LOS ANGELES (AP) - Nine California school districts are submitting a joint application to the U.S. Department of Education for a waiver of stringent school standards and are proposing an alternative way to measure performance.
The text of Pope Benedict XVI's comments, delivered to a roaring crowd in Castel Gandolfo:
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (AP) - Pope Benedict XVI greeted the faithful for the last time as pope on Thursday, telling well-wishers that he is beginning the final stage of his life as "simply a pilgrim," hours before he becomes the first pontiff in 600 years to resign.
CLINTON, Miss. (AP) - Michelle Obama on Wednesday congratulated this Southern state for a more than 13 percent drop in its child obesity rates, saying its example should inspire the rest of the country.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - State Supreme Court justices sparred with lawyers on Wednesday in a heated hour of arguments over the extent to which a now-fired public school science teacher had the right to push his religious beliefs in class.
NORTH STONINGTON, Conn. (AP) - Debra Denison's struggles with mental illness were well known in her family, and when she wanted to pick up her grandsons from day care to mark the older boy's birthday, mother Brenda Perry hesitated.
WASHINGTON (AP) - It's not just honey bees that are in trouble. The fuzzy American bumblebee seems to be disappearing in the Midwest.
MILWAUKEE (AP) - A Midwest snowstorm packing heavy snow and strong winds left six people dead in Kansas, hundreds of vehicles crashed or stranded in Wisconsin, and tens of thousands of utility customers without power in Michigan.
BOSTON (AP) - Loved ones knew it was her at the hospital when they saw her teeth.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - For a time in Cold War America, Van Cliburn had all the trappings of a rock star: sold-out concerts, adoring, out-of-control fans and a name recognized worldwide. He even got a ticker-tape parade in New York City.
"Hello world from comms center in (hash)Pyongyang."
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Benedict XVI bid an emotional farewell Wednesday on the eve of his retirement, recalling moments of "joy and light" during his papacy, but also times of difficulty when "it seemed like the Lord was sleeping."
CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) - Apple CEO Tim Cook sought to reassure shareholders worried about the company's sagging stock price that the iPhone and iPad maker is on the verge of inventing more breakthrough products that will prove it hasn't lost its creative edge.
NEW YORK (AP) - Boy, it just wasn't J.C. Penney's year.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court's conservative justices voiced deep skepticism Wednesday about a section of a landmark civil rights law that has helped millions of Americans exercise their right to vote.
SOUTH PASADENA (AP) - Investigators acting on a tip unraveled a plot to carry out a mass shooting at a suburban Los Angeles high school, arresting a pair of students who planned to target three school staffers and kill as many people as possible, police said Tuesday.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Legislation sent to the governor's desk Tuesday intends to crack down on people who try to make immigrants pay unnecessary fees for driver's licenses.
They've lined the streets with police in riot gear, brought in a new black commander with an empathetic manner, imposed a curfew, lifted it and deployed the National Guard - and still the violence erupts nightly in the town of Ferguson, Missouri.
ISLAMABAD (AP) - Tens of thousands of protesters armed with wire cutters and backed by cranes broke through barriers protecting Pakistan's parliament and other government buildings Tuesday night, demanding the country's prime minister resign.
ANGLETON, Texas (AP) - A drunk driver did not deserve "execution" by a Texas father accused of taking the law into his own hands in a fit of rage over the killing of his two sons in a wreck, a prosecutor told jurors on Tuesday.
MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) - Three Liberian health workers receiving an experimental drug for Ebola are showing signs of recovery, officials said Tuesday, though medical experts caution it is not certain if the drug is effective.
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - The National Guard arrived in Ferguson but kept its distance from the streets where protesters clashed again with police, as clouds of tear gas and smoke hung over the St. Louis suburb where Michael Brown was fatally shot by a police officer.
BAGHDAD (AP) - Skirmishes broke out Tuesday between Iraqi security forces and militants on the outskirts of Tikrit, a local official and a resident said, a day after the Iraqi and Kurdish troops backed by U.S. airstrikes dislodged Islamic militants from a strategic dam in the country's north.
SOUTH PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - Police said they prevented a "horrific tragedy" by arresting two teenage boys who plotted to kill three high school staffers then gun down as many students as possible in a quaint Los Angeles suburb.
DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) - Ukrainian government troops were fighting pro-Russian rebels in the streets of Luhansk on Tuesday and captured most of a town near the eastern city of Donetsk, tightening the noose around that key rebel-held stronghold, Ukrainian officials said.
MARIPOSA, Calif. (AP) - Firefighters from throughout California were being dispatched Tuesday to protect homes threatened by an out-of-control wildfire burning in the foothills near Yosemite National Park, the second fire around the park in recent weeks.
NEW YORK (AP) - Few would recognize his face, but most knew his voice: the booming baritone that for nearly four decades heralded "Saturday Night Live."
GLENDORA (AP) - One of several wildfires burning across California prompted widespread evacuations Monday in a central California foothill community near Yosemite National Park, authorities said.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Pacific Gas & Electric Co. pleaded not guilty Monday to charges in a new indictment that accuses the utility of lying to federal investigators looking into a fatal pipeline explosion in a San Francisco Bay Area neighborhood.
NEW YORK (AP) - The nation's top dollar store chains are betting big that their once-thriving business will make a comeback if they band together.