ROCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - From their New Hampshire home, the parents of a foreign journalist who has been missing in Syria since he was kidnapped more than a month ago appealed to his captors for compassion and any information about their son's health and welfare.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A parent who was "All Shook Up" about Elvis Presley songs in a high-school drama prompted educators to cancel the musical, deeming it too sexual. But the decision was reversed Thursday by administrators at the high school south of Salt Lake City.
NEW DELHI (AP) - Five men accused of raping a university student for hours on a bus as it drove through India's capital were charged with murder, rape and other crimes that could bring them the death penalty.
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.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Sheriff's officials say a Sacramento-area woman who reported her autistic son missing only to have deputies discover him in plain sight inside her messy apartment has been arrested on suspicion of child endangerment.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A South Los Angeles man who went on the run for a decade was sentenced to 32 years to life in prison Thursday for a botched robbery that killed a German tourist and shocked suburban Santa Monica.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A rapt crowd followed a trail of bubbles that zipped over the surface of a seaside pond in the ruins of a 19th century bath in San Francisco.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - California Attorney General Kamala Harris is suing ConocoPhillips and its spinoff, Phillips 66, over underground tanks used to store gasoline at more than 500 gas stations in the state.
NEW YORK (AP) - Hormel Foods apparently has a hankering for a peanut butter and bacon sandwich. The company primarily known for Spam and other cured, smoked and deli meats said Thursday that it's buying Skippy, the country's No. 2 peanut butter brand, in its biggest-ever acquisition.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Scientists are abuzz about a rock from Mars that landed in the Sahara desert: A yearlong analysis revealed it's quite different from other Martian meteorites.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The House and Senate ushered in a new Congress Thursday, re-electing embattled Republican John Boehner speaker and hailing one of its own senators who returned a year after being felled by a stroke.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The House and Senate ushered in a new Congress Thursday, hewing to tradition and hailing one of its own who returned a year after being felled by a stroke.
MARION, Mass. (AP) - A stray cat that spent at least a week stuck in a Massachusetts tree before plunging 80 feet to the ground and fleeing has been found, and all things considered, appears to be in good health.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Al-Jazeera, the Pan-Arab news channel that struggled to win space on American cable television, has acquired Current TV, boosting its reach in the U.S. nearly ninefold to about 40 million homes. With a focus on U.S. news, it plans to rebrand the left-leaning news network that cofounder Al Gore couldn't make relevant.
ELLSWORTH, Maine (AP) - A signed copy of a rare Stephen King book is up for auction at a Maine bookstore, with proceeds going to a nearby homeless shelter's emergency home heating fund.
U.S. stocks continued a two-day slide Thursday on weak economic data and concern about the Federal Reserve's resolve to keep juicing the economy.
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) - Ahead of a judge's decision on whether to release Oscar Pistorius on bail, South African police on Thursday appointed a new chief detective in the murder case, replacing a veteran policeman who was himself charged with attempted murder.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Nominations morning last month revealed major surprises for the Academy Awards, promising one of the most wide-open campaigns ever for Hollywood's highest honors.
ISLAMABAD (AP) - At least half the Afghan Taliban recently freed from Pakistani prisons have rejoined the insurgency, a Pakistani intelligence official says, throwing into question the value of such goodwill gestures that the Afghan government requested to restart a flagging peace process.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - The Las Vegas Strip became a scene of deadly violence early Thursday when someone in a black Range Rover opened fire on a Maserati at a stoplight, sending it crashing into a taxi that burst into flames, leaving three people dead and at least six injured.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A group of San Francisco Star Wars fans who want to travel to a galaxy not that far away have created a combat choreography class for Jedis-in-training with their weapon of choice: the lightsaber.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration is quietly considering urging the Supreme Court to overturn California's ban on gay marriage, a step that would mark a political victory for advocates of same-sex unions and a deepening commitment by President Barack Obama to rights for gay couples.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The U.S. Justice Department and the five Gulf coast states affected by a massive oil spill nearly three years ago have indicated they would like to settle their environmental and economic claims with BP PLC ahead of a trial scheduled to start next week.
THOMSON, Ga. (AP) - Federal and local authorities were investigating Thursday after a small jet crashed off the end of a runway at a Georgia airport, killing five people and injuring two.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Canadian tourist Elisa Lam had been missing for about two weeks when officials at the historic Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles found her body in a water cistern on the hotel roof.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Much of the nation's heartland awoke Thursday to heavy snow, treacherous roads and a day off from work or school as a large, potentially dangerous winter storm pushed eastward out of the Rockies.
TUSTIN, Calif. (AP) - The first of three people killed in a gunman's rampage was identified Wednesday as a 20-year-old woman but police did not know why she was in the home of the shooter, who lived with his parents and was described by authorities as a video game-playing loner.
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Bolivian President Evo Morales said Wednesday that he was unable to meet with his friend and ally Hugo Chavez when he came to the military hospital in Caracas where the Venezuelan president is undergoing unspecified cancer treatment.