WASHINGTON (AP) - The government's sprawling system of background checks and security clearances is so unreliable it's virtually impossible to adequately investigate the nearly 5 million Americans who have them and make sure they can be trusted with access to military and sensitive civilian buildings, an Associated Press review found.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The first bang sounded distant and muffled. On the fourth floor, Bertillia Lavern assumed somebody downstairs was setting up for an event and had dropped a folding table.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Congress is moving to avert an impending shutdown of the federal helium reserve, a key supplier of the lighter-than-air gas used in a products ranging from party balloons to MRI machines.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - NASA's Curiosity rover hasn't discovered any signs of methane in the atmosphere of Mars, a finding that does not bode well for the possibility that microbes capable of producing the gas could be living below the planet's surface, scientists said Thursday.
NEW YORK (AP) - Wells Fargo plans to lay off an additional 1,800 employees from its mortgage department, after cutting about 2,300 jobs from the same unit in August.
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis has warned that the Catholic Church's moral structure might "fall like a house of cards" if it doesn't balance its divisive rules about abortion, gays and contraception with the greater need to make the church a merciful, more welcoming place for all.
ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) - Mexico's government said 58 people were missing after a massive landslide smashed through a tiny coffee-growing village deep in the country's southern mountains, where fresh waves of rain threatened more danger for rescue workers trying to evacuate the last residents from the isolated hamlet on Thursday.
SAYRE, Okla. (AP) - When three teenagers from this small Oklahoma town disappeared on their way to a high school football game in 1970, rumors swirled as to what happened to the trio.
BOSTON (AP) - Mark Wahlberg is now a high school graduate - 25 years after dropping out of a Boston high school.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A fire that raged in forestland in and around Yosemite National Park has left a contiguous "moonscape" in the Sierra Nevada mountains larger than any in centuries.
LONGMONT, Colo. (AP) - Airlifts gave way to door-to-door searches Wednesday for victims injured and killed in the flood-scarred Colorado foothills, as authorities began ramping down emergency operations and beginning the "long and arduous" recovery phase.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The latest Powerball jackpot is estimated at $400 million, and it's considered the nation's fifth-largest ever. Here are some things to keep in mind ahead of Wednesday night's drawing.
SALEM, Ore. (AP) - A pilot killed this week when his helicopter crashed while attempting to lift logs in an Oregon forest has been identified as a former cast member of the History Channel series "Ax Men."
A commercial cargo ship made its successful debut Wednesday, rocketing toward the International Space Station and doubling the number of NASA's private suppliers for the high-flying lab.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - A research firm says California home prices rose slightly to a new 6½-year high last month as tight inventories limited sales.
SAO PAULO (AP) - Protesters and Brazilian police clashed in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro on Thursday ahead of the first World Cup match, but the demonstrations largely died down before kickoff.
BAGHDAD (AP) - The al-Qaida-inspired group that led this week's charge in capturing two key Sunni-dominated cities in Iraq vowed Thursday to march on to Baghdad, raising fears about the Shiite-led government's ability to slow the assault following lightning gains.
KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine (AP) - Former President George H.W. Bush celebrated his 90th birthday on Thursday by making a tandem parachute jump near his summer home in coastal Maine, delivering on a vow he made five years ago even though he can no longer use his legs.
NEW YORK (AP) - Ruby Dee, an acclaimed actor and civil rights activist whose versatile career spanned stage, radio television and film, has died at age 91, according to her daughter.
NEW YORK (AP) - The oil market has balanced out quite nicely for OPEC in recent years. Now, upheaval in Iraq shows that balance may be more precarious than it has seemed.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Even before a judge's scathing ruling against California's teacher tenure policies, the once-sacred protections that make it harder to fire teachers already had been weakened in many states - and even removed altogether in some places.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Bad weather is preventing NASA from launching a "flying saucer" into Earth's atmosphere to test technology that could be used to land on Mars.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio is leading a group of drilling states working with seismology experts from energy companies, government agencies and universities across the U.S. on how best to detect and regulate human-induced earthquakes. The initiative follows Ohio's discovery in April of a probable link between the drilling practice called hydraulic fracturing and five small tremors in eastern Ohio, a first in the Northeast.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - The family of a 13-year-old California girl who was declared brain-dead after suffering complications from sleep apnea surgery says she will receive an honorary diploma during her school's eighth grade graduation.
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) - A truck driver pleaded not guilty Wednesday in the fatal New Jersey Turnpike crash that also injured comedian Tracy Morgan as investigators look into what role his long commute to work played in the accident.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A 55-year-old man pleaded guilty Wednesday and was immediately sentenced to 75 years to life in prison for the stabbing death of his estranged wife as she worked at a Southern California supermarket.
NEW YORK (AP) - O.J. TV was a national pastime.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Tuna, the hound so homely he's irresistible, peeks out from beneath his blanket, baring his row of buck teeth in a slapstick smile for the camera.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The U.S. Coast Guard says a man is lucky to be alive after he was rescued 11 days into an attempted kayak voyage from California to Hawaii.