ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) - The bloody three-day hostage standoff at a Sahara natural gas plant took a dramatic turn Friday as Algeria's state news service reported that nearly 100 of the 132 foreign workers kidnapped by Islamic militants had been freed.
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. builders started work on homes in December at the fastest pace in 4 ½ years and finished 2012 as their best year for residential construction since the early stages of the housing crisis.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A federal judge considering San Francisco's public nudity ban rejected arguments Thursday that simply disrobing in public was protected political speech akin to flag burning.
CHICAGO (AP) - Lance Armstrong confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France during an interview with Oprah Winfrey, reversing more than a decade of denial.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Pentagon is stepping up aid for Mexico's bloody drug war with a new U.S.-based special operations headquarters to teach Mexican security forces how to hunt drug cartels the same way special operations teams hunt al-Qaida, according to documents and interviews with multiple U.S. officials.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration appeared to be in the dark Thursday about a hostage situation at a natural gas plant in Algeria, where Algerian forces launched a military assault to free dozens of foreign hostages, including an unknown number of Americans, held by Islamist militants.
AURORA, Colo. (AP) - The Colorado cinema where 12 people were killed and dozens injured in a shooting rampage nearly six months ago reopens Thursday with a remembrance ceremony and a private screening of the fantasy film "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" for survivors - but for some Aurora victims, the pain is still too much, the idea too horrific.
ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) - Algerian helicopters and special forces stormed a gas plant in the stony plains of the Sahara on Thursday to wipe out Islamist militants and free hostages from at least 10 countries. Bloody chaos ensued, leaving the fate of the fighters and many of the captives uncertain.
BEIRUT (AP) - A new video game based on Syria's civil war challenges players to make the hard choices facing the country's rebels. Is it better to negotiate peace with the regime of President Bashar Assad, for example, or dispatch jihadist fighters to kill pro-government thugs?
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Al Pacino will play Joe Paterno in a movie about the late Penn State football coach.
CHICAGO (AP) - Authorities plan to exhume the body of a Chicago businessman Friday in hopes of learning exactly how he ingested a lethal dose of cyanide.
NEW YORK (AP) - What's in an inch? Apparently, enough missing meat, cheese and tomatoes to cause an uproar.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The two biggest players in the nation's pursuit of high-speed rail said Thursday they'll work together to search for trains that will operate at up to 220 miles per hour along both coasts of the United States.
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - Despite written policies protecting farmland across Central California's agricultural heartland, the state's most productive region is on track to lose 570,000 acres of prime, irrigated land to development by 2050, according to a new report.
REDLANDS, Calif. (AP) - A head-on collision on a Southern California road has killed three people and seriously injured six others.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Rep. Kevin McCarthy's knack for helping colleagues get elected and his ability to maintain a personal connection have given him the advantage in the race for House majority leader despite calls by some Republicans for a new, more conservative direction.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Kerry Washington stepped back into the spotlight for the first time since becoming a mom last month to accept an award from Women in Film.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A substance-abuse counselor was sentenced Thursday to 55 years to life in prison for hitting a pedestrian with her car and driving through a Los Angeles suburb with the dying man on her windshield.
DENVER (AP) - House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's startling primary loss this week to a tea party-backed opponent illustrates how the GOP finds itself paralyzed by immigration reform. The policy most party leaders agree is best for the Republican Party's future is risky for most House Republicans seeking re-election in the fall.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - One might be hidden in a cross on a church lawn. Others are disguised as a cactus in the desert, a silo in farm country or a palm tree reaching into a sunny sky.
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.