WASHINGTON (AP) - The 2012 presidential election broke the $2 billion milestone in its final weeks, becoming the most expensive in American political history, according to final federal finance reports released Thursday. The reports detailed a last-minute cascade of money from mega-donors and an onslaught of spending by the Obama and Romney campaigns and "super" political action committees.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - California has transformed into a major player in stem cell research, but the taxpayer-funded institute responsible has "significant deficiencies" in how research dollars are distributed, experts said Thursday.
SEATTLE (AP) - Hundreds of same-sex couples across Washington state started picking up marriage licenses Thursday as a voter-approved law legalizing gay marriage took effect.
STOCKHOLM (AP) - This year's Nobel Prize in literature winner, Mo Yan, who has been criticized for his membership in China's Communist Party and reluctance to speak out against the country's government, defended censorship Thursday as something as necessary as airport security checks.
KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) - Mosquito control officials in the Florida Keys are waiting for the federal government to sign off on an experiment that would release hundreds of thousands of genetically modified mosquitoes to reduce the risk of dengue fever in the tourist town of Key West.
TOKYO (AP) - Influential scientists who help set Japan's radiation exposure limits have for years had trips paid for by the country's nuclear plant operators to attend overseas meetings of the world's top academic group on radiation safety.
MALIBU, Calif. (AP) - A whale carcass rotting near celebrity homes in Malibu is causing a gigantic cleanup problem as authorities try to decide who's responsible for getting rid of it.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A man who left his vehicle in search of help after he and his girlfriend got stuck in a Sierra snowstorm has been found dead, but his girlfriend survived.
CAIRO (AP) - Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi offered nothing concrete to defuse the country's worst political crisis in nearly two years in a nationally televised speech late Thursday, refusing to rescind a disputed constitution drafted by his allies or his decrees giving him near absolute powers.
CLARKSBORO, N.J. (AP) - Federal regulations require inspections of rail bridges and other infrastructure and reports on accidents, but leave it to freight railroad owners to do the work themselves.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - More than two dozen people were charged Thursday with racketeering conspiracy stemming from an investigation that targeted South Los Angeles gangs controlled by a Mexican Mafia member serving a life sentence for murder.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) - Derrick Weitlich and his friend Leslie Martinez arrived at the Magic Kingdom at 5:40 a.m. Thursday, wanting to be among the first to visit the park's New Fantasyland. Getting up early was worth it, said these Melbourne, Fla., Disney fans, who estimated that they have visited the park some 180 times. "I love Beauty and the Beast," said Martinez, while standing in front of the new Gaston's Tavern restaurant. "And I'm very picky when it comes to details about Beauty and the Beast." Martinez and Weitlich weren't disappointed. From ...
EVANSDALE, Iowa (AP) - Five months after two young cousins vanished while riding their bikes, residents of the northeast Iowa community where they were last seen are anxiously waiting to hear whether two bodies found by hunters are those of the missing girls.
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Walking the catwalk in a Brazilian bikini is a nerve-racking experience for even the most seasoned of models, but for Felipa Tavares it's nothing short of terrifying.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - A Gaza park was attacked Monday, killing at least 10 Palestinians, including children, a Palestinian health official said. Israelis and the Palestinians traded blame for the strike.
NEW YORK (AP) - Don't worry about me. The Sharknado Evacuation map supplied by Syfy network places me, as a resident of Lower Manhattan, smack in the zone most in peril this sharknado season. But I'll be ready.
SHAKHTARSK, Ukraine (AP) - Heavy fighting raged Monday around the Malaysia Airlines debris field, once again preventing an international police team charged with securing the site from even getting there.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A 20-year-old man died Sunday after lightning struck 13 people at a popular Los Angeles beach and a golfer on Catalina Island during rare summer thunderstorms that swept through Southern California, authorities said.
NEW YORK (AP) - It's not exactly "The Golden Girls," but for Marcia Rosenfeld, it'll do.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Several members of "The Avengers" descended on Comic-Con on Saturday to debut the first footage from the upcoming superhero sequel.
CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) - A national survey finds the average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline has plummeted 9 cents a gallon over the past two weeks to $3.58.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Luc Besson's "Lucy" proved mind can overpower muscle, topping a remake of "Hercules" by director Brett Ratner at the box office on the weekend.
PARIS (AP) - Vincenzo Nibali won the Tour de France on Sunday, becoming the first Italian in 16 years to triumph in cycling's greatest race by chiseling a lead over his main rivals a few seconds at a time and dominating them in the mountains.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A California lawmaker is calling for a criminal investigation into construction problems on the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A satellite study of blue-whale movements shows the endangered creatures cluster for long periods in busy shipping lanes off the California coast, putting them at risk for collisions with large vessels.
PLYMOUTH, Calif. (AP) - Firefighters in Northern California on Sunday battled a wildfire that has destroyed 10 homes and forced hundreds of evacuations in the Sierra Nevada foothills, while a fire near Yosemite National Park destroyed one home and grew significantly overnight.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Two carjackers who fled after ramming a stolen SUV into a family selling fruit for their church, killing three young siblings, were still on the run Saturday as the reward for their capture topped $100,000.
DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) - Ukrainian armed forces mounted a major onslaught against pro-Russian separatist fighters Sunday in an attempt to gain control over the area where a Malaysia Airlines plane was downed earlier this month.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Israel and Hamas launched new attacks Sunday in the raging Gaza war, despite each side offering different truces to temporarily halt nearly three weeks of fighting ahead of a major Muslim holiday.