WASHINGTON (AP) - The Pentagon will begin taking steps to freeze civilian hiring, delay some contract awards and curtail some maintenance to prepare for drastic budget cuts if Congress can't reach an agreement on a final spending plan, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday.
NEW YORK (AP) - At least gasoline should cost you less in 2013.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Britney Spears is out of "The X Factor" after a season in which the pop star failed to deliver a ratings boost for the singing contest, a person familiar with the show's plans said Thursday.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - In their quest for the next big drug discovery, pharmaceutical companies are increasingly teaming up with some of the nation's top universities, recruiting campus scientists as partners and offering schools multimillion-dollar deals to work on experimental drugs in development.
SOLEDAD, Calif. (AP) - California's Pinnacles National Monument, a 40 square-mile site that includes caves and towering volcanic rock formations popular with climbers, became the country's 59th national park on Thursday.
NEW YORK (AP) - The captain of a commuter ferry that crashed into a New York City dock says the vessel suffered a mechanical failure.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday proposed a sweeping overhaul of K-12 education financing that would provide more money for low-income schools and give districts more control over how they can spend state funds.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Pledging swift action to curb gun violence, Vice President Joe Biden says he will deliver new proposals to President Barack Obama by next Tuesday.
TAFT, Calif. (AP) - A 16-year-old student armed with a shotgun walked into class in a rural California high school on Thursday and shot one student, fired at another but missed, and then was talked into surrendering by a teacher and another staff member, officials said.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Riding a wave of new tax revenue, California's spending plan for the coming fiscal year will rise by nearly $5 billion, a powerful indication that the state that came to symbolize fiscal mismanagement during the heart of the recession is emerging into brighter days.
NEW YORK (AP) - Nobody was happier about the Hall of Fame shutout than the Hall of Famers themselves.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Too intimidated to fill out your tax return without help? Join the club.
Complete list of 85th Annual Academy Award nominations announced Thursday:
NEW YORK (AP) - In this year's Oscar nominations, the director's seat was the hot seat.
NEW YORK (AP) - A high-speed ferry loaded with hundreds of commuters from New Jersey crashed into a dock in lower Manhattan on Wednesday during the morning rush hour, seriously injuring 11 people, including one who suffered a severe head wound falling down a stairwell.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Wild kittens that will number in the tens of millions this year are starting to be born, and overtaxed shelters will be forced to euthanize most of the millions they receive. It is a grim reality a leading advocate calls "one of the last major problems" plaguing the animal welfare movement.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A confounding computer bug called "Heartbleed" is causing major security headaches across the Internet as websites scramble to fix the problem and Web surfers wonder whether they should change their passwords to prevent theft of their email accounts, credit card numbers and other sensitive information.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Republicans blocked a Senate bill Wednesday aimed at narrowing the pay gap between men and women, an election-year ritual that Democrats hope will help spur women to back them in this fall's congressional elections.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Responding to a series of fiery train derailments, federal regulators said Wednesday they will propose that trains transporting crude oil have at least two-man crews and requirements aimed at preventing parked train cars from coming loose and causing an accident like one in July that killed 47 people.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Los Angeles students protesting neglect of poorer schools took to the streets, and they brought their desks with them.
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) - The chief prosecutor in Oscar Pistorius' murder trial on Wednesday urged the athlete to "take responsibility" for fatally shooting his girlfriend, telling him to look at a police photograph of Reeva Steenkamp's bloodied head with gruesome wounds.
PERTH, Australia (AP) - The frustrating monthlong search for the Malaysian jetliner received a tremendous boost when a navy ship detected two more signals that most likely emanated from the aircraft's black boxes. The Australian official coordinating the search expressed hope Wednesday that the wreckage will soon be found.
MURRYSVILLE, Pa. (AP) - A student armed with a knife went on a stabbing and slashing spree at a high school near Pittsburgh on Wednesday morning, leaving as many as 20 people injured, including four students who suffered serious wounds, authorities said.
James Hellwig, better known as former pro wrestler The Ultimate Warrior, has died, the WWE said. He was 54.
BOSTON (AP) - Gov. Deval Patrick defended the state's first-in-the-nation ban of the powerful new painkiller Zohydro after a federal judge suggested in court that his administration may have overreached.
NEW YORK (AP) - Drivers will get the slightest of breaks on gasoline prices this summer, according to the Energy Department.
NEW YORK (AP) - Wall Street's cool kids have been booted from the lunchroom.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Officials say more than three dozen people are possibly ill with the highly contagious Norovirus while onboard a cruise ship sailing to ports in California.
MILWAUKEE (AP) - A virus never before seen in the U.S. has killed millions of baby pigs in less than a year, and with little known about how it spreads or how to stop it, it's threatening pork production and pushing up prices by 10 percent or more.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A California bill that sought to end killer whale shows at SeaWorld in San Diego and phase out their captivity was put on hold Tuesday, dousing an escalating fight between animal activists and a major tourist attraction.