WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans stepped up their spending at retail businesses in September, reflecting higher consumer confidence. The increase was driven by another strong month of auto sales and the release of the iPhone5.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Union picketing has brought a temporary halt to second-season production of the NBC reality show "Fashion Star."
BEIJING (AP) - China's inflation eased further in September, giving the government more room to stimulate the country's slowing economy.
ATLANTA (AP) - Scattered across the carefully landscaped main campus of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are the staff on the front lines fighting a rare outbreak of fungal meningitis: A scientist in a white lab coat peers through a microscope at fungi on a glass slide. In another room, another researcher uses what looks like a long, pointed eye dropper to suck up DNA samples that will be tested for the suspect fungus.
CHICAGO (AP) - Shots that protect against cervical cancer do not make girls promiscuous, according to the first study to compare medical records for vaccinated and unvaccinated girls.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A man caught walking into the underwater rail tube between San Francisco and the East Bay has been taken into custody, and Bay Area Rapid Transit service across the tube has been restored.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Buyers of tablets that run Microsoft's newest operating system, Windows 8, are in for a pleasant musical surprise: they'll be able to handpick from a selection of millions of songs and stream them for free as long as they put up with an audio ad every 15 minutes.
BEIRUT (AP) - The Syrian regime was accused Sunday of dropping cluster bombs - indiscriminate scattershot munitions banned by most nations - in a new sign of desperation and disregard for its own people.
HESPERIA, Calif. (AP) - A dismembered and burned body has been found in a neighborhood in the San Bernardino County desert city of Hesperia.
NEW YORK (AP) - The families of people killed in the Sept. 11 attacks have been invited to military installations in four states to watch pretrial hearings in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for five men charged with planning or assisting the terrorist strike.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - The Coast Guard has launched a search off San Diego for a boat with five people aboard after receiving a call that the vessel taking on water.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - It had all the makings of an Olympic event: an indoor arena, play-by-play announcers, 7,000 enthusiastic fans, uniformed competitors from across the globe and swarms of cameras capturing every angle of the action. However, when the crowd erupted into a screaming frenzy each time a player met his demise, it felt much more like "The Hunger Games."
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - State inspection documents say corrosion that went unchecked - the suspected cause of a fire at a Chevron Corp. refinery in August - was linked to another fire at the San Francisco Bay area plant last year that prompted some workers to complain to regulators.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - It took much longer than expected, but the Space shuttle Endeavour has finally reached its permanent resting place at a Los Angeles museum.
NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. (AP) - Sixty-five years after becoming the first human to fly faster than the speed of sound, retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager is still making noise.
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.