SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Overcrowding in many county jails is forcing local sheriffs to assume the role traditionally held by judges in deciding who should make bail and how long convicts should serve behind bars, a state oversight agency said Thursday.
BEIRUT (AP) - Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview broadcast Thursday that he is "confident in victory" in his country's civil war, and he warned that Damascus would retaliate for any future Israeli airstrike on his territory.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - At least three tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma, including one in Tulsa, and two more hit Arkansas on Thursday as a powerful storm system moved through the middle of the country. At least nine people were injured.
OXON HILL, Md. (AP) - After years of heartbreakingly close calls, Arvind Mahankali conquered his nemesis, German, to become the champion speller in the English language.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Two dry-ice bombs exploded at Disneyland, prosecutors revealed Thursday as they filed a felony criminal count against an employee who worked at a vending cart near the Toontown section of the theme park.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Microsoft is trying to fix what it got wrong with its radical makeover of Windows. It's making the operating system easier to navigate and enabling users to set up the software so it starts in a more familiar format designed for personal computers.
OXON HILL, Md. (AP) - A spelling bee week that began with curiosity and angst over a new vocabulary test was set to end the familiar way - with bright kids spelling difficult words under the bright lights of prime-time television.
MARTINEZ, Calif. (AP) - Contra Costa County prosecutors have charged a former high school football coach with 16 counts of child sex abuse.
NEW YORK (AP) - A letter sent to the White House was similar to the poison-laced missives mailed to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and to his gun-control group in Washington, officials said Thursday.
CHICAGO (AP) - The defense depicts Sami Samir Hassoun as a uniquely gullible youth sucked into a terrorist plot during an alcohol-addled stretch of his life by an informant eager to please his FBI handlers.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Many people who buy their own health insurance could get surprises in the mail this fall: cancellation notices because their current policies aren't up to the basic standards of President Barack Obama's health care law.
SEATTLE (AP) - The Army staff sergeant charged with slaughtering 16 villagers in one of the worst atrocities of the Afghanistan war will plead guilty to avoid the death penalty in a deal that requires him to recount the horrific attack for the first time, his attorney told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is preparing to nominate former Bush administration official James Comey to head the FBI, people familiar with the decision said Wednesday.
NEW YORK (AP) - Two threatening letters containing traces of the deadly poison ricin were sent to Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York and his gun-control group in Washington, police said Wednesday.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Donations are pouring into Oklahoma as people around the country look to help residents affected by last week's violent tornado outbreak, but charities also are receiving plenty of items they don't need - tons of used clothes, shoes and stuffed animals that take up valuable warehouse space and clog distribution networks.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Opening statements were expected to begin Thursday in a lawsuit brought by beating victim Bryan Stow against the Los Angeles Dodgers and its former owner, Frank McCourt.
MARIPOSA, Calif. (AP) - Weather was expected to be friendlier for firefighters Thursday as they look to fully contain a Central California wildfire that led to the destruction of two homes.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - In a groundbreaking disclosure, Google revealed how very white and male its workforce is - just 2 percent of its Googlers are black, 3 percent are Hispanic, and 30 percent are women.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Elliot Rodger's murderous rampage near Santa Barbara has tragically exposed the limitations of involuntary-commitment laws that allow authorities to temporarily confine people who are deemed a danger to themselves or others.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Residents of California's largely rural, agrarian and politically conservative far northern counties long ago got used to feeling ignored in the state Capitol and out of sync with major urban areas.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama said Wednesday the U.S. will increase assistance to the Syrian opposition, opening the way for the likely training and possibly equipping of moderate rebels fighting to oust leader Bashar Assad.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - LeVar Burton's fundraising effort to bring "Reading Rainbow" to the online masses is a by-the-book success.