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) - Officials described a devastating scene of shattered cars and other damage where two trains packed with rush-hour commuters collided in Connecticut, saying Saturday it's fortunate that no one was killed and that there weren't even more injuries. Seventy-two people were sent to the hospital Friday evening after the crash, which damaged the tracks and threatened to snarl travel in the Northeast Corridor.
BALTIMORE (AP) - All eyes will be on Kentucky Derby winner Orb in the Preakness Stakes on Saturday. The 3-year-old colt will take on eight challengers in the second leg of the Triple Crown. If he wins, Orb will attempt to become the first Triple Crown champion since Affirmed in 1978 at the Belmont Stakes on June 8. In the Preakness, Orb will be facing five horses he defeated in the Derby and three who did not run in the race. Here's a guide to watching the race:
BALTIMORE (AP) - Early Saturday morning, Shug McGaughey was walking back and forth in front of the stakes barn at Pimlico. The trainer of Orb said he had experienced a variety of emotions during the week, and those mixed feelings remained as the race drew near.
Witnesses: Car drives into crowd at Va. parade DAMASCUS, Va. (AP) - Witnesses said a car drove into a crowd at a parade in a small southwestern Virginia mountain town Saturday and hurt several people, but the nature of their injuries wasn't immediately known. It happened around 2:30 p.m. during the Hikers Parade at the Trail Days festival, an annual celebration of the Appalachian Trail in Damascus, near the Tennessee state line about a half-hour drive east of Bristol.
WASHINGTON (AP) - There's an irony in the Internal Revenue Service's crackdown on conservative groups. The nation's tax agency has admitted to inappropriately scrutinizing smaller tea party organizations that applied for tax-exempt status, and senior Treasury Department officials were notified in the midst of the 2012 presidential election season that an internal investigation was underway. But the IRS largely maintained a hands-off policy with the much larger, big-budget organizations on the left and right that were most influential in the elections and are organized under a section of the tax code that allows them to hide their donors.
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) - A wanted man with a criminal history dating back nearly 15 years was identified by police Saturday as the masked home invader involved in the death of a Hofstra University student early Friday morning. Dalton Smith, who was wanted on a parole violation related to a first-degree robbery conviction, attempted to rob the off-campus home where he and Hofstra junior Andrea Rebello were fatally shot, Nassau County police said.
BEIRUT (AP) - Syrian President Bashar Assad said in a newspaper interview Saturday he won't step down before elections and that the United States has no right to interfere in his country's politics, raising new doubts about a U.S-Russian effort to get Assad and his opponents to negotiate an end to the country's civil war. In the capital Damascus, a car bomb killed at least three people and wounded five, according to Syrian state TV. It said bomb experts dismantled other explosives in the area.
Last-minute fortune seekers buy Powerball tickets DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - It's all about the odds. With the majority of possible combinations of Powerball numbers in play, someone is almost sure to win the game's highest jackpot during Saturday night's drawing, a windfall of hundreds of millions of dollars - and that's after taxes.
With its ranks deeply divided, the Boy Scouts of America is asking its local leaders from across the country to decide whether its contentious membership policy should be overhauled so that openly gay boys can participate in Scout units. The proposal to be put before the roughly 1,400 voting members of the BSA's National Council on Thursday, at a meeting in Grapevine, Texas, would retain the Scouts' long-standing ban on gays serving in adult leadership positions.