WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. builders started work on homes in December at the fastest pace in 4 ½ years and finished 2012 as their best year for residential construction since the early stages of the housing crisis.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A federal judge considering San Francisco's public nudity ban rejected arguments Thursday that simply disrobing in public was protected political speech akin to flag burning.
CHICAGO (AP) - Lance Armstrong confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France during an interview with Oprah Winfrey, reversing more than a decade of denial.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Pentagon is stepping up aid for Mexico's bloody drug war with a new U.S.-based special operations headquarters to teach Mexican security forces how to hunt drug cartels the same way special operations teams hunt al-Qaida, according to documents and interviews with multiple U.S. officials.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration appeared to be in the dark Thursday about a hostage situation at a natural gas plant in Algeria, where Algerian forces launched a military assault to free dozens of foreign hostages, including an unknown number of Americans, held by Islamist militants.
AURORA, Colo. (AP) - The Colorado cinema where 12 people were killed and dozens injured in a shooting rampage nearly six months ago reopens Thursday with a remembrance ceremony and a private screening of the fantasy film "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" for survivors - but for some Aurora victims, the pain is still too much, the idea too horrific.
ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) - Algerian helicopters and special forces stormed a gas plant in the stony plains of the Sahara on Thursday to wipe out Islamist militants and free hostages from at least 10 countries. Bloody chaos ensued, leaving the fate of the fighters and many of the captives uncertain.
BEIRUT (AP) - A new video game based on Syria's civil war challenges players to make the hard choices facing the country's rebels. Is it better to negotiate peace with the regime of President Bashar Assad, for example, or dispatch jihadist fighters to kill pro-government thugs?
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Al Pacino will play Joe Paterno in a movie about the late Penn State football coach.
CHICAGO (AP) - Authorities plan to exhume the body of a Chicago businessman Friday in hopes of learning exactly how he ingested a lethal dose of cyanide.
NEW YORK (AP) - What's in an inch? Apparently, enough missing meat, cheese and tomatoes to cause an uproar.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The two biggest players in the nation's pursuit of high-speed rail said Thursday they'll work together to search for trains that will operate at up to 220 miles per hour along both coasts of the United States.
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - Despite written policies protecting farmland across Central California's agricultural heartland, the state's most productive region is on track to lose 570,000 acres of prime, irrigated land to development by 2050, according to a new report.
REDLANDS, Calif. (AP) - A head-on collision on a Southern California road has killed three people and seriously injured six others.
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf has been moved from a drug treatment center to the Montana State Prison for threatening a staff member and other unspecified behavioral problems at the center, a corrections official said Thursday.
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.