WASHINGTON (AP) - The 2012 presidential election broke the $2 billion milestone in its final weeks, becoming the most expensive in American political history, according to final federal finance reports released Thursday. The reports detailed a last-minute cascade of money from mega-donors and an onslaught of spending by the Obama and Romney campaigns and "super" political action committees.
SEATTLE (AP) - A man pleaded guilty Thursday to plotting an attack on a Seattle military complex with machine guns and grenades.
SEATTLE (AP) - People openly lit joints under the Space Needle and on Seattle's sidewalks - then blew the smoke at TV news cameras. To those looking to "get baked," the city's police department suggested pizza and a "Lord of the Rings" movie marathon.
NEW BATAAN, Philippines (AP) - The Philippine government's geological hazard maps show why this farming community was largely washed away by a strong typhoon: "highly susceptible to flooding and landslides." That didn't stop some villagers from rebuilding even with bodies still lying under the mud.
FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) - President Barack Obama, trying to put a personal touch on "fiscal cliff" negotiations, visited a northern Virginia family's basement apartment Thursday to press his hard line on tax rate increases for the wealthy.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. Jim DeMint, patron saint of the tea party and a would-be Republican kingmaker, announced suddenly Thursday he would resign his South Carolina seat to head Washington's conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, a shift that reverberated through a soul-searching GOP.
MAINE MALL SACKS SANTA AFTER RUDENESS COMPLAINTS: SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A mall in Maine has sacked Santa Claus after children and parents complained he was rude, grumpy and wouldn't even let one child sit on his lap.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - George Zimmerman sued NBC on Thursday, claiming he was defamed when the network edited his 911 call to police after the shooting of Trayvon Martin to make it sound like he was racist.
AUTOPSY: BORDER PATROL AGENT FIRED GUN 10 TIMES: SAN DIEGO (AP) - A Border Patrol agent in Southern California who shot and killed a mother of five after she hit him with her vehicle fired his gun 10 times from the hood of her car as he tried to get the woman to stop, according to an autopsy report released Thursday.
HONOLULU (AP) - Ray Emory could not accept that more than one quarter of the 2,400 Americans who died at Pearl Harbor were buried, unidentified, in a volcanic crater.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - New York's Times Square is getting a little bit Jersey for New Year's Eve.
SEATTLE (AP) - Hundreds of same-sex couples across Washington state started picking up marriage licenses Thursday as a voter-approved law legalizing gay marriage took effect.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Mormon leaders made their most significant outreach yet to gays and lesbians, unveiling a new website Thursday that encourages church members to be more compassionate in discussions about homosexuality.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - At about 450 pounds, Ohio death row inmate Ronald Post is so fat that his executioners won't be able to find veins in his arms or legs for the lethal injection, and he might even break the death chamber gurney, his lawyers say.
ATLANTA (AP) - An elderly man opened fire on a woman after her car came into contact with his motorized wheelchair at a central Georgia service station, authorities said Wednesday. She died shortly afterward at a hospital despite the efforts of a crowd of people to aid her.
SCARSDALE, N.Y. (AP) - Carolyn Ngbokoli doesn't remember the sound of her mother's voice. She was just 19 when her mom died, and no recordings were left.
HARMONY (AP) - A small town midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco on the Pacific Coast Highway has been sold for an undisclosed price.
MURRIETA (AP) - Rumors had swirled among anti-immigration activists near a U.S. Border Patrol station in Southern California that the agency would try again to bus in some of the immigrants who have flooded across the U.S.-Mexico border.
NEW YORK (AP) - "Opie & Anthony" radio show host Anthony Cumia has been fired by satellite radio company SiriusXM, which cited his "racially charged" and "hate-filled" remarks on Twitter as the reason.
KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. (AP) - Proving far less damaging than feared, Hurricane Arthur left tens of thousands of people without power Friday in a swipe at North Carolina's dangerously exposed Outer Banks, then brought lousy Fourth of July beach weather to parts of the Northeast as it veered out to sea.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A south Arkansas woman celebrated her 116th birthday Friday with cake, a party and a new title - she's now officially the oldest confirmed living American and second-oldest person in the world, the Gerontology Research Group said.
NEW YORK (AP) - High-ranking chowhound Joey "Jaws" Chestnut dropped to one knee and proposed to his longtime girlfriend before Friday's annual hot dog eating contest, then packed away 61 franks and buns to hold onto his coveted mustard yellow winner's belt.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Army bases and surrounding communities across the country would lose up to 80 percent of their military and civilian workforces if maximum cuts in both budget and force size go into effect at the end of the decade, according to worst-case scenario projections.
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - A Maine man who bit off a portion of another man's ear during a fight has been acquitted of assault charges.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Arizona's largest city has gone four months without any measurable rain, and neighboring New Mexico is in the midst of four years of severe drought.
NOME, Alaska (AP) - Alaska wildlife officials have turned to an unusual source in efforts to persuade a herd of musk oxen to leave this Bering Sea coastal town for good.
VETERAN DIES WAITING FOR AMBULANCE IN VA HOSPITAL: ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A veteran who collapsed in an Albuquerque Veteran Affairs hospital cafeteria - 500 yards from the emergency room - died after waiting 30 minutes for an ambulance, officials confirmed Thursday.
MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) - A Georgia man who police say intentionally killed his toddler son by leaving the boy inside a hot SUV was exchanging nude photos with women the day his son died and had looked at websites that advocated against having children, a detective testified Thursday.
RIFLE, Colo. (AP) - Many stores and restaurants are telling people not to bring their guns inside, but one western Colorado restaurant not only embraces the practice of packing heat, it encourages its customers to carry openly - and its waitresses do, too.
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The family who says their 3-year-old girl was asked to leave a KFC restaurant because her scars disturbed customers won't directly accept a $30,000 donation but instead wants the money given to the foundation of a doctor who will work on her face, according to an attorney's statement.