LEWISTON, Maine - The folks at the Farmers' Almanac can be forgiven for feeling smug: The 198-year-old publication correctly predicted the past nasty winter while federal forecasters blew it.
WASHINGTON - As the U.S. mourned an American journalist beheaded by Islamic militants, the nation found something of a reprieve with the release of another freelance reporter who had been held hostage for nearly two years by an al-Qaida-linked group in Syria.
NAPA, Calif. - A powerful earthquake that struck the heart of California's wine country caught many people sound asleep, sending dressers, mirrors and pictures crashing down around them and toppling wine bottles in vineyards around the region. Scores were injured as the temblor knocked out power to thousands, caused gas and water lines to rupture, sparked fires and buckled roads.
MIAMI - Tropical Storm Cristobal is moving erratically north-northeastward away from the Bahamas but is forecast to stay away from the U.S. East Coast.
KENYA - An estimated 100,000 elephants in Africa have been killed by poachers from 2010-12, according to a new peer reviewed study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The killings have increased as a result of the growing demand for ivory sold on the black-market in China and other Asian countries.
ATLANTA - At least one of the two American aid workers who were infected with the deadly Ebola virus in Africa has recovered and was to be discharged Thursday from an Atlanta hospital, a spokeswoman for the aid group he was working for said.
KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine - Former President George W. Bush took the ice bucket challenge then nominated former President Bill Clinton to do it next.
MONROVIA, Liberia - Hundreds of residents of a seaside slum in Liberia's capital clashed with security forces Wednesday to protest an armed blockade of the peninsula that is their neighborhood as part of the government's desperate efforts to stop the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.
BAGHDAD - Boosted by two days of U.S. airstrikes, Iraqi and Kurdish forces on Monday wrested back control of the country's largest dam from Islamic militants, a military spokesman in Baghdad said, as fighting was reported to be underway for the rest of the strategic complex.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - In a business where patience is part of the process, Kentucky bourbon makers are making a big bet by stashing away their largest stockpiles in more than a generation.
MADRID - The World Health Organization declared it's ethical to use untested drugs and vaccines in the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa although the tiny supply of one experimental treatment has been depleted and it could be many months until more is available.
CAIRO - A temporary Israel-Hamas truce was holding for a second day Tuesday as marathon, indirect negotiations on a lasting cease-fire and a long-term solution for the battered Gaza Strip were set to resume in Cairo.
BAGHDAD - Iraq's new president on Monday snubbed the powerful incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and nominated the deputy parliament speaker to form the new government, raising fears of more infighting in the government as the country faces the threat of Sunni militants in the north.
MADRID - In a development that raises a host of ethical issues, Spain announced it had obtained a scarce U.S.-made experimental Ebola drug to treat a Spanish missionary priest infected with the killer virus.
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. - Tony Stewart pulled out of the NASCAR race at Watkins Glen Sunday, 12 hours after the three-time champion struck and killed a sprint car driver who had climbed from his car and was on the darkened dirt track trying to confront Stewart during a race in upstate New York.
AUSTIN, Texas - A gunman attempted to set the Mexican Consulate ablaze and fired more than 100 rounds at downtown buildings early Friday before he died, Austin authorities said.
DES MOINES, Iowa - Christmas tree likely will cost a little more this year, and growers like John Tillman say it's about time.
ATLANTA - After two men were shot and killed as they slept outside in Atlanta, police say they fear a gunman might be targeting homeless people.
BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. - More gun sales than ever are slipping through the federal background check system - 186,000 last year, a rate of 512 gun sales a day, as states fail to consistently provide thorough, real-time updates on criminal and mental histories to the FBI.
Many older people silently harbor a blood "pre-cancer" - a gene mutation acquired during their lifetime that could start them on the path to leukemia, lymphoma or other blood disease, scientists have discovered. It opens a new frontier on early detection and possibly someday preventing these cancers, which become more common with age.
VIENNA - Reflecting its lessening oil clout, OPEC decided Thursday to keep its output target on hold and sit out falling crude prices that will likely spiral even lower as a result.
CHICAGO - On a very memorable Sunday, Pastor Laura Truax surprised her congregation with a bold announcement: She was about to hand out money to everyone.
FERGUSON, Mo. - Crews erected barricades around the building where a grand jury has been considering whether to indict the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, even as a grand jury decision seemed unlikely this weekend.
WARSAW, Poland - Officials in a Polish town have opposed a proposition to name a playground after Winnie-the-Pooh due to the bear's unclear gender and immodest clothing.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - In the squalid Jacksonville dogfighting kennel, a champion named Bulletproof Sam sat in a makeshift wooden cage, his teeth exposed from a missing snout.
MELBOURNE, Fla. - The protesters didn't show, the would-be hecklers didn't take the bait, the weeks of headlines about sexual assaults disappeared and Bill Cosby, for 90 minutes at least, regained the revered status he long enjoyed.
WASHINGTON - The admiral fired last year as No. 2 commander of U.S. nuclear forces may have made his own counterfeit $500 poker chips with paint and stickers to feed a gambling habit that eventually saw him banned from an entire network of casinos, according to a criminal investigative report obtained by The Associated Press.
ORLANDO, Fla. - Your local fun zone, amusement center and theme park is facing an existential challenge these days.
WASHINGTON - Spurning furious Republicans, President Barack Obama unveiled expansive executive actions on immigration Thursday night to spare nearly 5 million people in the U.S. illegally from deportation and refocus enforcement efforts on "felons, not families."
BOCA RATON, Fla. - A Florida woman who came forward Thursday became the fourth in recent weeks to say Bill Cosby gave her pills that made her feel groggy then forced himself on her sexually.