A 30-minute visit to a controversial shrine by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ignited a predictable firestorm of criticism and condemnation Thursday from Japan's neighbors.
The Yasukuni Shrine is regarded by China, North Korea and South Korea as a symbol of Japan's imperial military past. All three countries suffered under Japan's military aggression in World War II. Millions of Chinese civilians and soldiers, and hundreds of thousands of Koreans, died.
So, each time a top Japanese official has visited, the countries have protested - saying the visits honor war criminals and deny Japan's atrocities in Asia.
Not so, said Abe on Thursday. He wanted to pray for the souls of the war dead, not honor war criminals, he said.
"I have renewed my determination before the souls of the war dead to firmly uphold the pledge never to wage a war again," he said.
No matter how you spell it, ice is a four letter word Friday. Just ask folks living anywhere from Texas to Tennessee.
The National Weather Service predicts a wintry mix of precipitation through Sunday.
That forecast prompted the cancellation of a downtown Dallas holiday parade scheduled for Saturday for the first time in 26 years.FULL STORY
Los Angeles Authorities have arrested a man accused of swiping a piece of the wrecked sports car that "Fast & Furious" star Paul Walker was riding in when he died in a fiery crash Saturday.
The theft occurred at a stop light as the charred 2005 Porsche Carrera GT was being removed from the accident scene on a flatbed tow truck late Saturday, according to the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.
"A witness saw a male exit a vehicle that was following the tow truck," the sheriff's department said Friday. "The male grabbed a piece of the wrecked Porsche off the tow truck bed."
We're only two days into this government shutdown, but it already seems like we've been here before.
And in a way, we have.
The Republicans and Democrats got in each other's faces over the U.S. debt ceiling in 2011. The GOP demanded significant budget cuts before agreeing to give Uncle Sam more borrowing power. That amounted to $2 trillion in cuts over 10 years.
But Congress never could agree on where to make the cuts, so they were implemented across-the-board.
The package averted a shutdown then, but didn't sooth the hard feelings created by the standoff.
With that history in mind, here's what we know and what we don't know about the shutdown.FULL STORY
Flood sirens sounded overnight as Colorado emergency officials feared that debris-caked canyons might give way and send another wall of water crashing through the city of Boulder and neighboring communities.
"All residents are warned to go to higher ground immediately due to the potential for flash flooding along the creek," Boulder's Office of Emergency Management said.
Emergency management warned that "there are mudslides at the mouth of Boulder Canyon 400 feet long and four feet deep as the sides of the canyon give way due to the saturation from the days-long rain."FULL STORY
The water rose and the people fled.
Flood sirens sounded overnight as Colorado emergency officials feared that debris caked canyons might give way and send another wall of water crashing through the city of Boulder and neighboring communities.
Widespread flash flooding washed out roads, pushed dams to their limits and beyond and killed at least three people.FULL STORY
The White House's case for a military strike on Syria enters Round II Wednesday.
Secretary of State John Kerry returns to the Hill, this time to be grilled by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. On Tuesday, he appeared before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee to sway skeptical lawmakers. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey joined him.FULL STORY
Before he went missing, Jonathan Croom had developed an obsession with the movie "Into the Wild," in which a young man leaves society to go live off the land. Â
The movie's main character dies. So did Croom. The 18-year-old's body turned up in rural Oregon Monday, authorities say. Â Â
It was a 1,000 feet away from his abandoned car, which officers found last week.
His room smelled of urine and feces. It had no lighting, no bathroom, and there was only a mattress to furnish it.
That's what police in South Florida found when they responded to an anonymous tip on Thursday evening of a woman keeping her 30-year-old autistic son in "dungeon-like conditions."
"Police found the man's room to be a small room with a blacked-out window and a rusted iron door with a lock accessible only by the outside," said Michelle Hammontree-Garcia of the Sweetwater Police Department, west of Miami.
A newborn baby boy who was found alive inside a toilet pipe in Jinhua, China, has been released from a hospital and taken home by his maternal grandparents, police said.
