NEW YORK - Maya Angelou, a modern Renaissance woman who survived the harshest of childhoods to become a force on stage, screen, the printed page and the inaugural dais, has died. She was 86.
WASHINGTON - Charting an end to America's longest war, President Barack Obama announced plans Tuesday for keeping nearly 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan after this year but then withdrawing virtually all by the close of 2016 and the conclusion of his presidency.
WATFORD CITY, N.D. - No sirens or local alert system warned an RV park housing workers in North Dakota's oil patch about a Memorial Day tornado that injured nine people and damaged or destroyed 15 trailers.
GOLETA, Calif. - The son of a Hollywood director stabbed three men to death in his apartment, gunned down two women outside a sorority and killed a sixth person in a rampage that was foreshadowed by a chilling Internet video in which he vowed to his victims that he would "take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you."
ATLANTA - Democrat Michelle Nunn, who's seeking Georgia's open Senate seat, has joined a chorus of congressional candidates from both parties calling for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to leave amid a growing crisis over veterans' health care.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The disarray surrounding lethal injection in the U.S. is beginning to steer states back toward methods of execution that many had long ago deemed less humane than the needle.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Tennessee has decided to bring back the electric chair.
WASHINGTON - With outrage mounting over veterans' health care, President Barack Obama declared Wednesday that allegations of misconduct at VA hospitals will not be tolerated, and he left open the possibility that Secretary Eric Shinseki, a disabled war veteran, could be held to account.
WASHINGTON - Tuesday's elections are the best evidence yet that Republicans are avoiding previous mistakes and improving their chances of controlling the Senate during President Barack Obama's final two years in office.
SAN MARCOS, Calif. - Firefighters gained ground overnight on a string of major San Diego-area wildfires - except for one in the city of San Marcos, where the 700-acre blaze burned out of control Thursday as another scorcher day dawned.
PHOENIX - A team of federal investigators swept into Phoenix last month amid allegations of a disturbing cover-up at the veterans hospital.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Dozens of gay couples obtained Arkansas marriage licenses Monday after a judge tossed out the state's 10-year-old same-sex marriage ban, but only at a handful of courthouses as an overwhelming majority of county clerks in this part of the Bible Belt said they first wanted the state Supreme Court to weigh in.
NEW YORK - Thousands of vacuum-sealed plastic pouches filled with bits of bone rest in a Manhattan laboratory. These are the last unidentified fragments of the people who died in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama's nominee for health secretary faced pointed questioning Thursday from Republican senators over the president's health law but also won GOP praise in her first appearance before a Senate committee.
RALEIGH, N.C. - The Democratic congressional primary race between former "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken and textile entrepreneur Keith Crisco remained very close and without a clear winner.
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama's new military strategy in Iraq amounts to trying to contain - not destroy - the Islamic militant group that now controls much of the country's northern region. That leaves open the questions of how deeply the U.S. will be drawn into the sectarian conflict, and whether airstrikes alone can stop the militants' momentum.
WASHINGTON - The current Ebola crisis in West Africa is on pace to sicken more people than all other previous outbreaks of the disease combined, a U.S. health official said Thursday.
HONOLULU - Iselle was supposed to weaken as it slowly trudged west across the Pacific. It didn't - and now Hawaii is poised to take its first direct hurricane hit in 22 years.
WASHINGTON - A major trait that endeared Jim Brady to the Washington press corps was his sense of humor, especially when he made fun of his own boss.
WASHINGTON - The State Department has endorsed the broad conclusions of a harshly critical Senate report on the CIA's interrogation and detention practices after the 9/11 attacks, a report that accuses the agency of brutally treating terror suspects and misleading Congress, according to a White House document.
WASHINGTON - After a dismal winter, the U.S. economy sprang back to life in the April-June quarter, growing at a fast 4 percent annual rate on the strength of higher consumer and business spending.
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration pushed back strongly Monday at a torrent of Israeli criticism over Secretary of State John Kerry's latest bid to secure a cease-fire with Hamas, accusing some in Israel of launching a "misinformation campaign" against the top American diplomat.
WASHINGTON - Medicare's financial future is looking brighter despite a growing wave of baby boomers reaching retirement.
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. - Plenty of working parents can relate to the dilemma Debra Harrell faced when her 9-year-old daughter asked to play unsupervised in a park this summer. How do you find the time and money for child care when school is out?