two teenage boys have been arrested in a bizarre sword attack on one teen's mother that reportedly included a discussion of killing the woman and eating her liver, a Spokane County sheriff's spokesman said Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Internal Revenue Service continued to target conservative political groups even after approving their applications for tax-exempt status, a key Republican lawmaker said Wednesday.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Clicking "Like" on Facebook is constitutionally protected free speech and can be considered the 21st century-equivalent of a campaign yard sign, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.
VIDEO CONFESSOR PLEADS GUILTY TO FATAL DUI IN OHIO: COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Confronted at a hospital by police who said he'd just killed a man, drunk driver Matthew Cordle was angry and in denial.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The man who gunned down 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday visited two hospitals in the weeks before the rampage but denied that he was depressed or having thoughts of harming himself or others, the Department of Veterans Affairs said Wednesday.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - If it seems that giant lottery jackpots have people lining up at convenience stores more frequently, just wait: More big payouts could be coming.
TOMS RIVER, N.J. (AP) - The massive fire that destroyed part of a Jersey shore boardwalk and dozens of businesses began accidentally in wiring damaged in Superstorm Sandy, and should prompt coastal property owners to get their own equipment inspected for similar danger, officials said Tuesday.
LYONS, Colo. (AP) - The emergency airlifts of flood victims waned Tuesday, leaving rescue crews to systematically search the nooks and crannies of the northern Colorado foothills and transportation officials to gauge what it will take to rebuild the wasted landscape.
TEXAS FOOTBALL PLAYER, 12, DIES AFTER ANT BITES: CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) - A 12-year-old boy died after apparently having a severe allergic reaction to ant bites he suffered while warming up during halftime of a South Texas middle school football game, officials confirmed Tuesday.
REDMOND, Wash. (AP) - Microsoft on Wednesday took the wraps off a new version of Windows - and a new wearable 3D gadget it calls the HoloLens.
DORAL, Fla. (AP) - Former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal is now a reserve police officer in South Florida.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Refusing to bend to the new Republican Congress, President Barack Obama unveiled Tuesday night an ambitious State of the Union agenda steeped in Democratic priorities, including tax increases on the wealthy, education and child care help for the middle class and a torrent of veto threats for the GOP's own plans.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The new Republican Congress understands Americans' suffering from the economy, health care system and Washington gridlock and will steer the country away from President Barack Obama's failed policies, the newly minted senator delivering her party's official response to the State of Union address promised Tuesday.
MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey woman accused of dousing her newborn daughter with accelerant, setting her on fire and leaving her in the middle of a road said little in her first court appearance Tuesday, appearing on video to answer to a murder charge.
CINCINNATI (AP) - Tons of concrete and steel covered the southbound lanes of a major artery Tuesday after an overpass collapse during demolition work left one worker dead, a tractor-trailer driver injured and police considering what the potential toll might have been had the accident occurred amid heavy traffic.
BOSTON (AP) - A man shot a doctor inside a leading Boston hospital Tuesday, critically wounding the physician before killing himself.
MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) - A man says enjoying a double quarter-pounder with cheese as he cruised down a highway outside Atlanta got him in trouble with the law - and a ticket for eating while driving.
NEW YORK (AP) - Empty seats were hard to come by at Clint Eastwood's "American Sniper" over the holiday weekend, where the R-rated Iraq War drama - all words seldom attached to "blockbuster" - rolled to the kind of runaway success that makes Hollywood sit up and take notice.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - A restaurant in an Atlantic City casino intended to honor Martin Luther King Jr. on his birthday by offering fried chicken, collard greens and macaroni and cheese, a casino official said Tuesday.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The death of 100 birds in the San Francisco Bay Area has baffled wildlife officials who say the creatures' feathers were coated with a mysterious substance that looks and feels like rubber cement.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Republicans running Congress have promised to use every weapon in their arsenal to take down President Barack Obama's health care law.
ATLANTA (AP) - Speakers honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. at his spiritual home in Atlanta repeated the same message on his national holiday Monday: We've come a long way, but there's still much to be done to fulfill King's dream.
ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) - Pope Francis is firmly upholding church teaching banning contraception, but said Monday that Catholics don't have to breed "like rabbits" and should instead practice "responsible parenting."
BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. (AP) - An estranged Florida couple's fight over whether to circumcise their son has become a rallying cry for those who denounce the procedure as barbaric.