JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Lawmakers in conservative Mississippi find
themselves in a tug-of-war over a religious-practices bill that
some say is uncomfortably similar to one recently vetoed by
Arizona's Republican governor.
KING CITY, Calif. (AP) — The attorneys for two California police
officers accused of embezzling a city-owned Crown Victoria say the
men had permission from the City Council to transfer ownership of
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A pregnant South Carolina woman who
drove a minivan carrying her three young children into the ocean
surf off Florida was charged Friday with attempted murder and child
abuse, with authorities saying the children were screaming to
bystanders that she was trying to kill them.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Officials say a blind man who walked off the
edge of a Los Angeles subway platform bounced off one of the rails
below, landing in a tiny alcove in the track bed just wide enough
to keep him from being hit by an approaching train.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A judge has questioned the viability of a
prosecution against a man accused of illegally building hundreds of
untraceable rifle silencers under what had been a secret contract
with the Navy Seals.
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — Arraignment has been postponed for a California educator who was charged with sex crimes after a former student confronted her years later by phone and posted video of the conversation on YouTube.
RENO, Nev. (AP) — Two separate lawsuits accuse a rural Nevada sheriff's deputy of stopping travelers on a lonely stretch of Interstate 80 to make illegal drug searches, and confiscating tens of thousands of dollars for the county without bringing charges.
ATLANTA (AP) — The estate of Martin Luther King Jr. has warned Georgia's governor it wants input on any monument to the slain civil rights icon that might be erected on the grounds of the state Capitol.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A pregnant South Carolina woman who drove a minivan carrying her three young children into the ocean surf off Florida is being charged with attempted murder and aggravated child abuse.
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (AP) — An Army sergeant who had been accused of secretly photographing and videotaping at least a dozen women at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point has pleaded guilty in a court martial.
WASHINGTON — U.S. hiring improved in February from the previous two months despite a blast of wintry weather, likely renewing hopes that growth will accelerate this year.
The Labor Department said Friday that employers added 175,000 jobs last month, up from just 129,000 in January, which was revised up from 113,000. December's gain was also revised higher.
The unemployment rate rose to 6.7 percent from a five-year low 6.6 percent. More Americans started looking for work but didn't find jobs. That's still an encouraging sign because more job hunters suggest that people were more optimistic about their prospects.
The figures were a welcome surprise after recent economic reports showed that harsh weather had closed factories, lowered auto sales, and caused existing-home sales to plummet.
"Over the past three months, payrolls growth has averaged 130,000, which is pretty respectable given the widespread weather disruptions," tweeted University of Michigan economist Justin Wolfers.
The low temperatures and snow storms that hit the eastern half of the country in February might still have held back hiring. The number of Americans who said weather forced them to work part time rather than full time reached the highest level for February in the 36 years that the government has tracked the figure. The average work week fell.
Some recent reports hint that the economy will accelerate as the weather warms. The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits fell last week and is at about the same level as before the Great Recession.
Applications essentially reflect layoffs. The decline suggests that companies are confident about future growth, because layoffs would rise if employers expected business to weaken. Instead, businesses advertised more jobs online last month, according to the Conference Board. Online job ads rose 268,100 in February to 5.19 million.
Still, other factors are weighing on the economy. Auto makers and other manufacturers build up big stockpiles of goods in the second half of last year. That means they are likely producing fewer goods this year and is probably one reason factory orders are down.
Most economists forecast the economy will grow at a 2 percent annual pace or less in the first three months of the year, down from a 2.4 percent pace in the final three months of 2013. But they expect growth to accelerate in the spring and summer to roughly a 3 percent pace.
"I got nothing to do with it." — Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto, the 64-year-old man identified by Newsweek as the founder of the beleaguered digital currency Bitcoin, in an exclusive two-hour interview with The Associated Press.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations says a referendum on whether Crimea should remain part of Ukraine or join Russia would be illegal and "highly destabilizing, and would further polarize the situation and gravely enhance the risk of escalation."
CHICAGO (AP) — When wealthy Republican businessman Bruce Rauner decided to run for Illinois governor, it was clear this wouldn't be the kind of race the state was used to. Rauner bragged of being beholden to no one and accused "government union bosses" of worsening the state's budget problems. Organized labor responded by pumping millions of dollars into television ads targeting the challenger.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man accused of seeking to join an al-Qaida-linked militant group will be back in court next month after he told a federal judge he wants to represent himself or wants another attorney.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky transportation officials are suing the crew of a cargo ship that struck and collapsed part of a bridge, causing millions in damage and diverting traffic for four months.
Here's your look at highlights from the weekly AP photo report, a gallery featuring a mix of front-page photography, the odd image you might have missed and lasting moments our editors think you should see.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Federal regulators are further tightening testing requirements for companies that transport oil by rail after a spate of explosions caused by crude train derailments in the U.S. and Canada.
NEW YORK (AP) — A new interactive photo has been taken from the spire of the nearly completed 1 World Trade Center. It offers stunning 360-degree views of the New York City metropolitan area that can be enlarged to bring up incredible detail.
MIAMI (AP) — Professional dance is normally an activity for the able-bodied in tip-top shape, but a Miami-based dance troupe incorporates disabled dancers into its repertoires as a way to enhance performances.
BOSTON — A man who took cellphone photos up the skirts of women riding the Boston subway did not violate state law because the women were not nude or partially nude, Massachusetts' highest court ruled Wednesday.