LOS ANGELES (AP) - The California Department of Transportation desperately needs fundamental reforms to help a changing state move people and goods more efficiently, according to a report released Thursday.
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday:
TORONTO (AP) - Justin Bieber turned himself in to Toronto police on an assault charge Wednesday, the second arrest in a week for the baby-faced 19-year-old pop star.
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - A California schoolteacher was arrested Wednesday after hundreds of living and dead pythons in plastic bins were found stacked floor to ceiling inside his stench-filled home in suburban Orange County.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California lawmakers have approved legislation to exempt space companies from paying property tax on space-flight property.
The city of San Francisco has contradicted a coroner's finding that a girl survived an airliner crash in July only to be run over and killed by rescuers at San Francisco International Airport.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Seventeen rural communities in drought-stricken California are in danger of running out of water within four months, according to a list compiled by state officials.
BAYONNE, N.J. (AP) - Passengers aboard a cruise ship on which hundreds fell ill recalled days of misery being holed up in their rooms as the Explorer of the Seas returned to its home port Wednesday after a Caribbean trip cut short by a suspected outbreak of norovirus.
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Where's Waldo?
MEXICO CITY (AP) - The number of Monarch butterflies wintering in Mexico plunged this year to its lowest level since studies began in 1993, leading experts to announce Wednesday that the insects' annual migration from the United States and Canada is in danger of disappearing.
NEW YORK (AP) - Madonna's not done with her recent string of public appearances - she also has signed on to introduce members of Pussy Riot at Amnesty International's human rights concert in New York.
ATLANTA (AP) - Students spent the night on buses or at schools, commuters abandoned their cars or idled in them all night and the highways-turned-parking lots iced over when a winter storm slammed the city, creating a treacherous traffic jam that lasted into Wednesday.
GENEVA (AP) - Syrian negotiators discussed the establishment of a transitional government body for the first time Wednesday, an opposition delegate said, describing it as a "positive step forward," a day after talks were cut short over a U.S. decision to resume aid to the opposition.
NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks fell Wednesday as investors reacted to disappointing earnings from Yahoo and other companies and awaited news from the Federal Reserve, which wraps up its two-day policy meeting later in the day. Emerging markets were also unsettling investors again.
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - Ukraine's parliament discussed an amnesty Wednesday for those arrested during weeks of protests in the crisis-torn country - but some of the possible conditions attached to it would be unacceptable to the opposition.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A Los Angeles police officer has been killed in a hit-and-run crash with an SUV.
Paul and Barbara Condon tend to the succulent plants hanging in pots in a portion of their vertical garden complete with fountain and irrigation system, extending the length of 30-foot stucco wall at the back of the home in Newhall, thus making creative use of limited space for planting with difficult lighting which extends to a 10X30 foot, common area along a walkway leading to their back patio. Their garden is one of nine gardens available for viewing on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5p.m. as part of the Memorial Garden Tour to benefit the Cole William Larsen ...
NEW YORK (AP) - Jack's back.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Franchesca Moreno's work as a student teacher didn't end when the kids went home for the day.
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (AP) - A Southern California wildfire that forced more than 1,000 people from their homes was only smoldering on Thursday as gusty winds eased and fire crews were able to halfway surround it, fire officials said.
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A Montana man is accused of setting a trap and blindly blasting a shotgun into his garage, killing a 17-year-old German exchange student. A Minnesota man is convicted of lying in wait in his basement for two teenagers and killing them during a break-in.
LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) - Virginia state officials were still trying Thursday to determine the environmental impact of a train derailment that plunged oil-carrying tanker cars into the James River in downtown Lynchburg.
PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) - An apparent gas explosion rocked a jail in the Florida Panhandle, killing two inmates, injuring as many as 150 people, and creating a chaotic scene Thursday after inmates were bussed to hospitals and nearby jails when the crippled building had to be evacuated.
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (AP) - Authorities say a thousand-acre wildfire in the foothills east of Los Angeles did not grow overnight and is now 10 percent contained.
PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - People were plucked off rooftops or climbed into their attics to get away from fast-rising waters when nearly 2 feet of rain fell on the Florida Panhandle and Alabama coast in the span of about 24 hours, the latest bout of severe weather that began with tornadoes in the Midwest.
TORONTO (AP) - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will take a leave of absence to seek help for alcohol, he said Wednesday, as a report surfaced about a second video of the mayor smoking what appears to be crack cocaine.