Obama-Xi meeting in Calif. sets low-key tone

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) — A sprawling California desert estate built by billionaire philanthropists Walter and Leonore Annenberg is a place where political powerbrokers once discussed critical issues of the day and where royalty — real and Hollywood…

China’s top butcher tries to sell US on takeover

LUOHE, China (AP) — At an age when most Chinese executives are long retired, the country’s top hog butcher is taking on a daunting new job persuading Americans to allow him to complete China’s biggest takeover of a…

Koreas agree to hold talks on reopening complex

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North and South Korea on Thursday agreed to hold talks on reopening a jointly run factory complex and possibly other issues, after months of deteriorating relations and a day before a U.S.-China summit…

Senate defeats Republican student loan plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators on Thursday are considering competing versions of legislation that would keep interest rates low for some college students — at least for now. Senate Democrats were set to push to keep interest rates for…

Indian star Amitabh Bachchan to act in TV series

NEW DELHI (AP) — Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan says that he will make his television acting debut this year. The actor announced the new and yet untitled show to reporters in Mumbai on Wednesday. The series to be…

Jumble of education topics facing Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — Education issues are suddenly finding the spotlight on Capitol Hill after months of relative neglect. Lawmakers from both parties — as well as President Barack Obama — are trying to gain the upper hand just…

Obama to visit NC school, fundraise in California

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is spending the rest of this week promoting investments to help the middle class, raising money for fellow Democrats and engaging in diplomacy with China’s new president. Obama was visiting a middle…

Bible’s strong comeback surprises secular Norway

OSLO, Norway (AP) — It may sound like an unlikely No. 1 best-seller for any country, but in Norway — one of the most secular nations in an increasingly godless Europe — the runaway popularity of the Bible…

Final Capitol tribute to late NJ Sen. Lautenberg

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is bidding farewell to Frank Lautenberg, the chamber’s oldest member and the last World War II veteran to serve there. Lautenberg was a liberal Democrat who represented New Jersey for nearly three decades…

Court to allow girls to buy morning-after for now

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal appeals court is permitting girls of any age to buy generic versions of emergency contraception without prescriptions while the federal government appeals a judge’s ruling allowing the sales. The brief order issued…

AP survey: Economists see no stock market bubble

WASHINGTON (AP) — A nervous debate is raging among investors and analysts: Has the Federal Reserve inflated a stock market bubble by driving interest rates to record lows? The answer, according to economists surveyed by The Associated Press:…

China frustration with NKorea offers hope for US

WASHINGTON (AP) — China’s growing frustration with longtime ally North Korea offers the United States a glimmer of hope about a once unthinkable prospect: holding discussions between Washington and Beijing about what to do if the government in…

After blast, West fights to keep its residents

WEST, Texas (AP) — John Crowder stood on the gray concrete slab where his house once was, pointing out one spot after another. There was the garage where an overflow of guests would eat their Christmas dinner. There…

A-Rod’s future with Yankees is uncertain

NEW YORK (AP) — Don’t count on Alex Rodriguez giving up his Yankees pinstripes any time soon. Vilified by fans for his poor performance in the playoffs. Pursued by Major League Baseball in yet another case involving performance-enhancing…

AP survey: Economists see no stock market bubble

WASHINGTON (AP) — A nervous debate is raging among investors and analysts: Has the Federal Reserve inflated a stock market bubble by driving interest rates to record lows? The answer, according to economists surveyed by The Associated Press:…

Last pretrial hearing for Zimmerman

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — A Florida judge will consider whether to accept a voice expert’s testimony at the last hearing before the start of George Zimmerman’s trial for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin. Thursday’s court hearing in Sanford, Fla.,…

Search resumes in Pa. building collapse; 6 dead

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — For weeks, people working nearby watched with growing concern as a demolition crew took down a vacant four-story building next to a thrift store at the edge of downtown Philadelphia. Some worried that it would…

1st lawsuit filed in deadly Pa. building collapse

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A lawyer has filed the first lawsuit on behalf of a survivor of a Philadelphia building collapse that killed six people and injured 13. Attorney Rob……

Prostitutes in trafficking case: Life was good

NEW YORK (AP) — Closing arguments are slated to begin in a sex-trafficking case that drew wide attention after several prostitutes took the stand to defend their pimps in court. The women say they were one big happy…