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.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - California's state parks director abruptly announced his retirement Wednesday, just 19 months after he took control of a department that had been rocked by years of fiscal mismanagement.