SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Overcrowding in many county jails is forcing local sheriffs to assume the role traditionally held by judges in deciding who should make bail and how long convicts should serve behind bars, a state oversight agency said Thursday.
BEIRUT (AP) - Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview broadcast Thursday that he is "confident in victory" in his country's civil war, and he warned that Damascus would retaliate for any future Israeli airstrike on his territory.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - At least three tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma, including one in Tulsa, and two more hit Arkansas on Thursday as a powerful storm system moved through the middle of the country. At least nine people were injured.
OXON HILL, Md. (AP) - After years of heartbreakingly close calls, Arvind Mahankali conquered his nemesis, German, to become the champion speller in the English language.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Two dry-ice bombs exploded at Disneyland, prosecutors revealed Thursday as they filed a felony criminal count against an employee who worked at a vending cart near the Toontown section of the theme park.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Microsoft is trying to fix what it got wrong with its radical makeover of Windows. It's making the operating system easier to navigate and enabling users to set up the software so it starts in a more familiar format designed for personal computers.
OXON HILL, Md. (AP) - A spelling bee week that began with curiosity and angst over a new vocabulary test was set to end the familiar way - with bright kids spelling difficult words under the bright lights of prime-time television.
MARTINEZ, Calif. (AP) - Contra Costa County prosecutors have charged a former high school football coach with 16 counts of child sex abuse.
NEW YORK (AP) - A letter sent to the White House was similar to the poison-laced missives mailed to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and to his gun-control group in Washington, officials said Thursday.
CHICAGO (AP) - The defense depicts Sami Samir Hassoun as a uniquely gullible youth sucked into a terrorist plot during an alcohol-addled stretch of his life by an informant eager to please his FBI handlers.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Many people who buy their own health insurance could get surprises in the mail this fall: cancellation notices because their current policies aren't up to the basic standards of President Barack Obama's health care law.
SEATTLE (AP) - The Army staff sergeant charged with slaughtering 16 villagers in one of the worst atrocities of the Afghanistan war will plead guilty to avoid the death penalty in a deal that requires him to recount the horrific attack for the first time, his attorney told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is preparing to nominate former Bush administration official James Comey to head the FBI, people familiar with the decision said Wednesday.
NEW YORK (AP) - Two threatening letters containing traces of the deadly poison ricin were sent to Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York and his gun-control group in Washington, police said Wednesday.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Donations are pouring into Oklahoma as people around the country look to help residents affected by last week's violent tornado outbreak, but charities also are receiving plenty of items they don't need - tons of used clothes, shoes and stuffed animals that take up valuable warehouse space and clog distribution networks.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - When Shelly Sterling was approached by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer about buying the Los Angeles Clippers, the wife of disgraced team owner Donald Sterling did not know who he was. But in short order she convinced him the team was worth an unprecedented $2 billion.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - Representatives of two counties in far Northern California petitioned state officials Thursday for the right to form a 51st state called Jefferson, formally asking state lawmakers to vote on their proposal.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - High surf generated by a former hurricane in the eastern Pacific rolled onto Southern California beaches again Thursday, showing signs of diminishing but still bringing warnings of possible property damage and dangerous rip currents.
DEERFIELD, Va. (AP) - The pilot of an F-15 jet that crashed this week in remote Virginia mountains was killed, military officials said Thursday, bringing to a sad end an exhaustive two-day search involving more than 100 local, state and federal officials as well as volunteers.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown's nominee to the California Supreme Court was easily confirmed Thursday after a brief hearing.
NEW YORK (AP) - NFL players will be subject to a six-week suspension for a first domestic violence offense and banishment from the league for a second under a new policy outlined by Commissioner Roger Goodell.
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) - A third day of huge waves, dangerous rip currents and potential flooding was expected Thursday in Southern California as the coast felt the ripple effects of Tropical Storm Marie churning off the Mexican coast.
NEW YORK (AP) - Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were married Saturday in the French hamlet of Correns, a spokesman for the couple says.
NEW YORK (AP) - The Boss is getting into the picture book business.
GENEVA (AP) - The Ebola outbreak in West Africa eventually could exceed 20,000 cases, more than six times as many as are known now, the World Health Organization said Thursday as the United States announced plans to test an experimental Ebola vaccine.
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) - Thundering surf spawned by a Pacific hurricane pounded the Southern California coast Wednesday, causing minor flooding in a low-lying beach town while drawing daredevil surfers and body-boarders into churning, 20-foot waves as crowds of spectators lined the shore.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Donors have given nearly $700,000 to online fundraising sites set up to collect money for the family of a black 18-year-old and the white police officer who fatally shot him in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown say they have reached a deal that would offer $330 million a year in tax credits for Hollywood film productions over five years.
DAVIS, Calif. (AP) - Thirteen-year-old Nicholas Dillon's screams could be heard throughout his pitch black house when the earth shook and the falling bricks hit him. His mother, who later called it the worst night of her life, couldn't get to him.
VENTURA, Calif. (AP) - A former Camarillo High School administrator accused of inappropriately touching a student and an employee has pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges.