NEW YORK (AP) - Years after being exiled to New York City's sidewalks by a ban on smoking in indoor public places, some smokers relished electronic cigarettes as a way to come in from the cold.
BRUSHY PRAIRIE, Ind. (AP) - A northeastern Indiana soldier surprised his mother Friday with an early return home, masquerading as Santa Claus while she sat on his lap at a school staff Christmas breakfast while she gave a wish list of gifts.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A federal judge struck down Utah's same-sex marriage ban Friday in a decision that marks a drastic shift toward gay marriage in a conservative state where the Mormon church has long been against it.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - Authorities on Friday were trying to determine whether a Northern California man's anger over complications he suffered from a 2010 surgery prompted him to go on a shooting rampage at a Nevada urologist's office, killing one doctor and critically wounding another before committing suicide.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - SeaWorld on Friday posted ads in a handful of newspapers around the nation in response to a critical documentary that inspired eight musical acts to cancel performances at the company's Orlando marine park.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A new historical narrative posted by the Mormon church on its website officially acknowledges that some plural marriages were performed following an 1890 ban and that polygamy was widely practiced in the late 19th century.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Usher says though Justin Bieber had a wild year, people shouldn't count the pop singer out just yet.
TRYING TO SPREAD CHEER, SANTA IN NH SCARES INSTEAD: HOLLIS, N.H. (AP) - Police in southern New Hampshire say a man dressed as Santa Claus was only trying to spread some cheer but ended up panicking officials when he knocked on school windows and entered the building.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill Thursday that will make it harder to force public schools to drop tribal nicknames, pushing aside opponents' charges that the measure is racist.
NEW YORK (AP) - Can an experimental drug developed to treat epilepsy block the AIDS virus? A preliminary lab study suggests it's possible, and researchers are eager to try it in people.
MIAMI (AP) - A month after pleading guilty to cocaine-possession charges, Republican Rep. Trey Radel of Florida refused to resign Thursday, saying he wants to "rebuild the trust" of voters.
WASHINGTON (AP) - In a sharp and unexpected shift, the national debate over U.S. government surveillance seems to be turning in favor of reining in the National Security Agency's expansive spying powers at home and abroad.
NEW YORK (AP) - New York City lawmakers paved the way Thursday for an eventual ban on plastic foam containers, added electronic cigarettes to the city's already stringent smoking bans and approved the creation of a website that will help the public track federal dollars budgeted for Superstorm Sandy-related damages.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - A suspect in a deadly hospital shooting in Reno left a suicide note at his home and claimed he had botched surgery three years ago before killing a doctor and himself this week, police said Thursday.
CINCINNATI (AP) - An Ohio judge rebuffed an argument Thursday that traffic cameras make law enforcement more efficient, stating sharply that violating motorists' rights isn't the American way.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Two Vietnam War soldiers - one still living, one killed in action - received the Medal of Honor in a White House ceremony on Monday, nearly 50 years after they threw themselves into harm's way to protect their brothers in combat. President Barack Obama praised the soldiers as patriots whose sacrifices had never been fully realized by a nation divided over the legacy of the Vietnam War.
NEW YORK (AP) - For the first time in years, more than 1 million New Yorkers are smoking, according to data released Monday, marking a disturbing rise of tobacco use in the city that pioneered a number of anti-smoking initiatives that were emulated nationally.
CORRALES, N.M. (AP) - Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said Monday she's not backing down on her agency's efforts to implement a new rule that would assert regulatory authority over many of the nation's streams and wetlands despite criticisms that it amounts to a federal water grab.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - NASA's effort to identify potentially dangerous space rocks has taken a hit.
PHOENIX (AP) - The family of an Arizona shooting-range instructor who was accidentally shot and killed by a 9-year-old girl with an Uzi say they're praying for her.
DENVER (AP) - Four students were burned and one suffered serious injuries Monday after a fire erupted in a Denver high school chemistry laboratory while the teacher was conducting a demonstration with methanol, officials said.
NEW YORK (AP) - Bob Crewe, co-writer of "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You," ''Big Girls Don't Cry" and many other pop hits, died last week. He was 83.
CHINESE CITY CREATES CELLPHONE SIDEWALK LANE: BEIJING (AP) - Taking a cue from an American TV program, the Chinese city of Chongqing has created a smartphone sidewalk lane, offering a path for those too engrossed in messaging and tweeting to watch where they're going.
DENVER (AP) - The calls to 911 raised an instant alarm: One caller said he shot his co-workers at a Colorado video game company and had hostages. Another in Florida said her father was drunk, wielding a machine gun and threatening their family.
MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - The Sudanese woman imprisoned for refusing to reject Christianity said in a televised interview airing Monday night that she was resolved to keep her faith even if it meant death.
MAN SUSPECTED OF FIRING ON KIDS AT ICE CREAM TRUCK: SAN BERNARDINO (AP) - Police say that after a nine-hour standoff they have arrested a 59-year-old man suspected of shooting at a group of children who were surrounding an ice cream truck in San Bernardino.
BLOOMING GROVE, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania state trooper who was injured when a gunman ambushed him and killed another trooper outside a police barracks is conscious and talking for the first time since he underwent surgery, a spokesman said Sunday.
BLACKSTONE, Mass. (AP) - A woman who lived in a squalid, vermin-infested home where the bodies of three infants were found was charged Friday with covering up the deaths, while neighbors said they wish they had acted themselves to call attention to the house with the foul smell and the shades that were always drawn.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Cellphone video that shows a witness raising his hands in the air immediately after the fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old by a white police officer in Ferguson appears to support previous accounts and could bolster arguments that Michael Brown was surrendering when he was shot, legal experts said Friday.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - A driver says George Zimmerman, the man acquitted of murdering Trayvon Martin, threatened to kill him, asking 'Do you know who I am?' during a road confrontation in their vehicles, a police spokeswoman said Friday.