House Republicans get behind budget agreement WASHINGTON (AP) - Speaker John Boehner sharply criticized outside conservative groups opposed to year-end budget legislation on Thursday and said the measure "takes great steps in the right direction." Hours before a scheduled vote on the bill, Boehner repeatedly denounced tea party-aligned organizations for their opposition, saying they were seeking to further their own objectives, not those of the Republican Party or the country.
Interpreter at Mandela event: I was hallucinating JOHANNESBURG (AP) - The man accused of faking sign interpretation while standing alongside world leaders like U.S. President Barack Obama at Nelson Mandela's memorial service said Thursday he hallucinated that angels were entering the stadium, has schizophrenia and has been violent in the past. Thamsanqa Jantjie said in a 45-minute interview with The Associated Press that his hallucinations began while he was interpreting and that he tried not to panic because there were "armed policemen around me." He added that he was once hospitalized in a mental health facility for more than one and a half years.
Mysterious 'white widow' eludes police in Africa AYLESBURY, England (AP) - She is called the most wanted woman in the world, a suspected terrorist charged with plotting to blow up resort hotels in Kenya packed with Christmas tourists, a Westerner who wrote an ode praising Osama bin Laden, a jihadist who has eluded the law even as she has traveled through Africa with four young children in tow. Samantha Lewthwaite's saga is one of betrayal and revenge in a murky world where, somehow, a white woman born to a British soldier becomes a Muslim convert and then an international fugitive accused of conspiracy.
Watch Top News Video
Federal data show health disparities among states JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Residents in some parts of the U.S. are signing up for health care coverage at a significantly greater rate than others through the new online insurance marketplaces now operating in every state. The discrepancy may trace back to the political leanings of their elected leaders.
Officials: US drone strike kills 13 in Yemen SANAA, Yemen (AP) - Missiles fired by a U.S. drone slammed into a convoy of vehicles traveling to a wedding party in central Yemen on Thursday, killing at least 13 people, Yemeni security officials said. The officials said the attack took place in the city of Radda, the capital of Bayda province, and left charred bodies and burnt out cars on the road. The city, a stronghold of al-Qaida militants, witnessed deadly clashes early last year between armed tribesmen backed by the military and al-Qaida gunmen in an attempt to drive them out of the city.
Holiday shopping spree not for everyone NEW YORK (AP) - Many Americans are watching the annual holiday spending ritual from the sidelines this year. Money is still tight for some. Others are fed up with commercialism of the holidays. Still others are waiting for bigger bargains.
Where's 'The Butler'? Globes Snubs and Surprises LOS ANGELES (AP) - The long race to the Academy Awards is especially steep this year and it's no surprise that an ample list of notables were left empty-handed in the 71st annual Golden Globe nominations on Thursday. Dominating the list were A-listers like Leonardo DiCaprio ("The Wolf of Wall Street") and Kate Winslet ("Labor Day"), who had top acting bids, while the movies of filmmaking gurus Steve McQueen ("12 Years a Slave") and David O. Russell ("American Hustle") landed in multiple categories, including best motion picture.
Crash probe renews debate over culture in aviation WASHINGTON (AP) - New details about the crash of an Asiana Airlines jet have renewed questions about whether a culture of strict deference to more-senior pilots can compromise air safety. Documents and testimony from the National Transportation Safety Board this week showed there was confusion and poor communication in the cockpit of the Asiana jet as it approached San Francisco International Airport in July. Two of the pilots told investigators they opted against voicing critical concerns or grabbing the controls because they were subordinate to the instructor.
Sentence in Texas teen's fatal DWI wreck stirs ire HOUSTON (AP) - "Affluenza," the term used by a psychologist to argue that a North Texas teenager from a wealthy family should not be sent to prison for killing four pedestrians while driving drunk, is not a recognized diagnosis and should not be used to justify bad behavior, psychologists said Thursday. The term was popularized in the late 1990s by Jessie O'Neill, the granddaughter of a past president of General Motors, when she wrote the book "The Golden Ghetto: The Psychology of Affluence." It has since been used to describe a condition in which children - generally from richer families - have a sense of entitlement, are irresponsible, make excuses for poor behavior, and sometimes dabble in drugs and alcohol, explained Dr. Gary Buffone, a Jacksonville, Fla., psychologist who does family wealth advising.
Injuries, losses prompt MLB to seek collision ban LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) - Baseball officials are up front about this: They want to ban home-plate collisions to guard their investments. Minnesota's Joe Mauer, a three-time batting champion, is less than halfway through a $184 million, eight-year contract. He was limited 75 games at catcher this year in a concussion-shortened season.