WASHINGTON (AP) - Despite Democratic fears, predictions of the demise of President Barack Obama's agenda appear exaggerated after a week of cascading controversies, political triage by the administration and party leaders in Congress and lack of evidence to date of wrongdoing close to the Oval Office. "Absolutely not," Steven Miller, the recently resigned acting head of the Internal Revenue Service, responded Friday when asked if he had any contact with the White House about targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status for special treatment.
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) - Two commuter trains packed with rush-hour commuters collided in an accident that sent more than 60 people to the hospital, severely damaged the tracks and threatened to snarl travel in the congested Northeast Corridor. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said five people were critically injured and one was very critically hurt in Friday evening's crash on the Metro-North Railroad, which serves the northern suburbs of New York City.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Less than 10 months after three tickets split a world-record lottery prize, the jackpot for Saturday's Powerball drawing was nearing historic territory once again. Should nobody pick the correct six numbers, the prize money will roll over to next week's drawing and almost certainly eclipse the $656 million doled out to winners in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland in the Mega Millions game in March 2012.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Political scandals have strange ways of causing collateral damage, and Republicans are hoping the furor over federal tax enforcers singling out conservative groups will ensnare their biggest target: President Barack Obama's health care law. But no one appears to have connected the factual dots yet, and it's unclear whether they will.
SKorea says NKorea fires 3 short-range missiles SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea fired three short-range guided missiles into its eastern waters on Saturday, a South Korean official said. It routinely tests such missiles, but the latest launches came during a period of tentative diplomacy aimed at easing tensions. The North fired two missiles Saturday morning and another in the afternoon, South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said by phone. He said the North's intent was unclear. His ministry said it is watching North Korea carefully in case it conducts a provocation against South Korea.
ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) - Two cups of coffee ended life on the run for an Internet sensation known as Kai the hatchet-wielding hitchhiker. An employee at a Starbucks in Philadelphia is credited with recognizing 24-year-old Caleb "Kai" McGillvary, whose fledgling celebrity took a turn toward notoriety when authorities announced this week that he was wanted in the beating death of a New Jersey lawyer three times his age.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - O.J. Simpson's former lawyer defended himself point-by-point Friday against allegations he botched the former football star's armed-robbery trial, after giving damaging testimony that Simpson actually knew his buddies had guns when they went to a hotel room together to reclaim some sports memorabilia. Miami-based attorney Yale Galanter quickly found himself under withering cross-examination from a Simpson lawyer intent on proving that Galanter's word couldn't be trusted - that he knew ahead of time of Simpson's plan and spent more effort covering up his involvement than representing Simpson.
2 fires north of LA persist after long fire week SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (AP) - A pair of tamed but persistent wildfires still burned in the hills and mountains around Interstate 5 after a wild week of burning brush in the area north of Los Angeles. A new fire that broke out Friday, the third major blaze in the area in a week, quickly surged to more than 500 acres, briefly threatened an elementary school and led to the temporary evacuation of about 20 homes.
BALTIMORE (AP) - Orb is ready for his whirl at history. The Kentucky Derby winner was in a playful mood the day before the Preakness, making faces for photographers between nibbles of grass outside his stall at Pimlico Race Course.
BALTIMORE (AP) - There are only two outcomes when it comes to Saturday's Preakness Stakes - either the Kentucky Derby winner Orb wins the race to set up a Triple Crown try in the Belmont Stakes in three weeks, or another horse pulls an upset and prevents a shot at history. With that in mind, here are 10 things to know about the Preakness - and beyond.