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.
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) - The Islamist-allied militia group in control of Libya's capital has "secured" a U.S. Embassy residential compound there, more than a month after American personnel evacuated from the country over ongoing fighting, one of its commanders said Sunday.
OS ANGELES (AP) - A group of sexy dancers backed Iggy Azalea as Rita Ora joined her on stage. Kendrick Lamar shared the spotlight with label-mate Schoolboy Q during his set. Afrojack got the crowd jumping, and Imagine Dragons closed out the evening.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Not long after Michael Sam waved to an adoring crowd at Missouri's season opener, he looked down at his cell phone.
HAPPY CAMP, Calif. (AP) - A pair of wildfires sparked by lightning nearly three weeks ago was still growing on Saturday while threatening as many as 250 homes in far Northern California.
ISLAMABAD (AP) - Pakistani police are clashing with scattered pockets of anti-government protesters trying to advance on the prime minister's residence after a night of violence that saw hundreds wounded and the first death in more than two weeks of demonstrations.
BRUSSELS (AP) - Despite tough rhetoric decrying Russia's increasing military involvement in Ukraine, European Union leaders on Sunday stopped short of imposing new sanctions against Moscow right away.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) - The Philippine military chief says more than 70 Filipino peacekeepers have escaped from two areas in the Golan Heights that came under attack by Syrian rebels.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - The mixed martial arts fighter known as War Machine has been extradited to Las Vegas to face charges he beat his porn star ex-girlfriend and then fled to California.
BEIRUT (AP) - Clashes erupted between al-Qaida-linked Syrian rebels and U.N. peacekeepers in the Golan Heights on Saturday after the militants surrounded their encampment, activists and officials said, as the international organization risked being sucked further into the conflict.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A year marked by the worst drought in a generation, the arrest of two state senators on federal corruption charges and a deadly rampage in a Santa Barbara college community drove support for legislation sent to Gov. Jerry Brown in the final weeks of the legislative session.
NAPA, Calif. (AP) - Napa Valley's seismically reinforced winery buildings generally held up to the largest earthquake to hit Northern California in a quarter-century, but the precious wine piled inside often did not.
BONANZA, Nicaragua (AP) - Nicaraguan rescuers have saved 22 of at least 26 workers trapped in a mine collapse and were working Saturday to free the rest, officials said.
FONTANA, Calif. (AP) - Rookie IndyCar driver Mikhail Aleshin was hospitalized in serious but stable condition Friday night after a frightening crash in the final practice session for the series season finale.
ATLANTA (AP) - Two candidates officially live with their parents. One rents a room from a contributor. Another won and lost elections in one state, then moved to another in a bid to get back into the U.S. Senate.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Western business connections are complicating efforts to bring economic sanctions against executives and companies closely aligned with Russian President Vladimir Putin's inner circle. A prime example: the Russian Direct Investment Fund, a $10 billion sovereign wealth fund that's escaped sanctions in spite of international efforts to punish Russia for its incursions in Ukraine.