AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Surrounded by sleigh bell-ringing Santa Claus impersonators, Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday signed a law protecting Christmas and other holiday celebrations in Texas public schools from legal challenges - but also stressed that freedom of religion is not the same thing as freedom from religion.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Danielle Powell was going through a hard time in the spring of 2011, just months away from graduating from a conservative Christian college in Nebraska. She had fallen in love with another woman, a strictly forbidden relationship at a school where even prolonged hugs were banned.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut woman disfigured by a friend's pet chimpanzee in 2009 was denied permission Friday to sue the state for $150 million on her claim that officials knew the animal was dangerous but didn't do anything about it.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The revelation Friday that a former commander of a Nazi SS-led military unit has lived quietly in Minneapolis for the past six decades came as a shock to people who knew him, prompted harsh condemnations from World War II survivors in the U.S. and Europe, and led prosecutors in Poland to say they would investigate.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - Authorities lifted evacuations in a wide swath of terrain outside Colorado Springs on Friday as they said a surprise rain shower helped them expand containment of a wildfire that has destroyed 400 homes.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - One of two Czech-built military training jets that collided in midair while practicing for this fall's National Championship Air Races in Reno had to make a belly landing on the runway with no wheels, but neither pilot was hurt at the airport where 11 people were killed during the finals competition in 2011.
PHOENIX (AP) - A 91-year-old Arizona weightlifter didn't just break a world record for the bench press, he powered through it by 52 pounds.
NORTH BAY VILLAGE, Fla. (AP) - Investigators began examining a twisted pile of concrete, metal and wood on Friday to determine why a waterfront deck at a popular sports bar collapsed into shallow Biscayne Bay, injuring two dozen people gathered to cheer the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A high school football player convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl after an alcohol-fueled party last summer was given the state's second-toughest sex offender classification at a Friday hearing.
BOSTON WOMAN PAYS $560,000 FOR 2 PARKING SPOTS: BOSTON (AP) - Parking is such a precious commodity in Boston that one woman was willing to pay $560,000 for two off-street spaces near her home.
NEW YORK (AP) - There's little wonder why George Orwell's novel "1984" is seeing a resurgence in sales.
CHICAGO (AP) - The generation that's grown up posting their lives online wants a little privacy. That's not what we might expect as we debate just how much access the government should have to our mobile and online lives.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - A San Diego-area teacher says she is losing her job for being the victim of domestic violence.
NEW YORK (AP) - Law enforcement officials nationwide are demanding the creation of a "kill switch" that would render smartphones inoperable after they are stolen, New York's top prosecutor said Thursday in a clear warning to the world's smartphone manufacturers.
POLICE: THIEF GETS STUCK IN MUD AFTER BURGLARY: FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Police say a man who robbed a Foxborough home had to call a tow truck after getting stuck in the mud while making his getaway.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A state lawmaker who resigned his seat following a sex scandal involving a teenage employee won it back during a special election Tuesday.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Two Albuquerque police officers were charged with murder Monday in the shooting death of a knife-wielding homeless man that led to violent protests and brought new scrutiny to the police department amid a federal investigation.
PARIS (AP) - As many as six members of a terrorist cell involved in the Paris attacks may still be at large, including a man who was seen driving a car registered to the widow of one of the gunmen, French police said Monday.
RICHMOND, VA (AP) - Police said Monday that they've been unable to confirm that an alleged gang rape occurred at a University of Virginia fraternity house as described in a Rolling Stone article, and the school announced that it reinstated the group and its activities.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Idaho State University has canceled an order for 11 AR-15 rifles for its campus security detail.
MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. (AP) - A retired school principal is the sole winner of the $326 million Mega Millions jackpot drawn on Nov. 4, the biggest prize in New York Lottery history, officials announced Monday.
NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Public Library is launching the nation's largest Internet lending program, handing out 10,000 free high-speed hot spots to some of the city's poorest residents.
VICTORIA, Texas (AP) - The lawyer for a Texas police officer fired for using a stun gun on a 76-year-old man says there was "nothing unreasonable" about using that level of force during a traffic stop that was captured on dashboard camera video.
DETROIT (AP) - Americans are ready to let their tops down and feel the wind blow through their hair.
MIAMI (AP) - Florida authorities say George Zimmerman, whose acquittal of murdering an unarmed black teen sparked a national debate on race and self-defense laws, has been arrested for allegedly throwing a wine bottle at his girlfriend.
PARIS (AP) - At a kosher supermarket in Paris, a quick-thinking Muslim employee hides several Jewish shoppers in the basement before sneaking out to brief police on the hostage-taker upstairs. In the town of Dammartin-en-Goele, a poker-faced businessman fools a pair of gunmen into believing they're alone in the building before being allowed to leave unharmed.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A survivor of a 2008 head-on crash on the Golden Gate Bridge spoke Sunday from her wheelchair to help inaugurate a new mobile median safety barrier for the iconic San Francisco span.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republicans in Iowa have opted to carry on with their presidential straw poll, a summer political tradition that detractors decry as a sideshow.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - Ever mindful that the next economic downturn could be right around the corner, Gov. Jerry Brown released a record $113 billion California spending plan on Friday that resists calls for expanding social services and instead dedicates billions for paying down debt and saving for a rainy day.
ARIS (AP) - With explosions and gunfire, security forces Friday ended three days of terror around Paris, killing the two al-Qaida-linked brothers who staged a murderous rampage at a satirical newspaper and an accomplice who seized hostages at a kosher supermarket to try to help the brothers escape.