LOS ANGELES (AP) - Nine California school districts are submitting a joint application to the U.S. Department of Education for a waiver of stringent school standards and are proposing an alternative way to measure performance.
The text of Pope Benedict XVI's comments, delivered to a roaring crowd in Castel Gandolfo:
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (AP) - Pope Benedict XVI greeted the faithful for the last time as pope on Thursday, telling well-wishers that he is beginning the final stage of his life as "simply a pilgrim," hours before he becomes the first pontiff in 600 years to resign.
CLINTON, Miss. (AP) - Michelle Obama on Wednesday congratulated this Southern state for a more than 13 percent drop in its child obesity rates, saying its example should inspire the rest of the country.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - State Supreme Court justices sparred with lawyers on Wednesday in a heated hour of arguments over the extent to which a now-fired public school science teacher had the right to push his religious beliefs in class.
NORTH STONINGTON, Conn. (AP) - Debra Denison's struggles with mental illness were well known in her family, and when she wanted to pick up her grandsons from day care to mark the older boy's birthday, mother Brenda Perry hesitated.
WASHINGTON (AP) - It's not just honey bees that are in trouble. The fuzzy American bumblebee seems to be disappearing in the Midwest.
MILWAUKEE (AP) - A Midwest snowstorm packing heavy snow and strong winds left six people dead in Kansas, hundreds of vehicles crashed or stranded in Wisconsin, and tens of thousands of utility customers without power in Michigan.
BOSTON (AP) - Loved ones knew it was her at the hospital when they saw her teeth.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - For a time in Cold War America, Van Cliburn had all the trappings of a rock star: sold-out concerts, adoring, out-of-control fans and a name recognized worldwide. He even got a ticker-tape parade in New York City.
"Hello world from comms center in (hash)Pyongyang."
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Benedict XVI bid an emotional farewell Wednesday on the eve of his retirement, recalling moments of "joy and light" during his papacy, but also times of difficulty when "it seemed like the Lord was sleeping."
CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) - Apple CEO Tim Cook sought to reassure shareholders worried about the company's sagging stock price that the iPhone and iPad maker is on the verge of inventing more breakthrough products that will prove it hasn't lost its creative edge.
NEW YORK (AP) - Boy, it just wasn't J.C. Penney's year.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court's conservative justices voiced deep skepticism Wednesday about a section of a landmark civil rights law that has helped millions of Americans exercise their right to vote.
HONOLULU (AP) - U.S. officials say there is no threat of a tsunami to the coasts of California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii or Alaska after a magnitude-7.6 earthquake struck in the Pacific Ocean near the Solomon Islands.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Don't feel bad for Conan O'Brien. Again.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic Rep. Ami Bera has been making a habit lately of bucking his own president and voting with the Republican majority in the House as it moves to amend or overturn parts of the national health care law.
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) - With streets still littered in glass and garbage cans overflowing with red cups and bottles, University of California, Santa Barbara students were trying to shake off a lingering hangover from an annual spring party morphed into a raucous and violent blowout.
Outkast reunited onstage after a near decadelong hiatus with a jam-packed set at the Coachella music festival, their first of many performances planned this year.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal appeals court on Friday upheld a regulatory safety finding against SeaWorld in the drowning of a trainer who was pulled under by a killer whale at the theme park.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Geologists in Ohio have for the first time linked earthquakes in a geologic formation deep under the Appalachians to hydraulic fracturing, leading the state to issue new permit conditions Friday in certain areas that are among the nation's strictest.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The stock market's laws of gravity are ravaging its highest fliers.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Safety standards to make large buses easier for passengers to escape after a crash have not been implemented 15 years after accident investigators called for new rules.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Hillary Rodham Clinton ducked a thrown shoe, expressed surprise, cracked a couple of jokes that drew applause and continued her keynote speech on stage in front of a Las Vegas convention audience.
LONDON (AP) - Two new studies describe the latest achievements in growing body parts in a lab and transplanting them into people, this time with nostrils and vaginas.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A scathing report by the U.S. Justice Department released Thursday revealed a troubling pattern of excessive force by the Albuquerque Police Department and recommended that New Mexico's largest city become the latest municipality to adopt reforms aimed at cleaning up its police force.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Embattled Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning as the White House seeks to move past the election-year political damage inflicted by the rocky rollout of President Barack Obama's signature health care law.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A half-century after the passage of sweeping civil rights legislation, President Barack Obama declared that he had "lived out the promise" envisioned by Lyndon B. Johnson, the president who championed the push for greater racial equality.
BOSTON (AP) - Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry have recorded a new arrangement of "Dream On" to honor victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.