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. The American Farmland Trust says the loss could drain between $100 billion and $190 billion from the regional economy, based on crop values and related expenses. The land represents a more than doubling of the ...
REDLANDS, Calif. (AP) - A head-on collision on a Southern California road has killed three people and seriously injured six others.
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf has been moved from a drug treatment center to the Montana State Prison for threatening a staff member and other unspecified behavioral problems at the center, a corrections official said Thursday.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Taliban militants set off two suicide car bombs in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in western Afghanistan on Friday morning, triggering a gunbattle with security forces that left at least two Afghans dead.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The slowly recovering U.S. job market has helped women rebound faster than men: They've now regained all the jobs they lost to the Great Recession. Men are still 2.1 million jobs short. And the gender gap is expected to persist until the job market is much healthier. To understand why, consider the kinds of jobs that are, and aren't, being added. Lower-wage industries, like retail, education, restaurants and hotels, have been hiring ...
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Ray Dolby, audio pioneer, American inventor and founder of Dolby Laboratories, has died at the age of 80. The company said Thursday that Dolby died in his home at San Francisco. He had been living with Alzheimer's disease for several years and was diagnosed with acute leukemia this summer. Dolby founded his namesake company in 1965 and grew it into an industry leader of audio technology. His work in noise reduction ...
SEASIDE PARK, N.J. (AP) — A massive fire raging for hours burned several blocks of boardwalk and businesses Thursday in a New Jersey shore town that was still rebuilding from damage caused by Superstorm Sandy. More than three hours after the fire started in the vicinity of an ice cream shop, television footage showed flames still leaping into the sky and thick black smoke covering a stretch of the coastline. The fire was spreading into ...
REDDING (AP) - Crews assessing the damage from a wildfire in Northern California have now determined that 68 homes were destroyed, up from the earlier tally of 37, a fire official said on Thursday.
LYONS, Colo. (AP) - Heavy rains and scarring from recent wildfires sent walls of water crashing down mountainsides early Thursday in Colorado, cutting off mountain towns, forcing the University of Colorado to cancel classes, and leaving at least three people dead.
NEW YORK (AP) - Christina Aguilera says that although she went to Rwanda to help others, she ended up helping herself.
LONDON (AP) - There will be no more perilous military helicopter missions for Prince William in the rugged mountainous terrain of northern Wales.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - California will continue to outpace the nation in job growth over the next few years, narrowing an unemployment rate gap in a slow but uneven economic recovery that will leave unskilled workers behind, according to the UCLA Anderson Forecast released Thursday.
GENEVA (AP) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his team open two days of meetings with their Russian counterparts on Thursday, hoping to emerge with the outlines of a plan for the complex task of safely securing and destroying vast stockpiles of Syrian chemical weapons in the midst of a brutal and unpredictable conflict.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Having health insurance used to hinge on where you worked and what your medical history said. Soon that won't matter, with open-access markets for subsidized coverage coming Oct. 1 under President Barack Obama's overhaul.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Wind energy facilities have killed at least 67 golden and bald eagles in the last five years, but the figure could be much higher, according to a new scientific study by government biologists.