A sudden plunge in mortgage rates this week raised an urgent question for millions of Americans:
Looking back, the mistakes are easy to see: Waiting too long, spending too little, relying on the wrong people, thinking small when they needed to think big. Many people, governments and agencies share the blame for failing to contain Ebola when it emerged in West Africa.
LONDON - The World Health Organization bungled efforts to halt the spread of Ebola in West Africa, an internal report revealed Friday, as President Barack Obama named a trusted political adviser to take control of America's frenzied response to the epidemic.
WASHINGTON - How come nurses wearing protective gear can catch Ebola from a patient, but health officials keep saying you almost certainly won't get it from someone sitting next to you on a plane?
DALLAS - A "breach of protocol" at the hospital where Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan was treated before his death led to the infection of a health care worker with the deadly virus, and other caregivers could potentially be exposed, federal health officials said Sunday.
MECHANIC FALLS, Maine - A Halloween-themed hayride loaded with passengers crashed down a hill in the Maine woods and slammed into a tree, fatally injuring a teenage girl and leaving more than 20 other people hurt, police said Sunday.
FERGUSON, Mo. - A Ferguson police officer was shot in the arm Saturday night after encountering two men at a community center who ran from him and then opened fire during a foot chase, authorities said.
WASHINGTON - The one-two-three punch of American and Arab airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq was just the beginning, President Barack Obama and other leaders declared Tuesday. They promised a sustained campaign showcasing a rare U.S.-Arab partnership aimed at Muslim extremists.
NEW YORK - The shirt a Navy SEAL wore in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and a special coin given to a CIA officer who played a key role in finding him are being displayed at the Sept. 11 museum, adding potent symbols of the terrorist attacks' aftermath days before their anniversary.
CAIRO - The head of the Arab League urged its members Sunday to confront Islamic State extremists "militarily and politically," issuing an apparent call to arms as President Barack Obama prepares to go to lawmakers and the American public with his own plan to stop the militants.
NEW DELHI - Promising to "storm your barricades with cars packed with gunpowder," al-Qaida announced Thursday it had created an Indian branch that the terror network vowed would bring Islamic rule to the entire subcontinent.
BIDDEFORD, Maine - A baseball fan took up smoking a century ago and with it acquired another habit: holding onto little cards that bore the faces of baseball's earliest greats.
WASHINGTON - As states liberalize their marijuana laws, public officials and safety advocates worry that more drivers high on pot will lead to a big increase in traffic deaths. Researchers who have studied the issue, though, are divided on the question.
WASHINGTON - Fearing a Russian invasion and occupation of Alaska, the U.S. government in the early Cold War years recruited and trained fishermen, bush pilots, trappers and other private citizens across Alaska for a covert network to feed wartime intelligence to the military, newly declassified Air Force and FBI documents show.
BAGHDAD - Iraqi security forces and Shiite militiamen on Sunday broke a six-week siege imposed by the Islamic State extremist group on the northern Shiite Turkmen town of Amirli, as a suicide bombing killed 14 people in Anbar western province, officials said.
McRAE, Ga. - Elrey "Bud" Runion and his wife, June, took their charitable efforts all over the South: from storm-damaged Alabama towns and impoverished pockets of West Virginia to their hometown in suburban Atlanta.
WASHINGTON - Confronting skeptical Republicans, attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch pledged a new start with Congress and independence from President Barack Obama Wednesday, even as she defended the president's unilateral protections for millions of immigrants in the country illegally.
ROCK HILL, S.C. - For a moment, Clarence Graham's heart raced. Fifty-four years after he and eight fellow black men served a month of hard labor for sitting at a whites-only lunch counter, a judge declared that they had been wrongly convicted of trespassing and their records would be tossed.
ATLANTA - A man convicted in the killing of a fellow inmate has been executed in Georgia despite claims by his lawyers that he was intellectually disabled.
NEW YORK - New York City looked like a ghost town early Tuesday, blanketed by a snowstorm that disrupted life for tens of millions of people along the U.S. East Coast.
NEW YORK - More than 35 million people along the Philadelphia-to-Boston corridor rushed to get home and settle in Monday as a fearsome storm swirled in with the potential for hurricane-force winds and 1 to 3 feet of snow that could paralyze the Northeast for days.
McRAE, Ga. - The car belonging to a Georgia couple who were reported missing after traveling to meet a person claiming to sell a classic auto has been found in a lake and two bodies were found nearby, authorities said Monday.
SAVANNAH - The Savannah River has enough room for cargo ships to accommodate Georgia and South Carolina adding a new port terminal downstream from the busy Port of Savannah, according to a study presented to officials from both states Monday.
WASHINGTON - A device, possibly an unmanned aerial drone, was found on the White House grounds during the middle of the night while President Barack Obama and the first lady were in India, but his spokesman said Monday that it posed no threat.
LOS ANGELES - "American Sniper" hit the mark with moviegoers again.
NEW YORK - The Monday morning commute was normal for much of the Northeast as officials continued to urge residents to prepare for a "crippling and potentially historic" storm that could bury communities from northern New Jersey to southern Maine in up to 2 feet of snow starting later in the day.
ATLANTA - Gov. Nathan Deal asked lawmakers to invest more in educating state prison inmates and promised in his budget address on Thursday that the expense would pay off for the individuals and Georgia's economy when they are released.
WASHINGTON - With thousands of abortion protesters swarming the city in their annual March for Life, Republicans muscled broadened abortion restrictions through the House on Thursday after a GOP rebellion forced leaders into an awkward retreat on an earlier version.
EVERGREEN, Colo. - Every year on his daughter's birthday, Ian Sullivan visits the grave of the child he lost when a gunman slipped into a Colorado movie theater and fatally shot the 6-year-old as she sat with mother in the fourth row.
WASHINGTON - The FBI has completed its investigation into the police shooting of an unarmed, black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri, a U.S. official said Wednesday.