ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) - The bloody three-day hostage standoff at a Sahara natural gas plant took a dramatic turn Friday as Algeria's state news service reported that nearly 100 of the 132 foreign workers kidnapped by Islamic militants had been freed.
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.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A judge has blocked a marijuana farmers market in Los Angeles and ordered organizers to shut down their business.
SAN RAMON, Mexico (AP) - The lumbering freight train known as "The Beast," a key part of the route for migrants heading north to the United States, rolled to an abrupt, unscheduled stop in the black of midnight.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A woman in her 90s and a man in his 70s died after fire burned a condominium building in Encino, fire officials said Friday.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - The accidental killing of a firing range instructor by a 9-year-old girl learning to shoot an Uzi unleashed a storm of criticism and anger, with much of it aimed at her parents.
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas blamed Hamas on Friday for needlessly extending fighting with Israel in the Gaza Strip, casting doubt on the future of the Palestinian unity government that the Islamic militant group backs.
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.