CHICAGO (AP) - Act I, Scene 1: Four actors in well-worn coveralls and baseball caps take the stage at the county jail. They're here to tell a tale of love, friendship, jealousy and betrayal. It's the stuff of Shakespearean tragedy. The names and themes haven't changed over the centuries, but the language has a modern beat:
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The huge Sierra Nevada wildfire and its smoke plume have caused some fearful tourists to opt out of plans for the last big travel weekend of the summer, but most appear intent to go through with vacations to destinations such as Yosemite National Park and Lake Tahoe.
PARIS (AP) - The United States found itself Friday with France as its only major partner in a potential strike against Syria, after a stunning rejection of military force in Parliament forced Britain, America's staunchest ally, to pull out of any operation.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Despite 75 years of federal marijuana prohibition, the Justice Department said Thursday that states can let people use the drug, license people to grow it and even allow adults to stroll into stores and buy it - as long as the weed is kept away from kids, the black market and federal property.
NEW YORK (AP) - Valerie Harper's doctor says the actress' brain cancer is getting close to remission.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - A 15,000-square-foot Las Vegas mansion once owned by Liberace was sold for $500,000 in cash to a British businessman who said he learned to play the piano after being inspired by the flamboyant performer.
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) - Powerful thunderstorms are lashing inland areas of Southern California east of Los Angeles.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - News that hundreds of threatened desert tortoises face euthanasia with the pending closure of a refuge near Las Vegas has generated a storm of reaction that has government officials scrambling to find alternatives and fielding offers from people wishing to adopt the reptiles or make donations.
NEW YORK (AP) - Fast-food workers in dozens of U.S. cities walked off the job Thursday in their largest round of protests yet, saying they cannot get by on what they earn and must have higher wages.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The NFL has reached a tentative $765 million settlement over concussion-related brain injuries among its 18,000 retired players, agreeing to compensate victims, pay for medical exams and underwrite research.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is leaving office in disgrace amid sexual harassment allegations and many unanswered questions, including how someone who acknowledged mistreating women for many years could have survived for so long in politics.
VIENNA (AP) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday that U.N. experts seeking to collect evidence from an apparent chemical attack in Syria that killed hundreds of people will report to him as soon as they leave the country Saturday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Driving in America has stalled, leading researchers to ask: Is the national love affair with the automobile over?
WASHINGTON (AP) - Striving to take action where Congress would not, the Obama administration announced new steps Thursday on gun control, curbing the import of military surplus weapons and proposing to close a little-known loophole that lets felons and others circumvent background checks by registering guns to corporations.
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) - A massive rocket carrying a spy satellite for the U.S. government launched from the central California coast Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Citing a potential threat to public health, the Food and Drug Administration is taking steps toward phasing out the use of some antibiotics in animals processed for meat.
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - Opposition protesters in Ukraine have rejected President Viktor Yanukovych's offer of talks, saying they will not sit down with him until he fires his government and releases all arrested demonstrators.
NEW YORK (AP) - Time magazine selected Pope Francis as its Person of the Year on Wednesday, saying the Catholic Church's new leader has changed the perception of the 2,000-year-old institution in an extraordinary way in a short time.
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) - World leaders and thousands of South Africans on Wednesday filed past the flag-draped casket containing the body of Nelson Mandela, having a final look at the anti-apartheid icon in the amphitheater where he was sworn in 19 years earlier as the country's first black president.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Asiana Airlines captain who crashed a Boeing 777 at San Francisco International Airport in July told investigators he was "very concerned" about attempting a visual approach because the runway's automatic landing aids were out of service due to construction, according to an investigative report released Wednesday.
NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) - Despite a year of setbacks, the parents of children lost in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre insist they won't lose the fight to reduce gun violence.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Shedding gridlock, key members of Congress reached a modest budget agreement Tuesday to restore about $63 billion in automatic spending cuts from programs ranging from parks to the Pentagon and eliminate the threat of another partial government shutdown early next year.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The parents of a Marine sergeant who died while stationed in Greece say that they discovered weeks after his funeral that his body had been sent home without a heart - and that the Department of Defense later gave them somebody else's heart in its place.