WASHINGTON (AP) - A flurry of reports Thursday showed that U.S. consumers are growing more confident and spending more, boosting a still-weak economy just five days before the presidential election.
U.S. stocks rose strongly Thursday following positive reports about manufacturing and consumer confidence, two keys elements of the economic recovery.
ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - Presidential politics reignited in the wake of natural disaster Thursday, with the candidates beginning their full-throttle closing arguments with new vigor on the same pocketbook concerns that have dominated the campaign from the start.
UNION, Wash. (AP) - A flooding river covered a road in Washington, allowing some migrating salmon to swim across the pavement.
XILINHOT, China (AP) - In a small town in northern China's Inner Mongolia where sheep and cattle easily outnumber humans, Fan Chen paid a Communist Party boss three times an average urban resident's annual salary to become a local police chief.
PHOENIX (AP) - A Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Phoenix home that had been slated for demolition will apparently survive under a new owner.
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A smog-like haze that hung over part of Alaska's Kodiak Island this week was courtesy of a volcanic eruption - 100 years ago.
HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) - Donnie Lee Roberts, convicted in his girlfriend's 2003 slaying in Texas, was executed Wednesday for fatally shooting the woman and taking items from her home to sell or trade to support his drug habit.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Flames from a derailed train car sent people rushing out of neighborhoods and an entire town near Louisville on Wednesday while firefighters tried to douse the chemical blaze that left three workers badly burned.
ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Greece's government on Wednesday outlined the new austerity measures it intends to take over the next two years, a series of painful spending cuts and tax hikes that its international bailout creditors are demanding in exchange for rescue loans.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Brad Pitt has agreed to donate $100,000 to help the Human Rights Campaign raise money for its efforts to support same-sex marriage initiatives in several states.
BEIRUT (AP) - Syrian warplanes fired missiles at opposition strongholds around Damascus and in the north on Wednesday as Turkey, a key backer of the anti-regime rebels, appeared to distance itself from an earlier call to impose a no-fly zone.
LONDON (AP) - His career is in ruins and now an effigy of Lance Armstrong is about to go up in smoke.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Naysayers would have you believe Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm can only mean one thing: Bambi and Mickey Mouse are sure to appear in future "Star Wars" movies taking up lightsabers against the dark side of the Force.
YUMA, Ariz. (AP) - Suspected smugglers who tried to use ramps to drive an SUV over a 14-foot-tall border fence had to abandon their plan when the Jeep became stuck on top of the barrier, authorities said Wednesday.
BANGKOK (AP) - Desperate to defuse Thailand's deepening political crisis, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra dissolved Parliament's lower house on Monday and called early elections. But protesters seeking to topple her vowed to carry on their fight, saying they cannot win the polls because of corruption.
A look at America's "new rich," a rising demographic group, according to survey data provided to The Associated Press:
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama headed to South Africa on Monday to speak at a national memorial service for anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela. He was joined on Air Force One by former President George W. Bush and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - A top Ukrainian opposition party says heavily armed riot police have stormed its office in downtown Kiev. The move comes as the Ukrainian capital has been crippled by massive anti-government protests.
NEW YORK (AP) - The Sportsman Channel said Monday it has hired Sarah Palin to be host of a weekly outdoors-oriented program that will celebrate the "red, wild and blue" lifestyle.
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Pakistani leaders Monday that if they don't resolve protests stalling some military shipments across the border with Afghanistan, it could be difficult to maintain political support in Washington for an aid program that has sent billions of dollars to Islamabad, defense officials said.
JOHANNESBURG (AP) - South Africa says United States President Barack Obama and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be among world leaders speaking at a mass memorial service for Nelson Mandela.
SAN QUENTIN, Calif. (AP) - The budding entrepreneurs wear blue sweat pants labeled "prisoner" and huge, flapping blue shirts. Their doors are triple locked, and lunch is a stale peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Complicating matters, participants in this growing Silicon Valley startup incubator are barred from the Internet.
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians rallied Sunday in Kiev, denouncing President Viktor Yanukovych's decision to turn away from Europe and move toward Russia. It was the country's biggest protest since its pro-democracy Orange Revolution in 2004.
JOHANNESBURG (AP) - Nelson Mandela wasn't on life support and had many family members and doctors close by in his final hours, a family friend who was at his bedside said Sunday.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Rain, snow, sleet and freezing rain began to glaze most of the Mid-Atlantic on Sunday, with officials urging people to stay off the roads, as North Texas and other states shook off the early remnants of the powerful storm.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Happy or sad? Content or bored? And how many times did you smile yesterday? A panel of experts thinks Uncle Sam should be more in touch with our feelings.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The California health exchange says it's been giving the names of tens of thousands of consumers to insurance agents without their permission or knowledge in an effort to hit deadlines for coverage.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A magnitude-4.5 earthquake in central Oklahoma shook residents Saturday, just weeks after the two-year anniversary of the strongest earthquake ever recorded in the Sooner state, and was followed by two smaller temblors later in the day.
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) - About 50 survivors of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor paused Saturday at the site to honor those killed and remember the moment that plunged the U.S. into World War II.