The child's mother is still being treated at the hospital, but has been cooperating with the investigation, Xiang Jiangsong, a police official, said Thursday.
The police are labeling the case an "accident" at this time, and no charges have been filed against the mother.FULL STORY
A 22-year-old who works at Disneyland was arrested hours after a small explosion in Mickey's Toontown section.
The Tuesday evening blast did not hurt anyone, but it did rattle nerves and prompt the evacuation of that part of the California theme park for a few hours.
Anaheim police on Wednesday identified the suspect in the explosion as Christian Barnes, a Long Beach resident and an outdoor vendor at Disneyland. Booked on suspicion of possessing a destructive device, Barnes is being held on $1 million bail.FULL STORY
Two of the three women rescued from a Cleveland home where they'd been held for about a decade or more returned home Wednesday while police readied charges against the men accused of keeping them captive.
Well-wishers from the neighborhood cheered as a gray van carrying Amanda Berry and the 6-year-old daughter she gave birth to during her captivity pulled up. The porch was decorated with balloons and stuffed animals and draped with a red banner that read, "Welcome home Amanda."
"We are so happy to have Amanda and her daughter home," her sister, Beth Serrano, told reporters. "I want to thank the public and media for their support and courage over the years."FULL STORY
Amanda Berry was last seen after finishing her shift at a Burger King in Cleveland in 2003. It was the eve of her 17th birthday.
Georgina "Gina" DeJesus disappeared nearly a year later, in April 2004. She was 14.
Michele Knight vanished in 2002, at age 19, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper.
All three were found alive in a home in a Cleveland neighborhood Monday night, police announced in a development hailed as a miracle by their families.
"Help me, I am Amanda Berry," Berry told police in a frantic 911 call from a neighbor's house. "I've been kidnapped, and I've been missing for 10 years. And I'm here, I'm free now."
Firefighters continue to battle what has been a fast-growing Southern California wildfire,one that has already consumed more than 2,950 acres.
The spread of the blaze seemed to slow early Thursday morning and crews gained greater containment, now pegged at 35%, according to the state agency Cal Fire.
The Riverside County Fire Department said 425 firefighters were involved in what's being called the Summit Fire. Six air tankers dropped chemical retardants on the flames.FULL STORY
Wait a minute, didn't spring start last week? Apparently not.
Folks in parts of a dozen states from Missouri to New Jersey and down to North Carolina and Tennessee are getting an ugly start to their work week. All are under winter storm warnings Monday, according to the National Weather Service.
Accumulations of up to 7 inches will be common in places like St. Louis, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh. Some areas will receive a foot of snow.FULL STORY
The United States on Monday handed over control of a U.S.-run prison near Bagram Air Base to Afghan authorities.
The handover of control of the detention center in Parwan fulfills an agreement between Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.FULL STORY
A corporate jet, sheared in half - it's nose poking through the front window of a shattered home.
Such was the scene in a South Bend, Indiana, neighborhood Sunday when a Hawker Beechcraft 390 slammed into a row of single-story homes, damaging three.
Two of the four people aboard the plane died on impact.FULL STORY
The Vatican has sought to quell controversy over Pope Francis' conduct during Argentina's so-called Dirty War, amid accusations that he could have done more to protect two Jesuit priests who were kidnapped.
A meeting on the pope's agenda on Monday may be another sign that he's trying to put the past behind him. Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is scheduled to meet with Francis in the afternoon.FULL STORY
A month after one of its ships was crippled in the Gulf of Mexico, Carnival Cruise Lines is dealing with another ship problem, this time at port in the Caribbean.
The Carnival Dream suffered a generator failure while docked at Philipsburg, St. Maarten. Although power has been restored and facilities are functioning again, the ship still can't leave its port. Passengers say that for a time on Wednesday, some toilets stopped working and no one was allowed to leave even though the ship was docked.
Carnival says it is working to fly all passengers on one of its cruises back to Florida.FULL STORY