Michelle Obama said the statistic that the U.S. has more than 58,000 homeless veterans is "a stain on the soul of this nation," as the federal government expands its initiative to provide stable and affordable housing for service members.

Amid rancorous debate over other weighty issues Thursday on Capitol Hill, lawmakers wondered aloud whether driving cars after smoking marijuana is dangerous. Among the unanswered questions: Would drivers who are "high" travel too fast or too slow for safety?

Scientists have mapped how a group of fearsome, massive dinosaurs evolved and shrank to the likes of robins and hummingbirds.

The defense team in the Blackwater trial attacked the testimony of a key prosecution witness Thursday, telling a jury that the witness lied to federal investigators even after he had sworn to tell the truth in an effort to win leniency in the case surrounding the killings of 14 Iraqis.

A Missouri proposal to create one of the most expansive early voting periods in the nation appears to have fallen short of reaching the November ballot, according to an Associated Press analysis of initiative petition signatures.

A California state senator previously charged with bribery pleaded not guilty Thursday to a new count of racketeering and to previously filed charges of accepting and soliciting bribes in exchange for exerting his influence in Sacramento.

A coal train derailment that killed two Maryland college students was caused by a broken rail on a section of track being monitored by a railroad because of previous problems, the National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday.

Seychelles forfeited an African Cup qualifying game and withdrew from the competition Thursday rather than allow Sierra Leone's soccer team to travel to the Indian Ocean island because of fears over the deadly Ebola virus.

The Nebraska Democratic Party is hosting its annual convention in Lincoln, starting Friday.

Rep. Eric Cantor used his farewell as House majority leader Thursday to lament what he calls a diminished U.S. role in a world that he said is rife with instability and terror.

The Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday it will begin regulating laboratory-developed tests, a growing class of medical diagnostics that have never before been subject to federal oversight.

State Sen. John McKinney, one of two Republican candidates for Connecticut governor, on Thursday called for eliminating state income taxes on those who make less than $75,000, saying middle-income earners have been hurt the most by Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's policies.

The White House said Thursday there's little doubt Israeli artillery hit a United Nations school in Gaza, a deadly incident that a spokesman called "totally unacceptable and totally indefensible."

Once more, the tea party forced House Speaker John Boehner to blink.

CIA officers improperly accessed Senate computers, read the emails of Senate staff, and exhibited a "lack of candor" when interviewed by agency investigators, according to a declassified CIA inspector general's report.

Graphic images of emaciated and bloodied corpses in the Syrian civil war were presented to uncharacteristically silent members of Congress Thursday as a former military photographer testified about the signs of savagery he witnessed.

More than 3,300 federal inmates have applied to have their prison sentences cut short in the months since the Justice Department rolled out a new clemency initiative, according to data provided to The Associated Press.

President Barack Obama huddled with congressional lawmakers Thursday to discuss the numerous foreign policy crises facing his administration, including tensions with Russia and the war between Israel and Hamas.

The Republican candidate for California governor said Thursday he spent a week living as a homeless person in Fresno to highlight the disparity between the governor's claim that the state is making an economic comeback and the reality faced by the working poor in the nation's most populous state.

The White House denounced on Thursday an effort in the House of Representatives to block President Barack Obama from extending deportation relief to any more immigrants who are living in the country illegally.

Average U.S. mortgage rates declined slightly this week, hovering near their lows for the year.

More people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, but jobless claims remain at pre-recession levels.

Opponents of a plan to break up Washington's nearly 150-year-old Corcoran Gallery of Art presented two alternatives in court this week to preserve the independent museum and art school as a judge considers its proposed merger with two larger institutions.

Congressional investigators say this is why they want all of Lois Lerner's emails.

The State Department has endorsed the broad conclusions of a harshly critical Senate report on the CIA's interrogation and detention practices after the 9/11 attacks, a report that accuses the agency of brutally treating terror suspects and misleading Congress, according to a White House document.

Republican candidate for governor Charlie Baker has unveiled what he's calling a comprehensive approach to tackling the drug addiction crisis in Massachusetts.

Republican Sen. Thad Cochran said Thursday that he's asking for the support of Mississippi voters in November "no matter your skin color, or how much money you have."

The final House-Senate compromise veterans' bill aims to alleviate delays many patients have faced in getting treatment at Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics and end the widespread practice of covering up long wait times for appointments. The legislation also makes it easier to fire hospital administration and other senior VA executives. Congressional budget analysts put the cost of the bill at $16.3 billion over three years and estimate it will add $10 billion to federal deficits over the next 10 years.

President Barack Obama moved Thursday to require federal contractors to give their workers more rights in labor disputes, putting his pen to an executive order the day after the House voted to sue him for allegedly exceeding his presidential powers. In an election-year dare to Republicans, Obama said congressional obstinacy would only embolden him to take even more aggressive actions on his own.

Management failures by the Obama administration set the stage for computer woes that paralyzed the president's new health care program last fall, nonpartisan investigators said in a report released Wednesday.

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