I recently integrated jquery with the news module to create a new block. The new block makes a Ajax calls using jquery to refresh the news by filtering on the topics available. The block is based on the existing "recent news" block, so I have been able to utilize the code for that block to make development quicker.
Download the Zip file for the required files and changes required.
After the changes have been made you will need to update the News module from the Admin panel. Then you should be able to see the new Ajax News block.
A demo can be seen here: The Ocelot the online entertainment magazine for Oxfordshire and Wiltshire