VATICAN CITY (AP) - The Vatican insists that the cardinals participating in the upcoming conclave will vote their conscience, each influenced only by silent prayers and reflection. Everybody knows, however, that power plays, vested interests and Machiavellian maneuvering are all part of the game, and that the horse-trading is already under way.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday accused the Taliban and the U.S. of working in concert to convince Afghans that violence will worsen if most foreign troops leave - an allegation the top American commander in Afghanistan rejected as "categorically false."
LOS ANGELES (AP) - "Oz the Great and the Powerful" clicked with moviegoers.
GRAY, Ky. (AP) - Family members say the uncle of one of the seven victims of a rural Kentucky house fire desperately tried to save them from the burning home.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is close to naming Thomas Perez, a civil rights official in the Justice Department, as his choice to head the Department of Labor, two people familiar with the process say.
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Cardinals from around the world gather this week in a conclave to elect a new pope following the stunning resignation of Benedict XVI. In the secretive world of the Vatican, there is no way to know who is in the running, and history has yielded plenty of surprises. Yet several names have come up repeatedly as strong contenders. Here is a look at who they are:
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The future is unclear for a promising heart device aimed at preventing strokes in people at high risk of them because of an irregular heartbeat.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama will unleash his inner funnyman when he joins political leaders and foes, journalists who cover them and media executives for a night of bipartisan satire at the 128th annual Gridiron Club and Foundation dinner.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A sailor died and five others were rescued after abandoning a racing boat that lost its steering capability and drifted to an island off Southern California, where it was broken apart by crashing waves, the Coast Guard said Saturday.
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Venezuela's electoral council has set a presidential election for April 14 to choose the successor to President Hugo Chavez.
JALALABAD, Afghanistan (AP) - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he believes U.S. officials will be able to work things out with Afghan leaders who have ordered special operations forces out of Wardak province, even as commandos face a Monday deadline to leave.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The eight senators meet in private several times a week, alternating between Sen. John McCain's and Sen. Charles Schumer's offices. They sit in arm chairs arranged in a circle and sip water or soft drinks as they debate temporary workers and border security. In a capital riven by partisanship and gridlock, they are determined to be the exception and actually get something done.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, the charismatic al-Qaida spokesman, fundraiser and son-in-law to Osama bin Laden, is likely to have a vast trove of knowledge about the terror network's central command but not much useful information about current threats or plots, intelligence officials and other experts say.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Increased hiring, lower unemployment, stock market on the rise. Who gets the credit?
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Militants staged two suicide attacks that killed at least 19 people on Saturday, the first full day of U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's visit to Afghanistan. They were a fresh reminder of the challenges posed by insurgents to the U.S.-led NATO force as it hands over the country's security to the Afghans.
CONROE, Texas (AP) - A Texas man accused of dousing a boy with gasoline and setting him on fire when he was a teenager can be tried as an adult for murder after the victim died from his burns nearly 13 years later, a judge ruled Thursday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - In a long-expected, election-year skirmish, House Republicans are moving to block President Barack Obama's plan to limit carbon pollution from new power plants.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A U.S. Army general accused of sexually assaulting a junior officer will admit guilt on three lesser charges but maintains his innocence on allegations that he forced her to perform oral sex, his lawyer said Wednesday night.
NEW YORK (AP) - So far, 2014 is looking like the year of the big deal.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Essay optional. No penalties for wrong answers. The SAT college entrance exam is undergoing sweeping revisions.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin is a tough but thin-skinned leader who is squandering his country's potential, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday, a day after she likened his actions on the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine to those of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s.
NEW YORK (AP) - Target Corp.'s executive ranks have suffered their first casualty since hackers stole credit card numbers and other personal data of millions of the retailer's shoppers last year.
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis is coming under increasing criticism that he simply doesn't get it on sex abuse.
SAN JOSE (AP) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is making a swing through the Silicon Valley where he met with high-tech leaders and signed a pro-business agreement with Gov. Jerry Brown.
PARIS (AP) - Pro-Russian citizens in Ukraine's Crimea region must be willing to replace armed forces with international observers if the new government allows a vote for more autonomy, Ukraine's foreign minister said Wednesday ahead of a possible meeting with Moscow's top diplomat.
NEW YORK (AP) - A prosecutor at the New York trial of Osama bin Laden's son-in-law says he used the "murderous power of his words" to rally others against America after the Sept. 11 attacks.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration took steps Wednesday to support the defenses of U.S. allies in Europe in response to Russia's takeover of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula.
LONDON (AP) - Just try sugar-coating this: The World Health Organization says your daily sugar intake should be just 5 percent of your total calories - half of what the agency previously recommended, according to new draft guidelines published Wednesday.
Authorities say unemployment and drug addiction have spurred an increase in the destructive practice of cutting off the knobby growths at the base of ancient redwood trees to make decorative pieces like lacey-grained coffee tables and wall clocks.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Los Angeles City Council has moved to ban the use of electronic cigarettes in workplaces and public areas.