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.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - There were bowling pins, bathrobes, white Russians, and even The Dude himself.
ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) - A documentary film production company has found buried in a New Mexico landfill hundreds of the Atari "E.T." game cartridges that some call the worst video game ever made.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Five NATO troops died in a British helicopter crash Saturday in southern Afghanistan, authorities said, the single deadliest day this year for foreign forces as they prepare to withdraw from the country.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A teenager charged with stabbing a fellow high school student to death on the day of their junior prom is being held in a hospital under psychiatric evaluation and will likely remain there for two weeks, one of his attorneys said Saturday.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - A prosecutor investigating the South Korean ferry sinking that left 302 people dead or missing says all 15 crew members involved in the ship's navigation are now in custody.
BUENA PARK, Calif. (AP) - An SUV driven by an elderly motorist plowed into a group of people waiting to enter an Orange County ice cream parlor Friday evening, killing a 73-year-old woman and injuring six others, authorities said.
DURHAM, Ore. (AP) - After months of trying to get its problem-plagued online health exchange to work, Oregon on Friday officially gave up on the state portal and decided to switch to the federal website - the first state in the nation to do so.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown issued a second executive order on Friday to deal with California's drought, taking additional steps to help fight wildfires and assist cities and farmers.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A 16-year-old girl was stabbed to death inside a Connecticut high school Friday, and police were investigating whether a boy attacked her after she turned down an invitation to be his prom date.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Pop legend Paul McCartney is set to return to Candlestick Park to offer a swan song to the San Francisco 49ers' former stadium.
ORLAND, Calif. (AP) - The drivers of a FedEx truck and bus that collided in a fiery accident earlier this month both started their work days in Sacramento.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A late-season Pacific storm brought rain and snow to California on Friday, though it was not expected to make much of a dent in the state's ongoing drought.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - A Nevada rancher who became a conservative folk hero for standing up to the government in a fight over grazing rights lost some of his staunch defenders after wondering aloud whether blacks might have had it better under slavery.
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - FIFA is concerned about recent violence in Brazil less than two months before it hosts the World Cup but remains confident the country will stage "the biggest party on Earth," FIFA marketing director Thierry Weil said Thursday.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Eleven middle school students and their driver were injured when a school bus jumped a curb Thursday and rammed into trees in Southern California, authorities said.