WASHINGTON (AP) - A new Congress opened for business Thursday to confront long-festering national problems, deficits and immigration among them, in an intensely partisan and crisis-driven era of divided government. "The American dream is in peril," said House Speaker John Boehner, re-elected to his post despite a mini-revolt in Republican ranks.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A patchwork extension of federal farm programs passed as part of a larger "fiscal cliff" bill keeps the price of milk from rising but doesn't include many of the goodies that farm-state lawmakers are used to getting for their rural districts.
DENVER (AP) - Relatives of those killed at a Colorado movie theater rejected an invitation Wednesday to attend its planned reopening, calling it a "disgusting offer" that came at a terrible time - right after the first Christmas without their loved ones.
MONROE, Conn. (AP) - On a tour Wednesday of his daughter's new school, Vinny Alvarez took a moment to thank her third-grade teacher, who protected the class from a rampaging gunman by locking her classroom door and keeping the children in a corner.
AKRON, Ohio (AP) - Aiden and Donavyn didn't wait until New Year's Day to come screaming into the world, but the circumstances of their births are still pretty special: The babies were born about two hours apart to Ohio mothers who are identical twins.
WASHINGTON (AP) - While the tax package that Congress passed New Year's Day will protect 99 percent of Americans from an income tax increase, most of them will still end up paying more federal taxes in 2013.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Congress' hectic resolution of the "fiscal cliff" crisis is the latest in a long series of decisions by lawmakers and the White House to do less than promised - and to ask Americans for little sacrifice - in confronting the nation's burgeoning debt.
MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER IN CONCRETE BODY CASE: WHITTIER (AP) - Los Angeles County prosecutors have charged a 45-year-old man with murder in the case of a body found in concrete at a heating and air conditioning business.
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican who has praised President Barack Obama's handling of Superstorm Sandy, on Wednesday blasted U.S. House Speaker John Boehner for delaying a vote for federal storm relief.
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple after answering an online ad is fighting the state's efforts to suddenly force him to pay child support for the now 3-year-old girl, arguing that he and the women signed an agreement waiving all of his parental rights.
DUNMORE, Pa. (AP) - Police say a wrong-way driver ended up going 18 miles on an interstate in northeastern Pennsylvania.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - As Utah's air quality worsens, state regulators are working on a set of plans to limit everyday emissions, from banning the sale of aerosol deodorants and hair spray to prohibiting wood burning in fireplaces more often.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's comments about 47 percent of the population dependent on the government and "binders full of women" topped this year's best quotes, according to a Yale University librarian.
WOMAN STUMBLES, FALLS ON NYC SUBWAY TRACKS, DIES: NEW YORK (AP) - New York City police say a young woman stumbling around on a Manhattan subway platform not far from Times Square fell onto the tracks and was killed by a train.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Crews aboard two aircraft flew over an oil drilling ship Tuesday that went aground in a severe Alaska storm and saw no sign that the vessel was leaking fuel or that its hull had been breached.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Jan Harding and her husband had just arrived at a Utah restaurant for a relaxing lunch with friends when she filled her cup with sweet tea from a self-serve beverage station.
SEATTLE (AP) - Police in Washington state are asking the public to stop tweeting during shootings and manhunts to avoid accidentally telling the bad guys what officers are doing.
GARWOOD, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey man took down a black flag with Arabic letters he's been flying outside his home for 10 years after complaints arose on Twitter about its association with Islamic militants.
CORSICANA, Texas (AP) - A teenager lived undetected for two days at a 24-hour Wal-Mart in Texas after running away from his aunt's home, police said Wednesday.
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - Protests in the St. Louis suburb rocked by racial unrest since a white police officer shot an unarmed black teenager to death turned violent Wednesday night, with people lobbing Molotov cocktails at police who responded with smoke bombs and tear gas to disperse the crowd.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A 57-year-old woman drove herself to a hospital after she was mauled by a brown bear in Alaska, state troopers said Wednesday.
MAN ACCUSED OF DISMEMBERING 5 DOGS AT NEVADA MOTEL: RENO, Nev. (AP) - A 24-year-old man is accused of killing and dismembering several dogs and keeping their heads in small refrigerator in a Nevada motel room.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Los Angeles City Council has finalized a $26 million payment to settle a lawsuit over a ban on lunchtime naps by garbage truck drivers.
CHARLOTTE, S.C. (AP) - A Charlotte woman is facing charges after police say she helped her son set himself on fire in a videotaped stunt known as the "fire challenge" that's gaining popularity on social media and has left at least two other children with severe burns.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Once-teeming Lake Mead marinas are idle as a 14-year drought steadily drops water levels to historic lows. Officials from nearby Las Vegas are pushing conservation but also are drilling a new pipeline to keep drawing water from the lake.
NEW YORK (AP) - Lauren Bacall, the slinky, sultry-voiced actress who created on-screen magic with Humphrey Bogart in "To Have and Have Not" and "The Big Sleep" and off-screen magic in one of Hollywood's most storied marriages, died Tuesday at age 89.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The heat records keep falling for California. The state has had its hottest first seven months of the year, crushing the previous mark.
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - Members of a Black Hills family and their friends acknowledge that a betting pool they run on how many bikers will die during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota is a bit macabre, but they say they mean no harm.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Five law students have sued a Florida software company over a computer submission system that malfunctioned while they and thousands of others across the country were taking the bar exam one day in July - showing that future attorneys may be the last people you want to anger.
CAMP PENDLETON (AP) - Another 130 U.S. troops arrived in Iraq on Tuesday on what the Pentagon described as a temporary mission to assess the scope of the humanitarian crisis facing thousands of displaced Iraqi civilians trapped on Sinjar Mountain and evaluate options for getting them out to safety.