SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Overcrowding in many county jails is forcing local sheriffs to assume the role traditionally held by judges in deciding who should make bail and how long convicts should serve behind bars, a state oversight agency said Thursday.
BEIRUT (AP) - Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview broadcast Thursday that he is "confident in victory" in his country's civil war, and he warned that Damascus would retaliate for any future Israeli airstrike on his territory.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - At least three tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma, including one in Tulsa, and two more hit Arkansas on Thursday as a powerful storm system moved through the middle of the country. At least nine people were injured.
OXON HILL, Md. (AP) - After years of heartbreakingly close calls, Arvind Mahankali conquered his nemesis, German, to become the champion speller in the English language.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Two dry-ice bombs exploded at Disneyland, prosecutors revealed Thursday as they filed a felony criminal count against an employee who worked at a vending cart near the Toontown section of the theme park.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Microsoft is trying to fix what it got wrong with its radical makeover of Windows. It's making the operating system easier to navigate and enabling users to set up the software so it starts in a more familiar format designed for personal computers.
OXON HILL, Md. (AP) - A spelling bee week that began with curiosity and angst over a new vocabulary test was set to end the familiar way - with bright kids spelling difficult words under the bright lights of prime-time television.
MARTINEZ, Calif. (AP) - Contra Costa County prosecutors have charged a former high school football coach with 16 counts of child sex abuse.
NEW YORK (AP) - A letter sent to the White House was similar to the poison-laced missives mailed to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and to his gun-control group in Washington, officials said Thursday.
CHICAGO (AP) - The defense depicts Sami Samir Hassoun as a uniquely gullible youth sucked into a terrorist plot during an alcohol-addled stretch of his life by an informant eager to please his FBI handlers.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Many people who buy their own health insurance could get surprises in the mail this fall: cancellation notices because their current policies aren't up to the basic standards of President Barack Obama's health care law.
SEATTLE (AP) - The Army staff sergeant charged with slaughtering 16 villagers in one of the worst atrocities of the Afghanistan war will plead guilty to avoid the death penalty in a deal that requires him to recount the horrific attack for the first time, his attorney told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is preparing to nominate former Bush administration official James Comey to head the FBI, people familiar with the decision said Wednesday.
NEW YORK (AP) - Two threatening letters containing traces of the deadly poison ricin were sent to Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York and his gun-control group in Washington, police said Wednesday.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Donations are pouring into Oklahoma as people around the country look to help residents affected by last week's violent tornado outbreak, but charities also are receiving plenty of items they don't need - tons of used clothes, shoes and stuffed animals that take up valuable warehouse space and clog distribution networks.
LONDON (AP) - The U.S. is contemplating military action in Iraq to quell the fast-moving insurgency because it has spent years investing in Iraq's future, Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling's team of lawyers has hired four private investigation firms to dig up dirt on the NBA's former and current commissioners and its 29 other owners, said a person familiar with Sterling's legal strategy.
WRIGHTWOOD, Calif. (AP) - A small earthquake has occurred in Southern California near the northeast end of the San Gabriel Mountains.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Air traffic controllers are still working schedules known as "rattlers" that make it likely they'll get little or no sleep before overnight shifts, more than three years after a series of incidents involving controllers sleeping on the job, according to a government report released Friday.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl returned to the United States early Friday after his release from five years in captivity in Afghanistan in a controversial prisoner swap with the Taliban.
SAN MARINO (AP) - The mayor of a wealthy California town who was caught on camera tossing dog poop onto the walkway of a political opponent is being asked to resign by residents who say he smeared their image.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic lawmakers are trying to work out the final details of a budget for the coming fiscal year that largely adheres to the governor's call for fiscal prudence while providing a modest boost to social and education programs.
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - A burglary defendant who won his freedom because of a jury's mistake lost his life a few hours later when he was stabbed to death in a fight.
NEW YORK (AP) - American teens are smoking less, drinking less and fighting less. But they're texting behind the wheel and spending a lot of time on video games and computers, according to the government's latest study of worrisome behavior.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration has been quietly advising local police not to disclose details about surveillance technology they are using to sweep up basic cellphone data from entire neighborhoods, The Associated Press has learned.
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.