MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A tall man and a slender woman wiggled into their white hazardous materials suits, putting on protective masks and gloves before venturing into the dark, two-story home where police say a methamphetamine lab recently exploded.
NEW YORK (AP) - The heated debate over the National Security Agency's bulk collection of millions of Americans' telephone records fell squarely into the courts Friday, when a federal judge in Manhattan upheld the legality of the program and cited its need in the fight against terrorism just days after another federal judge concluded it was likely not constitutional.
NO BEER LED TO CERAMIC SQUIRREL STABBING: NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina authorities say a 44-year-old woman angry at a man for returning home without beer on Christmas beat and stabbed him with a ceramic squirrel.
NEW YORK (AP) - Electricians working atop a New York City skyscraper on Friday installed the last of the 2,688 crystal triangles that give the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball its shimmer, including a panel dreamt up by a 12-year-old former cancer patient.
DENVER (AP) - The first batch of Denver businesses approved to sell recreational marijuana got their licenses Friday, the owners mugging for pictures and saying they never thought they'd see the day when they'd get a permit to sell pot.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Call it throwing the book at the bookworms.
SC GOV. HALEY GETS A BERETTA PISTOL FOR CHRISTMAS: COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Santa was apparently right on target for Christmas for South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
CHICAGO (AP) - Early blasts of snow, ice and below-zero temperatures haven't stopped a surprising number of Chicago cyclists from spinning through the slush this winter, thanks in part to a city so serious about accommodating them that it deploys mini-snow plows to clear bike lanes.
HOUSTON (AP) - A white Houston-area man was arrested Thursday on federal hate crimes charges for allegedly shooting video of himself sucker-punching a 79-year-old black man in a "knockout game"-style attack.
PHOENIX (AP) - Two men were arrested Christmas Day on opposite sides of the country after they breached perimeters at major airports, raising questions about security measures and whether more needs to be done to protect the nation's transit hubs.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Pastor Mike Butzberger insists he only had holiday spirit in mind when his Florida church's marquee read: "Christmas - Easier to spell than Hanukkah."
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Members of the Ramapough Native American tribe have filed a $50 million lawsuit against the makers of a recent Hollywood movie they say depicts their people in a negative light.
LITCHFIELD, Maine (AP) - Utility crews from Maine to Michigan and into Canada worked Wednesday to restore power to more than half a million homes left in the dark by last weekend's ice storm, and people slowly trickled out of shelters to spend Christmas Day at their finally warm homes.
WEST READING, Pa. (AP) - A terminally ill girl who received support from thousands of Christmas carolers outside her home over the weekend died early on Christmas morning, her family said.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Las Vegas cab driver Gerardo Gamboa thought someone left a bag of chocolates in the back seat of his vehicle, but the stash turned out to be $300,000 in cold hard cash.
NEW YORK (AP) - The latest issue of the digital magazine "Dabiq" features glossy photos of smiling militants from the Islamic State group, mutilated bodies on the battlefield and articles with titles such as, "There is No Life Without Jihad" and "Foley's Blood is on Obama's Hands."
NEW YORK (AP) - The U.S. Secret Service is having preliminary discussions about setting up security screening checkpoints near public areas around the White House, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press Sunday.
FRESNO (AP) - Residents in drought-stricken California whose wells have gone dry will soon get help from key state agencies under an order Gov. Jerry Brown signed Friday.
CHICAGO (AP) - Jon Daniel was watching cartoons with one of his sons when he created a spoof Twitter account in the name of the Peoria mayor. Out of boredom, he said, he soon began sending profane messages about sex, drugs and alcohol.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - After hundreds of negative responses, Texas officials appear to be backing off a plan to allow alcohol to be sold at some gun shows, which would have come with strict conditions.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - No crime was committed by a woman who told authorities she kept the remains of her miscarried pregnancy in a jar in the freezer for nearly a year, the coroner in Las Vegas said Friday.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A Montana man in prison for raping a girl starting when she was 12 is now charged with trying to persuade her to kill herself by cutting her wrists and taking prescription medication while he watched on a webcam.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Busch Gardens removed some props from their Halloween attractions after people in Virginia complained about decapitated heads, the theme park said Thursday.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - A hotel room suicide of a man who was freed from jail after being accused of intentionally crashing his vehicle into the Stratosphere and declaring he wanted to jump from its tower raised questions Thursday about why he hadn't been charged with a crime and whether he was properly screened for mental illness.
CUPERTINO (AP) - Apple has tightened its technological security so not even the company can pry into a password-protected iPhone or iPad, a move meant to reassure the millions of people who are increasingly storing vital pieces of their lives on the devices.
NEW YORK (AP) - Home Depot said Thursday that a data breach that lasted for months at its stores in the U.S. and Canada affected 56 million debit and credit cards, far more than a pre-Christmas 2013 attack on Target customers.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Chevron has become the first energy company to meet a new set of voluntary shale gas drilling standards that aim to go beyond existing state laws in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, the Pittsburgh-based Center for Sustainable Shale announced Thursday.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown headed to the cradle of the Hollywood film industry Thursday to sign legislation that more than triples the state's tax credit to $330 million a year for films and TV shows produced in California.
NEW YORK (AP) - UPS will hire up to 95,000. Kohl's plans to take on 67,000 and FedEx 50,000. Wal-Mart will add 60,000.
CHICAGO (AP) - Nik Wallenda is all about spectacle, a showman who crossed Niagara Falls and an Arizona gorge on a high wire and now has his sights on Chicago's iconic skyscrapers - partly because of the city's reputation for being windy.