CHICAGO (AP) - Act I, Scene 1: Four actors in well-worn coveralls and baseball caps take the stage at the county jail. They're here to tell a tale of love, friendship, jealousy and betrayal. It's the stuff of Shakespearean tragedy. The names and themes haven't changed over the centuries, but the language has a modern beat:
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The huge Sierra Nevada wildfire and its smoke plume have caused some fearful tourists to opt out of plans for the last big travel weekend of the summer, but most appear intent to go through with vacations to destinations such as Yosemite National Park and Lake Tahoe.
PARIS (AP) - The United States found itself Friday with France as its only major partner in a potential strike against Syria, after a stunning rejection of military force in Parliament forced Britain, America's staunchest ally, to pull out of any operation.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Despite 75 years of federal marijuana prohibition, the Justice Department said Thursday that states can let people use the drug, license people to grow it and even allow adults to stroll into stores and buy it - as long as the weed is kept away from kids, the black market and federal property.
NEW YORK (AP) - Valerie Harper's doctor says the actress' brain cancer is getting close to remission.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - A 15,000-square-foot Las Vegas mansion once owned by Liberace was sold for $500,000 in cash to a British businessman who said he learned to play the piano after being inspired by the flamboyant performer.
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) - Powerful thunderstorms are lashing inland areas of Southern California east of Los Angeles.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - News that hundreds of threatened desert tortoises face euthanasia with the pending closure of a refuge near Las Vegas has generated a storm of reaction that has government officials scrambling to find alternatives and fielding offers from people wishing to adopt the reptiles or make donations.
NEW YORK (AP) - Fast-food workers in dozens of U.S. cities walked off the job Thursday in their largest round of protests yet, saying they cannot get by on what they earn and must have higher wages.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The NFL has reached a tentative $765 million settlement over concussion-related brain injuries among its 18,000 retired players, agreeing to compensate victims, pay for medical exams and underwrite research.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is leaving office in disgrace amid sexual harassment allegations and many unanswered questions, including how someone who acknowledged mistreating women for many years could have survived for so long in politics.
VIENNA (AP) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday that U.N. experts seeking to collect evidence from an apparent chemical attack in Syria that killed hundreds of people will report to him as soon as they leave the country Saturday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Driving in America has stalled, leading researchers to ask: Is the national love affair with the automobile over?
WASHINGTON (AP) - Striving to take action where Congress would not, the Obama administration announced new steps Thursday on gun control, curbing the import of military surplus weapons and proposing to close a little-known loophole that lets felons and others circumvent background checks by registering guns to corporations.
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) - A massive rocket carrying a spy satellite for the U.S. government launched from the central California coast Wednesday.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A new Field Poll shows that Californians are taking a dim view of a deeply divided Congress but have slightly warmer feelings toward their own representative.
The deadline for filing taxes is midnight tonight. Here are five things to consider as the deadline nears.
LANCASTER, Calif. (AP) - A man has pleaded not guilty to killing his girlfriend with a sword in front of her four children in Lancaster nearly six years ago.
ALHAMBRA, Calif. (AP) - Authorities have not found the source of a reported gas smell that prompted the evacuation of Alhambra High School.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - In its prime, a massive steam locomotive known as Big Boy No. 4014 was a moving eruption of smoke and vapor, a 6,300-horsepower brute dragging heavy freight trains over the mountains of Wyoming and Utah.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A man convicted in the murder and attempted murder of transients in the Hollywood area five years ago has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
BOSTON (AP) - A surveillance video shows a man prosecutors say is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev placing a bomb near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, just yards from where an 8-year-old boy was killed when it exploded.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House on Monday said there was "overwhelming evidence" that Russia is fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine, but suggested that President Barack Obama has not yet concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin's actions warrant broader sanctions on key Russian economic sectors.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Social Security Administration is suspending a program in which thousands of people were having their tax refunds seized to recoup overpayments that happened more than a decade ago.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - A space station cargo ship will remain Earthbound for a while longer.
NEW YORK (AP) - The Washington Post and The Guardian won the Pulitzer Prize in public service Monday for revealing the U.S. government's sweeping surveillance efforts in stories based on thousands of secret documents handed over by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A judge has indicated that Michael Jackson's mother should pay the promoter of her son's ill-fated comeback concerts more than $800,000 in costs associated with her failed negligent hiring lawsuit.
HORLIVKA, Ukraine (AP) - Ukraine's acting president urged the United Nations on Monday to send peacekeeping troops to eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian gunmen kept up their rampage of storming and occupying local government offices, police stations and a small airport.
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) - The chief prosecutor in Oscar Pistorius' murder trial on Monday alleged numerous inconsistencies in the athlete's account of how he killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year, seeking to show that the athlete is lying when he says he shot her by mistake.
PLEASANT GROVE, Utah (AP) - Police in Utah are questioning a mother and family members about the killings of seven babies whose bodies were found stuffed in cardboard boxes in a garage.