NEW YORK (AP) - For a significant number of Americans, Christmas has largely lost its religious meaning, becoming an occasion focused instead on visiting family and friends and exchanging gifts, according to a new survey released Wednesday.
NEW YORK (AP) - Bernie Goetz said he thought he was going to be mugged by a man who turned out to be a plainclothes cop arresting him in a low-level drug sting - the same explanation he used nearly three decades ago when he opened fire on four panhandling youths on a subway train.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - Police think a suicidal gunman was on a mission of violence when he calmly entered a third-floor urology office and opened fire with a 12-gauge shotgun, killing one doctor, critically wounding another and shooting a third victim after warning patients and their children in a waiting area to "get out."
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - A Vermont city of only 17,000 souls just smashed the national one-day record for blood donations - and it's likely to stand for quite a while.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Consumers anxious over tight insurance deadlines and lingering computer problems during the holidays will get extra time to pay their premiums under President Barack Obama's health care law, insurers announced Wednesday.
CHICAGO (AP) - Many older adults with high blood pressure can be treated less aggressively, which could mean taking fewer pills to get it under control, according to new treatment guidelines from an expert panel. But not all experts are on board with the advice - including the federal agency that appointed the group.
PURPORTED ZIMMERMAN ARTWORK LISTED ON AUCTION SITE: ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Artwork reportedly created by George Zimmerman is attracting bids of more than $100,000 on eBay.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - NASA has ordered up a series of urgent spacewalks to fix a broken cooling line at the International Space Station, a massive repair job that could stretch to Christmas Day.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A Tennessee man is charged with two counts of attempted murder for allegedly shooting a motorcyclist several times and backing his SUV into another - after almost hitting them as they exited an interstate.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Mega Millions jackpot has soared to an estimated $636 million for Tuesday night's drawing, making it the second largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.
HOUSTON HOTEL DISPLAYS HALF-TON CHOCOLATE SANTA: HOUSTON (AP) - Santa Claus has come to town in Houston and he's sweeter than your average holiday fellow.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - A suicidal gunman opened fire at a Reno hospital campus Tuesday, killing one person, wounding two others and sending police on a door-to-door search within the facility amid the chaos.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - President Barack Obama sent Russia a clear message about its treatment of gays and lesbians with who he is - and isn't - sending to represent the United States at the Sochi Olympics.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - North Texas prosecutors are trying a second time to imprison a teen who was sentenced last week to 10 years' probation for drunkenly driving his truck into four pedestrians, killing them all.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Year-end legislation to ease Congress' chronic budget brinkmanship and soften across-the-board spending cuts moved to the cusp of final passage Tuesday, a rare display of Senate bipartisanship that masked strong Republican complaints about slicing into military retirement benefits.
AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Police in a Phoenix suburb fatally shot a machete-wielding man Thursday after he rammed a patrol car in a stolen truck, injuring an officer.
NEW YORK (AP) - New York City police shot and killed a hatchet-wielding man on Thursday after he suddenly attacked a group of patrol officers without warning in broad daylight on a busy commercial district in Queens.
FREDERICK, Md. (AP) - An airplane and a helicopter collided in the air near a Maryland airport before crashing into a line of trees and a self-storage business Thursday afternoon, killing three people but sparing two men in the plane, who deployed a parachute attached to the aircraft before it hit the trees.
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) - He seemed lost, "did not fit in," had drug problems, and went more than five years without seeing his mother. In recent weeks, he had been living at a homeless shelter and had talked about wanting to go to Libya - or Syria - but became agitated when he couldn't get a passport.
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - The number of people who died trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border has dropped to the lowest level in 15 years as more immigrants turned themselves in to authorities in Texas and fewer took their chances with the dangerous trek across the Arizona desert.
NEW YORK (AP) - An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. It's the first case in the city and the fourth in the nation.
AURORA, Colo. (AP) - Defending their allies, Bill and Hillary Clinton are barnstorming the country for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri funeral director is sending his father out with a bang. His father's ashes, anyway.
ATLANTA (AP) - All travelers who come into the U.S. from three Ebola-stricken West African nations will now be monitored for three weeks, the latest step by federal officials to keep the disease from spreading into the country.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - When Halloween falls on a Friday in communities where high school football is king, it's time to reschedule the holiday.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A U.S. Navy veteran can be buried with the ashes of her late partner in a southwest Idaho military cemetery after the state legalized gay marriage.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Michael Brown's official autopsy indicates he was shot in the hand at close range during a struggle, but a medical examiner not involved in the investigation says there's no way to conclude whether the injury meant the unarmed 18-year-old was trying to grab the gun of the officer who killed him.
DENVER (AP) - Three teenage girls being investigated for trying to join Islamic State forces in Syria were victims of an "online predator" who encouraged them, a school official said Wednesday, as U.S. officials tried to determine how they made it to Europe without anyone knowing and whether terrorists' appeal is deepening among vulnerable youth.
CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) - A man who allegedly confessed to killing seven women in Indiana on Wednesday refused to speak or even acknowledge his name to a judge, and a sheriff explained later that the suspect was upset his hearing was in open court before dozens of journalists.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) - The American Postal Workers Union is calling upon Harvard University's president to oppose a deal between Staples Inc. and the U.S. Postal Service, or resign her seat on the office supply company's board.